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a portent of spring

March 12, 2010

Tomorrow sees our first wedding of the year. Yes, these days all landed estates have to diversify to survive. Holding weddings was an obvious thing for us to do as a business: there are plenty of people who share the dream of a romantic wedding in a Scottish castle, with kilts, bagpipes and wild dancing into the wee hours. We were married here ourselves, so we know what we’re talking about when we enthuse about it as a venue!

Castle Beastie glimpsed through the trees

Our March ‘happy couple’ are from the States. They are having a small and laid-back gathering which sounds tremendous fun. Generally, we do the behind-the-scenes preparations – which might include anything from setting up tables to sweeping the chapel, fetching buckets for the florist to finding a safety pin for the bride – and then stand back and let the bridal party get on with it. This particular group have very kindly invited us to join them and, not least as they are having two of my favourite local folk musicians to play at the reception, I am keen to accept and am frantically trying to get hold of my babysitter. Although the reception will take place in a wing of our own house, it’s so far from the domestic part that I really cannot leave the children out of earshot in their bedrooms without an adult.

Unusually, the wedding party is starting tomorrow with my husband giving them a tour of the castle and policies. While we do a number of private tours for interest groups every year, I don’t think we’ve ever done one on a wedding day before. There is still just enough snow on the hills to lend a certain grandeur to the setting, although it has all gone from the policies now, leaving everything a little soggy underfoot.

On the whole, though, the thaw is welcome. Snowdrops are nodding prettily on the grass and under the great Douglas firs. Today it is 9 degrees Celsius, as warm as it has been since November. The lochan below the castle is still frozen – that’s three months – but there is a patch of open water on it today where the burn runs into it, and I heard wild ducks on it this morning.

We are just starting to dare to hope that spring might indeed be coming. Perhaps the arrival of our first bride of the year, so early in the wedding season, is a good portent?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2010 10:28 pm


    First wedding couple of the year must be a good sign of spring being on its way. It sounds very nice being invited to the reception and I hope you will have a great time.

    Thank you for all kind comments on my blog. I do appreciate them very much.

    And yes we have created our own cottage on a piece of land once belonging to the paternal side of my family (which has been on the same estate for over 500 years….). I will show more pictures of our cottage and the surroundings.

    Do have a wonderful weekend.

    Your Swedish blog friend

  2. March 13, 2010 12:05 am

    Gorgeous! What a perfect place for a wedding. I hope tomorrow dawns sunny and bright and you have a fantastic day.

  3. dancingbeastie permalink
    March 13, 2010 4:08 pm

    Well, Agneta, you beat us – we have been here for only 400 years, so we are mere arrivistes! 😉

    Rebecca, thank you for your kind comments. The sun is shining, the babysitter is booked and a pair of wild swans arrived on the lochan this morning, doing their courtship dance, so all is looking right with the world.

    Wishing you both a happy weekend.


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