A Christmas Wedding at Winton Castle
For this happy couple, Winton Castle, was the perfect place for their Christmas Wedding! Lee-Anne and Mark Hannan were married at the grand East Lothian property just outside Edinburgh on 3 December 2016. The events team sat down with the pair to ask a few questions about their big day.
Why did you choose Winton for your wedding?
“We chose Winton Castle for our wedding because of its beauty, its setting and its overall warmth. The Castle itself is stunning, and we liked the idea of getting married in a Castle.
“We required a lot of space as we knew we would have a relatively high number of guests. We particularly liked the exclusive use of the whole Castle, which meant that our guests were free to roam through the five reception rooms and not be confined to one room, as is the case at a lot of weddings we have been to.
“We are both very family-orientated, so the fact that the family who own Winton actually live there and make use of the Castle as their home is what sold it to us.
“The family and staff were also flexible about how we used the different rooms within the Castle – when I heard I could bring my own Christmas trees, I was hooked!”
Where did your guests travel from?
“We had guests from all over. My father and step-mother live in Spain, so they travelled across for the wedding. We also had family from Oxford, Dundee and Greenock, as well as friends from London and Inverness.”
What was the format for your wedding?
“We had a Christmas-themed wedding and the Castle was decorated beautifully for our arrival. We were invited to use our own decorations too, which was fantastic. It meant my husband and I were able to get married in front of our family Christmas tree with our two boys by our side, which meant the world to me.
“The staff were more than happy to help us put up Christmas trees and various other decorations!
“The format was completely relaxed, although I was slightly stressed on arrival on the Friday, but was instantly put at ease when I saw that it was ‘all hands on deck’. This was wonderful and really calmed me down!”
What comments do you have on Winton’s hospitality?
“We cannot thank Winton enough for their hospitality. Nothing was too much trouble, even during the planning days on the run up to the wedding itself.
“On arrival for our wedding weekend, the staff were tremendously helpful and very accommodating to numerous requests from us. Whether it was storing my mother’s homemade mincemeat pies in the kitchen, to making sure all the LED candles were ‘lit’ before the guests arrived (there were a lot of candles!).
“The General Manager also decorated the house for Christmas. I was told he had gone above and beyond in terms of the scale of decorations because we were having a Christmas-themed wedding. This was lovely and added to the festive feeling we hoped to create.”
What was the feedback from guests?
“The feedback from our guests has been astonishing! So many people have complimented us on our choice of venue, and the effort that went into making sure the day went smoothly.
“The fireworks were particularly memorable, and a number of guests have since said they had never experienced fireworks at a wedding before.
“The entire day went completely to plan, and actually exceeded our expectations – it was better than we had imagined it would be!”
How would you describe Winton’s ambience?
“The ambience at Winton is what sold the house to us as a venue for our wedding. We were made to feel so comfortable; in fact, after the wedding was over, we felt like we lived there.
“What set it aside from the alternative venue was the warmth you experience when you walk through the door, and that is not just from the beautiful fires which are lit throughout the house. It comes from the friendly, polite staff, and from the beautiful decorations and paintings. In particular, it comes from the fact the family live there.
“While the other venue is beautiful, we noticed that it felt empty and quite cold – we couldn’t relate to it. Winton is definitely more personable.”
Do you have any ideas or suggestions on how Winton could improve their hospitality?
“I have absolutely no suggestions on how Winton could improve their hospitality and customer service as I don’t have a single complaint. James, Rae and all the staff delivered a first-class service for us and we couldn’t have been happier.”
You can see more on weddings at Winton Castle, including their special winter rates here
Thanks to Julie Tinton Photography for her excellent photos.