David and Scarlett’s Scottish-Chinese Wedding at Winton Castle
Described by Guests as ‘Wedding of the Year!’
CREDIT: Tony Marsh Photography
David and Scarlett came up from London for a weekend and looked at a few different wedding venues in Edinburgh and the Lothians. They say that they chose Winton Castle in East Lothian for their late summer wedding because of its blend of ‘grand and intimate’.
This is the story of their Scottish-Chinese wedding told by David and Scarlett in their own words.
“We knew pretty much from the moment we stepped inside that Winton Castle was the perfect venue for us,” says Scarlett. “Our first impression was that it felt like a really homely castle. It had the perfect combination of feeling ‘grand and intimate’ at the same time.
“We loved the open fires and the slight smell of wood smoke, the beautiful lighting and open feel of the Octagon Hall, the interesting alcoves, the splendour of the dining room and the cosy Library. It all just felt right and we left super excited after our first visit!
“Another huge factor was Rae. She was an amazing Weddings Manager! From our first meeting she not only listened to us attentively, but she guided us, which is what we really needed! This made us feel very confident and in safe hands. And that positive first impression did not change over the proceeding months.”
What was the format of your wedding?
“Our wedding was a Scottish-Chinese wedding. David and I wanted to have a fairly traditional Scottish ceremony with rings, kilts and handfasting. We also wanted to incorporate Chinese elements so we had Chinese wedding favour boxes (filled with Chinese snacks), some Chinese decorations and a Chinese poem was read during the ceremony.
“A traditional tea ceremony was held after the wedding breakfast (the timing allowed a quick dress change – from white to red!). This involved us kneeling as a couple in front of both sets of parents and serving them tea while we received words of blessing.
“David and I were then dead set on having a ceilidh so hired a 4-piece band, ‘The Grouse Ceilidh Band, to play for the evening.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic, we sadly had to postpone twice. However, there was an upside. On our first two dates it rained. But on our third and actual wedding date, we had lovely weather which allowed us to have an outdoor ceremony!”
How well did Winton Castle work for your wedding?
“Fantastically well! We really could not have asked for more. Rae was just amazingly attentive and thoughtful and really helped realise our vision. In particular, she did an excellent job of tracking down excellent vegan menus for us and the one we settled on was superb.
“Having postponed the date, Rae ended up being on maternity leave, which did make us a little nervous at first. However, Fay, who covered for her, was also an excellent Weddings Manager. In fact, if it weren’t for Fay we wouldn’t have thought of getting a custom flag made and flown on the castle for the day! So glad we did that!”
Winton’s food, drink, service and overall hospitality?
“The food was amazing. Jo, who Rae found to cater, made the most amazing vegan buffet. She also made vegan canapés and her mushroom arancini was out of this world. David’s uncle (not a vegan by any stretch) couldn’t stop raving about them!
“We also need to mention the table setting for our wedding breakfast, as it blew us away. It was so beautiful.
“Since we booked, Winton had installed a beautiful tree swing which gave us some of our most memorable photos.
“The hospitality was superb throughout the whole day and the operations team were exemplary. In particular, Esther, who was in charge for the day, was such a calming presence, keeping everything going smoothly.
“We also saw her again the morning after where she helped with breakfast. That was a lovely bit of continuity. A very special and personal touch.”
What was the feedback from your guests?
“‘Wedding of the year!’ It was maybe the combo of being the first get-together for many since lockdown, along with everything going so smoothly in such a beautiful venue – every guest seemed to have a wonderful time. It was a day filled with joy!
“Winton Castle is very personal and the service is very considerate. We never felt that we were dealing with people who were only concerned about the bottom line. We always felt they were excited to make our day as special as they could for us.
“Some examples of this are that Fay asked the gardener to cut some flowers for our tables just to add a little more colour; and something that has really stuck with us was when our first postponed date came, we received a hamper through the mail from Winton with a lovely selection of snacks (all vegan!).”
David and Scarlett, now happily married, add: “That speaks to the kind of service we received. Well beyond expectations. We found that really very touching. It made our day when it arrived out of the blue.”
Winton is hosting a Wedding Open Day on Saturday 5th of February 2022 (10am – 4pm). You can see the castle in celebratory splendour, set up for a beautiful wedding. If you pre-register your name will be put into a hat for 2 prizes of bottles of Champagne. You can see more on weddings at Winton on their website.