American wedding with fabulous red wedding dress at Dundas Castle, South Queensferry

I love it when a bride decides to throw tradition out the window and wear the dress of her dreams on her wedding, even if that’s not white. And that’s exactly what Cori did when she married husband Matthew in an eye-catching marvel of a red Vera Wang creation.

Her gorgeous gown suited their grand Dundas Castle wedding perfectly. The couple travelled all the way from America with their friends and family for a traditional Scottish wedding with that not-so-traditional dress.

Read all the details from the bride’s perspective…

We initially planned to elope and just get married on a cliffside in Scotland alone!

When our parents found out, they were unsurprisingly disappointed and asked that we include them. The transition between eloping and getting married in a castle was certainly tough on us!

It was such a big change that we definitely had some small arguments/discussions about it.

Our first priority was finding the venue. We wanted somewhere our family and friends could stay and where no other weddings were taking place at the same time.

Not only was Dundas Castle one of the most beautiful venues we saw, with exclusive use and rooms for all of the people who were coming to our wedding, but the staff made communications from the US effortless.

My mother made a lot of small details that really made the wedding specials. She made personalised woodland animal name-tags with different animals from our home state for each person.

She also made welcome bags with Scottish souvenirs for each guest.

We didn’t really need much extra decor for Dundas Castle! But the remainder of our decorations were all centred around a woodland theme, with ferns and wood centrepieces.

Our theme was mostly centred around my red dress. Because it was so striking, we wanted to make sure the rest of the colours didn’t overwhelm the wedding or overshadow the dress.

The flowers were all muted autumnal shades. It was so beautiful!

From the beginning, I knew I didn’t want a white dress. It was easier because there was much, much less to choose from.

The majority of designers make dresses in white and then some muted colours, like blush, pink, and champagne.

I tried on white dresses (mostly to appease my mother), but none of them felt like me.

I’d seen the ‘Katherine’ dress by Vera Wang many times, but thought it was discontinued since it was nowhere to be found.

I finally booked an appointment at Vera Wang’s flagship store in Manhattan, New York.

She had a model in the basement and, while it was incredibly wrinkled and had obviously been sitting down there untouched for years, I fell in love with it!

All of our family and friends were at Dundas for two full days, so the day before the wedding we had a ceilidh workshop to teach all of our American guests how to do the dances, we played croquet, and we had a big barbecue at the end of the day.

It was so wonderful because many of our friends and family had never met, and it was incredible to have everyone in the same place so far away from home!

We had a humanist ceremony. Neither of us are religious, so it was perfect for us.

Duncan Robertson, our celebrant, helped us create the most amazing, quirky, and individualised ceremony we could have ever imagined. Everyone was laughing and crying the whole time.

We wrote our own vows. Matt is usually very stoic, and I was amazed at how emotional and sentimental his vows were.

He had the whole room laughing and then crying, including me.

Mine were nowhere near as good as his, but they were so fun to write.

We served Moscow Mules and Pimms cups. Between the ceremony and reception, Dalhousie Falconry allowed all of our guests to meet & greet and even fly the birds.

After that, there was an owl that went through and met all of our guests individually!

My dad’s speech was basically a roast of Matt and me, so everyone was laughing hysterically until the end when he got emotional.
For our first dance we chose Once Upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty. It’s a song I have sung since I was a little girl, and it meant a lot to me and my grandmother, who always sang it back to me and danced with me.

The reception was hysterical. We were all terrible dancers and alcohol didn’t help improve that!

The highlight was having all of our closest family and friends together for two full days in a castle!

Venue: Dundas Castle | Photographer: Ryan White Photography | Filmmaker: Cherry Tree Films | Florist: Planet Flowers | Hair: City Brides | Make-up: Emma Motion | Celebrant: Duncan Robertson

Music: Reel Time Band |Entertainment: Dalhousie Falconry | Catering: Prestige Catering | Dress: Vera Wang