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Winton Castle has found informal weddings are becoming increasingly popular as couples choose to break with tradition and opt for a relaxed approach to their big day. This means injecting some un-traditional, creative ideas into your celebration, and breaking a few of the established rules.

The result is often a more personalised wedding with elements that reflect your taste, style and sense of fun.

The case study below tells the story of Val & Kenny’s informal wedding which took place at Winton Castle last August. The newly weds have kindly answered some questions below about their day:

Why did you choose Winton Castle for your wedding?

“We wanted to have a friendly, relaxed wedding with plenty of space for guests to move around in, rather than a formal ceremony and meal,” said Val Gannon.

“The ceremony was held inside as the weather in the morning didn’t permit it to be in the gardens. There was a drinks reception with Prosecco, beer or soft drinks followed by a hog roast BBQ with informal seating inside and outside.

“A ‘Pimp your Prosecco Cocktail Bar’ was set up in the bar in the Octagon Room, and the band Northern Star provided the music for the party in the evening. (Northern Star recently played at the official Queensberry Crossing Opening Party at Hopetoun House!)

“The menu was Bulgarian-themed. The centre piece was a wedding cake made by Flourgirl Cakes from Haddington, with lilac ombre and lace with pearls.

“The food and drinks were outstanding and we received very good comments from all our guests. They all felt that there had been plenty of food and enjoyed the ease with which it was delivered, especially the supper.

“We also had a ‘Bride’s Cog’ drink going round our guests which is an Orkney tradition. Paul gave us access to the kitchen to heat it up.

“Paul did a great job of making sure everything was being attended to and we felt very relaxed with it all.”

What were the most memorable moments?

“The most memorable moments were the children playing outside, the beautiful ceremony and the photos in the gardens, to name just a few.

“The day was all wonderful. Our guests had nothing but praise for the venue and the relaxed atmosphere. They enjoyed being able to use all the different rooms.”

How would you describe Winton’s ambience?

“The ambience was very relaxed, like a family home. It had a very personal feel to it, and the fact that we could go anywhere in the castle and grounds made it very unique.

“Although the bedrooms were so opulent, we never felt that we couldn’t touch things in them.”

Do you have any ideas on how we could improve our hospitality?

“I’m not sure you can improve on perfection…! [However,] It would be nice if a return stay for an anniversary event outside the busy season had been included in the price. And perhaps complimentary Champagne in the bridal suite!”

Winton Castle is worth considering for more informal weddings; the East Lothian castle is a unique blend of grand but informal, impressive but casual, hence their strapline ‘intimacy on a grand scale’.

To break with tradition and create an informal and personalised wedding day, get in touch with the wedding team at Winton Castle or visit the website for more details and inspiration.

Imagery above provided by Darroch Photography.