Tartan Entertainment represent some of Scotland’s best wedding DJs, saxophonists and singers, so when its head honcho Euan Lawrence married Annie McNeely at Venachar Lochside on 2nd August 2022, one hell of a party was had!
Tartan Entertainment’s tag line is ‘Are you ready to have the best party ever?’ and you can bet your bottom dollar that the agency’s owner Euan and his new missus Annie certainly did. “I knew we had to throw the biggest wedding bash ever – and Annie says that I certainly knew who to ask,” laughs Euan. “I was able to tap into my network of contacts in the industry to help source everything and everyone we needed for the celebration of a lifetime. It was very much like a mini festival, with loads of different acts playing at different parts of the day.”
And where better to host their ‘wedfest’ than Venachar Lochside, a rustic, exclusive-use venue near Callander in the Trossachs. “Pitching a tipi was one of the first planning decisions we made,” says Euan. “Venachar Lochside not only offered the scenery and the relaxed, festival vibes we were after, but we could also set up a tipi from Below Canvas on the venue’s land right next to the loch.”
Dinner was served family-style in the open-fronted tipi, so the 120 guests could eat as much or as little as they wanted, while soaking up the surrounding views – that’s if they got a chance to, amid all the incredible entertainment that was going on! It’s over to Euan to talk us through the running order: “We kicked things off as soon as we entered the tent as newlyweds with a snippet of a song that everyone knows (Everybody by Backstreet Boys), which got the whole crowd jumping!
“After that, renowned saxophonist Saxingh, who was part of our bridal party, led our wedding host into the tent, performing a bangin’ saxophone number, before the rest of the sax players from team Tartan joined him for a track or two standing on tables throughout the tipi. Andy Lucas played singalong piano ballads and classics throughout the meal. I even gave a personal rendition of Proud Mary at one point!
“The Soul Kings performed straight after the first dance with a power-hour Motown set which filled the floor, then Red Hot Chilli Pipers burst through the doors with an explosive set that blew our international guests away. Finally, London’s finest DJ, CJ Beatz, and Callum Gallacher of Forth 1 and Clyde 1 took to the decks to close the party.” Phew!
Despite being a complete wedding pro, Euan admits that managing such an incredible line-up on such an emotionally significant day caused him the occasional jitters. “Even though I had a vision of how I wanted things to run, I couldn’t really relax until everyone was on site setting up the day before,” he says. “There were curveballs to contend with even then, such as having to forget about having our ceremony on the beach as water levels were too high!
“After experiencing a wedding for myself, I feel I’m now honestly able to explain to my clients how a day runs from both perspectives; I can advise on what to do not only to make the day better for their guests, but also for them.”
So, what other words of wisdom does Euan have for couples who are poised to walk up the aisle? “Don’t get stressed about seating plans or family politics at your wedding – they are not your problem. The day will fly by, so savour every moment of it – particularly those five or ten minutes spent alone with your new spouse just after the ceremony. That’s something I wholeheartedly recommend everyone makes time for.”
Top tip: “Get yourself a ‘wedding host’ like we had – coincidentally available via Tartan Entertainment,” winks Euan. “They are a more modern version of a master of ceremonies with no red jacket or white gloves in sight. They bring a relaxed and fun style to the formalities and use good music to announce/introduce each important aspect in the running order, from the ceremony to the first dance.”
Venue and catering Venachar LochsideMelanie K. Leckie, Humanist Society ScotlandBride’s dress Lovebird Bridal (Canadian boutique) Dress steaming and fitting Fairytale FittingsHair and makeup MHM StylingGroomswear Andrew Brookes TailoringBarbering Bish Bash BarbersCake Gimmie BrowniesFlowers Sunflower & The BearStationery CMYK CreativeVenue decor Make Believe EventsCeremony music Jac RossDrinks reception music Andy Lucas Piano Reception music Tartan Entertainment; Red Hot Chilli Pipers; The Soul Kings DJs CJ Beatz, Callum Gallacher, Stephen Bennett, Paddy Gordon, Craig Pollock Saxophonists Saxingh, Shades of Sax, Elliot G Sax, Gav On SaxMagician Elliot BibbyFilmmakers We Are One Wedding Films; Afterglow Wedding Films; DAP Media ProductionsEvent staff Daisy Fay’sCocktails Meraki Mobile Cocktail Bar Miscellaneous Glasgow Event Hire Accommodation Loch Venachar LodgesTipi Below Canvas Photography Paul Govers Photography and Derek Christie Photography Celebrant