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Blending Scottish and South African Traditions into a Wedding

Blending Scottish and South African Traditions into a Wedding

South African and Scottish lesbian couple getting married in Scotland Edinburgh

Christine and Mandy celebrated with a rustic wedding in a castle that blended their Scottish and South African heritages.

Tell us about the proposal.

We were supposed to be going on a Caribbean Cruise, but due to Covid, this got canceled. However, Christine still wanted to surprise Mandy with a surprise getaway (even if it was in Scotland). So she arranged a “date day” for Mandy to cheer her up. We went alpaca trekking then to a “mystery location” for an overnight stay. Christine took Mandy to Culdees Castle Estate. Mandy has a passion for urban exploration, so when we arrived at the glamping site, the first thing we saw was an incredible abandoned castle. It was amazing!

We walked through the absolutely gorgeous castle grounds to the luxury glamping pod, which had a hot tub and a firepit with a stunning view of the castle. Christine told Mandy dinner was booked for 7 pm, so we left the glamping pod to walk to the car; however, the love gates were open to the castle. Mandy asked to walk through these on our way, and we did, but not to the car.

Christine had arranged a decorated gazebo in front of the castle grounds. Fairy lights, photos of us hung up around the walls, candles, a cheeseboard, a bottle of champagne, and two seats in front of a laptop. Christine then played a video on the laptop of all our adventures together. Ending in why she wants to marry Mandy. Then, she got down on one knee and asked Mandy to marry her.

What was the inspiration behind the theme?

Christine has always wanted to get married in a castle, and Mandy loves the rustic theme, so Culdees Castle Estate was the perfect place for us. In October (Autumn), we got engaged and married in October (Autumn), so we wanted to keep that color scheme. The flowers consisted of both our favorite flowers. Mandy – the sunflower and Christine, the Flame Lily (the national flower of Zimbabwe – where Christine is originally from. Our shoes were Black Watch Tartan Dr. Martens (the Munro Hunting tartan) – being on a country estate, it was the appropriate footwear. And the personalized leather jackets were the biggest hit of the day as it was four degrees!!!

Tell us about your wedding day.

The night before, we were on-site in the glamping pods with our immediate family, both mums and dads, and Christine’s sister. Due to it being two brides, four bridesmaids, and two mothers of the brides, it was an early start for hair and make-up at six am!! The morning went by in a flash, and it was nearing ceremony time at two pm very quickly!

Mandy walked down the aisle first, led by her bridesmaids and arm in arm with her dad. Then, once we were at the top of the aisle, Christine came down, led by her bridesmaids and arm in arm with her dad.

The ceremony was held in the castle’s courtyard, which was incredible to be in. Especially after all the hard work that had gone in the previous year. Our ceremony was held by a humanist and was very personalized to us. It was a small intimate wedding with only forty of our closest friends and family. We wrote our own vows and read these out to one another, exchanged our rings (which we made by hand at a jewelry studio in Edinburgh), and both our mums supported us in signing the marriage schedule. We also drank out of the quaich, a traditional Scottish cup, and drinking out of this symbolizes the two of us becoming one. And we drank JC Le Roux, a South African wine, to symbolize Christines African roots.

After the ceremony, we had some photos inside the courtyard. Where Tracey and Rob had built into the foundations an engraved brick that reads “Christine and Mandy, first wedding at Culdees, set in stone” and then on to our family photos.

We had a gazebo erected on the estate’s grounds where our guests could congregate for drinks while the courtyard was turned around into a dining space. Back in the courtyard, our guests sat down, and we did the speeches. All four bridesmaids, the two dads, and both Christine and Mandy said a few words and then toasted to our friends and family. We all had a “Springbok” shot of Amarula and peppermint and a South African drink. Both Christine and Mandy absolutely love a “chippy,” so we made this our wedding meal. Our guests got to choose from smoked sausage, fish, or chicken (all with chips), and absolutely everyone enjoyed the meal.

After the meal, our guests could make their own cocktails, choosing between “The Scottish One” – which was a Bramble, or “The African One” – which was a Hakuna Matata. We had a fire pit and smores to keep guests entertained alongside cocktail making. Once the courtyard was ready, we did our cake cutting and first dance, followed by the father-daughter dance, where we swapped fathers halfway through. After that, we lit some sparklers, and then we danced the night away!


Photography by Del & Jay Jay

Bar Tow Bar
Cake Lick the Bowl Cakes
Catering Strathearn Food Company, McLeans in Muthill 
Celebrant Humanist Society Scotland
Dress Boutique Amy King Bridal, WED2B
Entertainment Connor Sinclair
Engagement Rings Beaverbrooks, Andersons Jewellery
Florist Dainty Pig Designs
Hair Chloe Gregory
Makeup Dale Plews-Toddie
Marquee Party People
Robes Amazon, ASDA
Styling & Venue Culdees Castle Estate
Veil Amy King Bridal
Wedding Party Outfits Ever Pretty
Wedding Rings Summerhall Jewellery School

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