Fiona Duncan and Callum Reid
15th October 2022
“We got engaged on Hogmanay in 2020. Callum proposed with a ring that was made using diamonds taken from a ring my Granny gave to me, making it extra special. Callum proposed in our flat at breakfast which meant we had the most fun day calling and seeing friends and family to celebrate the news!
My family have been visiting Mar Lodge with friends since I was a teenager and I always said that it was the place I would love to get married. We knew we wanted to get married in October as Mar Lodge Estate looks amazing in October!
It is the most beautiful, secluded venue and I just love Braemar and all the countryside that surrounds it. I have stayed in both the Bynack apartment and Claybokie over the years and it has always been such a special place.
This was made even more special by the fact that Callum and I had our first holiday as a couple to Braemar back in 2013.
Two days after Callum proposed I emailed Mar Lodge to enquire about weddings and dates. They got back to me so quickly and straight away I was so excited to see that they would be able host the weekend wedding we were dreaming of. The fact that Mar Lodge Estate is able to accommodate so many guests within the apartments, cottages and bunkhouse made this venue perfect as we knew we wanted to be able to host our nearest and dearest for the whole weekend.
During the planning stage I managed to improve my calligraphy and watercolour painting skills. That meant I could tie so many elements together – the invites, a wedding map, the seating plan, centrepieces and signs see opposite – which gave a personal touch.
I was also able to make our wedding cake the week before our day using the venue’s catering kitchen. I enjoy sewing and so was really happy to make bunting, felt flower centrepieces and felt decorations for favours,
As well as these and all the other decor elements we’d brought with us, Mar Lodge has a selection of decorations from previous weddings that we were able to make use of. It was fantastic! I think it’s such a good idea to offer this to couples – it makes decorating a wedding much more sustainable. I love the idea that someone getting married in the future might use the decorations I made.
After the ceremony and our photos, we had a wonderful drinks reception and were piped to the Stag Ballroom by our lovely local piper Callan. The wedding breakfast was served family-style: big platters of roasted meat, potatoes and vegetables. Our caterer, Deesidedly Tasty, did a great job!
The night ended for some around midnight, but the rest of us went on partying in the billiards room in the main lodge. The following day we had a great time seeing all our guests and we had a few planned activities including a buffet lunch where guests could make their own cheese toasties using the leftovers from our cheese wedding cake. We played games on the lawn and in the evening we had a pub quiz at Claybokie, one of the cottages in the estate.
The wedding was the most fun to plan and Callum and I, and our families, look back on it so fondly.
Top tip: “Give yourself time and be confident in your own crafting abilities. I started making decorations after a few months of being engaged and this really helped as at no point was I really stressed about wedding planning or organising, and I often thanked my past self for being organised.”
Venue Mar Lodge Estate
Registrar Elaine Jaffrey
Cheese for the cheese wedding cake The Cheesery
Photographer Karen Thorburn Photography
Catering Deesidedly Tasty
DJ Scotland’s Party DJ
Flowers Sakura Florist