Thirlestane Castle - Real Wedding Story
Thirlestane Castle is a true fairy-tale wedding venue. It features a range of ornately-decorated and rustic spaces within, for up to 100 ceremony and 150 dining guests, as well as extensive grounds backing onto the lush rolling hills of the gorgeous Scottish Borders. The estate can also hold weddings for up to 1000 guests in a marquee. This 16th-century castle is only 25 miles south of Edinburgh, which makes it far easier to reach for far-travelling guests.
This truly is a weekend wedding venue of dreams, not only for its ethereal charm and mesmerising interiors, but for its flexibility in creating bespoke weddings. One of which is Thomas and Kayla’s wedding. The couple journeyed all the way from New York, USA, to the wilds of Scotland to get married in this spectacular property.
Thomas and Kayla had a vision: to tie the knot in a Scottish castle, making the most of every moment and every space to create an unforgettable experience for their 150 guests. They took exclusive use of Thirlestane Castle across two whole days and, with help from their wedding planner and the dedicated castle team, their vision became a reality and so began the tale of their very own dream wedding…
“That first drive up the gravel lane where you get to see the front of the castle is unmatched. We remember it fondly from the first time we visited and watching all of our guests get to experience it was so fun.”
Thomas & Kayla.
To start everything off, Thomas and Kayla welcomed their guests up the grand stone staircase of Thirlestane Castle the night before the wedding, for an activity-filled evening of falconry, archery and Highland Games. Dressed in party attire, sporting late-summer colours and a country vibe, guests had an absolute ball trying their hand at everything on offer set out across the landscaped lawns. This time also enabled them to appreciate the stunning views and explore the many woodland paths across the tree-dotted estate.
Afterwards, Thomas, Kayla and their guests convened in the castle courtyard to enjoy a few speeches followed by live music and grazing platters of authentic locally-sourced Scottish food along with the fresh, mouth-watering catches from a vintage fish and chip van, which arrived down the sweeping drive much to the guests’ delight.
Once tummies were filled, and Champagne glasses needed replenishing, the pre-wedding celebrations moved to the atmospheric vaulted cellar and the stately balconied front of the castle. The band played on into the evening and Thomas, Kayla and their guests continued to savour the summer’s evening, gathered around cosy fire pits and enjoying the company of family and friends. Those closest to the couple stayed in the castle suites whilst other guests were accommodated nearby.
The Wedding Day
On the morning of the wedding the happy couple woke to beautiful views across the castle grounds. Staying at Thirlestane Castle the night before allowed the wedding party plenty of time to relax and prepare for the big day ahead.
Thomas and Kayla opted for the wonderful surroundings of the Rose Garden in which to exchange their wedding vows, with the glorious pink stone castle façade as their backdrop. The bride walked down an aisle framed by trailing ivy and between rows of elegant dark wooden chairs. Their ceremony was a unique and touching scene, incorporating a few Scottish traditions, such as sharing a drink from a quaich and handfasting; a ritual whereby the hands of the couple are wrapped together to represent their commitment to one another and an expression of their love. The celebrant also played the guitar as part of the ceremony, which was another particularly special moment.
Following the nuptials, Thomas and Kayla descended the castle’s stone steps as the new Mr and Mrs Smyth, welcomed by guests as they passed with whoops, cheers and a gorgeous showering of confetti. The adoring couple then popped and poured Champagne into a glorious Champagne tower, and delivered their individual speeches on the terrace. Their guests looked on, everyone shaded from the sun underneath a picturesque stretch tent.
“From day one, Sarah, Monica and team were excited about our vision and encouraged us to get creative with using the various spaces available. During the two days we spent at the castle, the team went above and beyond in ensuring we had everything we needed, that the spaces and parts of the grounds that we used were pristine and that everything was going smoothly.”
Thomas & Kayla.
The wedding breakfast was just as the happy couple envisaged. It was set up across the impressive interlinking castle staterooms – the conjoined Drawing Room and Dining Room - with their 17-century ornately sculptured ceiling, together creating a luxurious and opulent space to comfortably host Thomas and Kayla’s 150 guests. Beautifully-decorated round and refectory tables were adorned with ivory cloths, statement charger plates and low floral arrangements surrounded by a plethora of candles. The party was served a three-course wedding breakfast by a renowned Scottish caterer who made sure every dish was delicious in flavour and presented with style.
After the wedding breakfast, it was time for the celebrations to truly begin. Thomas and Kayla decided on a sperry tent to be set up in Thirlestaine Castle’s Rose Garden for the backdrop to their evening party. The spindle-topped marquee was decorated with strings of festoon lighting and luscious foliage arrangements. The bride and groom had booked musicians who flew in especially for the night, and delivered a wonderful evening of entertainment; their unbeatable energy had every guest on their feet, dancing the night away.
As the end drew near, Mr and Mrs Smyth had one last magical moment to share with their family and friends. As guests created a dazzling archway of sparklers, Thomas and Kayla danced their way through, culminating in a joyful and memorable send-off for the newlyweds and a fabulous finale to their incredible wedding day and celebrations.
Credits: Photographer – Colin Ross and Videography – Lawson Films
Your Own Thirlestane Castle Wedding
A variety of packages is available for weddings large and small; please contact us to discuss your options in more detail with our wedding coordinators.