I really don’t know where to start with this blog… there is literally so much to talk about. Not only did this couple put an exceptional amount of planning into their wedding day, for their guests who had travelled from all over the country, but their story is completely unique and I can’t wait to tell it!
Glaswegian Neil McNulty got in touch in March 2017 enquiring about availability for September 2018. His email read ‘I’m hoping to have my wedding (if she says yes) at Òran Mór late next year and I just wanted to check availability for September next year at the moment.’
Neil had lived most of his life in Glasgow as an actor, but had moved to London with girlfriend Hayley and were both working as voice agents. Neil’s enquiry was completely different from any other enquiry I had received as he was looking to bring girlfriend Hayley in to see the venue the next time they were visiting Glasgow. Neil knew Òran Mór very well as he had performed in the venue many times in his acting career, and his parents Garry and Anne are also regular’s at our lunchtime theatre. Neil just knew that Hayley would love Òran Mór, especially the Auditorium.
Neil explained that when he was bringing Hayley into the venue, that he hadn’t yet proposed so there was to be no mention of weddings or engagements. But the confident groom provisionally held Saturday 22nd of September, to ensure that he didn’t lose the slot over bank holiday weekend date.
Neil and Hayley arrived at the venue in May that year and for the first time as a wedding coordinator I had to do a show round of our Auditorium without mentioning the couples engagement or wedding plans, as at this point Hayley knew nothing of them. But as Neil had already confidently said – Hayley fell in love with the venue straight away!
On the 20th of June I received the exciting email from Neil to say that he had finally popped the question, and come clean to his new fiancé about the show round at Òran Mór and thankfully Hayley was over the moon with the news. So the couple confirmed their wedding date with us and the planning began. At this stage Hayley took over the planning, and plans were made for the couple to come back to Glasgow to discuss the venue and their wedding plans in full.
As Hayley was doing the majority of her planning from their home in London, she was happy to book her wedding suppliers on my recommendation. With Hayley and Neil both working in the entertainment industry, it was important to them that their wedding guests were entertained throughout the day by the best of Glasgow’s wedding suppliers. The couple first booked pianist John Rankin who looked after their ceremony music, Piper Rory from The Paisley Pipers, and a magician for entertainment during their drinks reception – Lorenzo The Poet of the Impossible.
On her visit to Glasgow Hayley met with florist Sophie at Cosmos Flowers, and the decision was made to use our in-house silver candelabras which were dressed with stunning greenery and flowers for their table centrepieces. The couple opted for an oval top table which Sophie also dressed beautifully with gold hexagonal lanterns and moss, all long and low.
With almost 75% of the wedding guests traveling for the wedding, guests were spread over the Hilton Grosvenor and other local hotels. Bride Hayley and her bridesmaids stayed in our sister Hotel The Alfred Hotel and were piped up Great Western Road to her wedding venue, escorted by Neil’s groomsmen.
The couple wanted a humanist ceremony, and when choosing a humanist it was a no brainer for Neil. Maggie Kinloch from the Humanist Society of Scotland was someone that Neil had worked with closely in his acting days, in Òran Mór in fact. The couple met with Maggie to discuss all of their plans and Maggie could not wait to conduct their ceremony, her third of the year in our Auditorium, as again the venue was very close to Maggie’s heart also. So much so that Maggie wrote a beautiful piece especially for Neil and Hayley on their wedding day named the Òran Mór Blessing.
Hayley had been prepared for the well-known miserable Scottish weather and had booked umbrellas with Brolly Bucket for her guests to take with them – but there wasn’t a brolly in sight at the gardens as the sun was splitting the sky.
Guests returned back to the Auditorium for a glass of fizz, before sitting down for speeches. Both Neil and Hayley were extremely used to public speaking and in fact performing so confidently both thanked their wedding guests and each other for their magical day so far. A picture of Hayley’s speech made for one of my favourite pictures of their whole day. A bride addressing and thanking her new husband – that is the 21st century for you ladies!
Dinner was served, and just after main courses were plated the couples surprise dinner entertainment arrived in the form of Acapella group Choral Stimulation who completely changed the atmosphere and had guests singing and dancing during dinner service, which again made for a fantastic picture of the bride and groom which was used on their beautiful thank you cards!
The couple’s night started with an hour of traditional ceilidh dancing, which some of their English relatives had a 30 minute tutorial on the day before from Neil and his best man. The guests were then further entertainment by the couple’s wedding band A-Side Soul who played the couples first dance just after they cut their cheese wedding cake purchased from Mellis Cheese.
Guests further entertained themselves late into the night by the help of Bygone Photobooth who regularly provide photo booths at our wedding and as always did a fantastic job.
Neil and Hayley certainly left a mark on my career in the wedding industry so far, from the very initial enquiry that I received from Neil, I couldn’t wait to meet the couple, and from the moment that we did meet it was like we had known each other forever. We enjoyed regular meetings and catch ups in the sun during the summer when they were visiting and I always look forward to when Neil’s parents Garry & Anne are in for their weekly visit to our lunchtime theatre, they always make sure to say hello and give me updates on the newlyweds.
Thank you Neil and Hayley, for choosing to have your wedding with us at Òran Mór. You were just amazing to work with and I am looking forward to keeping in touch and catching up whenever you are visiting Glasgow.
Neil & Hayley, Saturday 22nd September, 2018