Fairy Tale Wedding at Drumtochty Castle (Part 1)

It is difficult to imagine a more magical setting for a wedding than a stunning 19th Century Scottish castle, hidden away in a wild woodland glen, so when we received an invitation from our friends to attend a Drumtochty Castle wedding we were thrilled to accept. 

(The entrance to Drumtochty Castle...erected in the year 1812)

...but first let me set the scene...

A crumbling Gothic pile in Scotland has been restored to its former glory, thanks to the efforts of a local lad of humble origins. Charles Anderson's life story is worthy of a 19th century romance. Born on a small croft in Aberdeen, he was one of six children. He became an apprentice engineer working on oil rigs in the North Sea, but it was inventing a machine that helps to extract crude oil from the ocean floor that made his personal fortune. Having gone from rags to riches, Charles Anderson then went from croft to castle, with the purchase of Drumtochty Castle in 1997. For while the story of Charles is a rise and rise, the exact opposite was true of the 200 year old neo-Gothic castle 30 miles south of Aberdeen. In the course of its decline, it had ruined its four previous owners. When Charles Anderson bought Drumtochty the roof had all but collapsed, the stonework was black with neglect and apparently rats jumped in and out of holes in the walls. Overgrown trees tightly huge the castle. There was no plumbing, central heating or kitchen to speak of. It was hardly the ideal home for Charles' wife and four children.
The first job was almost literally to dig the castle out of the trees, then to give it a good clean. Charles was quoted £100,000 to sandblast the castle but he thought that was too expensive so he hired someone to abseil up and down the castle with a steam cleaner. It took six months but only worked out at about £5,000.
Having cut down the trees Charles planted 50,000 new ones on the 350 acre estate. He also set about removing the miles of rhododendron bushes planted by the original aristocratic owners of the castle.
They had grown out of control and were starving the local wildlife of its natural habitat.  
He then turned over two of his acres to a trout loch, and started to rear red deer. 
Having been first and foremost a family home, the overall feel is quite unlike anything you would find in a National Trust property. 
The property was built for entertaining and therefore Charles decided to rent out the castle for private functions, in particular weddings. Scottish castles have become ultra-chic locations for weddings but it is also a perfect venue for a corporate get-away, team building event or conference as it is both secure and secluded. Drumtochty Castle is a truly unique setting to wow the corporate clients. 
In the tranquil surroundings of the castle, its the perfect place to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle...or as in our case the 120 packing boxes that we have been swamped with since we arrived back in our new (old) home.   

(some of the above details were obtained from Catherine Moye...The Telegraph)

(Note the Piper playing as we entered the castle)

The undeniable romance of Drumtochty is heightened by the prospect of short liveried carriage ride out of the castle gates to the Episopalian church of St. Palladius where the wedding ceremony can be performed. 

But if you prefer the marriage can be held in the reception rooms, in the castle grounds or by the loch. 
Spring, summer, autumn or winter, the castle is captivating at any time of the year. 

This is the rear of the castle...now how stunning is that? 
For obvious reasons I wasn't snapping photos constantly during the day as I want to protect the happy couples privacy, plus I was so busy enjoying myself that I basically forgot! 

So lets head inside shall we and I'll show you around...

After the beautiful wedding ceremony at St. Palladius Church, we returned to the castle to enjoy champagne in the regal reception rooms (or outside on the lawn) whilst the quartet played...and the bride and groom where whisked away to have their photographs taken.

The restoration of the castle is truly amazing... 

The reception room on the morning after the wedding. 
During the wedding reception this room was full of family, friends and guests who had traveled from the four corners of the world. 
It was a very international affair.

After champagne and canapés we entered the magnificent ballroom where tables sparkled with the finest crystal, china and cutlery. We enjoyed a sumptuous banquet, fine wines and the best service all under the expert watchful eye of Ewan Kirkpatrick (General Manager). Nothing went under his radar and he truly is an asset to the smooth running of any event that is held at the castle.

The ballroom can comfortably cater for one hundred and twenty dinner guests. 
I do have photographs of the hall but as you know I don't like to post any photos of people without their permission so you'll have to take my word for it...everyone looked stunning. 

Smaller and more intimate weddings can be held in the elegant dining room. 

Our supper was served in here later in the evening (buffet style) 
Stovies were a huge hit but then they are a very popular Scottish dish. 
(More about them possibly in a future post)

After a beautiful wedding banquet came the wedding speeches and toasts. 
There wasn't a dry eye in the house...

Here's another quick peek around the castle, but I don't think my photos do it justice. 
It is a stunning castle that has been lovingly renovated to a high quality. 
The regal staircase...

The magnificent window on the staircase...

There's a games room for guests to unwind and relax...

There are two sitting rooms...so plenty of room for guests to chat, chill and generally mingle from the main ballroom. 

Now I've set the scene, I feel this post has taken up so much time that I'll split it into two parts...plus it will give me time to edit and collate the rest of the photos. I hope you don't mind ;D

Hey...the suns shining again so my garden calls...

Enjoy your weekend everyone...I hope to see you again soon.