Ashley and Andrew’s big day at Achnagairn had a ‘classy but fun’ feel with a London Underground theme

Ashley Avinou Reid and Andrew Reid

1st July 2023

Venue | Achnagairn Castle, Inverness-shire
Photography | Meggy Mac Photography

Some things are worth waiting for. Like when you know sticky toffee pudding is on the specials board and you’re nearly done with your main course. Or your favourite singer is stopping off in your home town on their world tour next year and you’ve already got your tickets.

In the case of Ashley and Andrew, who married at Achnagairn Castle just outside Inverness this summer, the bride had a playful way to show the groom just how long she’d been waiting for that very day…

“I saw a TikTok a while back that made me laugh, about a couple who’d been together for over a decade, and as they stood before the celebrant the bride blew some dust (talcum powder) off her vows,” she laughs. “Andrew and I had been together 14 years, so I decided I would do the same. He was really surprised and it got a great laugh from our guests, which eased the nerves!”

The couple had set their hearts on a romantic venue with space to accommodate their 155 guests (including six wee ones), coming from the UK, USA, Canada, Dubai, Singapore and the Netherlands. 

“We wanted a fairytale castle in Scotland, with beautiful grounds and a stunning ballroom – somewhere with a bit of magic and a touch of class that could be almost like a destination wedding in our own country, where our guests could get away for a full weekend but not have to travel too far,” explains Ashley.

That’s exactly what they got at the stunning Highland venue, with 55 guests staying in the castle itself, a further 55 in Achnagairn’s Mini Manors (self-catering luxury lodges), and the others staying close-by.

“Our overall approach was to make everything feel classy but fun, with a sprinkling of ‘us’ to give it a personal feel,” explains Ashley. “We live in London now, so we went for a London Underground theme for the entrance sign, and our wedding breakfast tables were named after tube stations and displayed on a large plan inspired by the Underground map.”

Keen to make the most of the day, the couple kicked things off at 1pm and extended the bar licence until 1am, with the party continuing for another hour and a half after that.

They made their vision a reality with help from wedding staff member Nicola: “She was brilliant from start to finish – a life-saver. She added us on WhatsApp and answered so many questions for us,” recalls Ashley. “She took delivery of our stationery and our cake and even filmed the staff practising our champagne tower, to show us how it would look! Things weren’t straightforward with us living in London and our venue being in the north of Scotland but she made it as easy as possible.”

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