Advice from a professional florist

We got together with an amazing florist who we see quite often here at Kinkell Byre, Blue Poppy Flowers. People regularly ask us about flowers and wedding floral arrangements, but it’s actually a subject we don’t actually know too much about! So with this in mind today’s blog has been put together to help us all out, with some amazing advice and information from a professional wedding flower specialist.

Question time with Cath, from Blue Poppy Florist:

What should a couple consider when searching for their perfect florists? (Are all florists the same?)

It’s important that you find the right florist for you. Each florist has their own style. You can get a good idea from looking at their website or social media. This way you can find someone who is on the same wavelength as you.

Our style is natural, leafy, colourful and garden-inspired. This style works perfectly with barn venues like Kinkell. We update our Instagram regularly (@bluepoppyflorist)
For a lot of couples flowers are not something they know much about. How do
you know what you want/can have?

It’s fine if you don’t know your flowers. We wouldn’t expect you to know everything- that’s our job. It’s more important that we get an idea of your style. Photos are really helpful as we can see immediately the look you want to achieve e.g festival, woodland, leafy or romantic and then we can guide you through the options and flower choices.

Does time of year of a couple’s wedding dictate what flowers they can have?

Yes, to an extent. You can get flowers out of season but they can be hugely pricey and can be of low quality. It is better to look at the seasonal varieties and colours available.

What is the cost of wedding flowers?

The total cost will include the following: flowers, VAT, sundries (e.g ribbons, foam, pins), packaging, containers, insurance, staff wages, vehicles, mileage. We tend to decorate larger wedding venues for which we can be arranging upwards of 1500 stems, so florist’s time is a big factor. Most weddings take our base team (of 4 people) a minimum of 90 hours in total. That’s a lot of flowering!

We create completely bespoke designs so there is no set price. We do have a minimum spend of £1200 to cover our costs. For a quote you can get in touch via the contact form on the website www.bluepoppyflorist.com.

How can a couple save money on their flowers or make their budget go further?

We always do an itemised quote for all arrangements on your wish-list initially. If that comes to over your budget we look at options. I would suggest going for a few key high impact arrangements over lots of little arrangements everywhere. Also reusing ceremony
arrangements in the reception area is a good way to save money e.g aisle flowers and candles can be used to create a lovely top table display.

To save money you can DIY some things if you are confident and have plenty time. Sometimes couples will DIY little jars to dot around tables etc and we do the bouquets
and bigger arrangements such as arches, ceremony arrangements.

What is the process after booking?

After booking us for your wedding flowers, we are on hand to answer any questions over email. Usually I would suggest a meeting at the venue at some point before your wedding where we can discuss arrangements. If you don’t live in the country, we
arrange wedding flowers over email/phone.

Dates usually book up a year in advance so it’s likely you will see new ideas in the interim. It’s fine to a change a few arrangements along the way and we can re-quote for
these. We ask for the final order to be confirmed 1 month before the wedding although understand you may need extra emergency buttonholes for a family member or friend
you have forgotten about.

About Kinkell – What do you like about Kinkell, what works best and what are your favourite things to do at Kinkell?

Kinkell is a truly unique venue which is not comparable to any other. It’s amazing to see the space starting as a beautiful, blank canvas (with only Archie the highland coo as
décor) transformed to a twinkly wonderland. Our favourite part of the set-up is seeing family and friends come into the venue and hearing the gasps and seeing the joyful
reactions. There is no doubt Kinkell has the wow factor!

For us it is about enhancing the space, not hiding it. We love to dress the beautiful stone doorways with cascades of greenery and flowers. One of our favourite arrangements to
create are hanging flowers. These look really magical in the ceremony area or above the top table. We love to use colour and feel it really brings the space to life. If colour isn’t
your thing incorporate lots of greenery for impact.

We are lucky enough to be doing the flowers at Kinkell at least once a month so we know every nook and cranny- what works well and what makes impact. Flowers add life
and warmth to the space and we always try to bring the feel of the garden indoors. The finishing touch is the lighting. The i-light team spend hours creating the perfect lighting
which transforms the area into a fairy-tale venue.

