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A destination wedding at Forter Castle

Having originally planned to get married in Australia, Megan and Marcus switched to a destination wedding in Europe to allow their UK-based grandparents to join in the celebrations. After setting their hearts on Scotland, they fell in love with an intimate castle in stunning Glenisla. And while planning a wedding from so far away wasn’t completely stress free, it also meant that they could have a month long honeymoon without busting their budget. Prepare to be inspired!

Love at first sight or gradual attraction?

We first met at 17, I thought he was great, but he wasn’t that interested. We came back into each other lives at 19, and it was me that called it that time. It was another four years until we got our third time lucky and we have been inseparable since.

I love that we are ‘almost’ like high school sweethearts, but we got to live our separate lives and grow as individuals before we came together.

What inspired your plans?

Both myself and Marcus have grandparents who live in the UK, and both weren’t able to travel to us in Australia. We made a decision to get married in Europe, and Scotland, Spain and Italy were in the running.

Whilst out to dinner, we shared our plans with Marcus’ parents. When we mentioned Scotland, Marcus’ mum started to cry, that’s how we knew it was the place!

Everything fell into place around the castle (the wedding looked nothing like my original Pintrest mood board!). The castle furniture was full of romantic rich colours, which inspired our wedding palette. We tried to keep the elements simple and allow the beauty of the castle and the surroundings to shine through.

Tell us about your venue…

Forter Castle is a small castle nestled in Glenisla in Angus. Originally built in 1560, the castle was burnt down in the 1600s. The castle was rebuilt in the early 1990s, with the interior by world-renowned designer Katharine Pooley. Every inch of the castle was finished to perfection, including every wall covered with cashmere tweed.

Your silk flowers are gorgeous!

We had collected quotes from many florists, however Gigha at Meadow Isle Studio was an absolute delight to deal with and very thorough.

Getting married on the other side of world, I really loved the idea of having a part of the day I could bring back to Australia and cherish forever.

We love your dress! Tell us more…

I had always loved the bohemian design of Grace Loves Lace gowns. The Soho gown was made from a geometric ivory lace in a relaxed long sleeve fit.

Being a curvier gal, I knew the kind of style that would fit my shape and the Soho gown was perfect! I had only ever seen the gown online, and upon enquiry I discovered that there was only enough lace to make one final Soho dress and then the design would be discontinued!

That was it, I had to have it! I didn’t try it on until the day it was delivered and it fit like a glove!

My garter was my something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. We had sewn in a Black Watch blue tartan bow and my great great grandma’s wedding ring (which is over 100 years old).

How did Marcus choose his kilt outfit?

Marcus’ family has strong Scottish origins and his great grandfather was in the Black Watch. Marcus, his dad and brother, and my brother and dad all wore Black Watch in his honour.

Was planning a destination wedding stressful?

Planning a wedding from the other side of the world was challenging. Never having seen anything in person, we really had to trust our suppliers!

I plan events as part of my job, and I have a tendency to get slightly particular. I think getting married in the way we did really helped me to let go of my hang ups and not over think it.

How did you choose your photographer?

Teagan was actually a friend of a friend, but when we were first introduced she was living and working in Alberta, Canada. Our first conversation was via Skype and despite a terrible internet connection, the three of us really clicked!

We fell in love with her style so much that we booked her before making any other plans for our big day (originally planning to marry in Australia in 2020). As our plans evolved, Scotland became our destination and luckily for us Teagan was happy to come along for the ride! On the day she became so much more than our wedding photographer and truly was one of our guests and the life of the party!

My hair stylist, Paula McGuiness and makeup artist, Nicola Farquhar also deserve a special mention.

Any advice?

Relax! If you have to force anything, it’s not meant for your big day!

Did you manage to stick to your budget?

Yes! We had costed out an Australian Wedding at $60K AUD. We managed to fit in the wedding, a month long honeymoon and a second Australian reception within that budget.

Honeymoon or minimoon?

Honeymoon! The Monday after the wedding we started our European adventure when we left for Paris. From Paris we flew to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Rome, Rome to the Amalfi Coast, Amalfi Coast to Venice, Venice to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Munich, finishing up at the Octoberfest!

What’s the one moment you’ll always remember?

The ceremony. I cried every time I read through our order of ceremonies, so I knew the big day was going to be emotional. But standing up there as we both looked at each other through joyful, tearful eyes was really touching. There wasn’t a dry eye in the ceremony.

Our first dance was to the Gay Gordons… (When in Rome, haha!).

We love that Megan and Marcus brought the party to their grandparents. What a beautiful idea! x


VenueForter Castle, Glenisla, Angus, Scotland
PhotographerObrien Originals
FloristMeadow Isle Studio
Hair stylistPaula McGuiness
Make-up artistNicola Farquhar Professional MUA
Megan’s wedding dress – Soho by Grace Loves Lace
ShoesForever Soles
Marcus’ kiltoutfit – Black Watch Kilt from A1 Kilt Hire
Stationery – Three Bears Co
Ceilidh bandDancing Feet Folk Arts