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The Botanic Gardens - In Depth

PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography 1 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography2 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography3 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography4 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography5 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography6 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography7 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography8 The Royal Botanic Gardens
20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh
EH3 5LR
http://www.rbge.org.uk/the-gardens/edinburgh/venue-hire/wedding-packages
0131 552 1974
weddings@gatewayrestaurant.net

The second in my series looking more in depth at venues features Edinburgh’s treasure trove the Botanical Gardens (or the Botanics for short).

Much loved by all for being an oasis of calm in the bustling city and providing a different experience of sights, sounds and colours on every visit, the Botanics has it all for weddings.

You may be familiar with the gardens themselves but did you know that there are three indoor and one outdoor space that you can get married in? The John Hope Gateway can seat up to 200 for dinner, with an additional 50 for the evening reception. Or who could resist a wedding under the towering redwood trees in the John Muir Grove. You can even watch the end of festival fireworks there.

Here’s the lowdown on the spaces you can use:

David Douglas Room – small intimate space for weddings – up to 40 for ceremony, dinner and evening.
Caledonian Hall – up to 100 for a seated dinner and up to 120 for and evening reception.
John Hope Gateway – up to 200 for a seated dinner and up to 250 for an evening reception.
John Muir Grove – 40 seats as many standing as you like.

As always the price of a wedding varies tremendously depending on how many people are attending and what you are providing for them. Erin Burden from the Botanics has kindly provided a rough guide:

“As our prices are bespoke it is hard to give costs we prefer people to contact directly for quotes however our prices in the summer are usually between £100 and £150 per person depending on their requirements. And ceremony only venue hire is £1225 ex vat.”

“We also have a fantastic winter wedding offer which for October 2016 – March 2017 is £6995 inc vat for 60 day guests and a further 40 in the evening!”

Erin has also shortlisted three (from many, trust me) of the top reasons to consider a wedding at the Botanics:
1 – The ease of the planning journey for brides and grooms – from a customised proposal upon enquiring, one-on-one planning sessions with a dedicated co-ordinator, tastings included at all times of the year, and someone on hand to answer questions 6 days a week. We also have drop in Q&A sessions every few months on a Sunday and a devoted operations manager on the day of your wedding. Along with being a one stop shop to enquire and book and put them in touch with suppliers that have been hand selected by ourselves.

2 – The expanse of outdoor space – benefiting from 72 acres of land there is an abundance of beautiful places for photos and for the couple to enjoy some alone time together. During drinks reception guests can wander around the gardens as long as they are back in time for dinner! They can enjoy everything from our ever green woodland area, our Chinese hillside or a stunning backdrop of the whole Edinburgh skyline from our manicured Inverleith lawn.

3 – Our Food – Our award winning chefs create and develop new menus all the time. Our a la carte selector dishes have had some of the highest praise of venues in Edinburgh and we offer everything from classic wedding dishes of haggis or chicken to more elaborate Asian duck or Ayrshire pork belly. We also offer an outdoor dining menu that has a BBQ option as standard that can be enhanced with pulled pork or paella stations to wow your guests. Or something really different our pan Asian street food menu. Our chefs are flexible and can cater for all tastes and requirements.

Final note from Phil
The Botanics is one of those Edinburgh places that everyone in the city has good memories from. I’ve spent countless hours there with family and friends over the years and love taking my kids there now too. It feels like the countryside, and more than that, it feels peaceful. I’ve photographed weddings there indoors and out, and it hardly seems like work at all as the gardens themselves present so many photo opportunities. The colours are always changing too, so an Autumnal or winter wedding there will still look amazing. What’s not to love.

PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography9 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography10 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography11 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography12 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography13 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography 14 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography 15 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography 16 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography 17

TIP 40 - GROOM CLOTHING DISASTERS

You thought it was all about keeping the wedding dress pristine? Think again! There are a few common pitfalls that can ruin the groom’s outfit too and they are totally avoidable!

Number 1 – Morning suits and kilt jackets can be silk-like, shiny and mono-coloured. That means make-up smudges show up on them very easily. Guess who gets kissed (on the cheek!) and cuddled more than anyone just before the ceremony. That’s right, the groom is out there meeting all the guests and the females can’t help but get their make-up on his clothes. I’ve seen extreme cases where the jacket looks blotchy and patchy during the ceremony which is a shame and it’s more than a little Photoshop work to get it back into shape afterwards too. The trick is for grooms to welcome all guests, accept all kisses and cuddles, but protect that suit!

Number 2 – It’s always nice when a groom uses a bought item of clothing for their wedding, possibly a favourite old smart jacket. But please do take a look at it first and check it for signs of wear and tear and particularly baubles! I’ve seen jackets covered in them. Again, it’s not much fun editing baubles out of scores of shots, plus the couple shoot can end up looking like a beat up old Renault Clio next to a gleaming Ferrari – guess who is the Ferrari!

The Royal Scots Club - In Depth

Douglas Room
Douglas Room Royal Scots Club
Royal Scots Club Edinburgh
Princess Royal Suite Table Setting
Princess Royal Suite
Queen Street Gardens
Douglas Room

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Location: 29-31 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE
0131 556 4270
http://www.royalscotsclub.com/wedding/

The Royal Scots Club is in an ideal location literally two minutes away from Princes Street. It’s a venue full of hidden surprises, and has a quirkiness about it due to its layout inside. It is far, far bigger than it looks from the outside, and has a great selection of rooms for weddings of different sizes. It’s also a hotel, so many of your guests can book in to stay, but being so central in Edinburgh that’s not a big concern, as there are so many places to house guests nearby. There is a fine military history of this club, but you don’t need to be connected with the military to come in and enjoy its food and drink or to have your wedding here. Any type of ceremony can be held here, whether civil, humanist or religious.

