vanessa + chris | oxenfoord castle

Vanessa and Chris were married on 31st October at Rosslyn Chapel and had their reception at Oxenfoord Castle. They got engaged at the ‘Day of the Dead’ festival in Mexico in 2013 and decided to get married on Halloween 2015. Massive thanks to the lovely Maureen du Preez for sharing her photos of the day with us. You can catch Maureen on her website, Facebook and Instagram.

"We discussed waiting longer to get married but we had lost a lot of loved ones over a short period of time and decided we wanted our families to be a part of a big party and celebration of our love. We have always loved Halloween, so we set our sights on planning our Scottish/Gothic Hallowedding."

"The location was perfect for our Gothic theme and the time of year but was still convenient for a lot of our guests, since you felt like you were in the middle of the countryside but you’re only a few miles away from the Edinburgh City Centre."

"The grounds of the chapel & castle are absolutely beautiful; I didn’t think we would get so lucky with the weather at the end of October for perfect photo opportunities in the castle grounds as the light was good for the time of year and with all the tree leaves turning colour the final results were great."

"I knew that the look I truly wanted was Gothic/Victorian with a contemporary edge. My Mum has been involved in the bridal industry for over thirty years so I decided to let her choose my wedding dress for me, Im so glad I did, as she did a fantastic job (as always!) and I felt truly beautiful in a couture fitting, corseted designer dress, all thanks to my mum! She also corseted me in to my dress on the morning of the wedding, surrounded by all my bridesmaids, it was a really special moment for me."

"I loved incorporating my Gothic theme into picking my wedding outfit such as choosing the lace veil, blood red shoes and a Dracula book handbag! I also had a lot of fun accessorising the bridesmaids outfits with gothic details such as black lace veils and cat broaches. I think my favourite ‘detail’ of the day was my mum surprised me and made me a gothic garter with a bit of her own wedding dress sewn on, I loved it!"

"We divided the wedding tasks in the same way we divide our daily everyday tasks utilising our strengths and skills, my husband concentrated on the logistics of the day which left me to concentrate on the aesthetics of the wedding and all of the details."

"We had wonderful ‘date nights’ together spending time choosing the parts that meant the most to us such as the wedding ceremony readings and our first dance song." 

"We had a lot of help in the planning process from our family, my wonderful bridesmaids and some very talented friends. In the end (after all the stress and wine drunk!) it was a lot of fun and all came together beautifully."

"We had a religious ceremony at Rosslyn Chapel, a place that has always been of importance to me. My Dad walked me down the aisle to Vivaldi’s ‘Autumn’, we had two readings: ‘Corinthians 13’ and ‘Love letters to Beatrice’ by Lemony Snickett read beautifully by my bridesmaids and the sermon on love was thoughtfully constructed and read by our Reverend."

"I thought I would be so nervous saying my vows in front of a big crowd, but everyone in the congregation is so warm and welcoming it was just lovely to be surrounded by friends and family and say our vows in front of them."

"I loved our wedding ceremony at Rosslyn Chapel it was just perfect and everything I dreamed it would be."

"Getting our portraits taken together gave us time alone to reflect together on the day so far as a newly married couple straight after the wedding ceremony."

"We had full permission and access to decorate the interior of the castle as we wanted for our Hallowedding and the events co-ordinator was very helpful in the lead up to the wedding day. I loved using ‘wedding planning’ as an excuse to spend any available time with my bridesmaids, family and husband to be!"

"I really enjoyed thinking of different ways to incorporate our Gothic theme in to all the details, such as, taking inspiration for quotes for the website and readings from Gothic literature and we named all the tables after retro horror movies complete with movie postcards."

"We had a really fun and creative guestbook as my friend from Art College is a book binder so she designed us this unique, personalised ‘Day of Dead’ inspired, hand bound book, as a nod to where we had got engaged."

"We also enjoyed the chocolate favour and cake tasting, highly recommend ‘Mary’s Kitchen’ Dundee for making our delicious chocolate skull favours and wedding cake, complete with chocolate skull on top!"

"We envisaged our wedding as being a chance to celebrate our love with everyone who has been there for us both over the years and who we both wanted as a part of your future together. We also thought of ways to incorporate the memory of everyone who unfortunately couldn’t be there with us on the day. "

"I took some time out with my bridesmaids after the meal to freshen up and to have some drinks and chat. I remember the entire day quite clearly and I think it is thanks to taking this time out that stopped me from getting wedding day black out."

"We are now so glad we respected our families’ wishes to have a big wedding day to celebrate our love, at the same time we stayed true to ourselves whilst pulling off an incredible Halloween party."

"I know it is a cliché but enjoy every second of your wedding day because it goes by far too quickly! Ensure you take some quiet time out at some point during the day, even just for ten minutes, because it stops you getting wedding day black out. "

"My main advice would be for when wedding planning gets a bit stressful is to keep having fun ‘date nights’ together and discussing what you both want from the wedding day, but also most importantly, what you both wish from your marriage and future together, because when you get to spend the rest of your lives together and that’s when the real fun starts!"


Venue: Rosslyn Chapel (Ceremony) & Oxenfoord Castle (Reception)

Wedding Dress: Emma Roy of Edinburgh

Band: Franco

Florist: Lambs Florist Dalkeith 

Stationery: Intricate Creations

Hair & Make Up: City Brides

Photographer: Maureen Du Preez Photography (Eric Penoy second shooter)

Cake + Chocolate Wedding Favours: Mary’s Kitchen Dundee

"Maureen and Eric did a fantastic job of capturing our day. It is so hard to pick one photograph as I love them all, but my favourite photograph from the day is us dancing under the moonlight at the end of the evening. A picture speaks a thousand words, and this photo truly sums up the Gothic romance and magic of our Hallowedding."