With “Freedom Day” pencilled in for 9 August, the mood has never been more optimistic. We are also acutely aware that certain restrictions could still be imposed and guidelines change, so the industry is prepared either way.
The wedding industry throughout Scotland has been forced to pivot on the back of a host of complex and challenging restrictions. Social distancing, family bubbles, live music, dancing, limited numbers…the list goes on. However, we are resilient and it’s been inspiring to see so many venues weather the ongoing storm by creating new Covid-compliant offerings that have, in turn, sparked new wedding trends as delighted couples realise they can still celebrate their nuptials in this new normal we are navigating.
Understandably, the majority of couples cannot wait for restrictions to fully ease so they can have the wedding they’ve always envisaged, free from Covid boundaries. After all, not being able to say I do in front of all your friends and family, enjoy classic-style drinks receptions and elaborate evening buffets, hug loved ones freely, dance away until the small hours of the morning, is disappointing to say the least. But new post-Covid wedding trends are demonstrating that they can still celebrate, if they can’t wait – or restrictions change once more. This new positive mood is allowing the Scottish wedding industry to keep its head above water as we have no firm indication of how long this wait will be.
At Dalmahoy, we’ve seen a number of more intimate weddings going ahead, with more upcoming bookings. Some couples have postponed so many times that they have chosen to get married with smaller guest numbers. Others couples are privately welcoming restrictions as they can consider their guest list more carefully, embracing more intimate family celebrations.
Both venues and couples are being much more creative with space because you still need a big venue to ensure social distancing between households. At Dalmahoy, the wedding team are working closely with couples to plan the room layout for maximise ambience – one common recommendation we have is that smaller round tables still create a traditional wedding look, whilst allowing guests to stay in household bubbles. This allows the wedding to look and feel as close to normal as possible.
Prospective bride and grooms are welcoming open spaces and looking for venues where everything is on-site, reducing potential transport headaches. At Dalmahoy, we’re set in 1,000 acres of picturesque countryside, offer adaptable and elegant function rooms, can provide indoor or outdoor weddings, offer an abundance of overnight accommodation and have the historic St Mary’s Dalmahoy church located in our estate grounds. Enquiries are at an all-time high and it’s safe to say the appeal of having a venue being able to cater for any requirements and make a wedding feel as normal as possible, has never been stronger.
Couples are also embracing quality over quantity, spoiling their loved ones with sumptuous private dining experiences featuring four- or five-course gourmet menus paired with beautiful wines and champagnes, before the wedding curfew kicks in. There’s also been an upgrade in staging with stunning table settings and personalised touches, including masks and sanitisers. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the wedding industry in Scotland: we’re back and we made it.
Rachel King, Senior Events Manager at Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, www.dalmahoyhotelandcountryclub.co.uk