I’m whisking you up to beautiful Scotland today for a modern classic of a wedding in the most beautiful castle.
Please meet Lena and David, who both work in tech companies and who chose Cluny Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland for their early autumn nuptials on 25 September 2021. Cluny Castle is one of our newest recommended venues and if you take a moment to look here, you’ll see why. This magnificent venue provided all the drama and romance required.
Having cancelled their postponed plans for a wedding in Barcelona, Spain, the couple found and planned their day in just over a month. To complement the castle’s inherent beauty, Lena and David chose a timeless and romantic palette of greens and neutral creams and pinks.
Cluny Castle + Follow
“After cancelling our Spanish wedding (which we already had to rearrange once before) we decided to start from scratch and have our wedding in Aberdeenshire, where David is from, where I also lived and where we met and spent a lot of time.”
“We came across Cluny Castle after endless searches and absolutely loved it straight away.”
“It had everything we were looking for – a lovely Chapel for the ceremony, separate areas for the drinks reception (with outdoor and indoor options, weather dependent) and a perfect hall for dinner and dancing.”
“We could see the character and beauty of the castle through the images and actually didn’t have the chance to visit it in person until our wedding weekend came around.”
“It was even better in person and we are so thankful that there was one weekend free so soon after we found it.”
The bride slipped on high, sparkling, strappy heels from Gianvito Rossi.
“They were gifted to me by my older sister, Suzanne.”
The couple kept their day’s styling simple and classic, adding lots and lots of fresh, neutral flowers to complement the castle.
“I really enjoy being inspired by the venue and let that do the talking. Cluny is so beautiful as it is so we wanted the character of the castle to come through and chose flowers that would complement its features. I used Pinterest to collate a floral pin board and sent that to our florist Jill Ritchie at Hay’s Flowers, who beautifully captured what we were after. We wanted something quite neutral in colours and natural to complement the castle and they were absolutely gorgeous.”
“Fiona was absolutely amazing and helped us throughout the planning process which we only had around five weeks for. She was there on the day to ensure everything ran smoothly.”
Lena wore one of her favourite perfumes, Eau Rose from Diptyque, and kept her jewellery simple, wearing pearl and diamond drop earrings gifted by her mum.
“It is such a feminine and fresh scent.”
The bridesmaids wore the palest pink, tie-back gowns from Warehouse, with their own choice of shoes.
“I let my bridesmaid choose their shoes to ensure they would be comfortable. I also wanted them to feel themselves and add their own style to their outfits so they could wear whichever accessories they liked.”
“One of my best friend’s mum made my hair vine by hand. Her company is Inverdon Designs based in Aberdeen.”
Lena’s gown was a strapless, fit and flare gown with a flowing train from Essense of Australia.
“I found wedding dress shopping to be quite stressful in London. After countless visits to boutiques and being rushed around, I was visiting my mum in Aberdeen and went into Perfect Bridal Rooms.”
The girls there were super-helpful, it was a large shop so we felt like we had the time and space to feel comfortable and I picked out my dress after two visits.”
“My advice is to actually not try too many similar dresses on. I tried on so many variation of the same style and it became quite overwhelming trying to choose from such a similar bunch.”
“I knew I wanted a lace dress with buttons down the back and a long train, along with a fit and flare silhouette.”
“My veil was also from Perfect Bridal Rooms. I had tried it on with my dress and it suited it perfectly so an easy choice.”
Lena and David met in 2014 whilst living in Aberdeen.
“After I graduated it was time for us to move to London in 2015. We got engaged in August 2018 whilst in California during a visit to Yosemite National Park.”
“It was a complete surprise; I had no idea that David managed to take the ring to the US with him and he popped the question at 6am whilst we were camping.”
“Because our original wedding was cancelled we had a longer engagement that originally planned – over three years! After the ups and downs we both are over the moon with how everything worked out in the end and we wouldn’t change a thing.”
“Our original wedding was planned for June 2020 in Barcelona. We postponed to August 2021 and eventually cancelled it at the start of August due to the uncertainty around travel and restrictions.”