The three main function rooms are the Douglas Room, the Hepburn Suite and the Princess Royal Suite, all very different and they also have different capacities for guests, which is such an important factor in picking a wedding location, so I’ve detailed them here:

Douglas Room
Weddings – Up to 60 guests
Meal – Up to 44 guests

Hepburn Suite
Weddings – Up to 120 guests
Meal – Up to 110 guests

Princess Royal Suite
Weddings – Up to 160 guests
Meal – Up to 160 guests

Clearly more guests can arrive after the meal for the evening reception, with the Princess Royal Suite allowing up to a maximum number of 200 guests (seating for 120 plus dance floor).

Other Benefits
As well as the main function rooms, there is a library, which can be used for drinks receptions or couple photos. Literally across the road is Queen Street Gardens, which you have full access to for family and couple shoot photos. It’s always nice to get outside and the space feels like the countryside, rather than in the heart of the bustling city. The bridal suite is gorgeous, with a luxurious four-poster bed, which is great for bridal preparation photos if you are getting ready there.

Prices
Quick Note about prices – Clearly the number of guests at your wedding and the amount and type of food and drink you provide for them is the biggest factor in varying the price. You can also embellish table settings, chair coverings and many other things that again will alter the price, so please don’t take these prices as definitive. Speak to the wedding planner about your day and they will quickly give you an accurate quote.
Room hire at the Royal Scots Club is from £1000 – £1500.
Food and Drink is approximately £70pp for a fairly inclusive package i.e. canapés, 3 course meal and coffee, full drinks package and evening food.
Based on a wedding of 80 day and evening guests the total price would be around the £7100 mark.

Three great things about the Royal Scots Club from Weddings Manager Ayesha:
1. Because we are a members club we offer that rare combination: the charm of a country house hotel with a cosy club atmosphere. We are the perfect home from home to relish the character and culture of Scotland’s capital city. Making the guests feel at home and welcome is in our nature.
2. Even though we are a city centre venue couples get access to the vast Queen street gardens for photos so they get the benefit of being in the city centre and the beautiful backdrop of the gardens.
3. As we have many different size rooms and suites we can cater for all sizes of weddings. From small intimate affairs to larger receptions. Our management team has a vast experience of organising events ranging from small intimate Dinner Parties to sumptuous Weddings. Nothing is a problem as everything is under one roof – we can even organise and hold the ceremony here.

Final note from Phil
I’d sum up the venue by saying it never fails to impress me, and also surprise me, I’m still finding new rooms and viewpoints every time I visit and that means plenty photo opportunities. Having the outdoor space available is also a huge bonus, as I’ve led many a wedding party over there to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and greenery, as well as get some incredible photos.

Hepburn Suite Wedding
Queen Street Gardens Confetti
Hepburn Suite Speeches
Hepburn Suite Dancing
Hepburn Suite Kids and singing
Douglas Room Ceremony
Royal Scots Club Military Wedding
Hepburn Suite Evening Lighting
Royal Scots Club Library

TIP 39 - CHOOSING A WEDDING VENUE

There are hundreds of choices for Edinburgh and Central Scotland wedding venues when you start out, so it’s helpful to sort out a few of your priorities first to begin to narrow that search down. Deal with what you know first.

What is your likely number of daytime and evening guests?
All venues have capacities for the wedding, the reception and the evening. They are hard and fast (health and safety, and all that!) and will determine if the venue is suitable for you pretty quickly. If you are planning a huge wedding 250+, then your choices narrow down pretty quickly.

Where are your guests coming from and where will they be staying?
If the venue is also a hotel, then happy days! If there are hotels nearby, then you’re on easy street. If the venue is further afield, you will need to think about running a bus or hiring taxis to get guests back to somewhere central later on.
Many people choose a central, easy to get to and from venue to make life easy for their guests, which is very kind of them, and in no way a compromise in Edinburgh as there are so many fine venues to choose from.

What’s your dream wedding?
If it has to be a barn or has to be a castle, then that does help begin to narrow down the search! Maybe you’re hankering after a cathedral wedding, that’s okay too, Edinburgh has three to choose from!

What’s your budget?
It’s never easy at the very start of a search to have a definitive budget, I know that. I’d recommend going to a wedding fair or speaking to a few venues just to get an idea how they price up their wedding packages and then take it from there. You may be able to use that information to come up with a figure, e.g. £70 per person for a decent amount of food and drink. Multiply that number by your number of guests and add any room hire charges and you know what it’s going to cost you. If you can afford it, get booking. If not, then move on, there’s plenty more venues to choose from.

Another great idea is to ask me! Us photographers have a vast array of experience working at so many venues around the city and having an awareness of many others. We are a repository of all sorts of (hopefully) useful information, so if you’re looking for a candle-lit castle or stunning seaside wedding then ask me for advice, it’s free after all.

TIP 38 - HUMANIST WEDDINGS

TIP 38 - HUMANIST WEDDINGS

Who is going to do your wedding ceremony? You will put in so much time and effort to plan for each and every part of your wedding day, but very often people get a registrar to officiate the wedding. While there is nothing wrong with this (my wedding was done by a registrar and I’ve no complaints), a humanist adds that personal touch to proceedings as they have sat down with you as a couple beforehand and learned about you as people. They can then use that information throughout the ceremony and it is always a lighter, funnier, more personal experience.

Somehow or other they always seem to be lovely people too, maybe it’s in their job description! If you are planning a wedding, do think about a humanist celebrant, I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it.

https://www.humanism.scot/

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