Sabrina and Alastair's Christmas Castle Wedding at Castle Leslie Estate

Monday, December 14, 2020

Mr + Mrs Duncan
30th December 2019 | Castle Leslie Estate, Glaslough
Instagram: @sabrinaduncan89 | Photos: Sarah Bryden 
Sabrina and Alistair tied the knot in a magical Christmas castle wedding on 30th December 2019. They chose their theme to fit with the venue's festive decor, with flower installations of rich burgundies and deep tones with a touch of pink and lots of fairy lights. The bride wore a gorgeous long sleeve Suzanne Neville gown, paired with a cathedral veil. Sabrina tells us all about the details that made their day so special...

Tell us about your wedding theme...

Our theme was based on the time of year, and the fact we were getting married in a castle. As Castle Leslie was going to have all their amazing Christmas decorations still around the castle and grounds, we worked with that and based much of it around the venue. 

  • Something Old: My Nanny’s engagement ring 
  • Something New: My dress 
  • Something Borrowed: My auntie Dorindas angel attached to my bouquet lent to me by my bridesmaid 
  • Something Blue: My Granda’s blue tie (cutting) in my pocket 

What was your wedding must-have?

Two photographers. One to capture groom's house and one for bride's. We lost Ali's fathers 6 months after we were married, and it means the world now to have photos from that morning to look back on.

What was the most emotional moment of the day? 

Walking down the aisle and seeing everyone turning around and looking at Mummy and I. It made me more emotional with Ali turning around and look at me from the top (which he promised he wouldn’t do!!) 

Any advice for future brides…

Everyone tells you the day flies, and it actually does like you wouldn’t believe. Advice, get ready early, especially makeup and hair, that all you have to do is dress. I was panicking near the end and missed some bits while rushing to get ready. 

Did you make any Wedding DIYs? 

I created candy canes tied with small Thank you note for everyone’s place at the tables, and designed two pre-lit branch trees, with berries and handmade baubles filled with snow and small photos of Ali and I together. 

Tell us about the ceremony...

We had a church wedding, in the church that I was brought up in, christened and confirmed. It is such a beautiful church, especially at that time of year. We had one bible reading (1 Corinthians 13: 4-12) and a poem (“The One”). 

  • Song you walked down the aisle to: Canon in D by clarinet accompanied by piano 
  • Ceremony Songs: Hymns – One more step along the world I go & Love Devine. Songs played by clarinet and piano during signing of the register – Beauty & the Beast, The Rose 
  • Song for walking back up the aisle as a married couple:  Piped out by piper to Highland Cathedral 

Tell us all about the dress… 

I wasn’t actually meant to try this dress on. It was near the end of trying on, and Mummy and Tamsin said would you please try this dress on, and when they lifted it out, my dress was hidden behind it. We all just stopped and stared at it and all agreed this dress had to be tried on, and not the one they originally picked out! It was the first, and last, dress that I came out in and was smiling from ear to ear. It was perfect. Just what I wanted for the castle theme. 

What was your favourite wedding purchase? 

My veil, absolutely LOVED my veil and head piece, which I wish I had got more photos of to be honest, but forgot about it on the day with everything!  

What was your best wedding splurge?

EP Design – they created the most magical room in Castle Leslie, with navy table cloths to match the bridesmaids dress, to fairy light ceiling, to white gloss dance floor, and amazing superior Dior chairs. Well worth it to bring warmth and personal touch to the room. They also created an idea that I had for every other table centre piece to include a vase with pine cones and little lights in it. 

Tell us about the food...

For starter we had sliced Silver Hill Duck Breast with salad, followed by Leek & Potato soup. In between starters and main, we had a mango & passionfruit sorbet. For mains we had a choice of Seared Fillet of Beef or Pan-fried Fillet of Sea Bass for our guests. This was followed by alternative drop of Crème Brulee and Warm Apple & Berry crumble. The food was outstanding! In the evening time, we had bacon butties, chip cones, cocktail sausages and spring rolls. 

Tell us about the cake... 

I met with Helen and we went through some Pinterest ideas and came up with a beautiful design of cake that wasn’t over the top, but had something special. Our cake had 4 tiers, Victoria sponge, lemon, chocolate and then a blank tier. We also had a fruit cake in the kitchen kindly gave to us by Helen as well. On the first tier was plain icing, second tier had a shimmer icing, third tier had glitter and the last tier had ruffles design. The cake had the finishing touches of some beautiful flowers from Ruth as well. I was delighted to see a sneak peak of the cake set up in Castle Leslie on the day when we were on the way down in the car! 

Funniest wedding photograph: My dress at got quite dirty at the bottom with the rain earlier in the day, so there is a photo of my poor bridesmaid down on her hands and knees in the reception room trying to use baby wipes to clean my dress!  

Tell us about your wedding favours...

These were small red and white stipe candy canes, with a printed Thank You note tied to it with navy ribbon. 

Tell us all about the Honeymoon... 

We went to Miami for 4 nights, were we then joined a Celebrity Cruise Edge for 7 days, stopping at Puerto Rico, Tortola and St Maarten. The cruise itself was amazing, and the staff couldn’t do enough for us and treated us like royalty. 

Tell us about your first dance...
Our first dance song was chose by Alastair believe it or not. He heard it on the radio and thought it was perfect. It was Tom Walker, Better half of me. We just went with it for the dance and wing it, which left it more fun and no pressure. 

Venue: Castle Leslie Estate, Glaslough, Co Monaghan

Photographer: Sarah Bryden

Videographer: Ronan McGrade

Stationery:  Love Box Stationery

Flowers:  Flowers by Ruth Hood

Cake:  The Cakery NI

Décor: EP Design

MUA: Esther Prentice

Hair: Haircraft (Avril Plant)

Dress: Suzanne Neville

Veil and headpiece: Deborah K Designs

Shoes: Wish website!  

Bridesmaids dresses:  Laura Jane Stylist

Flower girl dresses: Monsoon  

Suits: Tom Morrows

Page Boy outfits: Next  

Wedding Rings: Mercers Jewellers

Celebrant:  Rossorry Parish Church, Canon Ian Ellis  

Band/DJ: Johnny Brady

Entertainment:  Ionian String Quartet on arrival to reception  

Brew in the Box - tea/coffee + traybakes

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