Tiny Weddings Fair

Tiny Weddings Fair – SeaflowerSkye

If you have ever looked at the options of where to elope in the UK, you’ve almost certainly seen beautiful photos of Skye.  There are so many stunning locations for an outdoor wedding in Scotland, and Skye is one of the most popular.  If you love beautiful scenery, wonderful food and the sea then SeaflowerSkye could be the ones to help you have a unique and relaxed Scottish wedding.

Tiny Weddings Fair SeaflowerSkye

Please introduce yourself and your business.

SeaflowerSkye is a small, luxury, boat tour company, which operates daily out of Portree on the Isle of Skye. It is run by myself, Janice Cooney, and my partner Ewen Grant. We started our business together in May of 2018. We purchased The Seaflower, which is a beautiful forty foot catamaran, with the intention of providing our guests with a high end experience, that’s just a little bit different.

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Ewen grew up on Skye but met me, an Irish girl, in Thailand while he was traveling the world. We moved to Australia together where we lived for three years. I was working as a nurse and Ewen was working in construction. It came time to move home so we needed to choose between life in Ireland or life in Scotland. It really didn’t take too long to decide that Skye was the place for us. Ewen is native to Skye and comes from a family with a long history of fishing shellfish. They have been fishing the local waters around Skye for over 45 years. As the hospital on Skye is small, with little job opportunities for me and construction work was minimal for Ewen, we needed to think outside of the box for employment. That’s when the idea of SeaflowerSkye began. We decided it necessary to showcase some of this amazing, local produce that Ewen’s brother and father both catch. What better way to do this than serve this beautiful, Scottish shellfish right on the water where it is fished.

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We sail daily to the islands of either Rona or Raasay. They are scenically beautiful, remote locations which are steeped in history. Often our guests are the only people on the island during their trip. We serve our guests a lunch of freshly caught, local shellfish, salad, crusty bread and a glass or 2 of wine. We also cater for non-seafood eaters and anyone with dietary requirements. The lunch is usually enjoyed out on deck in the sunshine but can also be served inside the heated cabin if the weather should turn a bit ‘Scottish’! We then allow time to go ashore and explore the island, with the ruins of an eighteenth century Clearance village and the ‘Church Cave’ on Rona, or the brand new whisky distillery on Raasay proving to be most popular. Whatever the weather, one of the best ways to see Skye is from the water. We believe this is a truly unique and special experience.

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What do you love about small weddings?

Having been present at both large traditional weddings and small, elopement style ceremonies, we really feel that what stands out between the two is the intimacy of the small wedding. Both styles are beautiful, but there is something very special about a wedding day being purely about the couple. We really enjoy helping two people to create their dream day and celebrate their relationship by making this special day their own. It is always an honour to be a part of such a beautiful day. People choose a small wedding or elopement for a variety of different reasons. Whatever that may be, a small wedding allows the couple to celebrate in a way that is personal to them.

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How do you think couples planning a smaller wedding differ from those planning a big wedding?

Obviously every couple, no matter the type of ceremony, are massively excited about their wedding day. We feel that a couple planning a small wedding however, is more focused on the ceremony and the finer details of what the day means to them and how they want it to be. This may simply be because they have less people to think about in the planning process, and can spend their energy on making the day perfect for them.

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Do you think more people are choosing to have a smaller wedding nowadays?

Small weddings have definitely increased on Skye in recent years. The law now allows people to be married in any location, so couples are free to choose their dream setting. We have only been in operation since May last year, however, we have been lucky enough to host a number of weddings and surprise engagements, with more booked for this year. Small weddings are becoming very popular for couples for many reasons and it is a pleasure to be a part of the process.

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What are the main differences in the way you do business with a couple planning a smaller wedding?

It is lovely to get to know a couple during the planning process, and with a smaller wedding you are far more involved. We like to really get an idea of what the couple envision for their day and want their celebration to be. We work with couples from the minute they contact us, trying to get an idea of what they would like. We help with different aspects of the wedding. We help to select a destination, the food and drink that is served, the decoration and any other added extras that a couple may want. We would not have the opportunity to this for a larger wedding.

