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Glenapp Castle ~ Press Reviews

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Scottish Wedding Directory (Autumn/Winter 2004)

Easy When You Know How.
A Weekend of Pure Delight was on the menu ...

The Beginning

Angie’s company were working on a project with the merchant bank where Gari worked, and as a result of this they had been friends for about a year. Once the project was finished, Gari had a leaving party and it was then that they realised that their friendship could be something more. One big romance and six years later, they announced their engagement – to the delight of their family and friends!

“It seemed like the natural thing to do but we didn’t set a date as we were unsure about the kind of wedding we wanted,” says Angie.

All this was to change when Angie started to do some internet research, and found a website which happened to have a Scottish Castle feature. She had grown up in Scotland and her family were from the South West, and so this sparked some ideas…

The Planning

“I found the Glenapp Castle website and fell completely in love with the venue,” she confesses.

“We’d decided to have a small wedding so that we could take all of the guests away for the weekend. Everything that was important to us was there – the food and wine, the stunning setting, the intimacy and the personal touch. It just felt right.”

The venue had a few dates left and the couple picked 8 November, being a year and a day after their engagement. This gave them around four months to organise a Scottish wedding from the south of England.

“Organising the wedding in so short a time made most things quite easy as we had to focus and didn’t have time to dither over choices ,” says the bride.

Angie confesses that Graham and Fay Cowan at Glenapp helped them organise most of it, recommending tried and trusted suppliers.

“They were so down to earth and on our wave length,” says Angie.

“We’d had concerns that the castle would be quite formal but when we visited and met Fay and Graham, we knew it would be perfect – after that, everything just fell into place.”

However, there was one aspect that the couple did want to organise themselves. They wanted photography that would reflect their relaxed and informal approach to the day and so narrowed down a choice of award-winning photographers.

Ultimately, Val and Alex Coutts impressed them with both their images and professional and committed approach.

“We met them before the wedding, which meant that they drove three and a half hours to meet us,” affirms Angie.

“This service was second to none, and we’re delighted with the photographs. We’ve got a massive album!”

The couple had made a list of people with whom they wanted to share their special weekend, comprising 36 adults and three children.

“We wanted a traditional ceremony, a beautiful dinner and a band but we didn’t want the stress of a big wedding,” admits the bride.

“We really wanted a small party where our very close family and friends, people with whom we shared our life, could enjoy a short holiday and a wonderful celebration.”

The Wardrobe

Due to the limited time scale, Angie had real problems finding a bridal salon that could offer a dress at such short notice. She then discovered designer Alison Blake, when she found a satin bodice and skirt that she loved; the designer was very relaxed and was confident that they had plenty of time. Being a November wedding, Alison made a chiffon bolero jacket for Angie’s church ceremony.

Then, whilst shoe shopping in Harrods one afternoon, Angie fell in love again with a Caroline Castigliano white fur cloak.

“I had to phone my Mum,” says Angie. “She asked me if I really loved it and I had to say yes – so I bought it, knowing it would have the impact required! It felt amazing.”

All the gents, including Gari, were very keen to wear kilts, hiring them from the Geoffrey (Tailor) Kiltmaker branch in London. When another two of the male guests discovered everyone was wearing a kilt, they left in the morning of the wedding to go to Stranraer and hired two outfits!

“The men loved wearing them,” grins Angie.

On The Day

Angie and Gari hired the castle from the Friday morning to mid-day on Sunday. They called Friday their ‘friends day’ where their companions arrived to meet them from lunch, followed by a day of fun activities before enjoying a sumptuous dinner. Angie and Gari admit that food and wine was a top priority throughout the weekend. Angie had chosen a white colour scheme for the ‘friends day’ and a red colour scheme for the wedding day, liasing with the castle florist, who had received collages of looks that she liked.

“Throughout the two days, the flowers were perfect,” says the bride. The ‘friends night’ holds good memories for the couple.

“We all ended up singing and having such a lovely time,” laughs the bride.

Saturday was the ‘family day’, where Angie’s parents arrived along with the rest of her family, and Gari’s parents and sister. After greeting everyone, the group got to know one another and enjoyed the growing atmosphere.

Admittedly, Angie and Gari did see each other on the wedding morning, but they went their separate ways after breakfast. Graham’s classic car was used to get the bride to the church with her dad. Angie didn’t have any nerves until she alighted at Glenapp Church and realised that this was it. Even then she continued to feel fairly relaxed.

“I hadn’t had to worry about any details – Graham and Fay had taken care of absolutely everything.” She says.

In the small chapel the ceremony itself was a short Church of Scotland service, with hymns and readings. Back at the house, champagne and canapés awaited the excited guests while Val and Alex made the most of the diminishing light outside with the bride and groom.

“Given that it was so small and intimate, everyone was very relaxed and made a real effort to get to know each other,” says the bride.

The meal was a true highlight, with all the guests sitting round the table enjoying each other’s company as well as the gourmet feast laid before them. After some entertaining speeches, a secret firework display fired into action and the guests spilled outside to watch it. The couple had hired Glenapp’s regular band, two musicians with amazing instruments playing everything from classic jazz to Scottish reels.

“They were truly excellent,” says Angie, “the atmosphere was brilliant. There were ushers dancing with mums and aunties, guys dancing with guys, everyone having a whale of a time!”

The couple had paid for the bar for the whole weekend. “The bar bill was double what we’d expected,” laughs Angie, “the champagne has really flowed. Graham and Fay said that we’d broken a record!”

The weekend ended on Sunday, with lots of emotion as the guests bade farewell to Glenapp Castle and the happy couple.

“It was such an amazing, loving weekend,” says Angie.

“There were lots of tears. Especially later, when I read the cards and the guestbook! We’ll never, ever forget it.”

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