Wedding wonderland

IF the thought of celebrating your nuptials in a stuffy hotel function suite with a three-course meal followed by dancing to a cheesy band leaves you cold, you might want to see what Glasgow Wedding Collective has to offer.

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From gramophone DJs to classical string quartets, vintage-inspired photographs to letterpress stationery, there is something here for the bride who wants her big day to stand out from the crowd.

The modern alternative to the traditional wedding fair, their bridal markets first started two years ago. From humble beginnings upstairs in a West End pub, they are now held in the Lighthouse in Mitchell Lane in Glasgow city centre, itself a wedding venue.

Glasgow-based photographer Gillian Lawtie and her partner Chris Currie set up the collective to bring together like-minded small businesses and there are now 125 involved from all across Scotland.

"Chris and I work as Christopher Currie Photography and that's where it all started, meeting other suppliers at weddings and noticing that some people were doing things a bit differently," says Gillian.

"There are really great little companies out there that aren't getting the recognition they deserve. The collective has a great community feel - everyone works well together, there's no rivalry, everyone is good friends and really supportive of each other."

Unusual flower designs, to die for cakes and made to order dresses are just some of the ideas on show at the Lighthouse event on September 28. There is also hand-made millinery and jewellery as well as pin-up style make-up artists and a host of unusual venues.

The rise and rise of alternative-style weddings has never been so popular, according to Gillian.

"People more than ever like to do their own thing and do something that represents them," she says. "It has a lot to do with the venue - some people want to use old farmhouses or industrial factories.

"It's all a lot more casual and relaxed. People aren't wanting to do the formal sit-down three-course meal any more and can't really justify spending as much as some people do on weddings."

Current trends are for coloured wedding dresses - everything from pale green to dramatic red - and when it comes to food, relaxed tapas-style small plates to share.

Brides looking for inspiration can take their cue from Gillian, who is marrying Chris in April.

The venue is an old factory in the West End that now has a gallery space feel and the food will be served family style at long tables with large, shared bowls.

"It will be like sitting down to dinner with your family rather than being really formal," says Gillian.

n Glasgow Wedding Collective Bridal Market, The Lighthouse, Glasgow, September 28. Visit www.theglasgowwedding



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