Colourful boho Ayrshire castle wedding with llamas and a fun festival vibe

Hannah Richardson & Iain Fisher

6th August 2022

Venue | Kelburn Castle and Estate, Ayrshire
Photography David Long Photography

a bride and groom pose with three alpacas

“Unconventional I know, but Iain and I booked our venue, Kelburn Castle, before we were engaged. We knew we wanted to get married the following summer and there were limited dates that suited us.

The proposal followed on Iain’s birthday in July 2021 at the American Monument on Islay. Our best friends (later our best man and maid of honour) were also there when he popped the question!

Kelburn Estate was the only place we ever wanted to get married. We both love the quirky nature of the place and spend a lot of time walking our dog there. We’d previously attended music festivals in the grounds and wanted to capture that feel for our own big day.

We chose to have a registrar as we are not religious and tend to cringe at overly romantic things. Iain’s sister Heather wrote a poem to read during the ceremony (we hadn’t heard it beforehand) and it so fitting and heartfelt that it made us both emotional.

Our families really got on-board helping us with the details. My parents and I handcrafted all the decorations, including making thousands of colourful paper cranes to hang around the venue. We also created wooden place names, crafted table numbers and made our own mirrored table plan. Also Flowers by Aileen did an incredible job helping us create the festival aesthetic with her bright and unstructured bouquets, arrangements and flower crown.

Our cake was handmade by my grandmother, Kath, who I’ve been baking with since I was small. It was topped by a figurine of our dog that’s now repurposed as a sign in a plant pot. My stepmother, Elizabeth, helped me make all our on-the-day stationery and the homemade tablet by mother of the groom, June, went down a treat with our guests.

We were worried about the weather influencing our plans, but it worked in our favour on the day. The sun came out just in time for the ceremony.

I’d dress-shopped at a store in Glasgow and left feeling deflated and lacking in confidence before visiting Opus Couture in West Kilbride. Thankfully, the experience there was vastly different and I loved trying the dresses on. I ended up buying a Blue by Enzoani gown that was completely opposite to what I thought I wanted after being encouraged to try it on.

The professional service and quality and quantity of photographs from David Long Photography were amazing. We really wanted a candid photographer who didn’t concentrate on poses and documented the day and emotions as they happened organically. David and second shooter Peter got the required ‘posed’ family photographs in the most stress-free manner, but otherwise they blended in perfectly. We can honestly say we didn’t notice them throughout the day (an important thing for us).

I surprised Iain and our families with alpacas from West Coast Alpacas. After our ceremony in the walled garden, the 80 guests made their way back to the pavilion for our reception, to find three alpacas waiting. They were such a fun addition to the slower part of the day. They were friendly, extremely well cared for and gave us all a good laugh.

The speeches were also a real highlight. They included funny/embarrassing photographs and stories, including a teddy bear that my dad produced from my childhood.

Our first dance was to 100% by Gentleman’s Dub Club. The Foot Stompin’ Ceilidh Band played in the evening, and they were so talented. They had everyone up doing the ceilidh, but they also did cover songs and played a DJ set for us to end the night.

I wish Iain and I had grabbed 10 minutes more to ourselves over the course of the day to take it all in. We were both so humbled by the love we felt from all our guests, many of whom had travelled a fair distance to join us.”

Top tip: “Firstly, get the big-ticket items planned as soon as you know the date. The day comes around very quickly, so it’s better to be proactive. Secondly, try not to let friends/family influence your day too much. Always ask yourself: is this what you want?”

Registrar Kathleen Auld
Bride’s dress Opus Couture
Bridesmaids’ dresses ASOS
Hair Aimee Mckay, Salon 17
Makeup Lizzie Carr Makeup Artist
Bride’s nails Amy Walker, XO Beauty Salon
Groomswear McCalls
Catering Regis Banqueting
Flowers Flowers by Aileen
Cake Made by the bride’s grandmother
Cake topper Manta Makes
Invitations and thank you cards Bowers Boutique
On-the-day stationery Handmade by the bride and her stepmother
Favours Tablet homemade by the groom’s mum
Reception music The Foot Stompin’ Ceilidh Band
Photobooth Ayrshire Magic Mirror Photobooth
Alpacas West Coast Alpacas
Transport Ayrshire Wedding Cars
Stretch tent Baillies Marquees

a bride laughs while a bridesmaid fixes her haira table plan mirror; a closeup of the wedding cake with origami crane decorations around itthe reception space set up for the mealthe exterior of the venue with a stretch tentthe bridesmaids watch the bride approach the venue in a campervanthe groom smilesthe bride and groom at the top of the aisle, holding handsthe bride walks down the aisle arm in arm with her dadthe bride walks down the aisle with her dadthe couple exchanges rings closeup of the couple kissingthe couple kiss at the top of the aislethe couple make their way back down the aislethe guests through confetti at the couplethe couple walk through the groundsthe couple sit in the front of a campervanthe couple walk through the grounds; a campervan is decorated for a weddingthe bride pets a llamathe bride poses with three bridesmaidsthe couple and some gueststhree llamas decorated with flowersthe couple pet three llamasthe couple poses with the llamasthe couple enter the wedding receptionthe wedding mealthe top table during the speechesthe bride hides her face whilst her dad delivers his speechthe guests raise their glassesthe couple dancethe couple and guests dancethe groom spins the bride