A Timeless Wedding at Cluny Castle

Written by Emma Hla
“We chose Cluny Castle because really, how could you not?”

I don’t think there’s much more to say! Because why not indeed… Cluny Castle is a majestic, enchanting and secluded venue in Scotland, and it was the perfect spot for J+R’s autumnal celebration.

Notes from the Bride

Jessica says…

We chose Cluny Castle because really, how could you not? We were looking for a venue that had a chapel, either on the grounds or that was a part of the main building. Cluny was the first venue that caught our eye and just by seeing the images online we pretty much knew this would be the wedding venue for us. We arranged a viewing which confirmed what we already knew, but my gosh, when we drove onto the grounds our jaws dropped. A wonderful moment we definitely won’t forget. We were given a tour, shown the chapel, the tenants hall, and the rooms where some of our guests would be staying. Every box was ticked, so as soon as we arrived back home we set the date.

I’ve pretty much always had a rough idea of what I was going to wear on my wedding day, I know they say that the dress you go for is usually the complete opposite of what you had in mind but for me that was definitely not the case. I knew I wanted something long sleeved, vintage inspired but with a modern edge to it, something with either lace, embellishments or both. A really important factor for me was comfort, I didn’t want to feel like I couldn’t breathe! I wanted something I could dance in, move about easily in, the idea of pulling my dress up or holding the skirt when I was walking around just wasn’t for me.

Instead of going to a bridal shop, I went on the bridal section of Self Portrait, I ordered three dresses, all similar to one another but with a few differences, the one I chose was actually the third dress I added just to fill my basket! With the dress being so embellished I felt jewellery needed to be kept to a minimum, so I bought a dainty gold bracelet and opal earrings from Monica Vinader, very simple but just the perfect finishes to the look. My shoes were from Aquazzura, and my bag Jacquemus.

I had Francine Ray do may make up, I can’t explain how incredible she made me feel, I felt that I looked like the best version of myself, she captured my vibe perfectly. Gemma Taylor did our hair, I just wanted something super classic and timeless.

My bridesmaids wore a beautiful rich green one shoulder dress which I found on Chi Chi London, finished with a faux fur stole. I feel they just took their outfits to another level, as well as keeping the girls warmer with it being the end of October, I thought they looked incredible.

Finally for the groomsman, I wanted something timeless and a black tuxedo is just that, I felt it matched the vibe of the castle as well as the overall look for the wedding that I was trying to strive for. We chose for Ross to have a slightly different suit to the rest of his groomsmen and had a velvet blazer made, something rich and just added that vintage flair that I wanted. We had the bow ties and handkerchiefs colour matched to the bridesmaid dresses. As for their shoes. the groomsmen wore a pair of patent brogues and Ross wore a pair of suede Russell & Bromley loafers.

I think when it comes to a place like Cluny Castle you don’t actually need a lot of styling, the venue speaks for itself, it is filled with the most beautiful pieces of furniture and artwork. So really all I did for styling was flowers, very simple and very easy! I used Louise Rose Flowers & Events, Louise was an old work colleague of mine who set up her own floristry business and truly makes the most beautiful arrangements. Louise grasped my concept very quickly, she researched the venue, saw what would work where and blew me away with her ideas. We used eucalyptus, white roses and other flowers and foliage that I have no idea what the names are but they just worked perfectly. I had one large bouquet and the bridesmaids had slightly smaller versions of the same, and boutonnieres for other members of the wedding party.

We had three large urn arrangements with plinths that were moved from the chapel to different areas of the venue to make use of them more than once, we had a large garland for the fireplace in the tenants hall as well as garland for the top table. We also had Louise make dried flower confetti cones.

We used Love Laura Lane for our cake and she was fantastic. I pretty much found the wedding cake that she made for another wedding and asked her to recreate it for us, which I know isn’t very original but it couldn’t of been a more perfect cake for our wedding theme. It was a 3-tier cake that was dark green with gold foil, this matched the bridesmaids and all the stationery. She sent over samples of flavours for us to try, they were all incredible, we chose lemon for the top tier, chocolate for the middle and classic Victoria sponge for the bottom tier.

We used Hudsons Catering and I genuinely can’t give the company enough praise. Due to covid we found ourselves unable to travel up for the food tasting events so we really did put all our trust in Cluny Castle for recommending them as a supplier, we just had our fingers crossed and hoped for the best and my gosh they did not disappoint. They gave us a perfect amount of canapés, starters, mains and deserts to choose from, we weren’t overloaded with ideas, which made it far easier for us to choose. I also took advantage of their breakfast catering for the morning of the wedding; we had breakfast juices and smoothies with a beautiful platter of pancakes, breakfast muffins, and granola.

We hired the rustic bar which suited the venue perfectly, I liked that it wasn’t too big so that not everyone was able to gather around it throughout the night, guests were getting their drinks and bring them back to the tenants hall to carry on enjoying the night. The evening buffet was incredible, a very large cheese board and a variety of different pies for guests to indulge in. They catered perfectly to all dietary requirements, we had vegan, vegetarian and guests with nut allergies, nothing was too much for them to do.

Sam Brill was our photographer, he also brought along his friend Alastair to help with the photos, they were the perfect duo to work with. We hate having our photo taken, but these guys made us feel at ease, I felt they were just as much as a part of the wedding as our guests were, they were fantastic. They always seemed to be there to capture the most perfect moments, unexpectedly and almost unnoticeably.

We also hired his Photo Booth which was great, something I would recommend everyone to have! With having the Photo Booth, all the couples, all the friends, families anyone who used it, has got a wonderful photo and memory captured from the day that they can keep forever, whether it’s on their phone or in a frame, the perfect keepsake.

Best part of the day

The best part of the day was of course becoming Mr & Mrs Burgess but both of us agree it was definitely the evening party, everyone had loosened up a bit, tummy’s full, drinks in hand, grins from ear to ear and non-stop dancing. Taking a step back for a moment and looking at all my family and friends having a blast, Ross and I just couldn’t have asked for a better day. We danced all night long til sadly the day came to an end, but it truly was everything we had hoped for and more.

From one couple to another…

My words of wisdom would definitely be to not over complicate things. With the world of social media and influencers, I think its easy to get so caught up in the idea of have the most perfect wedding ever, which of course is what we all want but I think so many weddings lose what an actual wedding is about. It’s about you getting married to the love of your life and having a wedding that represents you both, and the things you like and love the most.

I enjoyed every part of my wedding planning, I had the most amazing help from Louise at Timeless White Weddings. There wasn’t any point I felt stressed about the wedding, and I can honestly say that. I felt that at the end of the day when Saturday 30th October came, I could do no more, the rest was out of my control, no point stressing, enjoy it. As long as we ended the day as Mr & Mrs Burgess the rest is history.

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