What services do you offer?

We offer all flower arrangements ranging from wired hair flowers up to large scale installations and everything inbetween. We also hire props as part of our floral
arrangements e.g milk churns, woodland props, rustic crates, vases, candles etc. Our delivery, set up and removal service is always included. That way you can relax and
enjoy yourselves before and after the wedding.

What is Blue Poppy’s story?

We started selling garden flowers at farmers’ markets and Christmas stalls 6 years ago and steadily grew as a business over time. Although we started doing all florist work we
now specialise in weddings due to demand. To date we have provided flowers for over 200 weddings.

We are a little different to the usual florist as we also have a family flower farming business. From April-October, we grow thousands of flowers in a 2 acre garden which are added to our arrangements.

We really do love our job. Meeting our couples, listening to their plans and bringing their ideas to life is an incredible honour. Every week we enter the workshop bursting with enthusiasm and ready to create something beautiful and unique.

And finally, Cath’s personal advice on what type of flowers to have at your wedding:

Go with the season and you will always have beautiful, timeless wedding flowers! In Spring, use delicate scented bulbs and blossom; in summer, wild flowers, roses and sweet peas; in autumn rich coloured dahlias and textures look amazing and in winter, the warm glow of candles amongst garlands and pinecones provide simple elegance.

All images are of work that Blue Poppy Flowers did for a wedding in May 2018 here at Kinkell Brye. Images are by Robin at i-light.



“We are absolutely delighted with our wedding day and all that Kinkell Byre had to offer us!”

Tell us a little bit about planning your wedding?

When we got engaged, we both agreed we were in no hurry to get married too quickly, as having just bought our first flat together we were still working on renovations and wanted to take our time to make our wedding exactly how we wanted it.

Our only initial thoughts were that we wanted something that we could make unique and customise to match what we believed was a reflection of us as a couple.
Location wise, we are both from around the Aberdeen area and wanted to choose a venue neither of us had been to before and one that would hopefully be a surprise to our friends and family. Having been to so many weddings we both agreed the ones that can be the most fun are those where we’ve travelled to and made a weekend of. Ideally, we wanted a June wedding, as all the best things for us have happened in June.

With this criteria in mind we did some research of venues around Scotland and one of the first we came across was Kinkell Byre. St Andrews and Crail are both places close to our family’s hearts and we believed the area would be a great place for our guests to spend some time in. We planned a visit to Kinkell and within about 10 minutes of being in the venue we knew this was the one. There was no need to even venture elsewhere, it had everything we wanted and with a stroke of luck it had a Saturday date in June 2 years later which is exactly what we hoped for.

From then on everything seemed to flow quite easily, Sam & Sandy at Kinkell were amazing at helping us with suggestions of suppliers and steering us in the right direction. Meeting Cath at Blue Poppy, who offered such friendly advice and suggestion from her experience of Kinkell Byre, was an instant no-brainer. (She later created the most incredible swing which hung at the alter above us as we said our vows and it was an instant show stopper – if only we could have kept it forever!)

One of the most important aspects for us at our wedding was the food!! As known ‘foodies’ we wanted to make sure we gave our guests a meal to remember and wanting to steer away from the norm we had desires for an Italian feast, reason being that Amy’s family has Italian heritage and Frazer’s family just love all things Italian. We had been in touch with a few caterers with our ideas but Scott’s Catering Services was the one who stood out. Scott also travelled from Fife to Aberdeen on a Friday evening to meet with us before we had even agreed to proceed with his services which to us instantly suggested excellent service. We were able to plan and tailor our menu with Scott, and even had a tasting thrown in.

With our dining room design of long trestle tables, beautifully designed with trailing greenery by Blue Poppy, romantically lit by iLight and amazing sharing platters and pasta dishes by Scott we had our ideal Italian feast with friends and family – mangia mangia!

