Rachel and Darren’s Rustic Woodland Wedding at Aswanley in Aberdeenshire

Aswanley, is a ridiculously gorgeous Victorian barn, with epic highland views, and is surrounded by magical gardens where you can sneak off for a cheeky smooch 😘😘😘. 

Aswanley is brimming with beautiful features, like their gorgeous hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings with rustic wooden beams (just to name a few). It truly is the perfect blank canvas for couples to leave their mark, and style the venue with their own wedding day aesthetic. 

Rachel and Darren envisioned a rustic theme with lots of greenery and wooden touches. Rachel is a DIY QUEEN and created all the decor herself 😲😲😲! Hats off to her because she did an exceptional job creating a rustic woodland wedding🌿. 

From the start Rachel and Darren told me that they wanted to keep their ceremony short and sweet so they could spend the majority of the day partying. And BOY, did they party 🍾🎉!

How the day unfolded

From the moment I arrived, it was clear that this wedding was going to be one helluva party! 

Rumours had it one of the bridesmaids was sipping on prosecco in the hot tub when hair and makeup arrived at 6am. That’s my kinda bestie!

After spending the morning having an absolute blast with her bride squad, Rachel was ready to walk down the aisle and meet Darren to say their I Do’s!!

Their ceremony was short but sweet and included an oathing stone. If you aren’t from around these parts, an oathing stone is a Scottish tradition in which the couple holds a special stone whilst saying their vows. Rachel and Darren held a stone from the fairy pools in Skye, where they got engaged. SIDE NOTE: This is where the phrase “set in stone” comes from.

In true “DLP” style (that’s Danielle Leslie Photography – in case you were wondering 😂😋), group shots were to be made fun and informal so we didn’t do them all at once but rather as the day unfolded. (This is kinda my thang, I hate boring old group shots, so I like to keep things spicy 🌶)

Instead, I sought out moments where I could grab a quick shot in between whatever was going on. It worked out so well for Rachel and Darren – we even had a sweet queue form for pictures with Grandad at one point (what a legend). He became the man of the moment for a wee while which will be a lovely memory for everyone.

Rachel surprised Darren with the hire of a cute campervan for their portraits so we snuck off after the ceremony for some cute pics – #vanlife. Darren was delighted at getting a shot in the driver’s seat! This was a really unexpected surprise and will deffo be something they remember for many years to come!!

All in all, there were relaxed vibes all day so the photography was mega laid back with lots of candid moments and opportunities for guests to have pictures taken. 

My sneaky trick (especially for couples who have a bit of FOMO, and don’t wanna miss out on anything) is to sneak out whilst guests are being seated for their meal!! It was the perfect opportunity to grab a few more epic pics of the newlyweds as the light was unreal and super stunning.

We had a bit of fun on the lawn, with a little walk and of course a wee bit of smooching😘😘😘!

Best parts about working at Aswanley

I was spoilt for choice when it came to beautiful backdrops for Rachel & Darren’s portrait shots – the gorgeous surroundings, both the venue and the landscape, are everything I could ask for in a location.  

Second fave thing – haha that has to be that the bar isn’t far away from the action, so guests are close by for group photos 📸

Dance floor vibes 

As I mentioned, I knew from the get go that this was gonna be one helluva party! 

We started off with a really touching moment as Rachel’s niece sang their first dance song – this was just the sweetest moment ever!! And is certainly a first dance they will never forget!

And of course, we had one of my favourite bands –  The Waterfront Band who delivered again!!! 

The dance floor was filled from the moment they started to play. The lead singer is always so interactive with guests and walks right out into the crowd and encourages the guests to sing along and into the mic, it really is super fun to watch! And the guitarist Megan is always bouncing about and keeps the energy so high!

Trends I loved from this wedding at Aswanley

These two kept it pretty classic, but the one trend that they included was Rachel’s reveal with her bridesmaids. They were all so excited as they spun around to see Rachel in her wedding dress, and you could sense how confident she felt from all the love from her BFFs.

Fun Photos that Rachel and Darren chose to include:

✌️champagne spray – one of the most epic ones I have captured!

✌️cute pics with campervan – who doesn’t love a bit of #vanlife vibes

✌️confetti shot – Rachel and Darren’s guests really delivered!!

✌️epic veil shot – Rachel’s veil was a true show-stopper!!

Rachel and Darren’s Supplier List

Wedding planner/coordinator – Lauren from the Venue

Hair – Michelle Reid

Make Up – Steph Newbury (StephmArtistry)

Videographer – Paper Street Productions

Celebrant – Lesley Yule

Catering – Val Morrison

Cake/Dessert – Food for Thoughts Deli 

Reception drinks musicians – Callum Waddell 

Band/DJ – Waterfront

Stationery – Bride

Rachels ring – Fergus James 

Transport – Deeside Classic Campers – VW 

Florist – Blooming Good Flowers

Dress – Eleganza Sposa dress

Kilt – Mitchell Scott kilt

Ready to become BFFs and book me as your wedding photographer? 

Get in touch here.

Or for more wedding day tips check out my super awesome Free Resources page.


September 15, 2023

Couple sitting in a camper van for their wedding at Aswanley

Aswanley Scotland | Rustic woodland wedding

Danielle Leslie


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Fiona Mutch says:

    Wowzers what a fantastic story re Rachel and Darren’s wedding day.
    So many memories made and I’m delighted to see Rachel with my dad her beautiful grandad💔