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Medieval inspired castle wedding

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Inspired by their favourite time of year and the 600 year old medieval venue, Lindsay and Simon’s wedding was rustic, romantic and packed with quirky personal touches. From the Game of Thrones-esque style to the super cute ballet flats and bespoke “Brewer’s Droop” beer, there is so much to love here. We’re still smitten and couldn’t resist resharing their day for #ThrowbackThursday.

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Who saw who first?
We met on a building site for the construction of the Clackmannanshire Bridge in June 2006. Simon had just started as the Environment Manager for the project. I had been offered a job on reception to help boost my funds for my planned trip to Australia… Conversation soon followed and before long we were sharing a lift to work and a morning Nutella on toast with a hot Ribena.
And how was the big question popped?
In 2014, I was invited by my company to attend their inaugural conference in Cape Town, so I jetted off for a week of strategizing, eating and drinking. Seeing a cheeky opportunity to visit new lands, Simon arranged to come out a week later for a holiday. Although we had never seen the need to get married, the desire to do so had been growing in Simon and he decided that now was the time. He chose a lovely ring and went off to see my parents to ask for their blessing.
Simon had planned a week long road trip as part of our holiday and identified the perfect spot to pop the question – a secluded tree house at Teniqua Treetops with balcony overlooking the rain forest. When we got there however, we were both suffering with streaming colds and it was pouring with rain. So much for the romantic candlelit balcony dinner! After a bowl of homemade spaghetti Bolognese and a Lemsip in the tree house, with the rain clattering and giant spiders outside, Simon stuck to his plan and dropped to both knees with ring presented.
We were inspired by…

Our venue and our favourite time of year, autumn, and our desire to make our day personal to us, our friends and our family. The medieval vibe of Plane Castle influenced our use of candles and lights more than flowers. For colours we worked with the colour of the Galloway tartan (red and blue) which we softened with pale pinks (for the bridesmaid dresses) and gold detailing.

I grew loads of sunflowers and gladioli that we distributed around the castle, dried rose petals from the garden for confetti and the flower girls’ baskets, and dried multi-coloured autumn leaves and wrote guests’ names on them in gold pen to use as place markers.

I also printed out polaroid style photos of the wedding party and guests from over the years we’ve known each other that we strung up, and my bridesmaid, Vicki strung twinkling lights across the beams in the Great Hall where we got married.

We brewed our own beer with the help of my dad and brother Gavin (we called it The Brewer’s Droop) for which Vikki from PushPrint designed the labels, and we added this to our open bar for the day. She also designed our table plan, the banner for our band, and our invitations, which were medieval scrolls tied together with strips of the Galloway tartan.

We made signposts to direct guests to the castle, along with signs for the ‘Pimp your drink’ table and ‘photobooth’ (a polaroid camera next to a scrapbook and some props). We also made hold-up boards with the words of a blessing that we got the guests to read aloud during the ceremony. We laid lanterns around the castle, and hung some white heather plants up the stairs. Simon made the table markers (each table was a different Scottish animal) cutting logs from the lime tree in our garden.

 And we made each other’s wedding ring at a workshop with jeweller Donna Barry in Edinburgh.
We had a cake table, with scones (made by bridesmaid Susan), sandwiches and tiffin (made by my parents and Si’s cousin Helen), cupcakes (made by our friend Lauren) and an awesome Victoria sponge (made, appropriately, by bridesmaid Vicki). For after dinner, our chocolatier friend, Helen brought a chocolate crown filled with delicious chocolates. We also asked guests to suggest songs for throughout the day, which we turned into a playlist. In addition, we used music from the ceremony, our first dance and a selection of these suggested songs to create our wedding favours: a CD soundtrack from the day
Tell us about your venue…
Also known as Cock-a-bendy Castle, this 600 year old medieval tower and manor house is set in the rolling hills around Stirling and is full of atmosphere, character and charm. The castle has loads of cool period features; spiral staircases, painted beamed ceilings, stone vaulted rooms and secret passageways.
We were originally looking for a blank canvas venue, like a barn or hall, that we could dress up how we liked, serve the food we wanted, and have an open bar. With complications like accommodation, toilet facilities, plus trying to keep everyone warm in September, Plane Castle was the perfect solution – a self-catering castle with bedrooms, gorgeous grounds, no corkage, an expert hog-roaster on site and plenty of rustic charm.

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Any surprises?

Our celebrant, Melanie Leckie, has a horse called Charlie. As she stables him very near to the castle, she offered to bring him along as a surprise after the ceremony. For our ceremony she was dressed beautifully in a purple lace gown, and then she headed off, got changed into riding gear and turned up with Charlie! It was even more of a surprise when we both got on him for a quick photo shoot, particularly with Simon getting on in his kilt!
We love your dress – tell us the story behind it.