The rest of the venue was again so expertly lit up by Steven at iLight who designed the room with us and took control of our music on the day. In addition we used lots of jars, apple crates, empty gin & whiskey bottles with some fairy lights in, prints of some quotes from our favourite bands and also photos of us over the years with our friends and family to decorate the rest of the byre. It came together beautifully.

What did you both enjoy planning?

The fact that KB is a “blank canvas venue” means that literally everything can be personalised to match our tastes. This means that all our ideas could be incorporated into the day so I think we had the most fun coming up with quirky original ideas to really make the day feel like ours and Kinkell Byre were fantastic at accommodating any ideas we had and actively encouraged new concepts.

One of the biggest highlights for us was writing our ceremony along with our chosen humanist Dorothy Nowak. We had opted for a humanist wedding as in our experience it meant the ceremony would be personal and very ‘us’. We were so glad we went with this route as Dorothy allowed us to be part of the whole planning of it. We were able to tell our story as a couple, write some secret parts about what we love about each other, which Dorothy read out on the day as a surprise to us both, and we also wrote and exchanged our own vows. Dorothy told our story exactly as we would tell it, and our guests all commented that they were totally engrossed and that the ceremony felt so inclusive and had everyone laughing and crying (happy tears, of course) at the same time.

Tell us about your wedding day. What made it special for you?

To describe our day in one word it would be – happy! From getting ready in the morning with our respective families and bridal party to the end of the evening where the floor was full and everyone was having a great time, the entire day was simply happy.

Kinkell Byre were amazing at assisting us in the day before the wedding and on the morning of the, where Frazer could come by and ensure all the finishing touches had been seen to, before arriving with his groomsmen later in the day, so he could be relaxed and ready to get married.

Our ceremony was beautiful and personal, and we were able to incorporate some of our favourite Scottish traditions which allowed various members of our family to participate in the ceremony too.

We were blessed with a stunning day of weather, making those Kinkell Byre views all the more wonderful (which even in the rain still packs a punch), when guests mingled and enjoyed the tasty canapes with a glass of prosecco in the grounds whilst we got some stunning shots done with our photographer. Steven from iLight was an excellent master of ceremonies for the day, at no point did we ever have to think about what was going on or where we had to be as it was all taken care for us,  music cues and all. Steven introduced us to dinner welcomed by a merry crowd of friends and family who were all suitably happy and enjoying the prosecco before sitting down to the afore mentioned Italian feast. Before tucking in, our speech givers had the room in simultaneous floods of laughter and tears, adding to the fun of the day.

When the pasta had settled and the lemoncello had been drank, our guests then enjoyed the offerings of beer pong, a Scottish gin table, and, for those who caught it, the stunning Fife sunset, before dancing the night away to The Kicks (with a short break for some pizza of course).

What made your day so special?

It’s hard to pinpoint what made our wedding day/weekend/week/month/year (the build-up was as much fun as the day itself!) so special. But sharing it with the people we love the most is definitely up there. Not only on the day itself but we were able to incorporate as many people, into our wedding as we could feasibly manage. We enlisted the help of so many of our talented friends and families offerings of readings, hair design, make up, stationary design, sign making, home baking, building, crafting… the list goes on. We came to realise that we have a very talented bunch around us who we appreciate so much and who being able to incorporate into our wedding made it all the more special.

Of course in addition to this, having the venue and wedding of our dreams exactly as we both dreamed it would be was the absolute icing on the cake. It was genuinely more than we ever could have imagined.

What advice do you have for other couples planning their wedding?

Our advice would be to try and get the “big ticket” items ticked off as quickly as possible e.g. date, caterer, florist, band and drinks providers. Although this sounds obvious enough we really were grateful to have these things in the diary and deposits paid a good two years before our wedding as this offers obvious piece of mind and also meant that we had more time to consider and make real all the little personal touches we wanted to incorporate into our big day.

