This intimate festive wedding had everything from a Santa’s grotto to a visit from reindeer

Victoria Henery and Matthew Campbell

7th December 2022

Venue | Chatelherault Country Park
Photography | Amy McGilly Photography

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. Cosy vibes, feel-good films and gluggling down delicious hot chocolate surrounded by your favourite people guarantees that warm and fuzzy festive glow. Another thing that offers an instant serotonin boost? Weddings. And if you combine them both? A fool-proof plan to have a stunning celebration like that of Victoria and Matthew who tied the knot complete with reindeer and a Santa’s grotto.

“We wanted a warm and welcoming enchanted Christmas feel to the wedding,” explains the bride.  “During cocktail hour we were able to set up a big projector with a Christmas movie on for everyone to watch and we also had a cotton candy cart and popcorn. The venue also allowed us to hire an owl to be the ring bearer and we had reindeer waiting outside in the maze garden. They also set up the Santa’s grotto area full of amazing Christmas scenes so that we could get some extra special photographs taken in Santa’s workshop.”

The couple had their hearts set on the venue from the beginning as felt it was the perfect place to celebrate with their 15 guests.

“We wanted a very small wedding with only our immediate family so we opted for the intimate package that allowed up to 20 guests,” says Victoria. “It included the ceremony, private use of the stables and garden, a three-course meal, a drink per guest (we got two because we booked on the open day) and also the venue being fully decorated. We got mixed votes on the best part of the day. Guests seemed to really enjoy the Christmas wonderland atmosphere and the animals, but there were many people talking about how good the food was and how beautiful the grounds were, too.

The couple secured their dream date (the date they were engaged and also the groom’s birthday) and worked with the venue to create their Christmas fantasy, complete with a delicious festive feast of dishes such as steak pie and ruby chocolate cheesecake.

“My advice would be to not worry about asking for more unusual or less tradition aspects. The venue were all on board for everything that I suggested and the more I added the more excited the staff were and encouraged us to continue,” remembers the bride. “I was worried that I would be imposing with all the different aspects I wanted and I was never once made to feel like any of it was an issue. Everything seemed under control at all times, the staff were very easy to contact and nothing was too much to ask. They were so helpful with suggestions and helping set everything up. I honestly don’t think my wedding would have been the same without all of their help.”

The venue also arranged a few special Christmas surprises for the couple to enjoy throughout the day: “The Santa’s Grotto was a spectacular moment, I really wasn’t expecting anything so magical,” recalls Victoria. “We had arranged prior to the day that we could take photos in a sleigh but I didn’t expect an entire Santa’s workshop. The food also being served with a Christmas theme (such as the pastry on the steak pie being cut in the shape of Christmas trees) was another special moment. Again I wasn’t expecting it and when everyone received their food the table was buzzing.”

Wedding Dress Sunday Rose
Accessories Sunday Rose
Shoes Amazon
Groomswear Slater Menswear
Celebrant Carolyn Maguire, South Lanarkshire Council
Cake Cakesforyou
Flowers Made by bride’s sister
Stationery Made by bride
Favours Made by bride
Engagement/wedding rings and jewellery Ernest Jones
Candyfloss stand Posh Floss
Transport Urban Events Chauffeuring
Reindeer Real Reindeer Scotland
Owl ring bearer Hoots Owls

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