Bringing the Scottish outdoors inside at this stunning Achnagairn Castle wedding

There are so many little details to wow you about Caroline and Gary’s beautiful Inverness-shire wedding, which took place in September last year.

Not only did they scent the whole day with gorgeous Penhaligon’s candles and have a spectacular fireworks display at the end of the night, but they also made sure their two-year-old daughter was very much included in their special day.

Hear about this beautiful day from bride Caroline, and see the photos, captured by Chen Sands Photography

“We met in Singapore when both out in Asia working. Our first date was at The Marina Bay Sands Hotel’s cheese and chocolate bar! We stayed out dancing all night and have been inseparable ever since.

Our engagement took place at my 30th birthday celebrations at The Coworth Park Hotel, Ascot. All of my immediate family were there, and Gary surprised me while pretending we were having a family photo.

The wedding was themed around the great Scottish outdoors. Gary is Scottish and from Dundee, so he picked the tartan of the Dundee regiment, Black Watch. That was a good starting point for the styling of our day.

I didn’t want the tartan element to becoming overpowering, so we used it subtly: On ribbons for gifts, on our save the date cards and on my evening shawl.

Both of us love the outdoor life, and Gary has spent a lot of time climbing in the mountains. The overall feel was of a secret forest, which worked beautifully with Achnagairn, using trees and greenery within the decor.

There were birch trees, ferns and eucalyptus formed into garlands and archways.

The whole venue was scented with Pine and Lavender candles in various sizes from Penhaligon’s. Now whenever I smell these scents, I am immediately transported back to our special day.

I love that our confetti was Scottish heather and English lavender, a lovely representation of an English lass and a Scot coming together!

Our stationery matched in beautifully with our theme. The venue was re-created in foil which was then used on the wedding invites and order of service.

Our table plan and names linked in with the outdoorsy, mountain theme; the tables were all named after Scottish mountains.

The top table was Ben Nevis, which was super fun as a few days before the wedding, all of the family successfully climbed this together! In each guest’s welcome pack, we told them a little information about the mountain their table was named after.

My beautiful dress was by Pronovias Atelier; a unique peplum design with button detailing, and a cathedral length skirt which I removed for the dancing.

The fragrance I wore for the ceremony was ‘Artemisa’ by Penhaligon’s, which was the perfume I was wearing the first time we met. We call it the Singapore One!

I also spritzed the scent ‘Gardenia’, also by Penhaligon’s, over my veil, as it’s a traditional white flower bridal fragrance.

All of our flowers were stunning, but I was completely in love with my bouquet. I had longed for Lily of the Valley, not only because of the lovely traditional, nostalgic scent, but because my mum had these in her bridal bouquet.

My florist Amanda made this happen even though they were out of season, and I was so grateful.

The most memorable moments of our day are difficult to choose, but we loved our ceremony. We had a bible reading from my auntie, and a Scottish poem was read by Gary’s cousin.

The Celtic tradition of drinking from the quaich and sharing of tablet involved our parents, and after our vows, we read vows together to our daughter Etta Maria.

All of the delicious food and drink was catered by Achnagairn’s restaurant, Table Manors. It was such a highlight of the day: haggis bon bons, Scottish smoked salmon, braised beef and stovies. No guest could leave without saying they’d had a true taste of Scotland.

Our band, Diego, did a great job teaching first-timers how to ceilidh dance. It was so great to see everyone getting involved and mingling together.

If I could give any advice to nearlywed couples, it would be to take inspiration from the surroundings of your wedding venue, in everything from the colour palette to the local suppliers. It tells such a true story, and guests will appreciate your choices more.”

Venue: Achnagairn Castle and Estate | Photographer: Chen Sands Photography

Dress: Pronovias Atelier | Groom + groomsmens’ outfits: Slaters Menswear | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Ghost

Scenting: Penhaligon’s | Florist: Amanda Call Flowers

Piper: Spud the Piper | Cake: Cake Mamma | Favours: Charbonnel et Walker | Band: Diego

Hair + make-up: Suzanne McMahon: Hair Stylist + Gillian Hoban Make-Up Studio

Thank you gifts: Fortnum & Mason Hampers