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Planning Your Wedding

Over the years Kincardine Castle has been the venue for some magical weddings. However we often get approached by couples who have decided to get married and they need some guidance as to what we can provide.

We have provided this page to try and identify the main issues in order to determine whether Kincardine Castle is a suitable venue for you or not. If it is, then we shall work closely with you to make it the best day of your lives. If not, then it is best to identify this at an early stage rather than waste your time pursuing an impossible dream.

Click here to read some testimonials from previous wedding parties

Here are some things to consider.

Exclusive Use: All our events are on an exclusive use basis. This means that your wedding party will be the only people here and that you have the castle and gardens to yourselves unlike some venues we know where you might easily find that your special day is only one of a few events happening simultaneously. You don’t want that and nor do we.

Wedding Packages: We don’t have wedding packages to offer you as every event is organised specifically around your needs. This means that we don’t force you into paying for something you don’t want. Please don’t think that this will complicate your arrangements – it won’t. We shall work with you to produce the wedding that you want and we can make it all very simple and painless indeed.

Date: As you've probably realised already, you’re going to need to bring together many things on one day and, obviously, all need to be available. So forward planning is essential if you’re to get yourselves, your friends, castle, caterers, and the wedding ceremony together on the same day.

Most weddings tend to take place on Saturdays and there is greater pressure on suitable weekends than on other days of the week. This is especially the case if you’re thinking of Bank Holiday weekends.

Weather: Despite the fact that we live in one of the drier parts of Scotland irrespective of the date we must allow for it to be pouring with rain. In that way we can make sure that people are warm and dry if it does turn out wet. If fortune smiles on us and we get a glorious day then we can always expand outdoors into the gardens. (See section below about gardens.)

Size of party: Many castles are not as big as people expect. We have had enquiries for over 50 bedrooms! Kincardine is bigger than many and yet our accommodation is fairly limited both in the size of our reception rooms and number of bedrooms. Here’s a brief description of the interior spaces.

  • Entrance Hall - with swords and shields on the walls, a broad marble staircase leads up to the:
    • Great Hall - 16' high room, 44' x 21' with oak panelling, timber beamed ceiling, stags heads etc. Three large tall windows look to the south-west; a French window leads onto a balcony and thence downstairs into the garden.
      • Stand-up reception: 100 people
      • Sit-down meal: 56 people
    • Dining Room - entered from the Great Hall - 36' x 19' - this is a lovely room with large family portraits on the walls.
      • Stand-up reception: 60 people
      • Sit-down meal on traditional large mahogany table: 24
      • Sit-down meal on smaller tables: 39 in winter; 42 in summer
    • Drawing Room - entered from the Great Hall - 36' x 19' - this is a very attractive room with 6 windows and lit with crystal chandelier and wall-brackets.
    • Bedroom accommodation: 15 rooms.

Click the map below to view the rooms

Kincardine Castle Layout The Great Hall The Drawing Room The Kitchen The Dining Room The Entrance Hall The Balcony

In planning an event consideration must be given to how the building can be used. Sometimes it is not possible to use every room to its capacity for one event. For example it is not possible to use one room for a reception and then follow immediately afterwards with a sit-down meal in the same place and we would need some time in which to turn things around.

Please note that larger events will require a marquee (see below).

Accommodation: If you want the family to stay at Kincardine before or after the wedding then this is, of course, possible and makes for the greatest possible fun at a special time in your lives. For details of this see our page on House Parties.

The Marriage Service: Do you want to get married in a church or in the castle or even in the garden? Do you want a religious or non-religious ceremony?

Catering: For a reception, with or without a meal, we would tend to use external caterers and the cost and availability needs to be agreed. We would prefer you to use caterers known to us as they are totally familiar with the facilities here and provide food and service of the highest quality.

Partying: Owing to the nature of the building and its fine furnishings and art Kincardine Castle is more suited to occasions where the ambience of this wonderful home is used to best advantage. Therefore a reception and dinner (or wedding breakfast) is something we can do inside whereas a full-blown dance can only really be done within a marquee beside the castle or in the grounds.

Photography Opportunities - A Word about our Gardens: We have extensive gardens, from fine lawns, to wild flower meadows, to formal walled garden, to romantic woodland garden and thought-provoking planetary garden. These are lovely at any time of year but if I had to select a date then they are at their most spectacular from the last weekend in May through to the first half of June.

Probably the most admired feature is our 60 yard long Laburnum Walk seen here at its exuberant best. These gardens afford endless opportunities for photography. More Info...

Fireworks : Our extensive grounds (we have 3,000 acres) means that fireworks are possible. There are still licensing regulations to be followed but a display in front of the castle is a spectacular way to send your guests on their way.

Costs: At this early stage it is not possible to give a firm quotation as I don't have sufficient description as to what is required. Use of Kincardine for even a simple reception requires valuable furniture to be moved as well as a host of other things to organise. I would suggest that you budget for a minimum facility fee of £3,000 + VAT for an event in the house and £1,500 - £2,500 + VAT for an event on the marquee site. Larger, more complex, weddings will involve a great deal of management time and may even require us to bring in professional outside wedding organisers.

To this figure will have to be added all the costs - furniture and equipment hire, flowers, caterers, wines, music, marquees, car park attendant, staff, accommodation etc. We can only begin to put a firm price on events when your plans have become more complete.

What to do now: We hope these notes are a helpful early step towards planning your wedding. All I can add is that the weddings we have had here have been wonderful and romantic occasions. If, after reading this, your plans include Kincardine then please get in touch with an outline plan and we will do what we can to make your wedding arrangements easy for you. A site visit is going to be essential. We know what a lot of work goes into planning a wedding and we will do everything we can to make it the best day of your lives. We look forward to working with you.

Marriage Licence: And finally, please, please, please don’t forget that you will need a Marriage Licence. If you don’t have this vital document then all the rest of the preparations can be perfected but you won’t be legally married.