Christine, a native Texan, and Harry, from Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire, held their American and Scottish wedding at Winton Castle near Edinburgh on September 2nd 2023. Both now live in New York. Their guests converged on Winton for their destination wedding from across the globe – from Scotland, England, the US, France, the Netherlands and Indonesia – and were treated to a long weekend of special celebrations.

They were entertained with a mini Highland Games, dinners, a BBQ and a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony in Winton’s walled garden.

The bride and groom invited their family to provide lots of personal touches, creating a unique destination wedding: from their own Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tartan (Mum-designed, to reflect their ancestry), the presentation of a giant Salmanzar bottle of champagne to settle a bet, and a beautiful wedding cake made by the Groom’s Aunt; to Grandma’s popular shortbread, table numbers from Grandpa’s stamp collection, and a Texas and Scotland flag flying on Winton Castle’s tower.

This is the story of Christine and Harry’s wedding, told by Christine in her own words.

What was it about Winton Castle that captivated you?

“What mattered most to us when considering the wedding venue was the location – we wanted to get married in a city that had a special meaning to one or both of us: the options were Edinburgh (where Harry was from), New York (where we live) or Texas (where I grew up).

“The wedding venue also had to be close to an international airport with good public transportation, and near the sights for our visiting guests.

“Driving up the main entrance and seeing the castle poking out took our breath away – it was such a wonderful welcome!

“We loved the flow of the space at Winton Castle – the movement between reception rooms and use of all the beautiful rooms throughout different parts of the day.

“We liked the location and flexibility, which meant we could get married outside in the beautiful walled garden or inside if there was bad weather. It was so amazing to have ceremony outside in nature!!

“Additionally, the large number of guests who could stay at Winton Castle and across the country houses was wonderful for everyone!”

Christine & Harry at Winton Castle

What form did your wedding weekend take and who was there?

Christine & Harry at Winton Castle

“We stayed at Winton from Thursday to Sunday. On Thursday we had a casual dinner in the dining room for guests staying in the castle and a few families who’d arrived early. On Friday we had Highland Games and a rehearsal dinner – where we pulled in some Texas elements for the bride. Then we had speeches outside next to the Potting Shed and ate a delicious Scottish BBQ.

“Saturday included the wedding ceremony and speeches outdoors, and lots and lots of dances and reels inside! All around the staff made every part of our weekend go off without a hitch – they prepared and moved everything seamlessly!

How was your wedding experience at Winton?

“Winton and Rae were SO AMAZING at helping us incorporate personal touches across the whole weekend.

“We felt happy and grateful. We wanted more time to speak to people, and wished we could be everywhere every second to fully savour each moment.

“Staff (Rae and Tom especially) never stressed or worried about any request no matter how small and even got the groom a printed copy of his speech that was finished 5 minutes before the ceremony. We felt and did fully enjoy every moment – which was made possible by everyone at Winton and the EXPERT wedding planning!”

What will you remember most about your time at Winton?

“Hopefully all of it but there are many small moments we hope to remember including the private moment we had right after the ceremony, in the library, where one of the Winton team, Tom, gave us champagne and shared his best wishes. We took a selfie (our first selfie as husband and wife!!!) and were glowing!

“Following that it was so special seeing everyone’s faces lined up for the confetti wall, with the big red door opening in front of us to the outside and then doing it all over again at the end of the night with sparklers.

“The activities that we did will stay with us; watching all our guests throw the caber and compete in the different challenges for the Highland Games. It was so special for people to get to know each other and we loved seeing everyone get competitive! Our family dog even joined in so much that he fell asleep on the job as ring bearer the next day. And then to enjoy laughing at the loser getting their fruit shoot prize for ‘worst clay shooter’ after our clay shooting session. Even something as simple as playing croquet on the lawn with family and friends provided a great memory.

“It was really special to have Francis come and welcome us to his home, and I got teary eyed saying goodbye to the walled garden and castle on Sunday, jumping out of the cab before finally leaving to give Rae one last hug.

“Finally, the Loch Lomond dance – looking around and seeing all the people we loved singing and celebrating us!”

Christine & Harry at Winton Castle Wedding in Terraced Gardens

What was the feedback from guests?

Christine & Harry at Winton Castle

“Everyone loved our wedding and think we might have convinced a few friends to consider Winton (we would love to come back for another wedding!!!).

“Here are a few quotes from our guests:

“This was the “Best wedding I’ve ever been to including my own” (close family member)!

“Such a beautiful wedding – it was the most grand setting yet felt very intimate and personal” (sound similar to the Winton strapline….?!)

“Please let us come back for a big joint birthday bash one year!”

Who were your amazing suppliers?

  • Caterers – Pinkertons.
  • Photographer – Christine McNally.
  • Videographer – Strangeworx.
  • Wedding Dress – Amsale Kai Dress (from Kleinfelds).
  • Groom’s outfit – Kilt – Braw Kilts (Barclay Ancient Hunting); Jacket – Shilling and Fitz; Sporran – MacGregor and Macduff (Highland Cow); Socks – Nilla.
  • Groom’s Hair – Joes Barber, Court St, Brooklyn; styled himself day of the wedding.
  • Hair & Makeup – Circles bridal & Suzanne Christie & Rachel Spence.
  • Bridesmaid Dresses – eclectic hodge podge, none from the same place!
  • Florist – Adelaide’s Secret Garden.
  • Ceremony, reception and evening band – Corra.
  • Invitation designs and all other designs – Katelyn Lizardi Rodriguez.
  • Cake – Harry’s Aunt – Caroline Humphrey-Adam (in photo).

You can learn more about the weddings options and destination weddings at Winton Castle near Edinburgh, Scotland.

Christine and Harry's Wedding Cake at Winton Castle