Perhaps I should say why we were in Scotland?
I have not been to many weddings but there are two that stand out as being the most magical and romantic weddings of all. Both were held in Scotland and both held at a castle. And, for both, we felt most honoured to be invited.
The first was for our dear friends B&M. Not only was it held in the rose garden of the castle (it was such beautiful weather) but we also stayed for two nights in the castle itself as guests of the bride and groom.
And it was one of the most fun times that I have ever had at a wedding.
The second one was when we went to Scotland this month. We did not stay at the castle but in a hotel nearby. But it was a short walk to the castle. This was an evening wedding and, by the time we started walking to the castle, it was already dark.
But the castle was lit up and, funnily enough, it is the same castle that I used to see from the motorway when I drove up to see B&M when they were still in business, so it was nice to finally be there, all these years later.
As we entered the castle gate there were braziers to give heat and a warm glow to the surrounding courtyard. Then another gate led to the main courtyard, around which were the buildings of the castle including the chapel (where the wedding service was held) and the Great Hall, where the feast and dancing were to take place.
In the main courtyard was a piper, piping the guests into the castle (like the other wedding) and then the chapel was lit by candles – but many, many candles and a harpist played music whilst we waited for the bride.
The bride looked resplendent and the service was beautiful. The parson, being so tall (as he explained to us later) chose to have the bride and groom facing us with himself placed to one side. It made it really nice because it meant that we saw them clearly and could hear them much better.
The meal in the Great Hall was magnificent. The dancing (especially the Scottish dancing) very good but the thing that will stick in my mind, and, I think, is a testament to the bride, is that the friends all instantly got along. In fact, it seemed, for some of the friends we met, that we had know them for years by the time the wedding was over.
Obviously we knew some from Milan but even those we just met were great. I will never forget the stories of teaching English in Hong Kong which had us rolling around with laughter. And Vanessa (from Zimbabwe) and I were both convinced we had met before!
Smokers congregated outside, as we usually do and, as expected, some of the greatest people end up there (me, obviously, being one of them ).
Yes, we had great fun and the whole affair was truly magical. If you are planning to get married, marrying in a castle in Scotland creates a special atmosphere that can never be forgotten. Of course, the friends also help, so it’s a good idea to get some good ones!