Everything Old Is New Again at Borthwick Castle

Everything Old Is New Again at Borthwick Castle

Having grown up on the small island of Scalpay in Scotland, recently we were thrilled to be invited to play the harps at a wedding, at the award winning, Borthwick Castle, in North Middleton, Midlothian, Scotland.  We felt like we had arrived home, even if our dwelling was somewhat humbler!  So, imagine our joy at becoming a recommended supplier, the news inspired us to write this blog.  

What is special about Borthwick Castle for your wedding or event?

Borthwick Castle is one of the largest and best-preserved surviving medieval Scottish castles, just twelve miles south-east of Edinburgh.  This majestic 600-year-old castle is steeped in history, which you feel as soon as you approach the tower and beautifully preserved, truly spectacular castle.  We took our small Mark Norris 27 String harps. They were easy to move around the castle and take up and down the majestic spiral stair case which led to the ceremony room. We were also able to amplify the harps through high quality speakers which sounded stunning as guests enjoyed their reception drinks and wedding meal. 

Why is the harp perfect for my castle wedding in Scotland?

Side profile of eos harp and mark Norris 27 string harp used for weddings
Samantha Jones Photography

The harp is a seamless fit with castles because both have a long history that is entwined. Nobility such as Mary Queen of Scots enjoyed the melodious tones of the harp and other historic instruments during their stays in castles throughout their reign. Harps have been depicted and symbolised in tapestries and paintings for centuries.

History has become a modern theme, with TV programmes and films such as “Mary Queen of Scots”, “Outlander”, “Poldark” and “Vikings” making it a popular talking point, and now, an alternative and stylish theme for your wedding.

Why should I get married in a castle?

Castles are the ideal venue for your special wedding day, because they are so romantic, versatile and being steeped in history give your guests that additional ‘wow’ factor. Some castles are not open to the public, so getting married in a private castle can make your wedding not only extraordinary, but very personal. 

Castle wedding venues are popular places to get married as they are known for their opulence and grandeur.  There are many advantages to having a castle wedding such as sweeping staircases, roaring fireplaces and sophisticated décor.  Refurbished castles have all the modern amenities you could possibly want, adding that luxurious touch to your day.

What type of music can I have for my wedding in a Scottish castle?

Traditional and folk songs are great music options to consider for your special day.  They are a perfect fit into every part of your wedding and can be a meaningful addition to your playlist.  Here are the some of the best songs and pieces of music to add that modern and traditional vibe.    


A very fitting piece of music for grand buildings such as a castle, not only because it’s a traditional song, but it has been played by musicians for centuries. In fact, it was arranged for the harp, it has been the number one wedding music choice for a long time and is still recognised by all generations of guests. Legend claims, that King Henry VIII wrote it for one of his lovers, and not only this, it was written for Mary Queen of Scots, the King’s great-niece, who spent her last two weeks of freedom at Borthwick Castle. 

Lavenders Blue

A stunning folk song which has been a staple piece of music in the traditional musicians’ repertoire. It re-gained its popularity when it was used as the theme tune to the new Cinderella film.  These traditional fairy tale like songs are still popular to this day. Sung by Disney princesses, they are brought to life from childhood books. 

Dark Lowers the Night

This piece is a modern Scottish traditional piece written by John MacKay and has been covered by many emerging and well-established folk musicians. It’s the perfect example of traditional music being renewed and evolving for future generations to enjoy.  This beautiful piece is great for your wedding ceremony, or as background music for your guests to enjoy. 

The Deil’s Awa Wi’ The Exciseman

This song is a light and fun sounding piece of music written by the Scottish legend Robert Burns.  This author remains very much a current poet in Scotland and worldwide. He wrote a lament to the Mary Queen of Scots and is famous for the greatest New Year anthem of all time – Auld Lang Syne.  A song sung all round the world after some of the most glorious firework displays and during modern day countdowns. The Deil’s Awa Wi’ the Exciseman is an upbeat, foot tapping tune – great as you walk back down the aisle as the newly married couple and exit the ceremony area. 

Skye Boat Song 

This song has gained popularity through the years because of been covered by well-known artists such as Tom Jones and Rod Stewart.  This has also featured in popular culture such as the opening tune of the TV Series “Outlander”.  The adapted lyrics fit better with the nature of the song and makes it a perfect match for your day. 

Marie’s Wedding 

A beautiful up-tempo traditional tune which originated from Scotland. This reel is perfect either as an instrumental piece on the harps or sung as a duet. A fantastic choice for brides wanting a traditional Scottish vibe during their evening entertainment, or for an alternative first dance. 

We can’t wait for our next wedding, at this extraordinarily romantic castle

If you enjoyed reading our latest blog, then make sure to hit the follow button, and keep up to date with every new post. Keep tuned in for more ideas on the best songs for walking down the aisle, wedding music inspiration, and much, much more.

Adel and Karina 

2 thoughts on “Everything Old Is New Again at Borthwick Castle”

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