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A colourful, nature-filled wedding at Drum Castle

just married bride and groom walking towards camera in green walled garden with blue skies on sunny day drum castle wedding fotomaki photography

After constant changes and uncertainty due to – you guessed it, Covid! – Rosa and Tillman decided just to go for it and celebrate with their nearest and dearest in a colourful, nature filled micro wedding at Drum Castle.

drum castle wedding view of castle with blue skies in background and grass garden in forefront fotomaki photography bride in white lace dress holding bridal bouquet with greens reds pinks oranges drum castle wedding fotomaki photography

How did you two meet?

We met at a non-profit organisation in Aberdeen, called Newton Dee. We were both volunteering there at the same time. Tillmann came over from Germany, initially on a gap year, but met Rosa and now he’s been here for almost a decade!

Rosa was running an arts and crafts workshop and Tillmann was working in one of the community’s gardens. So we were initially introduced to each other over a wheelbarrow of vegetables when Tillmann was doing some deliveries.

We went on a group trip to Edinburgh and had a lot of fun at the Christmas market. There was something special between us but it wasn’t until later that Spring that we became a couple. For our first date, Tillmann took Rosa birch tree tapping, which was a bit unusual but has set the tone for our relationship – bizarre at times but wonderful nonetheless.

What inspired your wedding plans?

Well. Many things pre-Covid! Initially, we wanted a big celebration with all our family and friends, lots of ceilidh dancing and lots of delicious food. When Covid came along we had to change our plans.

As we were both key workers, all wedding planning kind of went out of the window for 2020, other than letting people know the original date would not be possible to go ahead with. We rescheduled, not knowing what would be possible on our new date. Luckily, we could have immediate family and very close friends there by the time it took place.

What was really special was some of the residents from the non-profit organisation that Tillmann works with were able to come and be part of the day too. What was deeply sad, was that due to quarantine and travel rules, none of Tillmann’s side of the family and friends from Germany could come and neither could Rosa’s closest friend from Denmark. We considered postponing but thought ultimately, life is so short, and we don’t know what the future holds and we really wanted to be married to one another and our loved ones fully supported us in going ahead with the day.

We chose traditional Scottish music to be played at the ceremony, the sun shone and it was incredible. We wanted to be outside, to be relaxed and to be with people we love. Neither of us are into big formal events so something laidback and in nature was what we worked towards.

We had a humanist ceremony with handfasting, a Scottish tradition. We also had a reading in German, which was beautiful. We were able to set up a camera and stream the wedding for guests who couldn’t attend. Loved ones, nature, good food and music were essential to our planning.

We had amazing food at our favourite restaurant, Buchanan’s Bistro. Natural, seasonal flowers were dotted around the venue and we had a local baker make our delicious cake (Black Forest gateaux style). Rosa made the table setting decorations, name places and the favours, which were homemade liqueurs from lots of foraging adventures during the lockdown. The flowers were arranged in old gin bottles that friends saved for us during the lockdown. And of course, some good German chocolate scattered around the tables for snacking needs.

When we were able to travel, we did head to Germany and had a mini wedding celebration there, too, which was also really special. Our dog, Penny, was of course present at both the Scottish and German wedding celebrations.

Tell us about your venue…

We chose a venue which we love and felt happy to support – a National Trust property, outdoors in the walled rose garden. We spend many of the lockdown daily walks in the beautiful grounds of Drum Castle, so it felt fitting to get married there.

We chose Buchanan’s Bistro as it is our favourite place to eat out. All of Rosa’s family have been going there for years, with Rosa’s sister even working there for a time. The staff are so friendly and accomodating. The food they make is so special – organic, seasonal and locally sourced a lot of the time. They also do imaginative vegan and vegetarian dishes which everyone really enjoyed. The restaurant has a lot of natural light and a great outside space, which was important to us as we both love being outdoors.

We love your outfits! Tell us more…

I’ve never been that “good” at formal wear, it’s not my style and the dress wasn’t really a top priority for the day. I wanted a dress that I could feel beautiful in, move in, hug in, and play with my dog in. I wore a beautiful dress from Needle & Thread. They make really feminine, beautifully embroidered outfits. Ever since I was little, I’ve loved embroidery and special touches and additions to outfits.