It’s very true what they say, the day does fly by. Our advice to anyone is to just take that minute, sit back at dinner and look at the room, stand back from the floor and watch those moves, all the people who are there are those who genuinely choose to be there for you as a couple and you want to appreciate them all too. We were so glad we opted to have a venue with that little bit of distance as, as we had hoped, the majority of our guests opted to make a weekend of it, meaning the wedding inadvertently became a 3 day event, letting us greet so many of our the guests day before as they arrived with excitement and anticipation, and on the day after where we could sit back and relax and reminisce on the wonderful day passed.

Our wedding accommodation was Morton of Pitmilly, just a 5 minute drive from the Byre offering beautiful cottages and lodges in amazing surroundings, with excellent facilities. Our families and bridal party and some more of our guests opted to stay here too which meant on the Sunday, the day after the wedding, we could host a BBQ which Morton of Pitmilly were more than willing to accommodate.

How is married life treating you?

We are loving married life, it’s been over 3 months since our wedding but our guests (and others who have only seen pictures) still want to talk about our wedding day and tell us just how much fun they had. We are still yet to go on our Honeymoon (not happening until December) so we have still managed to stay in the bubble, making the whole experience last that bit longer.

We have so many plans ahead of us that we can’t wait to become reality as we continue to build our life together and we are so glad that we will forever have the memory of our wonderful wedding at Kinkell Byre to look back on happily.

 

Photographer – Kellee Quinn Photography

Supplier shout outs – Catering/Caterhire – Scott’s Catering,  Florist – Blue Poppy,  Videographer – Chris Kelly Films,  Make Up – Samantha Cardno Make Up Artist,  Humanist – Dorothy Nowak,  Lights – iLight

We have a preferred bar supplier and here are the reasons why.

Our preferred bar supplier – Event Bars St Andrews

Here at Kinkell Byre we have decided to have a set bar supplier, Event Bars St Andrews. Event Bars is run by two gentlemen, Brian and Ross who we have come to know very well. 

By having a set bar supplier, we feel this gives our clients a bar set up which appears to be a permanent feature and also provides a very high standard bar service without sacrificing the flexibility of the venue. 

What do they offer that other mobile bar companies don’t? 

Well… Event bars are based here at Kinkell Byre so this means that it works out cheaper for the client. They also have all their stock on site which allows them to stock more,

They have over 45 different gins in stock as well as 35 different malt whiskys!!

Stocking ‘Big Al’s Pale Ale’!
Named after the 17yr old pet bullock at Kinkell Byre, hand reared since being orphaned at birth!
Many thanks to St Andrews Brewing Co. for producing this stunning ale!

How it works 

The way Event Bars work is pretty straightforward really. As long as you have more than 100 adult guests attending your wedding there is no charge for their services. If however you have less than 100 adults attending there is a small setup fee applied which is in place to ensure they cover all of their costs.

They will provide and install a fully equipped bar which includes draught Tennents, Guinness and, depending on guest numbers, a real ale from St Andrews Brewing Company.
The extensive drinks list includes approximately 40 different gins, 30 malt whiskies as well as various vodkas, rums, bottled beers/ales, ciders etc.

Event Bars can also proudly boast to having their very own bottled ale, named ‘Big Al’s Pale Ale’ ,which is brewed in memory of the much loved pet bullock, here at Kinkell Byre.

As well as the bar provision, Event Bars also offer another great service which has proved to be extremely popular…

They can supply you with fantastic wines and fizz for the reception and breakfast at extremely affordable prices. They take care of the ordering, delivery and chilling of the wines so it is one less thing for you to think/worry about. Added to this, they will happily advise you on quantities required and can even offer you samples to try at your leisure!!

Their wine list is comprehensive to say the least and definitely worth considering!

Get in touch 

If you are planning a Kinkell Byre wedding, here is how to get in touch with Event Bars St Andrews. 

Brian Scott Telephone 07803 034764
Ross Methven Telephone 07763 878044
info@eventbarsstandrews.co.uk
www.eventbarsstandrews.co.uk

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