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Ceilidh Callers & Drag Queens

Now that the stationery is sorted, our grooms Gordon and Euan are moving on to the all important evening entertainment. The hunt is on for a ceilidh band that can teach the international guests to twirl in harmony. And Gordon also has his heart set on booking one of the UK’s top drag queens… Will they get two more ticks on their wedmin list?

Right, where are we? Venue sorted, drinks arranged, pie tower organised and invites are sent, so what’s next…? Food and entertainment, right?

I’m going to admit, the entertainment has probably induced the most amount of thought. It’s all well and good providing some food and drink but if people don’t have a good time they will remember, well at least I would. And I’ve run a large number of successful nights over my career in hospitality, so got to top it with my own wedding day, of course.

There are two things as far as entertainment goes that Euan and I have our hearts set on. One, Euan categorically will not do without a ceilidh and to be honest, with it being a Scottish wedding, not having one does seem too far from tradition. Two, I want a drag queen.

Now, it’s absolutely no exaggeration when I tell you that I have an utterly unique and loud laugh, straight up there are several comedians out there that know me on sight. Coupled with not only Euan’s acceptance of this but also revelling in it, by not just having our first date as a comedy show but proceeding to arrange more. Plus, the fact that I spent the first few years of my openly gay life based around a cabaret bar in London – I want a drag queen! I want to laugh and laugh, and I want everyone else to laugh and laugh. Laughing, I’m sure, has been the main contributing factor in falling in love with me. Not only that, but my studies in psychology convinced me of the utter importance of laughter in all of our lives.


Okay, so first thing first, the ceilidh band. Our coordinator is very helpful in sending us a list of suggested bands and we go new school with this one. Trawling through these names on YouTube. I swear we must have spent two days looking and listening to videos of bands and what we’re looking for is actually more specific than we realised, the band needs to have a spot on caller.

For those that don’t know, the caller is the person that, well “calls out” the steps, keeps everyone organised and moving along. With a large chunk of English guests travelling in from London, York and Stevenage, as well as Italians, Germans, Canadians, Brazilians, Polish and a smattering of Australians all with little to no experience of Scottish traditional dancing, this is a key role to what will be either several hours of energetic arm flailing fun or a collapsed mass of washed out confused foreigners.

Not only that, but few guests will manage to ceilidh all night long, it’s just too energetic, so the band needs to be able to successfully play covers also. We find one, well we think so… we needed to clarify a few details over setup as the engineer can’t set up during the drag show, obviously, but the band assures us this is just a minor detail, so we book Callanish as our wedding band.

As for our drag queen, I have my heart set on one of two acts, both based in London and both known to me personally. First and foremost, Crystal Decanter and Kelly Mild, known as CK, these girls have had me in stitches many times over and they started to come into their own on the London circuit while I worked it. Most importantly though, they have caught me in compromising situations more times than I can remember and so I know they’ve got oodles of material. Well, unfortunately, they’re not available.

Okay, second choice, Dave Lynne. Now Dave is a classic old style drag act with years of experience and knows well how to handle a heckler, which is one of my favourite parts of being in an audience. So, Dave’s available on the Sunday, all I need to do is arrange transport on the day as he’s doing a show in Birmingham Pride the night before. Seems fair, so I get onto flight sites and low and behold on a Sunday morning I cannot get Dave from London to Edinburgh. Why? Well I’m going to say it’s because Kylie is performing in Edinburgh Castle the same evening, the only flight I can get Dave is with “a certain budget airline” and via Dublin. Now, I’ve never in my life flown “this certain budget airline”, “other budget airlines” yes but never “this certain budget airline”, never mind as a connection and having to perform afterwards, so I don’t want to make someone else. I drop Dave a line and he says that’s not really doable. I totally understand but I’m gutted as I’m running out of time now and I’m well aware how far in advance drag acts book up.

Catch up with me next time while I work through my entertainment disappointment and fill you in with all the rest of the, what did I say? Sparkles…

After meeting at CC Blooms in Edinburgh, Gordon and Euan now run a B&B in Angus together and are tying the knot in Edinburgh. With their beloved American bulldog and a glitter bar for starters, something tells us it’s going to be a very fun celebration!

 Photos via Unsplash