Planning for perfection
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.