After trying dresses at various boutiques with my very patient mum and bridesmaids, I realised that a full-blown wedding dress wasn’t what I was looking for. The pressure of long lead-times and really high prices stopped me being able to make a confident decision. I had been looking every so often at high street options and had seen this one on John Lewis’s website and thought it was lovely. Unfortunately it was sold out, but I put my email address in to be advised of when it was back in stock, and a couple of months later, just as I was going to have to make a decision on a boutique one to be sure to have a dress in time, I received a mail from them that they had my size. I ordered it, picked it up from Waitrose (of all places!) and was delighted with how it looked on.
It was a soft cream colour with beautiful bead detail that gave it a vintage edge. I added some gold ribbon to the shoulder straps to give them more shape, and had the length taken up at the front to leave a tiny train at the back. It was great to have my dress in the cupboard over the coming months, as it meant that I could take it out and try it on whenever I got worried I’d chosen the wrong dress, as is standard as a bride I think! It also meant that I could try it on with all my accessories to make sure everything worked together.
For the evening, since we were doing some complicated choreography for our first dance, I needed a knee length skirt, so I bought another dress (from ASOS) that was a peach colour with long lace sleeves, a black belt and a flouncy tulle skirt – I felt like a princess in it!
I had a chapel length draped veil that my mum and I made together from a length of tulle and two appliqué beaded lace decorations – we attached it to either end of a beaded wire floral headband I bought from Etsy that was woven into my hair so it draped in a more medieval style. In case I got cold I bought a faux fur stole at the last minute from Aukmla. 

I wore a red jewel necklace and matching earrings, along with a freshwater pearl bracelet, and gave the ladies in the wedding party one each too, with a personal charm for everyone.
I wore Kite ballerina flats by Goby (they say “follow your heart” on one side and “follow your balloons” on the other).
And how did you choose your tartan, Simon?
Having lived in Scotland for 10 years, I’d been thinking about getting my own kilt and when we decided to get married, I knew I wanted to be married wearing one. As I don’t have a family tartan, I asked Lindsay’s father if I could wear the Galloway, and luckily he agreed. 

The kilt was made from heavyweight Galloway Red Modern White Stripe tartan, and I matched that with a modern Glen Orchy charcoal tweed jacket and waistcoat.
Lindsay bought me a sgian dubh for my birthday with a beautiful red jewelled hilt, so I wore this in my charcoal grey sock with Galloway tartan flashes. The kiltpin was a three thistle design which was complemented by the thistle design on the sgian dubh hilt.
In keeping with the more modern look, I went for a Harris tweed sporran. I finished the outfit with a white shirt and red tie.

 My groomsmen all wore their own chosen tartan for their kilts, and I bought them each a set of personally themed cufflinks (I had bicycle chain ones).
What did you choose for your first dance?

We pulled together a scratch band from some friends, who let us choose a bunch of our favourite songs for them to cover, which they mixed with some more of their own favourites and a whole lot of ceilidh.

For our first dance we decided to treat ourselves to the “Strictly” experience and got some lessons and a full choreographed routine with a professional (Felicity Drever), which we danced to a mash-up between “Fever” by Peggy Lee and “Happy Together” by The Turtles.
Any advice?
Making your wedding to your own tastes takes a bit more time and effort, but it’s really worth it, as well as potentially being much more cost-effective. Taking the time to choose our own suppliers, and drawing from our talented friends, we made our day completely bespoke, which our guests seemed to really enjoy as it was so different and they felt personally involved. It also meant that the organisation was an experience in itself, as things like making our own beer and our own wedding rings gave us as many memories as the day itself.
Why Scotland?

We live in Stirling and love how beautiful it is here… Also, Simon had always dreamed of a Scottish castle wedding (what a princess) :-).
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?

The ceremony. It was the reason for arranging the day in the first place, and Melanie made it so personal to us that it was just perfect. We had Lindsay’s dad perform the hand-fasting, each of our mums acted as witnesses, and Lindsay’s nephew Finn and Simon’s nieces, Georgina and Izzie performed a reading of Edward Monkton’s A Lovely Love Story. Simon and his brother Pete lit a candle in memory of their dad Eric.

We wrote our own vows and exchanged the rings we had made for each other after they had been passed around the guests in a ‘ring warming’. The ceremony was filled with personality, humour and love, so it was perfect for us.

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Anyone else treating themselves to a Strictly experience for their big day? Christina x
Suppliers
Venue
Plane Castle, near Stirling
PhotographerPicturesque, by Mr and Mrs M
FloristTrudi Todd
Hair stylist – 
Kristie at Rainbow Room International
Make-up – By the bride
Wedding dressFrench Connection at John Lewis, Evening dress from ASOS
Shoes – Kite ballerina flats by Goby
AccessoriesEtsy & Aukmla
Groom’s outfitMacGregor and MacDuff
Bridesmaids’ dresses – TFNC WEDDING Cold Shoulder Wrap Front Maxi Dress from ASOS
Stationery – This was designed by our talented friend Vikki from PushPrint
Cake – Cake table with chocolates by Chocolate Utopia
Band – Scratch band, aka The Cock-a-benders, organised by Chris Pugh
Additional suppliers – Celebrant – Melanie Leckie, Felicity Drever from Learn 2 Wedding Dance, Rings made at workshop with jeweller Donna Barry