When this Perthshire pair married at Abercairny Estate, they relied on the venue’s knowledgeable wedding expert to guide their plans – and the results were truly magical

Layla Dawson and Ewan McLaren 

23rd September 2023

Venue  | Abercairny Estate
Photography | Natalie Holt Photography

Wouldn’t it be handy if you had a fairy godmother on speed dial when planning your wedding day? Someone to dispense sage advice, keep everything on the right track and add a little magic? Well, Layla and Ewan found theirs in the shape of Abercairny’s wedding and events manager, May Michael.

“No matter our questions, whether it was about planning timelines or decorations, May came up with answers and suggestions that we felt enhanced our own ideas,” recalls Layla. “She has an extensive network of contacts in the industry, and that meant she was able to connect us with trusted suppliers. She really made the whole experience so much less stressful for us.”

Layla and Ewan are Perthshire born and bred and had their hearts set on getting married locally. It didn’t take long for them to be swayed by the charms of this venue in the Strathearn valley that centres around impressive Gothic stables and lush landscaped gardens.

“We had 120 guests (plus 30 more in the evening), most of whom live in the area too. We wanted our day to run as smoothly as possible and felt that booking somewhere close by would allow most of our friends and family to attend and enjoy their day with ease,” recalls Layla. 

“The place looks so grand in the background – almost like a castle, in fact!"

The couple scoped out another hotel venue when shortlisting locations but decided that having a blank canvas which they could style their own way was a high priority. “I’d always considered Abercairny my dream venue anyway, and the fact that we were able to personalise it as much as we wished only made it more appealing,” smiles Layla.

“I particularly loved the long aisle in the Thistle ceremony room. We wanted separate areas for the ceremony, the meal and the drinks, and Abercairny could easily accommodate this.” 

The lovebirds lucked out with the weather, which meant they could take full advantage of the beautiful courtyard for outdoor drinks after the ceremony. “We had a saxophone player (he’s a member of Cassien, the band we’d booked to play at night), plenty of canapés and lots of prosecco! Ewan and I wanted to keep our guests happy while we were busy getting our photos taken.” 

The newlyweds roamed Abercairny’s extensive grounds with photographer Natalie Holt for their portraits. “There are so many incredible spots for photos, such as the large archway at the main entrance, and all the various vantage points that take in the beautiful views of the countryside,” muses the bride. “Our marquee (which we sourced from Green Field Marquees) had clear gable ends which meant we could soak up the pretty Perthshire surroundings while we were eating our meal.” 

The food was one of the day’s notable highlights (“Our guests still talk about how delicious it was!”), with Crieff-based caterer Wild Thyme serving an early-autumn feast full of seasonal ingredients – a heritage tomato salad with burrata, sticky beef with horseradish pomme mousseline, smoked celeriac fondant and a Scottish wild mushroom soufflé.

“We wanted to use local suppliers, such as Wild Thyme, as much as possible. We are very fortunate to have an abundance of them in the area, some of whom we know personally and have close relationships with. We never felt the need to venture further afield,” says Layla. 

One of the Big County’s newest residents had a starring role in Layla and Ewan’s day – their daughter Maeva. “We incorporated a promise to Maeva in our ceremony which made the whole thing even more meaningful and heartfelt,” smiles Layla. “Our wedding was everything we could’ve wished for and more!” 

Venue Abercairny Estate
Photographer Natalie Holt Photography
Wedding dress, veil and bridesmaid dresses David’s Bridal Glasgow (now closed)
Bride's shoes Quiz
Flower girl dresses Oliver’s Childrenswear
Groomswear Slater Menswear
Celebrant Mary Kane, Humanist Society Scotland
Cake Philippa Rose Cake Design
Catering Wild Thyme
Flowers Victoria Bloom
Signage CC Designs
Name places and menus DIY
Marquee fairy lights Wedding Lighting Hire Scotland
Engagement/wedding rings and jewellery Ian Gallacher Jeweller
Piper Stuart Scott
Reception music Cassien
Drinks reception music Saxophone Player, Jack from Cassien
Filmmaker Wedding Video Services
Transport White Diamond Wedding Cars, Docherty’s Midland Coaches
Marquee Greenfield Marquees
Hair Kimberly and Nicky at CocoBelle
Makeup Chloe MacDonald Makeup and Beauchella Makeup artist
Nails Hannah’s Nail Bar
Wine Vino Fandango Fine Wines & Spirits
Bar Mobile Measures

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