Rachael Kemp & Nick Lavin
29th August 2020
“Nick and I got engaged in Venice after being together for four years. His plan was to propose at a rooftop bar looking out over the Grand Canal at sunset. However, it turned out that the bar didn’t actually open until after the sun had already gone down and it was quite a cloudy day, so the view wasn’t that great anyway! Instead, he picked a lovely quiet spot by the canal under a lamp post to get down on one knee.
Our original wedding date was set for May 2020 at WEST on the Green. We were expecting 110 day guests, 250 in the evening. Everything was arranged: invites had gone out, RSVPs were in, meal choices decided etc – and then it was all halted.
We were back and forth trying to decide whether to reschedule. How far should we postpone? Were we prepared to go ahead if some of our brilliant suppliers weren’t available on the new date? Should we just cancel altogether and decide when things become more clear? It was horrible.
We parked it for a while and waited for our ‘Not-Wedding Day’ to pass. I wasn’t looking forward to it, but it turned out that the weather was horrendous so that helped (haha). We hired a hot tub and spent the day indulging in our favourite treats and still trying to make it special. Friends and family sent us kind messages, cards and gifts so, all in all, it ended up not being as bad as I’d feared.
In the weeks that followed, we decided that what really mattered to us wasn’t the ‘big wedding’, it was getting married. It turned out that we picked a date, 29th August 2020, in what was a very small window between lockdowns across the Central Belt. It was a bit of a scramble to arrange.
The guidance on wearing face masks indoors was updated the day before the wedding, so we decided on a last-minute change of plan. Our humanist (Ross Wright) got emergency permission from the registrar’s office to move our wedding from indoors at WEST onto the Green itself. I arrived on the day not knowing what the new plan was or where exactly I’d be getting married. In the end, we had our sunny ceremony with 16 guests on the grass of Glasgow Green.
Downsizing our guest list was a difficult and painful part of having the wee wedding. Children counted as part of the numbers at the time, so we weren’t able to include Nick’s four nieces as flower girls. It was heart-breaking having to tell them they couldn’t come any more. They wrote us little messages that their Mum read out during the speeches – that was definitely the most emotional part of the whole day.
Our invitations were commissioned to a new small business called Wedding Artwork by Daria where Daria hand drew the venue just for us and used that on the invites and place cards. We have a framed version of the drawing on the wall at home. She also made our table cards and seating plan to suit our Tarantino theme (he’s our favourite filmmaker).
We are huge UFC fans so we got its announcer Bruce Buffer to record an intro video for us. We wrote the introductions for Bruce to read out and he put his signature roar into it! We were really excited to share it as a surprise for our entrance before the speeches.
Nick’s sister did some home baking for our favours: heart-shaped iced biscuits with the phrase ‘Finally F*c*ing Married’ on them. We loved them!
Blushing Brides Glasgow (aka Natasha and Danielle) were absolute superstars. They were full of chat, buzz and laughter, turning up the tunes, pouring the champagne and just delighted to be there working their magic. They did a wonderful job of hair and makeup for the five of us, which wasn’t easy when I came downstairs bleary eyed on two hours’ sleep!
They did so much more than that though: they read the room and knew exactly what it needed. They kept me balanced when I started to feel nervous; they chased us to get dressed when we were taking it a little too easy and our day wouldn’t have been the same without them.
Our photographer Bruce Mackenzie was an absolute dream to work with as well. He came highly recommended and – on the day – nothing was too much trouble and he made everyone feel comfortable. We love what he’s done with our photos.
Later in the evening, we had a small ‘reception’ in my Aunt’s garden where we attempted our first dance to Old Old Fashioned by Frightened Rabbit. We’ll be having a ‘proper’ first dance at our upcoming ceilidh/reception at WEST.”
Top tip: “If you’re getting married in a pandemic, then prioritise and be prepared to make sacrifices. Be cut-throat about what really matters, and what is just fluff. I spent a lot of time planning stuff that never actually came to anything. When I stopped trying to come up with contingencies for everything, I was able to focus on the contingencies we actually needed.”
Celebrant Ross Wright, Humanist Society Scotland
Bride’s dress Eleganza Sposa
Bridesmaids’ dresses David’s Bridal
Groomswear Frank’s Gold Room at Kilts 4 U
Wedding rings Chisholm Hunter
Flowers The Strathaven Flower Shop
Stationery Wedding Artwork by Daria
Venue decor Wedding Lighting Hire Scotland
Wedding film Sole Productions
Transport Rennicks Wedding Cars
Hair and makeup Blushing Brides Glasgow