A Fairytale Castle Wedding in Scotland: Claire & Karin

A Fairytale Castle Wedding in Scotland: Claire & Karin

Whether you took the high road or the low road to Claire and Karin’s romantic September wedding at Borthwick Castle, Scotland, all roads most definitely led to love. Our real wedding couple come from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean with Claire hailing from Prestwick Scotland and Karin a Washington DC native, but fate brought them together, culminating in a fairytale day celebrating their marriage with 40 friends and family. With styling that felt classic but with a wild side, the vibe of the day fitted well with the rugged landscape and old-world opulence that surrounded them. Beautifully captured by Sandra Von Riekhoff of Divine Day Photography, these photographs are full of joy and inspiration. Take a look below.

Bride in silk dressing gown
Wedding dress hanging up
bride bridal slippers
Jimmy choo bridal heels shoes with peals, diamante and feathers

Claire and Karin met on the set of the TV show Girlfriends in 2003. Claire was the showrunner’s assistant, and Karin was a writer on her first TV job. Coming from completely different parts of the world, they say makes their meeting feel like fate. They say: “After Girlfriends, we stayed friends for a decade, both working on our separate careers. It got the point where hanging out with each other was the only thing that could take the stress away after a busy work week.”

wedding scent bottle of perfume

Café Stella in Silverlake is where they made a pact, that in one year if they were still single they would date. “Weeks later, we had our first kiss at Soho House West Hollywood. We started slow dancing in the dark every night and just enjoying being in love. Willie Nelson’s Have You Ever Seen the Rain quickly became our song.”

bride and mother of the bride
mother of bride fixes tie of groomsman

The pair live in Palm Springs, California, with their dog Domino, but in 2019 Claire had formulated a plan to propose. Claire drove Karin to IPIC Theatre in West Hollywood, where Karin had agreed to speak on a panel for aspiring filmmakers. This was smart because Claire knew Karin would never cancel on aspiring filmmakers. When Claire picked Karin up, Willie Nelson was blasting on the speakers. Inside the movie theatre, the curtain was raised to a screen of Barack Obama and a soundtrack of Etta James’s At Last.

ring bearer or page boy child kid
wedding rings bands on silk or satin pillow
Bridesmaid in sari walks up aisle at wedding ceremony
black bride walks up the aisle
Same sex couple brides women sit together at ceremony

A movie started playing of all the things Karin loves. Then Karin saw her own face on screen, followed by all her loved ones. At the end of the seven-minute film Claire had made about their romance, 20 friends who had hidden in the theatre popped up. Claire proposed and Karin gave the easiest ‘Yes’ of her life. The engagement ring was designed by Claire, and the wedding rings were diamond embedded platinum bands.

Couple hand fasting ceremony with tweed and ribbons
bride couple lights candle at wedding ceremony
same sex couple women at altar looking at celebrant Scottish wedding
Wedding guest passes rings on satin pillow

“With Claire being from Scotland, it felt really special to get married there, at a castle filled with so much history,” says Karin. “Borthwick, outside Edinburgh, felt grand, but intimate and beautiful views. Plus it had accommodation for us and family, so we could just go to sleep once we were done dancing!”

Smiling same-sex couple women at Scottish wedding as guests throw confetti
Same sex couple, women with bagpipe player musician
fun group shot photo at castle wedding

The music for the reception included hits, from Whitney Houston to V.I.C. and everything in between. “Our priority was always that no matter what, it’s the best day of our lives. We easily could’ve just canceled the whole thing and eloped in a court house. We would’ve married each other anywhere. All our guests were people who we loved us. If someone’s going to fly to Scotland for you, that means they really love you.”

Divine Day Photography: Claire & Karin
Smiling same-sex couple - women at Scottish wedding at sunset with veil blowing
Bride and bridesmaid in sari

“Our wedding was intimate but felt huge, it was beautiful, peaceful, and filled with the most love I’ve ever witnessed in my life. The whole thing was out of a dream. It was our perfect combination of classy and wild,” says Karin.

Bride in lace dress with white flowers
Bride in kilt at Scottish wedding
Pillar candles and tables at wedding reception
Wedding table setting with candles and flowers in pink and red
place setting with napkin and card pink and red
table setting with pink and red flowers and napkins at scottish castle wedding
Divine Day Photography: Claire & Karin dessert and flower

Karin wore a crystal embedded Berta gown which was tailored to fit, and Claire wore a custom made traditional Scottish kilt. The diamond tear drop shaped earrings that Karin wore were a gift from Claire before their wedding day.

Same sex couple make entrance at Scottish wedding
wedding cake with flowers
coulpe with wedding cake with flowers

“What made the day really special was truly the feeling that if everything were to disappear but we still had each other, we would’ve been just as happy. Marrying the love of your life will always be the most special thing about the day. Plus seeing families mix, friends dance with aunties, and eating good food!” says Claire.

Couple cheers guests with champagne glass
Bride crying in tears at speeches

Their best advice to other couples is just to focus on your love. “If things get stressful, just remember that none of it really matters! The only thing that matters is love. So push for a wedding day that reflects who you are, because that’s a sure way to feel loved.”

Father of the bride speech at Scottish castle wedding
chairs decorated with Mrs and Mrs signs at wedding reception

Thank you to Claire and Karin for sharing their breathtaking Borthwick Castle wedding with us, and to Sandra Von Riekhoff of Divine Day Photography for providing the beautiful imagery! There are even more photographs to swoon over in the gallery below.

We have even more beautiful UK Real Weddings for you to check out!

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