Festive + family-focused big day at Fingask Castle, Perthshire

One of my favourite parts of my job is getting to hear about other people’s weddings, especially when the emotion and joy comes through in their words and pictures.

Seeing Joanna and Darren’s gorgeous wedding pictures and hearing their story had me smiling throughout. What’s lovelier than a Christmas wedding with a surprise announcement?!

Take a look for yourself as bride, Joanna, shares all from their big day at Fingask Castle, captured by Neil Thomas Douglas.

“We knew we wanted a Christmas wedding as soon as we got engaged, we love the cosy nostalgia of the time of year.

This influenced the rest of our plans and we embraced the festive theme, with Christmas baubles for favours along with our DIY crackers, each with a Christmas scratch card inside.

We kept everything warm and wintery with deep reds, purples, navy and tartan here and there.

We both have huge families so it was never going to be an intimate wedding. Our families mean a lot to both of us and this influenced wedding, it ruled out some venues and meant it would have to be a big family affair.

As soon as we drove up the winding driveway to Fingask Castle we felt we were entering another world. It felt historic and quite quirky which we loved. It just felt like the perfect setting for a winter wedding.

The roaring fire of the ceremony room and twinkling lights at the Pavillion sold it for us, not to mention the 30ft Christmas tree in the middle of the staircase.

We booked it right away as they had an opening for the December of the same year which left 10 months to plan our big day.

During his grooms speech, Darren announced our news that we were expecting our first child which got a wonderful reaction.

I was a bit cheeky and hadn’t even told my bridesmaids and hid the fact I was 14 weeks pregnant from everyone apart from our parents and siblings until the speech.

For our last dance, instead of Loch Lomond, we kept the Christmas theme and went with the Pogues’ Fairytale of New York. Leon Bridges River was our first dance.

We also fully encouraged Christmas songs to be played which inspired a few Mariah Carey wannabes!

We had an amazing moon photo booth which was handmade by Darren’s friend and was very beautiful as well as fun for our guests, and we also had our good friend Davey Horne play piano and sing for our ceremony which was incredible.

His version of our ceremony songs gave everyone goosebumps and was one of our favourite parts of the day.

We could probably have done with being a bit more organised in the lead up to the day to make the preparations a little easier, but we did decide to plan it within a year and in December!

We didn’t factor in the effect icy roads would have on not just the day itself, but the preparations.

Married life feels like it always did, it’s strange how normal it feels.

We became parents very quickly after the wedding; this brought us even closer and it is so special our daughter, Margot, could be with us on our wedding day.

We can show her the video where we announced her birth – I still haven’t been able to watch this part without crying yet.


We met in November 2015 and it was love at first sight, we moved in together after a couple of months, got engaged at Christmas 2016, married December 2017 and had our daughter in July 2018.

As they say… when you know, you know. Why waste any time?


Venue: Fingask Castle | Photographer: Neil Thomas Douglas | Videographer: Chris Kelly Films 

Bride’s dress: Sassi Holford at Anne Priscilla, Glasgow  | Bridesmaid dresses: ASOS

Groom’s outfit: Noose and Monkey Groomsmen outfits: Slaters

| Celebrant: Dorothy Nowak | Cake: The Bonnach Bakery 

Florist: Linda at The Flower Pavilion | Entertainment: Pin Up Nights 

Stationery: Papier | Hair: Alison Stewart Hairdressing | Make-up: Natalie Ryan Makeup