Beautifully classic wedding at Achnagairn Castle, Inverness

Samantha and Jamie’s wedding is just dreamy: a beautiful, timeless wedding gown, an out-of-this-world ceremony venue, twinkly fairy lights and guests who were up and dancing during dinner… it looks like it was an amazing day for this couple, who planned the whole thing from abroad!

Hear what bride Samantha has to say and take a look at these stunning images captured by Lukas at Catching The Moments Photography…

We had originally chosen to get married in South Africa as that’s where I was born, but it proved difficult for grandparents to fly so we turned our attention to Inverness, where we first met.

Achnagairn Castle was our favourite choice as it combined the character of an old building with far more modern décor than most other venues in the area.

It also had the added benefit that most guests could stay on-site and full hire is for two evenings so we were able to organise a hog roast on the evening before the wedding.

The bridal suite was also a draw as it had plenty of room for myself, four bridesmaids and my mum to get ready.

Sam and Kirstie at the venue were particularly helpful during the planning phase when I was based in Canada.

Trying to find my dress was a challenge “ I tried on over 120! I eventually settled on an Essence of Australia dress from a boutique in Edinburgh.

My sister was with me and I still wasn’t sold on any dress, so she tricked me into having a few glasses of wine before going back to purchase the final one!

My husband and his groomsmen were easy! They were all happy to wear kilts and it was perfect for a Highland wedding.

Jamie decided on tartan trews and tails along with his dad and brother.

Our florist Val Morrison (based in Aberdeenshire) is an incredibly talented lady who we have known for years.

She kindly agreed to do our wedding even though she was also a guest on the day.

Val went over and above the brief and we were both gobsmacked at the results “ she somehow managed to bring to life the exact image I had in my mind for the ballroom on the day.

There wasn’t much need for any other décor as we had so many flowers and the smell in the ballroom was amazing!

We got a little over-excited and booked four acts for our entertainment in the end!

The highlight was The London Essentials who played at our drinks reception and through the meal.

I can’t describe how great they are “ they had the whole room up on their feet between courses, I only wish they would have carried on all night!

We didn’t have a colour scheme for the wedding other than we wanted to keep it simple and modern.

The flowers offered touches of colour and then there was a big focus on lighting with lots of candles and fairylights, including festoon lights across the dance floor in the evening.

Both of our dads are helicopter pilots and they had organised for a Coastguard Helicopter fly past and bow to us which was such a great surprise “ they flew so low, seeing everyone’s reaction on the wedding video was priceless!

Planning the wedding was a challenge because the planning phase we moved from the UK to Canada, then Dubai, so we had a lot of change at once. It made meeting suppliers more difficult but thankfully through Facetime and Skype, we got there in the end!

It’s always a challenge matching what you have in your mind or what you’ve seen on Pinterest or in magazines to your own budget, but there are some things I would definitely warn others not to scrimp on.

Save elsewhere, but make sure you pick a great photographer and videographer!

The feeling you have the day after your wedding is incredible “ it’s nearly the same high as the day itself. It’s very sad when it’s all over!

I didn’t think we would feel any different being married (as we had been together for nearly seven years before we got married) but it brings an even stronger sense of contentment and happiness.

Venue: Achnagairn House | Photographer: Catching the Moments Photography | Videography: The Amber Tree Filmhouse

Dress: Essense of Australia | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Jarlo London | Celebrant: Louise Dunn from Inverness Registration Office

Florist: Val Morrison | Entertainment: The London Essentials + Pianist + The Watershed

Accessories: Headpiece from Jenny Packham + heels by Saint Laurent at Net-A-Porter | Stationery: Ebony Letterpress

Hair: Suzanne McMahon | Make-up: Sam Whitby