A few weekends ago, Chris and I woke with the dawn and dragged our sleepy selves to Waverley station. There we met our friends Matt and Pernille and together we precariously carried our much-needed coffees onto the train, as the doors quickly nipped behind us. The journey to Aberdeen was full of chatting, and nibbling on homemade banana bread, as we watched our metropolis slip behind the hills and ventured out into the country. Pernille and I met last year during our masters’ degree, and it was with great excitement that we traveled up to just outside of Aberdeen to celebrate the nuptials of our wonderful friend Kate, a fellow University of Edinburgh graduate. The wedding ceremony and reception took place at the Mary Culter House Hotel, a lovely estate about 20 minutes outside of Aberdeen and once the stomping ground of the Knights Templar.
We arrived at the hotel with bags full of snacks and hearts giddy with excitement, only made more excitable by immediately running into the groom Bruce and his mammoth smile and excited hugs as we walked through the door. The wedding ceremony was lovely and full of tears, from all of us, and it was with great pride and significance that we watched two incredible humans dedicate their life to each other. Then there were bagpipes and haggis hors d’oeurves, and so began the true Scottish wedding experience we foreigners were all hoping for.
The reception was quintessentially Kate and Bruce and we had a lovely dinner with even lovelier company. Pernille and I did some serious damage to the sweets cart and many a glass of champagne was had, to toast our dear friends partnership and future. By the time the evening rolled around and the rest of our gang arrived, the wedding was in full swing. Despite our friendships being a rather young year or so old, it truly felt like an eccentric family reunion of wonderful humans I wished I was able to see more often. We spent the night on the dance floor, accompanied by a seriously fantastic group of musicians and our own uncontainable giggles, and the evening was spent jiving ourselves silly. There was also a ceilidh spread out throughout the night, which was something all of us were very excited for. We joined in with an abundance of enthusiasm, desperately copying the moves of anyone that happened to be nearby and wearing a kilt. It was an evening of mirth and laughter, of wedding cake and good friends. At the end of the night came the last dance, my favourite of the Scottish wedding traditions, wherein the whole room links arms in a circle around the bride and groom, belting out The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond. It was a really beautiful tradition and there was no denying the energy of the room and the enthusiasm of the guests. The end of the night came all too soon and we dragged our sorry selves and weary feet back to our room to sleep off the ceilidh and champagne.
The next morning we met Matt and Pernille for a full Scottish breakfast, giving out some last minute hugs to the newly married pair before they jetted off on their honeymoon. We chatted over tea and an endless supply of toast before spending some time wandering the grounds. We had a picturesque sit in the substantial and rather medieval library we found tucked away behind the dining room. I love a good library and felt quite at home in the colossal space, happily reading aloud a book of epic poetry nicked from the shelf behind me (to a rather mixed level of enthusiasm from the room).
The train journey home was unfortunately eventful, as some joker decided to pull the emergency break and we were left stranded in Kirkaldy after the train service was forcibly cancelled. Nevertheless, we made it home by one train or another, and spent the rest of the day enjoying the peace and quiet and sniggering over the ridiculously hideous photos that we’d taken throughout the weekend. What can I say, we’re an attractive bunch who love a good goofy face.