Glamorous and hedonistic wedding at a luxury castle venue near Edinburgh

Nadine Wilson & Chris McDonald

8th September 2019

Venue | Carlowrie Castle, near Edinburgh
Photography | Lee Fletcher Photography

bride and groom holding hands outside Carlowrie Castle with guests in background

“Chris and I were together for four years before we  got engaged in Dubai on a surprise trip there for my birthday. He popped the question on our hotel balcony a few hours after completing our first skydive!

Our first planning decision was approximate location. We picked Edinburgh as it’s sort of in the middle of Aberdeen and Ayrshire (where we are both from).

We made a small shortlist of venues in the area to view. As soon as we laid eyes on Carlowrie Castle, we knew it was the one. We were blown away by its classic exterior and modern, contemporary interior – nowhere else we saw compared.

We live in Aberdeen, so some things were more difficult to organise. It meant a lot of phone calls and trips to Edinburgh, but our suppliers dealt with it all fantastically.

We had a glamorous, but elegant wedding in mind. We didn’t need to add much décor to the castle as its stunning rooms really speak for themselves and were in keeping with our tastes. Florist Quate & Co. Edinburgh dressed the place beautifully in abundant white blooms.

Our boxer dog, Floyd, unfortunately wasn’t able to attend. We still wanted to pay homage to him somehow, so we named all our tables after castles and had a photo of him outside each one on every table.

We couldn’t resist having a saxophonist, Trav from Saxingh, during our drinks reception. It brought an upbeat feel and we received so many compliments on his performance and how unusual it was at a wedding.

One of the highlights of the day was walking into dinner together to one of our favourite tunes, Jubel, played on the sax. It set the tone for the remainder of the night.
The speeches were hilarious. I loved seeing Chris getting roasted by his two best men!

We are delighted with Lee Fletcher’s photography. We appreciated his relaxed approach, capturing natural photos of the day as it progressed, as opposed to staged poses. He also photographed all the finer details which I’m thankful for.

I made a beeline for Opus Couture in West Kilbride when shopping for my dress. I had a particular designer in mind and it was one of the few places that stocked it. I had my heart set on an elegant, fitted dress with a long train and cathedral veil. I was adamant that I didn’t want a strapless dress – but that’s exactly what I ended up falling in love with!

Loads of our guests were young, which meant the dancefloor was never empty. Our reception was just one big party. Our first dance was garage classic Flowers by Sweet Female Attitude performed brilliantly by our band, Los Perros.

People aren’t lying when they say how quickly the day will go by! Even now, looking back, there’s absolutely nothing we would change – we loved every single moment.”

Top tip: “Other than keeping spreadsheets with bookings and deposits, I’d say don’t worry too much about all the finer details as they can go unnoticed during the day. For example, we had a welcome sign that smashed in the morning and I didn’t realise it wasn’t there until being told after the wedding.”

Celebrant Tim Maguire Humanist Celebrant
Bride’s dress Opus Couture
Bride’s shoes Sophia Grace Couture
Groomswear MacGregor and MacDuff
Cake Made by family friend
Flowers and décor Quate & Co. Edinburgh
Additional venue décor Pretty White
Stationery Paperoo
Wedding rings Mr Harold & Son
Drinks reception music Saxingh
Reception band Los Perros
Hair Family friend
Makeup Sophie Alexis Makeup
Transport Ratho Coaches

bride wearing floral robe getting makeup done on wedding morningmini proscecco bottles being poured into personalised white and gold bridesmaid and maid of honour champagne flute and bride smiling into mirror on wedding morningbride and four bridesmaids toasting with shots of Tequila Rosebuttonhole by Quate and Co and being pinned onto groom's lapelwedding ceremony set up in permanent marquee at Carlowrie Castle with flowers by Quate and Cowhite ruffle wedding cake and mirrored white rose table seating plan at weddingwhite rose and gypsophila wedding bouquet by Quate and Cohand fastening button on back of lace wedding dress and bride carrying champagne flute and smiling at cameragroom flanked by two best men smilinggroomsmen look on as guests arrive in wedding marquee at Carlowrie Castlebride walks down aisle on arm of dad while groom looks on at Carlowrie Castle wedding ceremonybride, groom and celebrant at wedding ceremony in Carlowrie Castlecelebrant Tim Maguire leads wedding ceremony at Carlowrie Castlebride and groom kiss at wedding ceremony at Carlowrie Castlegroom signing wedding register with black fountain penbride and groom walking up aisle and bride punching air with bouquet in handnewlywed bride and groom walking up aisle at Carlowrie Castlebride and groom outside Carlowrie Castle being showered by confetti thrown by guestsbride and groom smiling in gardens of Carlowrie Castlebride and groom laughing in garden of Carlowrie Castle and bride laughing holding bouquet in airbride and groom outside ivy facade of Carlowrie Castletop table at Carlowrie Castle raising glasses during groom's speechwedding tables and chairs at reception at Carlowrie Castle decorated by Quate and Cobest man laughing looking at notes while making speechbride and groom cutting wedding cake at Carlowrie CastleSaxingh wedding saxophonist performs at Carlowrie Castle while bridesmaid sings along with hand in airbride on dancefloor at Carlowrie Castle with arm around female wedding guest wearing polka dot dressfoyer at Carlowrie Castle with large lily floral arrangement on tableblack and white image of bride dancing and Saxingh wedding saxophonist plays at Carlowrie Castlepermanent marquee at Carlowrie Castle filled with cheering wedding guests as bride and groom arrive