Top Tips For A Traditional Scottish Wedding

If you or your partner are Scottish and are planning to get married, you might want your nuptials to be a traditional event that emphasises your rich northern heritage. Read on for some tips and advice about staging the perfect Scottish wedding.


The right venue

Thoughts of Scotland call to mind the sprawling, rugged countryside and grand, imposing castles, and this might be something you’d like to work into a traditional Scottish wedding. There are numerous fortresses in the nation that are licensed for weddings, so do a little research into these venues.

Not all castles have an unfinished stone appearance – some are painted white and have an elegant air, so you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes, whether you prefer historical ruins or somewhere with chic appeal. You’ll also need to give some thought to the sort of backdrop you’d like for your photographs; the castle would add drama to your wedding images but you may also want some natural elements in your pictures, like landscaped gardens or a mature woodland backdrop. This is something to consider when you’re browsingvenues.

Another consideration may be whether the venue has overnight accommodation, as it’s customary in parts of Scotland – especially in the Shetlands – to hold wedding celebrations over two nights.

The right entertainment

Live music is commonplace at wedding celebrations, and you might decide to hire a band or some bagpipe players to reflect tradition on your big day. The music will be especially important at the reception if you plan to arrange some traditional dances like the Lang Reel or the Grand March.

The Grand March is usually the first dance of a Scottish wedding and involves the bride and groom marching to bagpipes or a band. The maid of honour and best man join in next, followed by the parents of the happy couple and then everybody else. The Lang Reel, meanwhile, takes place in fishing communities and involves the wedding party beginning a dance from the harbour and through the village, with guests leaving as they pass their homes until only the bride and groom are left.

The right traditions

If you want to make sure you include the traditional Scottish wedding customs in your big day, you might want to ensure that the bride has a sixpence – or another coin – in her shoe, as this is supposed to bring her good luck, as is a sprig of heather in her bouquet. Another custom is for the father of the bride to throw a handful of coins into the car as his daughter gets in and invite any children at the wedding party to collect them, which is known as a scramble or a warsel.

Other traditions include creeling, which sees the married couple ‘creeled’ at the end of their ceremony. This involves tying a fishing basket across the door which the newlyweds cut down as they leave the venue. This is hoped to bring the couple good health and prosperity.

The bride’s cog is another element of customary Scottish weddings, in which a vessel for holding ale is filled with a potent alcoholic mixture – often combining whisky, brandy, gin, sugar and pepper – which the bride drinks from before passing the cog around guests. The vessel is filled routinely so that everyone gets a taste.

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Small Business Guides – Latest Customer Service Innovations

With increasing costs for small businesses, from electricity price hikes to higher rental costs, it is becoming more important than ever to keep expenses under control and maximise sales. Customer service is a key part of any business, and there are now a host of exciting innovations that small business owners can take advantage of. There are also some fundamental tenets of customer service that should not be lost in the race for profit. A peruse through any online customer review site, from reviews of restaurants to energy suppliers such as Ovo reviews, will give clear indications as to what customers expect from a particular business.

customerserviceCustomer service has come a long way since face to face contact was the only way to do business. Today, customers expect, at the very least, an online presence in the form of a company website. Depending on the business, customers may also expect to be able to view special offers, make reservations, find out more about the business’s credentials and access various other services from the comfort of their desk or sofa. Many people use smartphones and tablets, and business owners should be aware of how they can make this technology work to the advantage of their customers while also seizing an opportunity to promote their business.

For any business to succeed, they also need to be aware of their customer base. And while companies have long handed out feedback forms for customers to fill out, there are now a growing number of ways in which businesses can measure and analyse their customers’ experiences. Online review sites should be kept track of and steps taken to improve any areas found lacking in negative or mixed reviews. Businesses can also provide incentives for customers to provide direct feedback, such as entering them into special promotions or competitions. Follow up surveys, where a company calls the customer back to inform them of progress on a particular issue, is an invaluable way to improve customer loyalty and relations.

Several tools in the management information toolbox are available to small businesses. Dashboarding, for example, is the process of combining data onto a dashboard screen to give an overview of company performance. It is also a resource for real-time customer service – while on the telephone to customers, employees can have instant access to a range of customer enquiries and be able to provide consistent and accurate information. The amount of information that can be contained in a dashboard should be concise enough to not be overwhelming or difficult to navigate, but at the same time should be comprehensive enough to cover all common queries. Depending on the business, this might include prices, product availability, special offers and promotions, maps, transport information, contact information, and up to date competitor information.

Role playing games and activities can be useful ways for employees to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. Coaching sessions, where employees are shadowed and their performance analysed, are also good ways for constructive feedback to be passed back to the employee. Employees may not realise that they are failing to inform the customer of a particular offer, or there might be room for improvement in their phone manner. Comparing examples of “good” and “bad” calls can provide employees with the knowledge to provide a more effective service.

When it comes to productivity, there are a whole range of measures and statistics that can be employed. With regards to customer service, it can be helpful to measure factors such as sales conversions, take-up of special offers, customer satisfaction and net income per employee.

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Here’s To Valentine’s Day!!

Sometimes a little help really does go a long way. I am still trying to catch up from a ridiculously long Christmas and January. So much has happened recently and I don’t even know where it starts and stops.

I came across Quintessentially who offer a luxury and lifestyle concierge service – taking away every day tasks that take up time you cannot afford. To have someone who can book restaurants, arrange childcare to name but a few things would be pretty awesome.

I’m currently arranging for Valentine’s weekend and rather randomly have agreed to a sleep over with my friend’s two children, plus my own daughter. I am already starting to stress about keeping them entertained – a member’s only club that can arrange everything for me sounds like a god send at this moment in time.

The most romantic day of the year and I am going to be babysitting 3 children who will no doubt not want to go to bed early!

I am hoping that I can record a few films during the week that they may like to watch so I had better stock up on popcorn and other goodies now. Making sure I hide them as I doubt they will survive the week if Liv knows that there are delicious goodies in the house!

One thing I would love someone to arrange for me is a holiday – to simply pick up my passport and know that all my travel itinerary has been planned for me down perfectly. Somewhere sunny, with a beach location and a fully stocked bar offering refreshing strawberry daiquiris on tap would be ideal. It has been so long since I had a lovely, relaxing holiday I have actually forgotten what a relaxing holiday is!

I will certainly be dreaming of the aforementioned holiday on Friday evening!

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