A champagne spray, sparkler procession and Spice Girls’ playlist made Natalie and Cain’s Lanarkshire castle wedding all the more memorable

Natalie Gemmill and Cain Irvin

17th October 2023

Venue | Cornhill Castle, South Lanarkshire
Photography | Biggar Picture Photography

"Cain and I met through Tinder in October 2019. Cain lived in Glasgow, but was working in Bathgate at the time; I lived in Falkirk and was giving the dating app one last chance. We swiped right on each other and met the following day.

We got engaged in Cappadocia, Turkey in 2022 after 2.5 years together. It’s an area famous for its hot-air balloon trips and I’d always imagined being proposed to on one.

When Cain found out there could be 20+ other people on the balloon with us, he changed plans and took me on a walk to a ruined castle (I’d said I’d always wanted any proposal to be a private moment). He got down on one knee there... and I said YES!

We wanted a humanist ceremony, good food and a great band to party the night away to. We originally thought we wanted a barn-style wedding, but after looking into the practicalities and discovering how much we would have to do to decorate the place ourselves, we decided that type of wedding wasn’t for us and started looking at other options.

We had 72 guests for our ceremony and reception, with 100 in total at our evening party.

During our show-round at Cornhill Castle, I burst into tears as we stood in the ballroom! With the lights down and music playing, it really was magical. We knew there and then that it was going to be our wedding venue. We had 18 months between engagement and wedding.

The morning of the wedding was cold and frosty and the grounds looked sparkly and enchanting which made me so excited! I had made a Spice Girls playlist that was on from the minute we woke up, so there was plenty of dancing, singing, tears and fizz flowing.

When picking our celebrant, we knew we wanted someone who would be able to tell our story. Looking through Fuze Ceremonies’ website, we came across John Leo Scott and he helped us write a ceremony that was beautiful, personal and summed up our relationship so well. I remember us both laughing so much during it.

I walked down the aisle to ‘The One’ by Kodaline on the arm of my mum, Yvonne. Seeing Cain at the end of the aisle smiling at me (while crying!) is a moment I’ll remember forever. Likewise, Cain says seeing me walk towards him was one of his favourite points of the day.

We wrote our own vows. Cain even made a special reference to one of my favourite films, Die Hard. We also had a handfasting using ribbons made by Cain’s auntie Hayley (her company is called Paris Embroidery) that she’d personalised with the castle image, our names and wedding date.

My friend India did a beautiful reading during our ceremony too, with a wee side reference to my favourites, the Spice Girls – she knows me too well!

We enjoyed getting our pictures taken and being filmed way more than we thought we would. Allan at Biggar Picture Photography has a fantastic way of making you feel so relaxed and comfortable. He captured our day perfectly.

We were initially unsure about booking a videographer. We didn’t find one that we liked until we came across another couple’s teaser trailer that K Productions UK had made. Kyle and his wife Claire were incredible on the day; so relaxed and fun to be around.

Our reception was the best. The speeches were really personal and it was particularly lovely to have both our mums do a speech. The two best men and Cain did speeches too and had us in stitches.

When it came to wedding-dress shopping, I had a good idea of the style I was after. I didn’t want anything with thin straps or a V-neck, but wanted to show off my back with a wee bit of detail. I went to four shops and in the last shop – Pamela Jayne’s Bridal in Bonnybridge – I found my dress. It was a fitted halterneck with an open back and lace detail by Morilee. My mum said it was ‘just me’.

My wedding ring was custom made to fit my engagement ring by Dunoon jeweller Timothy J. Sharp. Tim was incredible to work with. He’s friendly, took the time to listen to what we were after, and made a gorgeous ring that was exactly what I had imagined.

Venue, venue decor, ceremony and drinks reception music All Cornhill Castle
Photography Biggar Picture Photography
Filmmaker K Productions UK
Celebrant John Leo Scott, Fuze Ceremonies
Bride’s dress Morilee from Pamela Jayne’s Bridal
Hair NC Hair
Makeup ARK Bridal
Groomswear Slater Menswear
Handfasting ties Paris Embroidery
Cake Special Days Cakes (provided as part of Cornhill’s wedding package)
Favours Kayleigh’s Crumbs
Chair tie-backs Couture Chair Covers
Stationery DIY
Engagement ring Daniel Henderson Jewellers
Wedding rings Timothy J. Sharp Designer and Goldsmith
Reception band Carbon Copy Wedding Band

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