After a romantic proposal in Scotland, these newlyweds enjoyed a magical American castle wedding.

Julie and Paul’s paths crossed unknowingly several times before they met properly in 2020. “We had both been to the same concerts and seemingly stood very close to each other,” says Julie. “We also discovered a photo from 2016, with Paul onstage at UNC Wilmington in North Carolina, and me in the background! Later, a mutual friend recommended Paul’s band, The Hatch Brothers, for a work event I was planning. Although the performance didn’t happen, Paul and I stayed Facebook friends for two years, casually liking each other’s posts."

"In 2020, Paul posted a meme from one of our favourite shows, Parks & Recreation. I messaged him and we bonded over our love of the show. It then became clear we had a lot more in common, so Paul invited me to see his brother perform a few weeks later. The conversation was easy and it was the jumping off point for a beautiful love story.”

Love is in the air

The couple were on a family trip to the Scottish Highlands in October 2023 when Paul proposed. “It was on a day when we had seen dozens of rainbows,” says Julie. “Paul proposed at Eilean Donan Castle, while we were surrounded by all our loved ones.”

Shopping for the dress

After the proposal, Paul had to go back to the US for a band performance at home. “I stayed behind with my mom, aunt and best friend,” says Julie. “After googling just for fun, I stumbled upon the wed2b stores in London and Edinburgh, and visited both shops.”

Julie chose Mateo, a floral lace mermaid by Viva Bride. “It made me feel so beautiful and it fitted me perfectly,” says Julie. “It hardly needed any alterations, just the length and the straps. I loved the buttons, the overall shape and the unique, vintage look. The quality was also amazing. After bringing it home to the US for alterations, I was told several times that the fabric quality was superior to many of the dresses my seamstress had seen in the States. I also bought a veil, which matched perfectly."

An American castle wedding

“After Paul proposed in Scotland, we wished we could go back there to get married,” says Julie. “However, we wanted to get married before spring, so time was limited. We also wanted a good amount of our friends and family to be with us. So, we had an American castle wedding in February 2024 instead. It was at Castle Ladyhawke, a beautiful venue with stunning scenery in Western North Carolina." 

The big day

“I got ready with my bridesmaids, my mom and Paul’s mother,” says Julie. “Although the forecast wasn’t originally for snow, we had several sightings of snow that morning. My father officiated our wedding and my mother walked me down the aisle. We had a ring warming ceremony too and wrote our own vows. Paul's father also performed classical guitar before the ceremony.”

Let’s celebrate!

After the ceremony guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, hot chocolate and coffee while the newlyweds had some photos taken before joining them for dinner. “Our first dance was to ‘Take the World’ by Johnnyswim. We love their music,” says Julie. 

Wintery jewel colours

“The colour theme was beautiful wintery jewel tones,” says Julie. “We asked our guests to match our colours of burgundy, green, navy and black. I also designed all of our signage and our place cards and menus. The wedding cake was a lemon cake with blueberry jam filling. In the evening we had a DJ and Paul's father played classical guitar. Paul and I also sang Elvis’s ‘Can't help Falling in Love’ together.”

The best bits…

“The most memorable moment of the whole day was when Paul and I were alone together, right after getting married, when we had a moment for the two of us.” says Julie. “It was a great chance to just be so excited together.”

My top tips…

“You can never be too organised!” says Julie. “Take the chance to slow down and take it in. It flies by!"

Julie and Paul’s Dream Team 

Photographer: Summer Lambert Photography / The Story Creative

American castle wedding venue: Castle Ladyhawke

Wedding dresses Edinburgh: wed2b

Hair: Waves Boutique Wilson

Makeup: Bella Bridal Artistry

Florist: Ray's Florist & Greenhouse 

Cake: Chef Gabrielle "G" van der Merwe

DJ: Elite Productions

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