A story of fate, love and fairytales:
Anna L. Dingess, a CPA at Arnett Foster Toothman, and Charles D. Scott, the Database Administrator at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, of Charleston wed in an intimate ceremony at Culzean Castle located in Maybole, Scotland on July 12.
The couple has a crazy love story, one that exceeds years and jumps over hurdles. Something similar to what you would read in a Nicholas Sparks novel that dated all the way back to freshman year in high school.
“His family had just moved [to Chapmanville] from Illinois, back when the mining industry was booming,” Anna said. “We were friends all throughout school and college, but we were both always with someone else. As we grew older, our paths kept crossing. When we first decided to try dating, it was a little weird at first. But a couple of months in we discovered that both of us were of Scottish descent. It just seemed like fate.”
Anna says it was the oddities in their relationship that kept convincing them it was meant to be.
Fate was indeed at works during the wedding as well. In a country that is renowned for its unseemly weather (a forecast of rain nearly every day), the wedding day was nothing but sunshine and beautiful skies.
The wedding package — which included a ceremony for two conducted, in what Anna describes as a beautiful garden home, a stay in the castle for two nights, gourmet meals for the entirety of the stay, a piper champagne a wedding cake and a bouquet/boutonniere—only cost 1650 pounds, which estimates to approximately $3,000 in America.
Activities such as horse riding, clay pigeon shooting, fishing and sailing can be arranged for guests of Culzean Castle as well.
Like something out of a storybook, Culzean Castle is approximately 50 miles south of Glasgow and Glasgow International Airport, 17 miles from Glasgow Prestwick Airport, and 100 miles from Edinburgh. Anna described the area as rural but beautiful, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and an old clock tower.
“It was truly like stepping back in time,” Anna said.
The castle stands in nearly 600 acres of Ayrshire’s finest woodland and coastal walks. From the sand dunes at the south end of the park to the rugged rocky shoreline, pitted with rock pools, caves and rock arches, the shore and beaches of sand and shingle stretch all the way to the shore.
“I keep looking back and pinching myself,” Anna said. “It’s just like, ‘Was that really me? Did I really get married at a castle?’”
The couple, who have been together for four years, decided they wanted a destination wedding not long after the engagement.
An idea that proved to be controversial within their families… because the couple wanted to go alone.
“It just makes it a little more romantic, a little more special,” Anna said.
The bride’s parents are Harold C. and Delores J. Dingess of Harts. The groom’s parents are Charles M. Scott of Yulee, Fla. and Phyllis E. Collinsworth of Logan.
“My parents know I’m independent and a little stubborn,” Anna said. “They were a little bummed, but I wouldn’t say they were surprised. I could tell they wanted to be a part of it.”
Chad’s family felt the same way. So they came up with a clever idea, a compromise of sorts.
“We told them we would video the entire ceremony and take lots of pictures,” Anna said. “Then, when we got back, we would have a reception to show the video and Chad and I would walk in right after the video finished like the wedding just happened. They loved the idea.”
A private reception will be held to celebrate their union at Logan Country Club on August 2 at 4 p.m.
(Karissa Blackburn is a reporter for the Logan Banner. She can be reached at 304-784-7329 or on Twitter at @kblackb2)