This couple married just a few minutes from their home at this DIY luxury barn venue. Their luxe yet laid-back big day with 200 guests came together thanks to a top ensemble of Aberdeenshire suppliers

Chloe Ewen and Ross Sangster, now Mr and Mrs Sangster 

2nd June 2023 

Venue | The Barn @ Barra Castle
Photography | Christie Johnston Photography 

Sarah and David Stephen, the owners of Barra Castle, were so beguiled by the setting of their 16th-century tower house that they knew they had to share it with others.

Having renovated the castle to make it their family home, they launched the Barra Farm Shop, selling amazing local produce; Lodges @ Barra Castle, providing stylish holiday accommodation; and The Barn @ Barra Castle, a standout wedding venue. 

Their website talks about the ‘magic’ that happens at Barra, and that’s no exaggeration, according to newlywed Chloe Sangster. She believes there is something truly special about this corner of rural Aberdeenshire. 

“The 360-degree views of unspoilt farmland that surround the castle and refurbished barn are quite unique in north-east Scotland. They make for incredible wedding photos,” she says.

“Shout out to the gardeners who tend the grounds at Barra – the place always looks spectacular, especially in the glorious sunshine we were blessed with on our wedding day.”  

Inside is no less impressive, according to Chloe: “Ross and I had visited a couple of other venues in the Inverurie area, but as soon as we walked into Barra’s barn, I got a strange sense of calm; I said to Ross, ‘I think this is the one,’ and he agreed.” 

When the couple were told that 2nd June was the only date left in 2023, they realised it would also mark the second anniversary of Chloe’s grandpa’s death. It felt like a sign. “I was really close to him, and I knew he’d approve of us making a sad date a happy one going forward,” she says.  

Discover other incredible barn wedding venues in Scotland here

The dry-hire barn venue appealed to the couple as it could be configured in many ways; they would also have exclusive use and total freedom in choosing their suppliers. “We felt we could make the place our own,” says the bride. “The layout of the barn and its structure have been so well thought-out; for instance, its curtains and doors allowed us to have a ‘reveal’ for each portion of the day, which kept proceedings flowing nicely.” 

The exceptional disabled facilities at the venue sealed the deal for the couple. “It’s a very inclusive space. My twin sister Kerry is in a wheelchair, so having ease of access for her was a major deciding factor. The wedding was such a special day for her too! Floral Design Inverurie, our wonderful florist, even decorated her wheelchair with flowers,” smiles Chloe. 

A top priority for the couple was to use Aberdeenshire suppliers.

“We built lovely relationships with many of them over our 18 months of planning, particularly with our photographer Christie, and Emma from White Wedding Co. She absolutely nailed our decor,” beams Chloe. 

“Amy at Cymbeline Events was responsible for our on-the-day coordination, and she ran our wedding impeccably. If there were any issues, Ross and I never knew about them!”  

Jenny from A&J Catering (now retired) cooked up a feast that focused on local produce, including roast Aberdeenshire silverside of beef and North Sea haddock. “Barra Castle’s garden is famous for its berries, so Jenny was able to use the fruits in our desserts. Sarah at Barra even arranged miniature pots of the castle’s jam for us to give to our guests as favours,” remembers Chloe. 

“We had a sizeable guest list – 168 during the day, and almost 200 at night. Our amazing band, The Big Papas, said they’d never seen a dancefloor as packed for the whole evening. What can I say – our families like a party!” laughs the new Mrs Sangster. 

“A good bit of advice I got: ‘Take a moment to stand on the side of the dancefloor with your new spouse to soak it all in.’ I must admit I got quite emotional seeing everyone we love under the one roof having the best time.”

Chloe and Ross's highlights by Orchard Wedding Films

Venue The Barn @ Barra Castle
Photography Christie Johnston Photography
Filmmaker Orchard Wedding Films (see highlights above)
Celebrant Janet Donnelly, Humanist Society Scotland
Bride's dress Blush Bridal
Hair Zoe Gordon Special Occasion Hair
Makeup Kelly Hudson Makeup Artist
Groomswear Georgian Kilt Hire
Catering A&J Catering (now retired)
Fish and chip van (evening reception) Strathearn Food Company
Cake Made by family friend
On-the-day coordination Cymbeline Events
Venue decor White Wedding Co.
Furniture hire Harthill Hospitality
Lighting Illumin8
Flowers Floral Design Inverurie
Stationery Reeba Rose
Drinks reception band Geronimo Aberdeen 
Reception band The Big Papas
Bridal party accommodation Meldrum House

Share this article:

Previous article

These two brides were Dockyard Social's very first wedding – and they planned it in just three months!

Next article

Pretty Aberdeenshire farmhouse garden marquee wedding with colourful flowers