After working tirelessly throughout the pandemic as NHS doctors and planning a wedding, Rachael & Chris finally got the day they deserved. They have kindly told us about how amazing their day was below
What first attracted you to Kinkell Byre? And what made you decide that it would be perfect for your special day?
We knew we didn’t want a hotel wedding as we wanted flexibility and the ability to make the venue personal. A fife location was key and we wanted nice views. We went to see a few barn type venues but Kinkell blew the others out the water. We loved how romantic the setting was with stunning views and countryside surrounding it. The venue itself seemed to flow perfectly and we loved that we had different rooms and spaces for each part of the day. Meeting with Sophie sealed the deal as she was so friendly and made us feel like our wedding would be well looked after by a team of people who love weddings.
Tell us a little bit about planning your wedding? What inspired you to pick all the things that you did and what was most important to you both?
We planned our wedding during the pandemic so plans were never set in stone and lots of flexibility was needed! I started with the way I wanted our guests to feel and then built everything around that. I wanted everyone to feel relaxed and comfortable throughout the day and excited by what they saw. I wanted everything to have impact from our décor to our food and wanted our guests to feel special and included.
We started with our caterers. I spoke to a couple of companies, but Kelly from Bespoke catering emailed back with the exact vibe I was looking for. She seemed to understand who we were as a couple instantly and translated our ideas into the most amazing menu. Nothing was too much hassle – they even managed to recreate the Lobster Tacos we had in Iceland where we got engaged! We had our tasting just before the first lockdown and the food was incredible – we booked them that night!
Bespoke were the only suppliers we were able to meet with face to face, everything else was via zoom. Due to this I made a couple of moodboards to give suppliers an insight into what I was envisaging for our day. This worked really well and the suppliers we ended up booking were people who saw our vision and got on board. We booked Cath at Blue Poppy for flowers, Alison at Bonnie Wee Cake for our wedding cake, Ginny and the Tonic for our ceremony and drinks reception and Whisky Kiss for our evening reception.
Next we had to pick a humanist. I emailed every humanist who was available on our date via the Humanist Society Scotland and Caledonian Humanist Society and shortlisted them initially based on email responses. We chose a few to meet with and found “the one” on our third zoom call. We chose Aileen Massey as she made us feel so comfortable. Its quite weird meeting with a stranger via zoom and talking about your relationship but Aileen made it feel routine.
With our suppliers and humanist all booked I now had time to get crafting! I made mock ups of our invites and sent these to the printers. I made my
own favours using little hearts cut out of seeded paper. I made confetti cones which then became sweetie cones when covid said no to confetti! I made flower crowns for my flower girls and I folded 1000 origami crane birds. This was the biggest task of the whole wedding – they took over 100 hours to fold, a full week to string, another week to wrap them for travel and then around 6 hours to hang them in the barn. Thankfully covid meant there was nothing else to do!!
Covid made shopping for outfits tricky but we got through it. I ordered my bridesmaid dresses online during a late night boredom fuelled shopping spree and sent them to 3 of my 5 bridesmaids to try and they looked incredible. The other two were in Norway and Australia so we just had to be brave and hope they fitted!! In the end those 2 bridesmaids couldn’t travel due to covid so 2 dresses are still waiting patiently to be worn. My wedding dress was bought from The Bridal Studio in Dollar and I was only allowed my mum with me but we managed to find the one in about an hour despite wearing masks. Chris was much more last minute and was still getting his outfit sorted the week of the wedding!
The month before the wedding was a busy time with last minute decisions and crafting. I made my own signs and table plan, sent about 80 vases to my florist for the centre pieces and designed menus and order of ceremony cards. Covid rules at this point were still unclear so we ended up having to make several table plans and ceremony seating plans for every eventuality!
The day before the wedding we went to Kinkell to decorate and the team were so helpful and made everything so easy. We took 8 hours to decorate and by the time we left the venue looked perfect.
What did you both enjoy planning?
I loved every part of planning but my favourite was the catering but that’s probably only because we got to taste an enormous amount of tasty food! We decided to have a dessert table with 5 options so we tasted about 15 desserts to help us decide. Chris had to have a lie down mid tasting! Bespoke did our meal and evening food and provided all cutlery, crockery, glassware and table cloths so there was a lot to plan but Kelly made it all seem so easy. I never once felt like I was asking too much of them.
Tell us about your day?
Our day was perfect. Chris stayed at the Fairmont with his best man the night before and I stayed at my mums with my bridesmaids and flower girls. Scotland played England the night before so we were distracted in a good way and totally relaxed. I slept like a baby and woke up without any nerves! We travelled to the venue in 2 VW campervans from View From The Slow Lane which were so cute. Our ceremony was so special with readings from our nearest and dearest, stories about how we met, our own vows and hand picked songs from Ginny and the Tonic. I couldn’t stop smiling and my cheeks were aching by the time we walked back down the aisle as Husband and Wife! The whole day felt joyous and we could tell that everyone was so happy to be there, especially after the difficulties of the last 18 months.
What made it so special?
Weddings are special regardless, but having a wedding during a pandemic is something else! Chris and I are both doctors working for the NHS and had been frontline throughout the pandemic. It had been a really difficult year and we hadn’t seen friends and family in a long time. At some points it felt like we were mad trying to get married during covid but most of the time we were so glad we had the distraction. Bringing 50 of our closest friends and family together after everything that has happened since March 2020 was incredibly special and you could feel the excitement and joy in the room.
What advice do you have for other couples planning their wedding during the pandemic?
Just go for it! And be flexible. Even though things might not go exactly as you had imagined it will still be the best day of your life.
How is married life treating you?
Fab! We’ve been on a covid friendly Scottish honeymoon to Isle of Eriska, Isle of Mull and then Isle of Skye and we’ve both just started our forever jobs. Life is great!
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