When the bride is a fashion buyer, turned bridal boutique owner you just know the dress is going to be epic, and it is my lovelies, it so is. A gorgeous fishtail Ian Stuart gown with stunning appliqué detail and a detachable tulle skirt and matching veil, honestly folks it is just heavenly, and the way Emma Lawson Photography has captured the light shining through it shows it off to perfection. Making this wedding even more dreamy is the fact it was held in a castle, the breathtaking Drumtochty Castle in Scotland to be exact. Think gorgeous glens and a chic woodland theme, with tall centrepieces in the grand reception and the most fabulous of bouquets and buttonholes. Now, are you ready to fall in love with this autumnal wedding as much as I have?

The Wedding

Julia the Bride: On the approach to the Drumtochty Estate, nestled in a misty tree filled Glen in Aberdeenshire, we knew instantly that this setting encapsulated everything we wanted our wedding to be. Relaxed, breathtaking landscape, privacy and on-site accommodation!

Brides Fashion

Having studied fashion design and now owning a bridal shop (this happened after buying my dress), my bridal outfit was super important to me. I was not after a traditional look and in the end fell in love with everything I thought I didn’t want which was a strapless, princess gown by Ian Stuart. After much deliberating in my head and countless sketches, I decided to go for a bespoke design and changed the base dress to a fishtail with a detachable tulle overskirt. The team at The Bridal Collection in Harrogate where a dream to work with and I thank them for all their patience. Having been a shoe buyer, I was after a bridal shoe that again did not fit into the traditional box. 'I am Florence's' geometric block heeled 'Michelle' shoe fitted this bill perfectly and with their extra padded soles kept me ceilidhing until 3.30am! These along with my hair piece by Klaire Van Elton I was lucky enough to get from my own boutique Frances Day Bridal in Southwell, Nottinghamshire. I was really keen to have only familiar faces at the bridal prep which was difficult with it being a destination wedding. With this in mind I made the decision to fly my old hairdresser down from Orkney and without any time for a hair trial she nailed it first time – She just gets me and it was so special having her there in the morning of our wedding. Alex's sister did a smashing job of my makeup.

Grooms Attire

Alex opted for a non traditional tweed suit by Suit Supply paired with Chocolate monk strap shoes from Church's. He finished off his look with a Cameron Tartan tie and Vintage Rolex watch.

The Venue

Drumtochy being an exclusive use venue (with no curfew and an open bar) was perfect. The team there were so accommodating and really took on board what was important to us throughout the day.

Colour Scheme/Decor

I coined our scheme for the day 'Woodland Chic' however was very adamant that we did not have a colour scheme. Alex and I have a very eclectic style and felt strongly that we just had what we liked... and somehow (luckily) it all fitted together nicely. We wanted to create as much as we could for our tables, so had homemade damson (picked from our Nottinghamshire garden) gin as our wedding favours and Alex made 120 chunky wood block napkin holders. For our table plan we bought a rather large vintage frame from the local auctions and had polaroids printed of each guest in table order. All place name settings were hand written by myself.


Isla Duncan did a fabulous job of our flowers after getting the brief that we did not want anything too traditional. We tasked her with creating something dramatic for the centerpieces of our tables and when we first saw the room as a newly married couple, our jaws literally hit the floor! I won't lie, being a bit of a control freak leaving someone in sole charge of such an important aspect of our day was difficult, but that is why we chose Isla – she got us.

The Wedding Party Fashion

Again to avoid being traditional, my 5 bridesmaids wore all completely different dresses in rose gold and soft putty hues. Due to the geographical locations of our maids, the first time I saw them all together was the wedding day, I couldn’t have been happier with how they all looked and merged together. Our page boy (Alex Nephew) completely stole the show in his Cameron Tartan kilt which I made and hand knitted cable vest which my mum made. And the tiny sporran was just to die for! The countless bestmen and groomsmen wore wool blend navy tweed 3 piece suits.


The Ceremony was made extra special as it was conducted by close family friend (and bridesmaids dad) Rev Fraser Penny. My sister who is a professional fiddler played a traditional Orcadian piece of music for Dad and I to walk down the aisle to. She then played a foot stomper to get everyone in the mood while we signed the register – this set the tone of the day perfectly, informal and relaxed. We had 3 readings which we asked our readers to pick themselves so it would be a surprise for us on the day. We were so touched by the poems that they chose including Dr Zeus and Winnie the Pooh.


The 14 year old son of our family friend travelled down from Orkney to pipe for us – you would never have believed that this was his first solo gig! The soundtrack to the ceilidh and dancing was provided by Edinburgh Sounds who we really cannot speak highly enough of.


My amazing mum made our wedding cake.


W H A T. A. T O T A L. B A B E!!! Emma Lawson and her mazeballs team totally nailed it! We were so drawn to Emma's work for feeling so super relaxed and 'un-staged'. On the day her kamikaze kid moves and that amazing leather camera rig had her gliding around the wedding party in true Lara Croft style!


Jo from Bowery Productions productions was a total legend and smiled her way through the whole day. They were so unintrusive and turned the highlights video around in less than 2 weeks!

Final Thoughts

The whole day as cheesy as it sounds was a total dream. Packed full of tradition including the Orcadian Brides Cog (a wooden drinking vessel filled with a hot spirit mixture which is passed around each wedding guest to drink from as a good luck token) which caused some amusement to an Orcadian Grand March (first dance which includes all wedding guests) and specially selected Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin at the bar. The most heartfelt thank you to all that made our wedding day so special. All of this was then followed by the Honeymoon of a lifetime to Bora Bora. Thank you to all at The St. Regis resort who made our stay (complete with Alex breaking his leg) so enjoyable.
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Videographer: Bowrey Productions | Dress Designer: Ian Stuart | Bridal Boutique: The Bridal Collection Harrogate | Earrings: Last Night I Dreamt | Wedding Bands: Michael Levin Jewellers | Bangle: Reiss | Bridal Shoes: I am Florence - Michelle | Shoe Bridal Boutique: Frances Day Bridal | Headpiece: Klaire Van Elton | Venue: Drumtochty Castle | Florist: Isla Duncan Florist | Entertainment: Edinburgh Sounds | Bridesmaid Dresses: Needle & Thread | Coast | Adrianna Papell | Aidan Mattox | Grooms Suit: Suit Supply | Grooms Shoes: Church's

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