groom helps bride up hill in scottland

Stately Scotland Castle Wedding


September 28, 2022
Words by Alexandra Aley
Photos courtesy of Emma Lawson Photography

Newlyweds, Kara and Nathan, dreamed of a small and intimate destination wedding. When deciding on a location, the couple wanted to choose a place that felt “outside of the box” and unique. While a tropical island wedding sounded appealing, it couldn’t quite compare to the lush mountain forests of Scotland. Plus, a castle in the mountains, Drumtochty Castle, was far too dreamy a setting to pass up. This Scottish landmark would make the decision to say “I do” thousands of miles away from home a simple one.

“We chose Scotland for the scenery, the grandeur, and for the castles, of course,” the couple says.

While choosing the destination felt like a breeze, navigating the implications of COVID was anything but easy. Kara and Nathan were forced to postpone their special day a year. Although it was not ideal, their spirits remained high, trusting that it would be worth it to wait.

On the south side of the Drumtochty Forest, tucked away behind the hills sat a neo-gothic-style castle. Its charming ambiance made for the perfect place to celebrate the occasion and accommodate all guests. Choosing this enchanting venue was made easy thanks to the help of wedding planner, Lisa (with Tartan Weddings).

“We had two nights and three days exclusively and all of our guests stayed within the castle,” Kara says. “We wanted our venue to really feel Scottish, this one really hit the mark.”

Kara and Nathan felt a bit troubled when it came to decor. Neither of them felt confident in their eye for design, so handing that responsibility over to the vendors was easy. Their one request: color. Flowers by Lilybet took full control of their vision and decorated in jewel tones, largely gold with blue accents for a luxurious touch.

“I couldn’t imagine it being more beautiful,” Kara says.

The ceremony was the perfect balance of “laid back” and “serious.” The couple felt it was important to tie in Scottish elements to their special day. Hand-sketched whisky-tasting glasses were placed in welcome bags with handwritten letters. A live-event painter captured the event by creating portraits of guests. And an Oysterman served guests, a touch significantly important to the Rhode Islanders. Guests were serenaded by a bagpiper who then turned into a saxophonist at cocktail hour. A string quartet performed at the dinner party.

“We incorporated some traditions such as a ring warming ceremony to involve all of our closest family and friends and also drank whisky from the quaich,” says Kara. “We exchanged vow books to share privately with each other and that felt really special.”

Details of the three-day wedding celebration were planned to perfection. From perfect sunny weather to colorful decor and fun vendors, the three-day visit simply felt effortless. A special thanks to Lisa, “our event was the most perfect and memorable day of our lives,” says Kara.

Kara’s best advice: “Relinquish control and let the day happen and the vendors do their thing,” she says. “Hire a wedding planner (they’re worth the money) so that you can be fully present and enjoy every moment with your partner and community.”

Vendors: Photographer: Emma Lawson Photography; Wedding Planner: Tartan Weddings; Ceremony/Reception Site: Drumtochty Castle; Florist: Flowers by Lilybet; Stationery: The Coastal Pen; Cake: Cakes by Kirsty; Hair: Gemma Taylor; Makeup: Karen Bowen; Gown Designer: Grace Loves Lace; Groom & Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Slanj Kilts; Bridesmaids Dresses: Revelry; Oysters: The Oyster Man Events; Videography: Paper Street Productions; Celebrant: Tegan Elder; Piper/Sax: Rich Gordon; Evening Entertainment: Little Red; Tables, Chairs & Arch: Rustic Look; Candlesticks, charger plates, glasses: Style in Detail; Cups & Napkins: GB Design House; Highland Games: JOMM Events; Buses: Watermill Coaches; Candy Favors: Tablet by Jane; Event illustrator: Aaron Jacob Jones; Confetti: Proper Confetti; Blankets: Something Borrowed; Firepits: Firepit Hire Scotland; Quiach: The Kilted Scot

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