Venue wedding planner May Hunter and chef Stuart Michael met and fell in love while working at Dunkeld House Hotel in Perthshire, so it was only right that they tied the knot there too! As you might expect, their wedding on 27th May 2022 was meticulously organised and featured a delicious wedding feast
Photography | Eilidh Sutherland Photography (no longer taking wedding bookings)
Ever wondered why people keep getting married? It’s not complicated: being in love is nice and weddings are fun! That’s a sentiment events planner May and executive head chef Stu were fully on board with when kicking off their wedding plans. “We wanted our day to be about friends, family, food, drink and good times – nice and relaxed and a true reflection of who we are,” smiles May.
At that point, the couple were both working at Dunkeld House Hotel (May has since moved to Abercairny, another venue in Perthshire, while Stu now runs Delivino Wild Kitchen, a wedding and event catering company), so it was a no-brainer to host their nuptials there: “We could have full control,” explains the bride.
“The hotel itself is stunning and its riverside marquee offered us privacy and allowed me to be creative. We also needed accommodation for many of our 90 guests (with 20 more joining us in the evening) who were travelling from further afield.
“The whole hotel team were amazing throughout. I just knew it was all under control and didn’t worry once. Even though some of them were there as our guests, they were also acting as an extra set of eyes, making sure everything was as we wished.”
The couple’s jobs and no-stress attitude gave them a head start on booking suppliers, reckons the bride. “We found that aspect easy; we knew exactly what was important to us and who we wanted to provide it. I also knew the things that matter to guests as well.” Among their vendors were some of the most prestigious names in the industry, such as wedding dress boutique Kavelle Couture, band Groove Culture and florist Coach House Flowers.
Did either of them feel any pressure during their planning journey? Perhaps only when it came to plotting their all-important wedding meal. “Food is a big thing for us, so we had to get this right,” May explains. “You need to feed people if you’re going to provide booze (and there was a free bar all day – thanks, Dad!). Stu and his team spent a week prepping all the food for the wedding day.
“Initially, we found it quite hard to narrow down which dishes to serve, but when we thought about it properly, it really was quite easy.” On their personalised menu were delicious canapés including Stu’s ‘famous sausage roll’. The starter was a white onion and thyme soup; fillet of beef, in homage to May’s farmer dad, was the main; with lemon meringue tart, the groom’s favourite, to finish. And there was even more to come in the evening, with a feast of hot dogs, fish-finger buns, pizza and a cheese board.
Hot-desking is a tip May will now offer her couples: “Between each course, I went round all the tables individually to chat to guests. I hadn’t planned to do it, but I loved it as it was so laid-back and it meant I got to speak to everyone.”
What else has she taken away from planning this once-in-a-lifetime celebration? “I fully appreciate the effort and budget that go into it all – I did already, but even more so now,” she says. “We spent around £30k, which we felt was absolutely worth it. Don’t sweat the small stuff; it doesn’t matter. Even if things don’t go entirely to plan, you either won’t notice or won’t care!
“For example, our band were so big and have such an amazing set-up, they blew the electrics after the third song! We ended up just switching off the LED dancefloor to save on power, kept boogie-ing away and no one batted an eyelid.”
Take a step back, be present in your big day and enjoy it, is her advice. “It really is over in a flash. People say ‘I wish I could do it all again’, but I genuinely don’t. It was the best day of my life and I loved every single part of it, but I know if we tried to repeat it, it just wouldn’t be the same – and that makes me so content.”
May’s insider tip: “Enjoy all the planning – it’s such a big part of the whole wedding experience,” encourages May. “Don’t overthink things – make a decision and stick to it. Do what’s important for you as a couple and forget about everyone else. Working in events, I often encounter the couple’s relatives trying to influence their plans, but luckily our families knew we had it under control!”
Venue and catering Dunkeld House Hotel
Photography Eilidh Sutherland (no longer working as a wedding photographer)
Celebrant Mary Docherty, Fulcrum Foundation
Bride’s dress Kavelle Couture
Bridesmaid dresses JJ’s House
Hair Kim, Nicky and Erin, Coco Belle
Makeup Claire Park and Victoria Fleeting
Groomswear Kinloch Anderson; The Kilt Company (Perth)
Wedding and engagement rings ROX
Cake Lightly Whipped, Perth
Flowers and venue decor Coach House Flowers
LED dancefloor Party People (now closed)
Stationery T’Go Creative, Perth
Ceremony music Tom the Piper
Drinks reception music Chris Hardie Sax
Reception music Groove Culture
Filmmaker Wedding Video Services Crieff (scroll on to see)
Like this? You can see another wedding supplier’s wedding here