Lee and I were looking for a barn style wedding and in our head we imagined a rustic style, old and romantic barn. We were limited for dates and all the old barns we thought we wanted were booked out! Carrick Castle popped up on a search and although it wasn’t an old barn, it was a barn and the scenery looked breath-taking.
We went up for a visit and the drive up was a massive part of the experience in itself with the beautiful Scottish scenery. As we drove up the driveway we looked at each other, both knowing inside we were feeling that wow factor. It was so much more amazing than the photos and I got butterflies in my belly. Hannah showed us around the lodge and we were so impressed by the style and luxury that we didn’t care that the barn was a full working barn with tractors and boats in it. There hadn’t been a wedding at the venue yet but we had a great vision of how we would like the barn to look but more importantly; we were excited to make a weekend of it and use the spa facilities and enjoy the luxury of the lodge with our friends and family.
For us, our wedding was an opportunity to bring all those who we loved together to have a massive celebration of the love we had of each other. Spending time somewhere we could feel at home for a long weekend was exactly what we wanted and exactly what Carrick Castle Estate provided. Along with the barn came the hostess with the mostess Hannah, she really sold the venue to us and knowing that someone so kind and helpful was going to be around on the day made me feel even more at ease.
When it came to my dress, I had a few ideas of the style that I wanted. Something quite fitted and with spaghetti straps. After trying a few shops I went with Bijoux Bridal in Hamilton and the gorgeous West by Hayley Paige. It was such a beautiful dress and made me look like the little mermaid as the whole dress was sequins! On the day the sun shone bright and the dress really glistened. I didn’t want to damage the dress later on during the ceilidh so I bought a £20 long white number from Misguided so I could go on and enjoy the night, not worrying about the dress. I would highly recommend this to any bride out there who plans on having a fun filled night and doesn’t want to ruin their dress.
Lauren at The Loft and her team finished the look off with some tight pin curls on the day. She got the look I was after totally perfect and was a delight to have around, the morning of my wedding. My make up was done by Lisa at Mane Hair and Beauty. I don’t normally wear a lot of make up and Lisa gave me a few trials, constantly showing me the mirror after each stage and listened to how I felt, if it was too much she would tone it down. Lisa was very good at taking instruction and I found it easy to be honest with her. We got the perfect look in the end and my make up still looked natural which is what I wanted.
Lee and I wanted to create quite a classy rustic look for the wedding so went for grey bridesmaid dresses and dark grey kilts for the groomsmen. We got all the kilts from Slanj, some from Edinburgh and some in Glasgow. Lee wore Isle of Sky tartan for his kilt with a green tweed jacket which matched the rustic theme for the wedding.
I was lucky enough to have hired Andrea from Studio A Weddings as a wedding planner to plan and coordinate most of the day. We ended up having a commonwealth games theme because Lee and I met at the Commonwelath Games in Delhi and have been to Glasgow and the Gold Coast together. We had accreditation passes for everyone as their favours. Everyone had a landyard and pass with Access All Areas and their face on it.
The wedding was outside on the front lawn, we stood with our backs to the loch and everyone sat watching the ceremony with the loch and mountains in the background. There was a stretch tent next to us on the front lawn for the drinks reception. This was a perfect distraction for people while Lee and I ventured up the mountain in the tank to take some photos with breathtaking views.
The styling of the barn was beautiful with festoon lighting, coloured up lighters which matched our colour theme and fairy-lights which were added. We decided to go with long banquette tables which were beautifully decorated by Andrea and her team. I must say I could not have done half the job Studio A did for us, we felt so relaxed on the day as we didn’t have to coordinate. Very highly recommended.
My husband Lee made a few of the props such as the arbour and the photo booth. My cousins and nieces made the photo frame for the photo booth with twigs found on the estate. Andrea and her team did a fantastic job jazzing them all up to look stunning on the day.
Sophie from Cosmos Floral did all my bouquets, button holes, corsage, aisle displays and helped Andrea and her team decorate the tables. Sophie did a great job of creating a flower theme that went perfectly with the venue. Rustic, wild and very Scottish.
Our Cake was delicious and was made by Olympic two time silver medallist, Becky James. I am close friends with Becky and she now has a business called Baked by Becks. The cake was a three tier with the bottom White chocolate and raspberry ripple, middle tier was chocolate and salted caramel and the top tier was Carotte cake. Becky made a great job with multicoloured icing matching in the cake with our colour theme and rustic-ness. We had a lot of ‘best cake I’ve every had’ comments floating around the wedding and after.
Mhor did our catering from the canapés to the main meal which was sharing platers of beautiful salads, pulled pork and potatoes. The evening buffet was pies, Mac ‘n’ cheese and chips. There was a lot of food but what do you expect when you have to cater to half a room of ex or current professional athletes?
Scott from Camerashy was great from start to finish. He was extremely professional, the final photos were stunning and all with a friendly and personal touch. As a couple, we met with him on two occasions before the wedding. The first, in order for us to get to know a bit about each other and get an understanding of what would happen on the wedding day. We then met Scott again at the venue for a pre-wedding shoot around a month prior. This allowed us to see how he worked and what he required from us for the photos. It made the whole process more comfortable and allowed things to run smoothly on the day. Scott also got took the opportunity to get to know the venue and start planning his shots in advance. We got everything we wanted but got to maximise our time enjoying the wedding which was credit to Scott. One highlight from the photoshoot was a journey to a location up the hill in an agrocat (think small tank). I think Scott may have enjoyed the drive more than us!
Best part of the day
The whole day from start to finish was absolutely perfect, I loved every minute. If I had to choose one moment it would have to be when I clocked eyes with Lee as I got to the got to the top of the aisle and thought “I am the luckiest woman in the world and cannot wait for the rest of my life”. I guess every bride will have that same feeling. I had a very close friend of mine, Anna who sang a slow version of 500 miles as I walked down the aisle which brought almost everyone to tears, she set the scene perfectly.
From one bride to another…
Take 5 minutes to yourselves when you can. Maybe practise those first few steps of the first dance…
Venue Carrick Castle Estate
Photography Camerashy Photography
Wedding Planner and Venue Stylist Andrea Mickel at Studio A
Stretch Tent Stretch and Tents
Bridal Dress Bijoux Bridal
Make Up Lisa at Mane Hair and Beauty
Hair Lauren at The Loft
Kilts Slanj Kilts
Catering & Bar Monachyle Mhor
Cake Baked by Becks
Flowers Cosmos Floral
Furniture Hire Virginia’s Vintage Hire
Band SHEB via Hireaband
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