Plan­ning for per­fec­tion

The Herald Business - - Venues - Nuala Naughton

PLAN­NING a wed­ding is one of the most com­plex project man­age­ment chal­lenges most peo­ple will face. Some fac­tors are be­yond our con­trol, but the more links in the chain, the greater the chances of some­thing go­ing hor­ri­bly wrong.

A savvy or­gan­iser can close some of the gaps by choos­ing a wed­ding venue which has fa­cil­i­ties for the cer­e­mony it­self, in ad­di­tion to the re­cep­tion, cater­ing and mu­sic ... plus a beau­ti­ful scenic back­drop for the all-im­por­tant pho­to­graphs.

For wed­ding co-or­di­na­tor Jules Leitch, Dry­burgh Abbey Ho­tel ticked all the boxes for her own nup­tials planned for March this year.

Nom­i­nated for a pres­ti­gious in­dus­try award, Jules clearly knows a thing or two about or­gan­is­ing a wed­ding.

The idyllic set­ting of the Dry­burgh Abbey Ho­tel on the banks of the River Tweed, next to the Abbey of the same name, of­fers a choice of large or in­ti­mate rooms for the cer­e­mony it­self, ex­cel­lent cater­ing and re­cep­tion fa­cil­i­ties, stun­ning scenery for the pho­to­graphs and rooms avail­able for the happy cou­ple and their guests.

With sweep­ing views over the river, this lovely Ba­ro­nial Man­sion dates from the mid19th cen­tury, and the nearby Abbey of­fers the most ro­man­tic back­drop for cap­tur­ing those mem­o­rable mo­ments.

For a sum­mer wed­ding, the Dry­burgh can also ar­range a mar­quee to cater for up to 200 guests in the beau­ti­ful his­toric grounds, to pro­vide an al fresco cel­e­bra­tion in a river set­ting.

Vows can also be ex­changed within the grounds of the abbey ru­ins, and for that first spe­cial night to­gether, the bridal suites with four poster beds and beau­ti­ful river views of­fer the per­fect set­ting for be­gin­ning mar­ried life.

The ho­tel it­self has been the choice of many hon­ey­moon­ing cou­ples, in this el­e­gant coun­try re­treat where guests can in­dulge in some ex­cel­lent fish­ing, walk­ing and shoot­ing in the grounds.

Cater­ing at the Dry­burgh is sec­ond to none with sump­tu­ous Scot­tish beef and lamb as well as a de­li­cious seafood se­lec­tion, us­ing fresh lo­cally sourced in­gre­di­ents which in­spire the most de­li­cious com­bi­na­tions for ex­quis­ite din­ing.

The chef will work with you to put to­gether your favourite dishes, or you can choose from mouth-wa­ter­ing culi­nary cre­ations such as home-cured gravad­lax, white crab meat, grape­fruit seg­ments, avo­cado and smooth horse­rad­ish cream dress­ing, for an up­lift­ing, high-en­ergy wed­ding break­fast starter.

In the meatier fayre, check out the supreme of guinea fowl with black pud­ding and baked ap­ple, or go for a meat-free op­tion, such as sweet roasted Romero pep­per with hum­mus, thyme and feta.

For city slick­ers look­ing for a venue which of­fers tra­di­tional sur­round­ings for the cer­e­mony it­self, and a his­toric venue for the re­cep­tion, with cater­ing ar­ranged in-house, the beau­ti­fully re­stored church build­ing of St Andrew’s in the Square, in Glas­gow’s Mer­chant City, is an ob­vi­ous choice.

Boast­ing a his­tor­i­cally ro­man­tic prove­nance, this is where Agnes McLe­hose – who in­spired Rab­bie Burns’ Ae Fond Kiss – chose to be mar­ried in 1776. When still un­der con­struc­tion, it also of­fered pro­tec­tion to Bon­nie Prince Char­lie and his loyal fol­low­ers in 1745.

A key fea­ture of the church, which of­fers an un­usual fram­ing as­pect for pho­to­graphs, cen­tres on the clev­erly-de­signed arches in the por­tico, in­trigu­ingly con­structed to ap­pear un­sup­ported. This was cre­ated by ar­chi­tect Al­lan Dreghorn, work­ing with mas­ter ma­son Mungo Nai­smith, and was based upon the fa­mous St Martin in the Fields in Lon­don.

Within this beau­ti­ful re­fur­bished build­ing is one of the city’s lead­ing events venues, the Cafe Source, run by chef Paul Smith and his wife Jac­qui, who will work with cou­ples to help en­sure their wed­ding plans go smoothly.

Jac­qui can ad­vise cou­ples on menu choice and seat­ing ar­range­ments, and the base­ment restau­rant is a reg­u­lar venue for con­certs and ceilidhs, so she can also speak with author­ity on choices for en­ter­tain­ment and mu­sic.

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