This couple, who rebuilt their wedding venue from ruins, had a film crew, Clanadonia and two photographers at their wedding in Crieff

Couple standing in front of archway, bride holding flowers and groom wearing a kilt

Photo: Rogues & Queens Photography

Tracey Horton and Robbie Beaton

18th August 2023

Venue | Culdees Castle Estate, Crieff
Photography | Rogues & Queens Photography and Holeyn Heritage

Not many people can say they were engaged whilst being filmed for the television. We were part of the TV show Renovation Nation on Channel 4 as we were restoring Culdees Castle, our home and soon-to-be wedding venue. We were standing in the derelict kitchen when it happened – it was a complete shock.

Rob had been spending hours trying to prise the doors of an old AGA cooker open and I was actually getting irritated. I kept thinking ‘what a waste of a day’! But little did I know there was a stunning Vera Wang ring box waiting on me inside when he asked me to look in. I was stunned. I think it is the first time I was ever truly lost for words!

It goes without saying that we knew right away that we wanted to get married in the castle. We loved the idea of having the ceremony in our own chapel and being the first in its 220-year history to do so.

The problem was that the chapel was derelict at that point. If you stood on the ground floor and looked up at it, you didn’t only need ladders to get there, there was no roof on it either!

It was a huge undertaking and we gave ourselves 18 months from our engagement to the big day. We said we’d get married in it regardless of what it looked like. I would’ve climbed up scaffolding to get there if I had to! Having other bookings after our big day definitely meant we had a tight turnaround to get it all sorted.

I have experience in renovations and, at the time we were talking about living together, I told Rob that I wasn’t going to move unless we found a side step or an upgrade from my then house – that’s when we found the castle!

If there was an area in the castle that I could put flowers and fairy lights on, chances are I did!

Building and restoring your own venue is definitely a unique experience. As well as using the chapel for the ceremony, we intended on using the bar for drinks, the glass-roofed courtyard for the drinks reception and buffet, the whisky snug for some quiet time and the garden for the marquee and party.

We had 40 (including us) for the ceremony and dinner, before another 200 joined us at night for a big party. The meal was a big deal for us and it didn’t disappoint – it really had the wow-factor. We wanted a huge banquet-style feast like you’d see in a Disney movie. It was a Scottish-inspired menu, all served to share. It felt just like a decadent dinner party with all of our favourite people in attendance.

Our ceremony was very Scottish too. It was led by Lucy Black of Thistle Ceremonies, and we embraced all the time-honoured traditions. We championed Scotland wherever we could; we had our tartan (Ancient Macdonald Hunting of the Isles) on Rob’s outfit, my flowers and our bridesmaid dresses, for instance.

I wanted bridesmaid dresses that the girls would wear again. They were Vivienne Westwood-inspired and we worked with a brilliant dressmaker to create a style that can be adjusted if you change size.

When I started to think about what dress I wanted, I knew that comfort was my top priority. I had an amazing experience at Anne Priscilla Bridal in Glasgow and ended up going for something with the wow-factor and a detachable skirt. It seemed fitting to go for something bold considering our venue!

We also had two photographers, as we wanted our day captured in two different styles. I asked Holeyn Heritage Photography to focus on the detail shots. I loved the soft, whimsical feel of their images and as we’d spent so much time on the small touches, we wanted to capture them all.

We also loved the work of Rogues & Queens Photography. It was brilliant to have a selection of amazing images from each photographer with such a different feel to remember our day by.

We were set on throwing an unforgettable party. We had everything from a whisky tasting, to a performance from Clanadonia, who kicked our musical entertainment off for us. We then had The Boulevards who were fantastic and really kept the party going.

When we were envisioning our day, we knew we wanted it to be luxurious and glamorous. We are a very romantic couple and wanted to set out to make everything look beautiful. If there was an area in the castle that I could put flowers and fairy lights on, chances are I did!

There are so many special moments from our day that I think I would struggle to choose a highlight. We loved the ceremony; it felt really special seeing all our hard work pay off. Cutting the cake was also hilarious. For some reason, we ended up doing it with a sword which made everyone laugh.

It’s definitely a unique keepsake that we get to see our wedding venue every day. We feel so lucky to have had the experience we did.

Need to Know
Engagement to wedding 18 months
Budget Undisclosed
Number of guests 38 day guests and around 200 additional evening guests
First dance ‘Perfect Symphony’ by Ed Sheeran ft. Andrea Bocelli

Photo: Rogues & Queens Photography

Venue Culdees Castle Estate Crieff
Photography Rogues & Queens Photography and Holeyn Heritage
Celebrant Lucy Black, Thistle Ceremonies
Bride’s dress Jess gown by Eva Lendel, from Anne Priscilla Bridal
Bride’s shoes Custom made
Bride’s headpiece Victoria Percival
Bridesmaid dresses Made bespoke by Laura Masson
Mother of the bride outfit By NancyMac
Hair and makeup Kirsty MacPherson-Blyth
Groomswear Kilt by Braw Kilts; suit jacket made by The Tartan Shop, Crieff
Engagement ring Vera Wang
Castle painting Hollie Childe Art
Stationery Pleasant Pheasant Design Co.
Marquee Frame & Tailor
Photobooth The Boho Bus
Decor MadeAt94 Wedding
Bar Mobile Measures
Catering Reagan Hallett Catering
Flowers Victoria Bloom
Piper Daniel Sweeney
Band The Boulevards
Other entertainment Clanadonia

Photos by Rogues & Queens Photography

Photos by Holeyn Heritage

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