One of the most difficult things about planning a wedding in a small (but perfectly formed) country like Scotland can be creating something that stands out from all the rest.
You may have attended dozens of weddings, the details of which can begin to merge into one. However there’s a new entry to the wedding scene offering couples the chance to be as bold and brave as they like when it comes to celebrating their nuptials.
The launch of Wedderlie House, between Duns and Lauder in the Scottish Borders, sees a husband and wife enter the burgeoning world of exclusive use wedding & events venues, by literally putting the flags out!
Originally a Castle dating back to the 12th Century, and with parts of the present eleven bedroom Mansion House dating from the 17th Century, Wedderlie is awash with history. Just one of its notable stories over the centuries is that it was gifted by King Robert the Bruce to his loyal liege, Sir Richard Edgar, in 1327, remaining in the Edgar family for 400 years.
Still oozing with character features, Wedderlie House, set on a private sixty acre estate with multiple outbuildings, including cottages and stables, offers huge potential in the exclusive use marketplace, with demand growing for locations where bridal couples and their guests could all stay together to enjoy wedding celebrations lasting several days.
Having acquired the estate only last year, present owner Jamie Raine-Fraser and his wife Connie had the vision in mind to tap into this new “lifestyle wedding” movement, along with targeting the lucrative staff incentive market.
Their hard work over the past year sees Wedderlie House transformed into a modern and luxurious venue, which still retains its Country Mansion heart. They have created what they believe is one of Scotland’s most exciting new destinations, offering, in Jamie’s words, ‘not just weddings, but life events you will never forget.’
Up to forty four people can be accommodated on the estate, with twenty two sleeping in the eleven, well-appointed bedrooms in the main Mansion House. Included in the accommodation portfolio is a comfortable cottage, sleeping ten, and a two bedroom apartment to be added above the estate’s old stables block which is currently undergoing full refurbishment to become an additional 140 seater wedding venue, complete with its own bar, ceremony room, and dancefloor. With one already cited, a number of cosy cabins, ideal for couples and small families, will be coming soon.
Brides can enjoy a luxurious dressing room in Wedderlie House in which to get ready, then spend their wedding night in the stylish bridal suite with its stunning views out over the surrounding countryside. The House has a modern kitchen with AGA; spacious dining room with bespoke elm table; attractive lounge, and a library complete with its own Honesty Bar.
A large lawned area directly in front of the House is the perfect location in which to stage an impressive firework celebration, or site Fairground Rides. A quirky touch is the Doocot, complete with doves, which can also play their part in any wedding.
Wedderlie is well placed to cater for hen or stag days, with on site activities covering archery, croquet, tennis, and even blindfolded off road driving around the estate for the thrill seekers.
Pricing & hire policy at Wedderlie is deliberately simple, flexible, and straightforward, with an average hire fee of £6500 for up to three days, rising to around £7000 peak season. This includes all accommodation, use of the domestic kitchen, linen and towel hire, use of the grounds & marquee pitches, and use of the converted stables block and apartment. Local suppliers can easily be recommended, but there is no tie in.
Commenting on the launch of Wedderlie House, Jamie said, ‘We are delighted to officially open for bookings here at Wedderlie House. We are extremely excited about what we have on offer here, and can’t wait to start welcoming guests. This is an amazing opportunity for my wife and I to diversify into a second business in a vibrant sector. We fully intend to embrace it, feeling privileged to have acquired what is a very unique property in a superb location, just thirty five miles from the Capital.’
‘We are perfectly placed to capitalise on weddings and events from customers in both Scotland and the North East of England, together with the US and Canada, who are attracted by our history and ambience,’ added Jamie.
To herald their arrival onto what is becoming a competitive exclusive use scene, the couple have come up with a novel idea, which taps into the House and Estate’s long and noble history.
‘The Edgar family had a heraldic crest which would have been flown on a flag above the Castle. One of the first things we did on taking possession of the estate was to site our own flagpole to fly a flag featuring a new Wedderlie House logo, specially designed for us, and based on the initials W and H.’
‘All couples getting married here at Wedderlie can now have their very own specially designed coat of arms, based on their initials, which we will put onto a flag which will be flown for them throughout their entire celebrations. We will also give them this crest as a digital logo which they can use for specially commissioned wedding stationery, thank you notes, place cards, and so on, if they wish. And they can keep the flag as a lasting memento.’
‘It’s not every day you are the Laird and Lady of a place like this, so we want to make it as special as possible, as well as setting the scene for guests who are bound to be impressed by this attention to detail.’
With Wedderlie’s slogan being ‘Your Day, Your Stay, Your Way’, the Frasers want to ensure that bridal couples put their own stamp on the whole experience.
‘All couples booking for this year will be subject to a discount and we have weekends available now from April onwards,’ he finished. ‘Wedderlie is to be enjoyed over several days ideally – come and embrace it to make it a truly memorable event! The sky truly is the limit with a place like this!’
Further details, and to book a tour of the estate, please check out www.wedderliehouse.com