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If you could work on any wedding, anywhere, for whom and where would it be?

Ewen wouldn’t mind me saying that the couple we would most like to work with is ourselves! We have been together for almost five years and because we decided to commit to running and owning our own business, certain things have had to go on the back burner.  We talk about it often and would ideally get married in Skye. When you are lucky enough to live somewhere as beautiful as we do and have access to a boat like the Seaflower, then you really don’t need to travel far. The boat is our livelihood and has become our life really, so we can see ourselves having our own ceremony on it when the time comes.

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Can you give an example of a tiny wedding you were involved with, and tell us what you did for the couple?

We are currently helping a lovely couple from Norway plan their elopement to Skye. We first met them on one of our regular trips during the summer last year. They had come aboard to celebrate their engagement, which had happened the night before. The couple got back in contact recently to enquire about getting married on board the Seaflower, which had come to mean quite a lot to them.

With the wedding not taking place until September 2019 and with them living in another country, myself and Ewen assisted them in organising transport from Glasgow airport to Skye. We also made suggestions and helped them to book accommodation for the duration of their stay. We put them in touch with one of the local registrars so they could work out the official side of their ceremony. Then we got down to planning the fun stuff! We have had many conversations about how they would like the boat decorated. We have a certain amount of decorations which we provide as standard on the boat, but I have supplied the couple with the numbers of local florists so they can get it just how they want it. We have also supplied them with numbers for local photographers. We have discussed food and drink and what they would like their wedding lunch to consist of. As we are the owners and operators of the Seaflower, we really do like to liaise with the couple and try to provide everything we can to make their dream day a reality.

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What makes you unique in the service you can offer to couple planning their wedding?

With generations of Ewen’s family being from Skye, we are very well connected and find it easy to get our couples in touch with who they need to speak with. Ewen and I are in love with where we live and thoroughly enjoy our job. This makes us very enthusiastic to show couples the beauty of Skye and make it the most special day possible. We have been told on numerous occasions that we helped to make the entire planning process very easy. We are a young couple who understand that this is one of the most important days of your life. We are hard-working and willing to go the extra mile. Skye has become one of the top elopement destinations in the world and we think getting married on the water, surrounded by one of the most stunningly scenic backdrops is certainly unique. With elopements increasing and tourism booming here, it can be difficult to find a quiet, secluded spot all of your own. This is a luxury that SeaflowerSkye is proud to be able to provide.

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Check out SeaflowerSkye’s website for more information about what they do.  Follow them on Instagram or Facebook.  If you’re thinking of coming along to the Tiny Weddings Fair on 10th March then you can follow our event on Facebook, or sign up to our mailing list to stay updated.  Preferential entry will be given to talks to those who have bought tickets in advance, so get your tickets now to save 50% off the price we’ll charge on the day.  If you want to stay updated with the Tiny Weddings Fair, follow us on Instagram or on Facebook, or sign up to the mailing list.

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Tiny Weddings Fair

Ella Mai Weddings and Elopements – Tiny Weddings Fair

If you are dreaming of a beautiful Scottish elopement, then Ella Mai Weddings and Elopements is the one to help.  Find out more about her in our Tiny Weddings Fair brochure we’ll be giving away at the fair on 10th March in Birmingham, and in the interview below, or check out her website to find out more about how she can make your Scottish tiny wedding happen.

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Please introduce yourself and what you do.

My business, Ella Mai Weddings and Elopements, is based in Scotland and I have been in the Wedding and Events industry for over five years. I absolutely love my job! I can create authentic and romantic wedding days, weeks or weekends for my couples and my love shines brightest for two kinds of weddings; elopements and small, intimate affairs. I love a big shindig as much as the next gal, but when it comes to weddings, I’m a big believer in less is more. Less spreadsheets and seating plans, less sleepless nights and logistical nightmares. My kind of wedding is all about more time with the one you love and more attention to all those nice little details that are important to you, even if that doesn’t mean expensive invites and acres of flowers that cost a small fortune. And who doesn’t love the idea of a big Scottish adventure to get your wedding off to an amazing start, just the two of you.

