Relaxed Scottish Castle Wedding

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Ali and Steven were married at Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. The whole wedding party stayed there from Friday-Sunday which made it feel more like a holiday away with friends!

“We had the place to ourselves it felt really homely and relaxed”, Ali explained. “We had an afternoon tea on arrival on Friday and the bridesmaids and I decorated the space. Then we all went out for a lovely dinner at the Minishant Inn. We relaxed back at Culzean in the big cosy lounge. On Saturday we all had breakfast together then did some finishing touches to decorations, got ready and had canapes and champagne in the round room with a beautiful view out to the sea. After the ceremony there were drinks in the armoury with the musical trio before dinner in the Georgian kitchen.”

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The couple planned the whole wedding themselves, and loved doing so. “We enjoyed doing it ourselves”, she continued. “It felt like a more special day and we were proud during the weekend looking at and experiencing our handiwork.”

“The wedding was inspired by my love of colour and basically anything we saw and liked online. We looked through the A-Z of having a wedding, tore out what we didn’t like and scribbled all over the rest. We kept in anything traditional that we really wanted. For example, Steven didn’t want to see me in my dress until the ceremony and he wanted to cut the cake and I wanted to do the confetti bit – its always a great picture and a fun moment for all to get involved in.”

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“We basically said from the get go that we weren’t going to do anything just because anyone tells us we should or that its just what’s done at a wedding. Having speeches at the ceremony was one of my favourite moments of the wedding. My dress was certainly not traditional but it was very me. We didn’t have a first dance and after dinner it was more of a house party feel rather than a disco but it suited us and that’s what’s important.”

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The ceremony was held in Camellia House, on the estate. “We looked at having the ceremony in the castle but when we saw Camellia House we loved it and immediately decided that was where it would be. It was just such a beautiful open and bright space. We both pictured it really happening the moment we stepped through those doors. We asked our friend Andrew to officiate. We’ve both know him since the beginning of high school so it was really special.”

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The bride’s incredible non-wedding dress was Vivienne Westwood which she had altered by adding the sleeves and some sequins! She wore comfortable brogues and a custom made headpiece. “I tried some wedding dress shops but just couldn’t find anything I liked”, she said, “so I looked online and then went shopping with my bridesmaids. I had already looked at some great Vivienne Westwood patterns so we headed straight there. I loved the dress the minute I saw it and bought it there and then. I then took it to Fabricated Bridal Alterations. They added the sleeves, created cuffs from some of the belt material, did a few shaping alterations and added the sequins to the belt. They are a fabulous bunch and did an amazing job.”

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“Fabricated Bridal Alterations also made my headpiece. I knew I didnt want a bouquet but I do love flowers so asked them what they could do. I asked them to show me various veils and loved the short one. I asked to get a bit of gold in it to match the belt sequins.”

Photography was also really important to this pair. “I spent a lot of time online trawling through photos and sites. I fell in love with Caro’s photos when I saw her blog. She has a great relaxed attitude to photography and the results are amazing. I wasn’t keen on having those set up posed photos. I’ve seen brides so uncomfortable, stressed or bored with what they’re going through to get their photos, plus I’ve had an eyeroll from one at my tattoo and at my psoraisrs on show. We were keen that Caro was basically capturing moments from the day!”

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With the venue being so grand, not a whole lot of extra décor was needed, but they did get some flowers from Tesco, paper poms and over 1000 multicoloured cranes (made by the groom’s brother!) to add some extra touches. “I also bought various coloured ribbon from Paperchase which we hung from tree branches and I found a few little signs and wooden decorations which we hung around the place. I bought jars and moss and lights to fill them from Amazon and sat them on the path. Steven’s dad made us a huge wooden frame which our Groomsman Garry hung expertly on a huge branch. We bought lights on Amazon which the boys wrapped around the columns.”

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“One the tables the best men and I lay roses and greenery with candles and some cranes. It was so easy but looked amazing. We didn’t do any other decorating in the Georgian Kitchen because the room itself was amazing. I loved all the copper pots.”

“Our advice for future brides and grooms is just to do what feels right for you”, Ali concluded. ” Don’t feel under pressure to do things you don’t want to but that people tell you you should. Most of all, when planning your wedding keep in mind to enjoy the day.”

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