natural wedding photography
Carlowrie Castle – fairytale castle in Edinburgh
One the best wedding venues in Edinburgh, the Carlowrie Castle, was built in the Scottish Baronial style between 1852 and 1855 on the outskirts of Kirkliston. It belonged to Hutchison family and was home to a famous female explorer and writer, Isobel Wylie Hutchison, who traveled extensively in the Arctic.
What it takes to be a perfect wedding venue? From wedding photographers perspective a great venue has a variety of different spaces and backdrops that can be used for wedding photos – both outdoor and indoor. My favourite indoor spaces have good amount of natural light so I don’t need to use flash too often. And it has to be spacious enough to accommodate all the people so I can move freely. Carlowrie offers 32 acres of beautifully maintained grounds, the orangery is perfect for indoor shots and the new bright marquee is a great addition to this outstanding wedding venue.
As soon as you enter the building you will notice that Carlowrie is not a traditional Scottish Castle. The contemporary interior includes ‘pop’ art on the walls and all rooms are more modern than rooms in a typical castle.
Adjacent to the castle, the orange offers a unique space for a wedding ceremony in the winter, or wedding breakfast room that can accommodate up to 110 guests. The orangery is very bright and is one of my favourite parts of the castle.
floral arrangements were provided by Narcissus and wedding meal was hosted in the Orangery
Carlowrie offers their in-house catering
The Orangery is suitable for a wedding ceremony and a meal
The grounds & walled garden at the Carlowrie Castle
Carlowrie’s 32 acres of grounds are spacious and there is a walled garden too with a small tennis court.The walled garden can host wedding ceremony and drinks reception plus it provides stunning backdrop for wedding photos at the Carlowrie.
The newest addition to the the venue, the marquee, is very modern and spacious. It can accommodate up to 300 guests for a meal and 450 guests for an evening reception.
The castle offers a range of accommodation that can host up to 40 guests. There are two luxury bedrooms, Marshall and Oliver. Marshall is often used as a Bridal Suite and is my preference when comes to bridal preparation photos.
The private suite with 2 double bedrooms is on the ground floor and has private entrance. There is also a separate Gate Lodge with 5 bedrooms and the newest addition to the estate – The Stables, with 6 bedrooms.
Photo locations at Carlowrie
You will be spoilt for choices of wedding photos at the Carlowrie Castle.
Firstly, there is the front of the castle, which provides a beautiful backdrop any time of the year. I like it both in the Summer where the ivy is green, and in the Autumn when it turns red. On sunny days I use this space for the evening shoot. The long driveway is lovely too and a good option on rainy days as trees provide a bit of a shelter.
The castle looks great from the walled garden too and I often come here in the evening for sunset photos. Then there are old walls, gates and doors I often use and a Victorian greenhouse which is great to hide on a bad weather day.
Wedding at Carlowrie Castle – when to get married
The castle is my favourite venue all season round . It is a great venue for winter weddings too when there’s limited amount of light.
I have photographed at least one Carlowrie Castle wedding each season, Autumn is my favourite when the ivy leaves go red. But summer is beautiful too with long day so you can have an evening photoshoot during sunset.
Carlowrie offers good options for a wedding ceremony. You can get married in the garden or in the Orangery. Some couples prefer to have church ceremony elsewhere and travel to the venue for a reception.
Summer wedding at the Carlowrie – beautiful greenery and florals.
Winter wedding at Carlowrie Castle: Danielle & Steven got married in February with a wedding ceremony in the Orangery.
Autumn wedding at the Castle – Kayley & John hosted 2 day celebrations in September. It started with the welcome party on the evening before the wedding. There was a bbq and ceilidh to introduce American guests to Scottish dancing.
Cheryl from Premier Weddings Scotland, was helping with wedding planning and arrangements.
Castle in Kirkliston
Kirkliston was an independent village in the past, but now is a part of the Edinburgh City. Being not far from the Edinburgh Airport, it has a very convenient location for guests travelling by plane. Being only 9 miles from the city centre, the Castle can be easily reached by car or taxi.
Hotels near Carlowrie Castle
The Castle can accommodate up to 40 guests in their rooms and private suites. Being located very close to the airport, there are plenty of hotels near Carlowrie Castle, and a few self catering accommodation options.
Ratho Park Steading – stylish converted stables with a courtyard, can accommodate up to 14 guests.
Orocco Pier – pretty boutique hotel in South Queensferry with beautiful views to the Forth Bridges; Orocco is also known a wedding venue.
Premier Inn , Travelodge and Hilton – hotels located near the Edinburgh Airport
Carlowrie Castle prices
Weddings at Carlowrie take place Monday to Sunday and prices for exclusive use mid-week and off peak start from £4700 . Check venue’s website for full pricing.
Kirkliston – what to do during your stay
So you traveled to Kirkliston and have a few day to explore the area? Edinburgh is only a 35 minute trip by car , there is also bus no 44 that will take you straight to the city.
Other options for day trips around the area include:
– visit South Queensferry with iconic Forth Bridges or Blackness Castle only a short trip away.
– walk around Pentland Hills Regional Park with hills and water reservoirs.
– go to Cramond Beach with a Cramond Island that can be crossed at low tide; don’t forget ot check tide times!