The couple live in the States, but flew back to their home country of Scotland for their castle party wedding in Ayrshire

Stewart Crerar and Victoria Hare

1st July 2023

Venue | Rowallan Castle, Ayrshire
Photography | Gail Photography

“Victoria and I first met when we were teenagers. She went to an all-girls school in Edinburgh, and I went to an all-boys one. The schools did dances and discos together, so we crossed paths briefly when we were 14.

We bumped into each other again when we were 23 and really hit it off! The rest is history. We eventually moved to the States together, where I work in sports management and Victoria as a veterinarian. After five years together, I proposed at Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, California with some very expensive diamonds!

We knew we wanted to get married back in Scotland so we could have more friends and family at our wedding. The family of one of my best mates own the estate that Rowallan Castle is on.

It is such a beautiful venue with amazing grounds. Even better, we could host 20+ of our nearest and dearest at the castle the night before, and the night of, the wedding, meaning we could really make a weekend of it. We had 100 guests overall.

It ended up being three years from engagement to our wedding. The Covid pandemic was a spanner in the works and forced us to rearrange our date twice.

Our disorganisation at that point worked in our favour as we hadn’t booked any suppliers the first two tries, so really all we had to do was change the date. We were flexible and weren’t in a massive rush to get married, so rescheduling wasn’t a big issue. We spent about £20,000 on our wedding.

With us planning a wedding from 5,000 miles away, we needed assistance to pull it all together. Katy Campbell, Rowallan Castle’s wedding coordinator, was fantastic every step of the way and helped with supplier and other, more general, recommendations to make the day great.

We couldn’t have done it without our parents, Margaret and Bobby (Victoria’s mum and dad), and June and John (my mum and dad). They did so much, including our menu tasting, and helped make some great selections!

The food was top notch. Victoria is a pescatarian, so we had seabass as one of our mains (which went down really well with our guests), along with beef. Sticky toffee pudding is a family favourite, so that was one of our dessert options.

Everyone was drunk – but not too drunk! We had an open bar with drinks flowing, including champagne and bespoke cocktails. We had a gin bramble and Honey Deuce as they are our favourite cocktails.

We are huge EDM fans and have travelled the world attending concerts and festivals. In homage to that, our first dance was to ‘Born to be Yours’ by Kygo. It is a banger and definitely got everyone in the mood for dancing!

Seeing as Victoria is a vet, we named our tables after her favourite breeds of dogs and cats. We personalised our cake with animals and made donations to the Dogs Trust and Cats Protection for our wedding favours.

Gail Photography was fantastic. Our communication with her wasn’t the best prior to the day, owing to our busy work schedules and being in a different country. That didn’t faze her, however, and she did a great job getting things set up and capturing some amazing images.

The night before the wedding, we had drinks and a meal for close friends and family at the castle. The morning of the wedding itself was relaxing and we went on a walk around the estate. We weren’t actually too nervous – we both knew each of us was going to say ‘I do’, haha! There were just butterflies because we really wanted everyone to have a fun time. Thankfully, everyone did.

We had a fairly traditional religious ceremony. Alastair Symington was our minister, a family friend who had also married my sister Joanna. It was lovely that he was available to lead our service for us.

We always thought it was clichéd when you see newlyweds post about their wedding as ‘the best day of their lives’…but it actually was! The venue and food were brilliant; we got to hang out with friends and family whom we rarely get to see living abroad; there was lots of dancing; and Victoria’s elderly grandparents managed to join us. (Up until the morning of the wedding we didn’t think they could come.)

We even had decent weather. There was one short rain patch, but that allowed us to capture a rainbow photo.

Top tip: “Don’t stress; it will work out in the end! Lean on family members if they are willing to help.”

Venue Rowallan Castle
Photography Gail Photography
Minister Alastair Symington
Bride’s dress Ines Di Santo
Groomswear MacGregor and MacDuff “Mackenzie Tartan, the tartan my grandpa wore in WW2,” notes Stewart
Cake Abigail’s Party Cakes
Flowers Kirstie’s Flowers
Ceremony music Chris Connelly Pianist
Reception band The Jack Dames
Favours Donations to Dogs Trust and Cats Protection, and Glaswegin Gin miniatures
Transport Park’s Motor Group

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