Molly and Alistair’s Edinburgh venue tastefully catered to their every request, helping them put their big-day menu at the forefront of their planning process

Molly Renton and Alistair Nicol

14th October 2023

Venue | Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – the Caledonian
Photography | Chlöe Sidey Photo

Is there anything better than having high expectations met – and then exceeded? You might have been tipped off about a particular restaurant by a foodie pal – but their humble suggestion turns out to be the greatest meal you’ve ever eaten. Or perhaps there’s a novel you love, so you go and see its movie adaptation at the cinema and it completely blows you away. In Molly and Alistair’s case, it was their venue, Edinburgh’s famous old Caledonian hotel, that did it for them.

“We started out with a shortlist of about five venues, and the Caley was the first one we actually visited,” recalls the bride. “As soon as we got there, we knew it was the perfect fit for us – so much so that we didn’t bother viewing anywhere else!”

“The hotel made the menu-tasting experience so special, setting up a private room for us with candles and beautiful views across the city"

The couple really wanted their wedding to be as relaxed as possible. “So we were looking for a venue that could do it all – ceremony, reception, meal and accommodation. The Caley ticked all of those boxes, but it gave us so much more. The rooms are just so gorgeous and the whole place has such a grand and special feeling.”

Molly and Alistair had invited 80 guests to the ceremony and the meal, with a further 50 people joining in the evening, but they wanted to create a seamless transition between the two parts of the day: “We actually added in an extra drinks reception between the meal and the dancing, so all of our guests would have a proper chance to mingle. It worked out so well and really brought everyone together.”

Food was important to the couple, with the hotel going above and beyond to cater to their every request. “We are big foodies so I think this is definitely where we got the most involved,” remembers Molly. “The hotel made the menu-tasting experience so special, setting up a private room for us with candles and beautiful views across the city. The chef spent time with us, talking through the various options, and the kitchen catered to a couple of additional requests we had, such as macarons and dairy-free options. In the evening, we did a burger and hot dog bar with a selection of fries – it was amazing!”

Molly and Alistair opted for the ‘Castle’ package and say the support from the venue meant their day ran without a hitch: “Gabby and Neil at the hotel were amazing. Everything was well organised and we had great communication from the team throughout,” commends the bride. “By the time the wedding came round, they felt like friends, and we are so grateful to have had such lovely people be part of our day.”

As well as working with Roseparks’ florist on decor, the pair enlisted the help of family members for favours. Molly’s Nonna made her own limoncello, and she and her mum hand-wrapped all the sugared almonds to give to guests.

Despite forgetting to bring a piece of material for the handfasting ceremony (the hotel came to the rescue!), the couple say all of the moving parts came together to create the perfect day: “Claire Watt was our humanist celebrant, and I would recommend her to anyone. The speeches were one of the highlights of the day. Our band, The Hype, played such a great range of music that everyone was up dancing all night long,” smiles Molly. “I do wish you could slow time down as it truly is the best day and goes so quickly.”

Venue Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – the Caledonian
Photography Chlöe Sidey Photo
Filmmaker b.nice_photography
Wedding dress custom-made by Molly’s auntie
Shoes LK Bennett
Earrings Lily and Roo
Bridesmaids dresses Chi Chi London
Hair Danielle Palompo (Molly’s cousin)
Nails Rebecca at Ashley Clarke Salon
Groomswear The Flower of Scotland tartan, Kirk Wynd
Celebrant/officiant Claire Watt
Engagement/wedding rings Laings
Cake Alison Baxter
Menu/catering the hotel’s own
Flowers Roseparks
Stationery designed by Molly on Vistaprint
Favours homemade
Venue décor Beautifully Covered
Ceremony music Harpist Mio Shudo
Drinks reception music the hotel’s own pianist
Other entertainment The Hype wedding band
Transport Hotel Bentley

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