I first met Linsey and Alan way back in January this year. As they began to describe their plans to wed in the grounds of their home I really felt so much excitement. Their story is one of coincidences and had their house viewing taken a different turn that fateful day they might never have seen Muckle Hoose and fallen so headlong in love with it. So it was only right that the “hoose” that stole their hearts should see these two tie the knot in its very special surroundings.
Why is it so special you might wonder? Well for that you would need to track its history back to the 16th century when it formed the bedroom wing of Deskford Castle. It is packed full of history, original features and genuine homely warmth. Parts of the historic castle stone walls still remain within the garden along with other features which offered Linsey and Alan a chance to create their own day right outside their front door.
My overriding memory of our first meeting was hearing Alan describe how Linsey would leave via the front door of the house, walk along a lantern lined pathway and then through the old gate, down the steps into a sunken walled section of the old castle, watched by family and friends sitting in a viewing gallery. A romantic picture was forming and one which captured my heart.
Alan and Linsey had their day pretty well mapped out in terms of the how and the where and the when. The ceremony would be outside come rain or shine – enter Grant Tent and Event Hire of Elgin who would ensure a canopy protected the happy couple and guests as they took their vows under the shadow of the castle remains.
Then their exit would be through their very beautiful intimate grounds to a drinks reception and then onwards to the “secret” garden upon which a marquee was erected. Just 60 family and friends were expected for a wedding breakfast (created and served by Perfection Catering of Aberdeen) which was very much about good food and wine, good company in a setting which captured the historic setting along with their own personalities.
Purple was colour and with three very different spaces to dress what better way than to have “three reveals”. It was important for me that the ceremony was dressed softly, nothing too harsh, and nothing to distract from the unique surroundings. Linsey and Alan chose simple white covers for the immediate family group dressed with a subtle embroidery organza. Organza is a soft romantic “floaty” fabric ideal for the vows but with just a hint of embroidery through it gives it an almost aged appearance. The viewing gallery remained undressed and also a under a canopy – a choice which really worked perfectly. It was rather like a theatre production. Floral arrangements by Gill Garrow of Archiestown tied the setting back to the gardens beautifully.
The wedding breakfast marquee, being a very plain neutral space could take a stronger finish. Plain white linen and seat covers dressed with Cadbury Purple satin and a touch of diamante. Linsey and Alan really loved the idea of charger plates with dressed coloured napkins – a more luxurious finish to what might otherwise appear a plain table. In the “olden” days wealthy tables were all about precise detail and presentation in the place settings so this was a very fitting and obvious direction to take their tables in. The centrepieces were a fusion of history with old novels (each table name had its own book title), vintage style lanterns, strands of pearls and then authentic antique glass vases filled with very natural flowers by Gill Garrow of Archiestown (photo reproduced by kind permission of). In the same way the gardener would one day have fetched flowers from the garden to dress the “big house”, Gill carefully chose flowers which could have come straight from the borders of Muckle Hoose.
After the wedding breakfast the “party” continued a short distance up the road at the village hall. Here we opted for a very different almost modern look with a fitted purple cover. And then because halls are notorious for “all on/all off” harsh lighting we gave them some ambient uplighters (on hire from D Events) which would give a softer look.
It was a truly special wedding to be a part of for so many reasons. There were so many small elements packed into the day. It was full of so many of my favourite things. Alan and Linsey were a joy to work with, as were all of their “wedding team”. But best of all it truly was “their day, their way”. My favourite kind of wedding.
We now learn that Alan and Linsey have formed their own company offering weddings in this beautiful location. To find out more visit The Secret Garden Wedding Company
Some photos reproduced by kind permission of Mr & Mrs Horberry and Grant Tent and Event Hire.
Highland Occasions by Design,
Banffshire AB37 9DL
Tel: 07976 918185