Our First Intimate Wedding
Samantha & Lucy’s journey to the big day was certainly not as they expected, and my first wedding in my new role certainly was not as expected either! I joined the team at Saltire Hospitality in March 2020 looking to get thrown into an exciting year of weddings! Samantha and Lucy were one of my first couples that I took over the planning for. Their wedding reception was to be held at the stunning Merchant’s Hall late October 2020 for 90 guests and we got stuck in with planning and looking at different menus. It was also then that the word “Coronavirus” started getting muttered around us. At first, we shook it off as why would we get impacted? However, as things started to escalate, and cases started to rise, our corporate events started postponing and the mention of a lockdown, here our team at Saltire realised how serious this was. We were working hard keeping in touch with all our clients, all the whilst not knowing what was to come and on the week of the 16th March, our Managing Director, David Peters gathered the team to inform us that Saltire House would sadly have to close.
Overnight we went from working in a team to work remotely from home to try and keep in touch with our couples as much as we possible could as a team – Samantha and Lucy being one. However, because their date was October, at that moment we were not that worried. Next came furlough, which meant everyone on furlough was not able to work. So, it was time to close our laptops and try and get through lock down as much as we possibly could. David took the reins and was our main point of contact for any urgent enquiries coming through the inbox and the Sales team constantly stayed in touch throughout.
Thankfully as the lockdown lifted, I was taken off furlough and was able to return to the office in June as part of a skeleton team and I managed to get back in touch with all the couples who had to postpone their wedding dates. However, for Samantha and Lucy, it still was not good news. Wedding receptions and ceremonies rules continued to change all the time and we were so unsure what we would be able to do for them. The Merchant’s Hall was and is still now closed due to the restrictions, so I looked everywhere for an alternative.
At Saltire we are very fortunate to have a few cafes that we were able to open following the guidelines – one of which is Cadell’s Café in Cockenzie House. Cadell’s was a fantastic space and one which we have maximised by launching pizza nights and tapas nights every other Friday which is great for the locals. It was Cadell’s I thought of for Samantha and Lucy.
Samantha and I spoke regularly once I was off furlough, keeping in touch with the current guidelines and once I mentioned Cadell’s Café, I think it took Samantha and Lucy a while to get on board, but the seed was planted. With a few things to plan like transport and a smaller guest list – we went forward with Cadell’s at an earlier date of 10th October 2020.
Unfortunately we were unable to have Samantha and Lucy in for a tasting experience as we are still a skeleton team in the office however they chose a fantastic 3 course wedding breakfast menu and we worked together on the order of the day, the table plan and the little things that would make Samantha and Lucy’s day that extra special. Due to the current restrictions, we did have to split tables, so there were no more than 2 households and a maximum of 6 people and all socially distanced. It was the week off when we heard the of the stricter restrictions forcing cafes, restaurants and pubs to close and my heart broke when I thought it was going to impact Samantha and Lucy’s day as it had all gone to plan so well, however what a relief when it was announced that pre-booking wedding receptions could still take place!
On the day it was a busy day at Saltire – I was at HQ early doors to help with some key work packing bags for students and by the time we finished everything off – it was time to go and help set Cadell’s Café into a wedding reception! It was all hands-on deck and managed by our wonderful Event Managers, Kamal and Bogden (who were delighted to get back at doing what they do best!), Cadell’s was transformed into a truly romantic and intimate space. With touches of thistles to match the wedding flowers and lots of lovely tea lights, the room really did look stunning.
Our chef’s worked hard to prepare and deliver a wonderful bespoke menu of freshly baked flavoured breads to begin, followed by a warming butternut squash, coconut, lime and chili soup to start, our couple then went for a refreshing palate cleanser of raspberry and elderflower. It was then onto the main course which was basil crusted oven baked salmon served with saffron potatoes, green beans, and a tomato salad. The meal was then finished beautifully by Tarte Tatin served with fudge ice cream and toffee sauce. It was then time to cut the wedding cake! The most amazing cake I have ever seen made by Samantha’s best man – complete with face coverings followed by tea, coffee and then departing by 10pm due to the restrictions.
Samantha and Lucy’s wedding for me will possibly be the first and my last of 2020 and because it was my first since joining the team here at Saltire it really has been a rollercoaster ride and will be one I will remember for a long time!
Samantha & Lucys Testimonial
“We had been recommended Saltire Hospitality for a large wedding venue before lockdown. Once the pandemic hit everything stopped and the large venue had to cancel us. We still wanted to go ahead with our October date but thought a reception would not be possible. Kate at Saltire was amazing. Once full lockdown had eased, she recommended Cockenzie House, which Saltire run, and they had set up for social distancing. We were unsure about traveling out of the centre of Edinburgh and getting everyone there safely. Kate sourced a vintage route master bus company for us that had a fully risk assessed special wedding transport. Then, when the pandemic started picking up again, we wanted to bring the date forward by two weeks. Kate was so flexible. She was following the Scottish Government updates with bated breath even as we were. We got the green light for a 20 person wedding. Everything was on the day we wanted and was perfect. The room was dressed beautifully. The menu was sorted. Social distancing was managed. We did not have to lift a finger.
I’ve told Kate that she has made our wedding happen. We had the perfect day with everything we could want for an intimate wedding with no details left out.
What was so lovely is the feeling that Kate and Saltire really cared about us and finding us our solution. We can’t thank her and everyone at Saltire enough.