A flying start
AS Liz Farrant heaved a huge sigh of relief on the plane taking her and new husband Rolfe on their honeymoon, she also felt “a little weird”. “Suddenly, I didn’t have anything to organise,” she smiles. “Not a single thing.”
Liz achieved what many believe is nearimpossible – the organisation of a wedding in just over three months.
There are rules, after all, when you decide to get married. And one of the big ones is you seem to have to spend at least 12 months in a flurry of floral arrangements, table plans and big dresses.
Liz bucked the trend, however. She got engaged in April 2005 and was married in August the same year.
“It’s very do-able,” she says. “I’m not saying it wasn’t hard work, but it is achievable if you have a bit of focus and a lot of organisation. I had lots of lists, but it’s quite easy, as all the wedding magazines have checklists and organisers, so you can’t go wrong.
“I’d recommend a short engagement to anyone. I don’t regret it for a second.”
The 29 year old from Shawlands, in Glasgow, says she and Rolfe, 28, European operations manager for an IT company, simply decided a long engagement was not for them.
“It was partly because I’d watched my friends have a two-year, or three-year engagement, and it seemed like that was a very long time to have a wedding taking over your life,” says Liz.
“Because it does take over your life, there is no doubt about that. We just didn’t have it in us to spend two years organising it all.
“And I was also thinking about changing my career from marketing to primary school teaching, which obviously started in August. So it made sense to have the wedding, take a couple of weeks off for the honeymoon, and then come back to start my new career.”
There were no last-minute panics, she says. “Most people involved in a wedding want you to work to their timetables, particularly dress designers and manufacturers,” Liz explains. “But if you do want it all done quickly, most will. Our biggest difficulty was finding a venue, as so many are booked up well in advance.”
Liz reckons she spoke to around 20 places, but eventually settled on Balbirnie House Hotel in Fife.
“I saw it in a magazine and it looked stunning,” she says. “At first, I had been concentrating on the west coast, but when I saw the photos, I was really taken with it.
“And we were lucky enough to have their fabulous wedding organiser, an amazing woman, Gaynor.
“I remember our first conversation with her, when I told her the date we were thinking of, and all she said was ‘okay, we have quite a lot to do, then.’ From that point on, she took care of everything. It was wonderful, and meant we could relax on the day, knowing everything was under control.”
Liz and Rolfe decided to get married on a Tuesday, but believe the midweek date did not put anyone off.
“Your friends and family are going to want to see you get married, whatever day it is, so they will always make the effort,” she says. “And more and more people are opting for midweek weddings – it’s no longer just a Saturday afternoon thing.”
Everything went very smoothly – and the honeymoon provided the perfect final flourish.
“We spent some time in Bali, and then Singapore, where we stayed at the Raffles Hotel,” explains Liz. “We had mentioned we were on our honeymoon, but didn't think anyone had picked up on it.
“But on the way up to our room, we were told there was a surprise waiting for us. We assumed it would be a bottle of champagne or some chocolates, which would have been very nice.
“Instead, we had been upgraded to the best suite in the hotel – the one Michael Jackson has stayed in. It was out of this world – a 12-seat dining table, a balcony that went on for miles and an on-call butler. It was fantastic.”