Gemma & Steve’s Wedding
Weddings, by their nature, are deeply personal. It’s a special day. With most weddings, compromises have to be made. But for some, compromise is not an option. That’s how Gemma and Steve felt about their wedding.
Steve, Gemma and Gemma’s parents, started the process by visiting a number of different hotel venues. Some of them were quickly dismissed, others lasted longer in their memory.
All the hotels had one thing in common. Gemma and Steve had to fit into their schedule. There were restrictions on when they could do certain things. Set time ranges that certain parts of the wedding day needed to fit into. And that included the standard check-in and check-out times that we all associate with most hotels.
All of these rules meant two things. Firstly, their wedding plans had to fit in with the hotel’s predetermined schedule. This lack of flexibility felt like a compromise too far. And secondly, it meant that their guests wouldn’t have the relaxed experience that they wanted them to have.
Gemma and Steve wanted to do things differently. They wanted to make the day their own and they wanted to put their own stamp on their big day. They wanted no check out times. They wanted ultimate flexibility and they wanted something truly memorable.
What they decided to do was hire their very own venue for the weekend.
They decided quite quickly that Birkhill Castle, in North East Fife, was the perfect venue. Built in 1780, the mansion is home to the Earl and Countess of Dundee, who make their property available for events.
With that decision made, their thoughts turned to the practicalities, the entertainment and of course their guests. They knew they’d have to hire someone to come in and deliver a bar service. They wanted a classy bar to fit the classy surroundings.
A mutual friend recommended that they should check us out. When Gemma first called us, we were planning a 21st birthday in Monifieth. I suggested Gemma’s parents should pop along to see the bar in action.
They did and were suitably impressed enough to book us to be part of their big day.
Planning is such a big part of what we do. We sat down with Gemma and Steve to understand what they wanted. Wine on arrival was the first thing on the agenda. The wine sets the scene for the day, so it needs to be good. The wine itself would be supplied by Sandy, our team of waiters would be on hand to make sure everyone was served. Based on the numbers, we arranged to have a team of 4 bar staff on hand for the day. They’d be responsible for making sure that wine glasses were topped up throughout the meal.
In the evening, they’d be manning the centrepiece of our business, our bar. It’s glossy white finish really fitted in well within the marquee that sat alongside the mansion. But, the bar is really only as good as the drink we serve and how we serve it.
As we usually do, we sourced a number of local produce suppliers. The main items mentioned were Gin and Craft Beer. As we were near St. Andrews, we decided a visit to Eden Mill was in order. We selected a number of their Gins for the event. From traditional to some flavoured options.
And, for the craft beer, we opted for Harviestoun Brewery. We’ve served a number of their craft beer brands at our other events and the feedback is always brilliant. Schiehallion, Bitter & Twisted and Old Engine Oil are among the favourites.
It was a long day for all concerned. We started installing the bar at 8.30am and we finally closed the bar at midnight. The day went off without issue and the atmosphere throughout the day was relaxed and fun.
But, what did Gemma and Steve have to say?
Jonny inspired confidence from the first time we met him. Seeing the bar in action at the 21st birthday really excited us. Jonny went above and beyond the call of duty in organising a wine tasting and helping us selected the drink lists. Meeting him at the venue a couple of times also relaxed us as we knew Jonny had everything covered.
On the day itself, the service was excellent and really efficient. The bar team were patient and really approachable and lots of our guests commented that the bar prices were great. Our guests were happy, which made us happy. Jonny and the Bespoke Bar Company played a massive role in making our day so special.
Gemma & Steve,The Happy Couple