I had hopes of heading to vintage shops and finding an ideal second hand fit, however, this proved difficult because of lockdown. As a plus size woman, it’s also hard to find vintage clothes that aren’t polyester sacks at times! So I ended up coming across Needle & Thread, found a dress I loved and could try it on in several sizes. I have actually worn my wedding dress about three times in total now. For the actual wedding, the two celebrations in Germany and I’m intending to wear it for our first anniversary party. I think if you buy something new, you should get good use out of it. I’m a big fan of buying for life, so this dress will be worn a lot in the years to come.

My “something borrowed” was my sister’s veil. I wore the necklace I always wear with lockets and charms on, gathered through the years and Tillmann chose a tie which matched the bridesmaids’ dresses.

Tillmann found a grey suit he liked in a shop in our local town and was happy with that.

just married bride and groom walking back down the aisle in walled garden with guests throwing confetti drum castle wedding fotomaki photography

Your photos are making us smile!

We found Sarah by chance when googling Scottish wedding photographers and we were so lucky! She made us feel super comfortable and just fitted in seamlessly into the day. Points of our day were a bit chaotic with folk not knowing where to be etc and Sarah helped with all that and was really flexible when we had to rearrange. We really liked the colour in Sarah’s photos. Some photographers we looked at had quite muted palettes and although these look gorgeous, it’s not really “us”. Colour, bold, joyful – that’s what Sarah’s photography said to us.

Tell us more about the flowers…

We wanted whatever was in season, not overly poised and just really natural looking. Caroline provided just this. She offered a “bucket” service, which we used for the flowers for the venue – a beautiful assortment of seasonal stems. My bouquet was stunning, as were the bridesmaids’ posies and groomsmen’s buttonholes. We really respected how Caroline runs her flower farm, slowly and in keeping with the seasons, so we felt very happy to support this local business.

What was your first dance song?

We had chosen Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “Aint No Mountain High Enough”. Our first dance was special – we had our first dance on our own, in our hotel room before going to bed on the night of the wedding. We love Marvin Gaye and this song is just joyful, with the sentiment of being there for one another, that’s why we chose it.

Which of your suppliers completely rocked your wedding day? We’d love to hear your top three…

Buchanan’s Bistro – so accommodating and made the reception so memorable. Forbes Flowers – I couldn’t get over how beautiful the flowers were and what made it so special is that they were all grown locally. Joy Story – Sarah made two people who feel awkward in front of a camera, feel amazing.

bride and groom just married walking with dog in walled garden with green hedges at each side on sunny day drum castle wedding fotomaki photography just married bride and groom looking into each others eyes in walled garden with green hedges on sunny day drum castle wedding fotomaki photography

Were there any challenges along the way?

We felt like the day went seamlessly, which I’m sure it didn’t, but after having to reschedule and cancel so much due to the pandemic, it honestly felt like the perfect day.

Any advice?

Just do you. Don’t worry about what’s “in”, on Instagram or what other people expect you to do or have on the day. Just be authentic to yourselves, it is your day!

Honeymoon or minimoon?

We had an amazing time touring the North and West of Scotland in a campervan with our wee dog. We were very lucky and then got to go away again to Germany, for a wedding tour/road trip and party.

What’s the one moment you will always remember?

When we sat in the rose garden for drinks after the ceremony, with so many loved ones around us, in the sun, drinking champagne, this was the best feeling.

bride in white dress and seven bridemaids in red dresses posing for camera with hands in the air in walled garden drum castle wedding fotomaki photography

Love the approach these two took to their day! And hell yeah to getting to wear your wedding outfit again and again! x


Ceremony VenueDrum Castle Rose Garden

Reception Venue – Buchanan’s Bistro

PhotographerJoy Story

FloristForbes Flowers Alford

Hair stylistVivien Brannan

Make-up artistAnnabel Bain

Rosa’s dressNeedle and Thread

Tillman’s outfitSlaters

CakeOhhh Crumbs Cake

MusiciansCabrach Ceilidh Band