Personal DIY castle wedding at Freswick Castle, Caithness

“Try not to let not being able to invite every man and his dog make you feel guilty. It’s your day and if you’ve fallen in love with the venue, try not to stress.”

Wise words from this week’s Real Wedding bride Debbi, who married Stevie in August 2016. It can be difficult to shut out the opinions of others and, while some advice is a welcome thing for most couples, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want for your own day, which is exactly the mantra Debbi and Stevie adopted!

Take a look at this gorge DIY day, filled with personal details and captured by Samantha Lovett Photography

“We’re both from the same small town (Thurso), but we first met 10 years ago at River Island in Edinburgh when I worked there.

He was too terrified to say anything but we bumped into each other five years later in Thurso and he just never left!

I don’t know how I knew, but he’s genuinely not like anyone I ever met before. I was always terrified of commitment, and then I met him and thought ‘I get it now’.

We both knew we wanted to get married close to home and not in a hotel.

We wanted somewhere we could have for an entire weekend and make a real celebration of it. Then we saw Freswick and it was absolutely perfect.

I made most of the stuff we had at the wedding. Stevie helped paint all the pallets and signs. I painted one pallet and put a polaroid camera in place for people to string up selfies with daisy clothes pegs.

When my dad discovered the giant Shasta daisies I wanted may not be in season, he planted 300 seeds at home. Now that’s love!

We opted for a rustic style cake, choosing tiers in lemon with limoncello, chocolate fudge with Baileys, and vanilla and white chocolate.

We’ve actually frozen some for a future anniversary.

I was so nervous about finding the dress. I’m not a big shopper and I was worried I wouldn’t find anything right. I thought from looking at SWD and Pinterest I would go for strapless with clean lines, but I went for straps and lace.

My bridesmaids were my sisters and my two friends Emma and Diane. I didn’t get the opportunity to ask them! When I phoned my little sister she asked, “Does that make me a bridesmaid or a flowergirl?”

The bridal party stayed in the castle the night before the wedding, but I didn’t sleep! In the morning I was buzzing.

Our hairdresser brought out a takeaway from the bakery in Thurso so we had Prosecco and pies at 8am.

We had a humanist ceremony. Stevie was emotional saying our vows and I got a nervous smile and the giggles. It was just pure excitement the whole day.

Instead of a traditional champagne reception, I made three different cocktails and filled old bathtubs with ice, beer and cider for some relaxed pre-dinner drinks.

Our canapes were delicious too: smoked salmon blinis, crostini and Parma ham-wrapped black pudding. Yum!

For our first dance we had With A Girl Like You by The Troggs.

We chose it because after we’d got engaged in the house we had a toast and then realised we didn’t have any more Prosecco or food, so we went to the local shop and it was playing. It was fate.”

Photographer: Samantha Lovett Photography  | Venue: Freswick Castle

Rings: Lava Jewellery Design | Bride’s dress: Wedding Belles | Groom’s outfit: Neil Selbie 

Cake: Mrs Cups | Transport: Dunnett’s | Make-up: Vana Guy Make-up Artist | Catering: DM Catering

Band: Frayed Edges | Stationery: The Papeterie