What do you love about small weddings and/or elopements?

I absolutely love the intimacy of small weddings and elopements. I love the fact that it’s just the two of you (or a few of your favourite people) celebrating your love for one another and just enjoying the moment. There is no worries about what are people are doing or thinking and you can really express your personalities.

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Give an example of a tiny wedding you have worked on and what you did for the couple?

An elopement that I recently worked on was with a couple who were actually from the area (Aberdeenshire) but wanted to elope just the two of them in an area they both loved. I helped scout the location, plan the legalities, organise suppliers and I even drove them to each place on their list that they wanted to see. They got married in a secret location in a forest and even though it started pouring down with rain, that didn’t stop the magic at all. After the magical ceremony, we all drove to the nearest town to get their favourite food, fish and chips! We went exploring through the town and found an amazing antique shop (they loved collecting antiques and old books!) that they never knew existed. They spent most of the afternoon, wondering around the huge shop and laughing about inside jokes they had. It was so very romantic.

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How do you think the couples are different when working with a large wedding versus a tiny wedding?

I find working with couples that are planning a tiny wedding or elopement much more relaxed and creative, which I believe is the way it should be with your dream day! Couples aren’t worried about seating plans, who is going to sit next to who, what family and friends think of the food or what the entertainment is like. They are just thinking about where they want to be and how they are going to express their love for one another and having an adventure too!

What are the main differences in the way you do business when dealing with a couple planning a smaller wedding?

When doing business with a couple planning a smaller wedding, it really doesn’t feel like ‘business’ to me. I love getting to know my couples, finding out all those quirky ways, personality traits and what they love in life and about each other, so that I can help create a wedding that is their perfect match. We can have fun getting creative with their itinerary and planning things that perhaps they never could with a larger wedding.

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What makes you unique in the service you can offer a couple planning a smaller wedding?

When creating the perfect wedding day for my couples, I don’t just stop there. I help create an itinerary of places to sight see, things to try in beautiful Scotland. I want to create not just one unforgettable day but a week or a weekend! Planning luxury accommodation and places to eat to just enjoy being with each other and experiences new things as newlyweds.

Do you feel there has been an increase in tiny weddings in the past few years or have you always worked with a lot of small wedding parties?

I have planned many weddings over the past 5 years ranging from large to small intimate weddings and I have definitely noticed an increase in couples wanting to elope or want smaller gathering of their closest family and friends. I really noticed this about a year ago which is when I decided to specialise in small weddings and elopements (also because they were my favourite to plan!).

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If you could work on a tiny wedding anywhere in the world, any theme, any couple; where or what or whom would it be?

If I could plan a wedding anywhere in the world, with any couple or theme, I would always choose Scotland. The pure beauty, untouched landscapes and the adventures that can be had here are just so very special. Specifically? The Isle of Skye without a doubt. A ceremony next to the Fairy Pools? Yes please! The couple would be all about the love and adventure but still want the little luxuries in life. I would find them the cosiest, luxurious cabin or cottage amongst the scenery. The couple would then have a day of exploring the highlands, then a helicopter tour of the Scottish Islands the next and finishing off with a wonderful candle lit dinner made with only the finest local ingredients.

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Follow our Facebook page for helpful and inspiring articles and information, and Ella Mai’s Facebook page to read stories of her lovely real weddings in stunning locations in Scotland, and show your interest in our Facebook event to see updates. Event better, sign up to our mailing list to make sure that you get all our news. Follow the Tiny Weddings Fair on Instagram or Ella Mai on Instagram for lovely photos of Scottish landscapes, and inspiration of small and unique weddings held there.  Drop Ella Mai an email (info@ellamaiweddings.co.uk) if you have some questions about how she can help you, or have a look at her website.  If you’re planning on coming to the Tiny Weddings Fair in Birmingham on 10th March, then get your tickets now for 50% off the price you’d pay on the door.

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