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A Harry Potter inspired Scottish castle wedding

After being hooked on guest blogger Jillian’s wedding planning adventures since day one, we were so excited to see how her wild and romantic Scottish fairytale unfolded. From their Isle of Skye pre-wedding shoot to their Harry Potter inspired destination wedding in a castle near Edinburgh, this is one seriously beautiful love story…

How did the two of you meet?

We actually met on a dating app! About an hour or so into our first date Matt mentioned that he has no sense of smell, and it completely blew my mind because neither do I! We were a match made in heaven.

On our second anniversary Matt suggested that we have some whiskey on the beach before our dinner reservation, and he proposed with a golden snitch ring box on a secluded spot on the beach. It was absolutely perfect.

We were inspired by…

Mostly Scotland and Harry Potter!! We didn’t have much of a theme in mind, but those two elements kept popping up. We loved incorporating the quaich ceremony, and participating in the ceilidh was one of the most fun things we’ve ever done! Our tables were named after whisky regions, and we used tartan ribbon to make our programs (the only DIY element of the day!).

I knew that I wanted local Scottish florals and for everything to look very wild – like we brought the outside in. Diane (Myrtle and Bracken) has her own cutting garden, so she always uses the freshest and most beautiful flowers available. All of the flowers were stunning, but I was particularly blown away by our table display. It looked like a garden was on our tables!

I read WFIL just about every day! As a destination bride I needed all the help I could get, and so I was constantly taking notes from the weddings I saw on the blog.

Tell us about your venue…

Borthwick Castle is a 15th century keep that recently (about a year and a half ago) underwent a multi million pound renovation. You get exclusive access to the venue all day, and it has 12 rooms to accommodate your party. The staff is incredible and provides for your every need. Plus, it’s absolutely gorgeous inside! All of the decorations are luxurious and truly make you feel like you’re living the life of a king and queen.

How did you choose your photographer?

I found Chris and Gillian (The Curries) through Instagram. I would browse through hashtags that related to Scottish weddings and eventually some of their photography popped up. I loved the way they used the moody Scottish lighting to their advantage rather than making everything bright and ultra colorful. I really wanted to capture the atmosphere and the mood of the 15th century castle, and I knew they would do that exceptionally well! Plus, they’re such fun people and made us feel relaxed immediately.

We found Barry (Wild Pines Films) through The Curries, and he was just what we were looking for! On the day of the wedding he seamlessly blended into the background so we all forgot we we’re being filmed, which is a fantastic way to be natural on camera! Plus he’s a lovely, easy going man. Most importantly, his film was stunning and effortlessly captured our special day. We’re both so glad that we decided to go with a videographer, and with Wild Pines Films in particular!

We are in love with your dress! Tell us more…

I was in love with Hayley Paige dresses for a very long time, so I knew I had to be a Hayley Paige bride! I went into the bridal shop with a specific style in mind, but it ended up being a little too uncomfortable to wear all day. I was thrilled when my consultant suggested I try on the Leigh gown. It was lightweight and comfortable, and the flow of the skirt was absolutely gorgeous. I also loved the corset style lacing on the back and sides. I felt like a princess mixed with a little rock and roll. It was perfect!

I wore the Laurel Leaf Tiara from Anna Marguerite as well as hair pins from DavieandChiyo on etsy. My veil was my sister’s from her wedding. My jewelry was a rose gold claddagh ring I got in Galway and pearl jewelry I got from my parent’s and Matt. I also had an antique luckenbooth brooch on the back of my gown.

And what about Matt?

Since Matt has no Scottish heritage, we knew that we could select any tartan we wanted! We loved the pale lavender and grey of the Jaggy Thistle tartan (specific to the Kilt Hire shop). We also wanted to make sure that Matt stood out from the rest of the groomsmen, so we opted for the fly plaid and it really made the look! The boys all had so much fun wearing kilts – I think we may have converted some of them!

Slow shuffle or big number?

I honestly can’t say enough about The Jets! I’m a singer, and so finding a band that threw a rockin party AND sounded great was really important to me, and The Jets didn’t disappoint!

For our first dance we chose the song “Tell Her You Love Her” by EchoSmith, which has always kind of been our song. The Jets learned the song, and then one of my bridesmaids sang it for us. It was a really wonderful and personal moment, and certainly one I’ll never forget.

Tell us something surprising about your day…

It wasn’t a surprise for us because we booked it, but we didn’t tell anyone that an owl would be delivering our rings. The sound of surprise and delight when she flew down the aisle was one of my favorite things about the day! To this day people are still raving about it.

Any advice?

Hire excellent suppliers and then relax! Instead of making every single tiny decision, I was able to just focus on the big picture and trust that my vendors would make the day beautiful.

Why Scotland?

Just look at it! It’s pretty hard to find a genuine 15th century keep in The States (ok, impossible), so we knew we had to make our way overseas. We both loved Scotland separately, and then it became a thing we could love together. The scenery, the people, and the whisky are all reasons we love this wonderful place!

What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?

After dinner when we went back outside to get a couple more photos in the golden light. There was an amazing sunset with this incredibly beautiful background, and we just stood in the grass holding each other and soaking in the moment.

We’re going to miss your monthly updates so much Jillian! Something tells us married life will be full of fun adventures for these two. Christina x


Venue – 
Borthwick Castle

PhotographerThe Curries

FilmmakerWild Pines Films

Wedding planner
LITU Weddings

Myrtle & Bracken

Hair stylist – Jennifer Benthale-Rettur (friend)
Make-up artist – Angela Cesena (Maid of Honor
Wedding dressHayley Paige, Leigh Gown
 from Blush Bridal Couture
Shoes – 
Geeky Girl Shoes from Etsy

Accessories – Laurel Leaf Tiara from Anna Marguerite and hairpins from DavieandChiyo.
Groom’s outfitKilt Hire

Bridesmaids’ dressesAzazie
Stationery Wedding Paper Divas

CatererHickory Food

CakeToo Good to Eat

MusiciansAllestri String Quartet
 & The Jets
TransportABC Coach Hire

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