“We decided to have our wedding in the UK as soon as possible.”
Before the Scottish celebration, Lena and David married in a civil ceremony at Old Marylebone Town Hall earlier in August.
“We had our legal wedding in Marylebone Old Town Hall in August 2021. Since this was already booked to go alongside our original wedding in Spain, we decided to still go ahead with the legal wedding.”
“We used to live right around the corner to the Old Town Hall so the venue and area held a lot of sentiment. It was a wonderful day with family and close friends.”
David’s uncle Rodney officiated the Chapel ceremony and the bride walked in to Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D’, played on the harp by Sophie Askew.
“My dad walked me down the aisle. Ideally, I would have liked both my mum and dad however this was a last-minute change as we realised we wouldn’t all fit.”
“We didn’t tailor our vows. However, something that was very special was having David’s uncle officiate our ceremony and one thing we asked him to include was his own ‘marriage advice’.”
“My sister Suzanne and our friend Jenny did a reading each. We let them pick something themselves. Jenny read ‘How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog’ by Taylor Mali and Suzanne read ‘Marriage’, author unknown.”
“We both had Tiffany & Co wedding rings to go with my engagement ring.”
After the service, the newly-weds had time in the castle’s grounds, enjoying the beautiful views and time with their friends and family.
Chris Henderson‘s timeless photographic style was a perfect fit for the castle celebration.
“Chris was the first and only photographer we looked at. I came across his page on Instagram and we absolutely loved the natural and real style of his photos. He was absolutely fantastic and made us and guests feel completely at ease. 110% would recommend to others.”
As a Scot, it was natural that David wear traditional dress.
“David’s kilt was from McCall’s Highlandwear in Aberdeen.”
The castle’s hall was laid out with long tables for dinner. The food was provided by Thistle Catering.
“Lorraine also did the catering for our small welcome dinner and morning after breakfast. The food was fab!
The cake was a beautifully simple design, adorned with fresh flowers, from Cakes by Kirsty.
“We had three layers: apple and blackberry (our personal favourite, delicious and autumnal for a September wedding), orange and passionfruit for a citrus option, and chocolate as everybody loves chocolate cake.”
“Kirsty sent us a selection of flavours in the post (probably one of the best things to be delivered by Royal Mail!) as she is based up in Aberdeenshire. All the flavours were delicious so it was quite a hard decision.”
Doug at Entertainers Agency arranged musicians and band for the couple’s celebration.
“We didn’t end up having a first dance. We decided not to as the thought of dancing in front of everyone so early in the night didn’t fill us with confidence! We ended up doing a very impromptu ‘first dance’ when the Chilli Pipers came, though.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Enjoy every moment! It might be an obvious one but the day really does go by in a blink of an eye. The great thing is that you’re left with amazing memories and photos to look back on for years to come.”
“Also, don’t sweat the small details. On the day they won’t matter and you won’t even realise they were missing. Think of the bigger picture; what memories do you want to hold on to and what aspects of the day do you want your guests to remember most and prioritise from there. For us, we wanted our guests to have a really good time so we thought through our entertainment and what surprise we could give our guests to ensure a fun party.”
For couples affected by the pandemic, Lena has the following advice.
“At the end of the day, being surrounded by your family and friends and finally being able to get married are the most important things.”
“If you are having to drastically change your plans or are in the process of planning a wedding that you may not have previously envisioned, please rest assured that it will work out in the end and everything happens for a reason. From our personal experience, we couldn’t have been happier to get married in Scotland which was something we had previously ruled out! After it all, we wouldn’t have changed a single thing.”
“And finally, I have followed Love My Dress for the past few years and took plenty of inspiration from the site – so thank you!”
Sending you so many thanks, Lena and David, for sharing your wonderful castle ceremony with us all today. I’m in awe of your planning skills, pulling everything together with such beauty in just a few weeks. Chris Henderson, it’s been a privilege to share your work today; thank you.