THROUGH THE SEASONS

Elsick House is a truly special place to be throughout the year.   The house and private grounds surrounding the country house look sensational in all seasons.  From the beautiful borders in June providing a colour explosion and striking backdrop for photos as seen at Michelle & Tom’s – Summer Wedding and Abbie & Neil’s – Summer Wedding to the Beech Hedgerow lining the drive that transform into auburn hues over Winter (Nina & Iain’s – Winter Wedding), be ready to fall in love.

I sat down with our House Manager Alison (while she skilfully prepared our House Keeper’s 60th Birthday Party meal in the Elsick House country kitchen) to get her take on Weddings and to understand how each season offers new opportunities.

Photo Credit: The Gibsons Photography

 

Spring means Daffodils (lots of them), Bouncing Rabbits and a Birdsong Explosion

Spring at Elsick House is Daffodils (lots of them), Bouncing Rabbits and a Birdsong Explosion. With Elsick Farms based on the wider Elsick Estate, the background hum of birds, bees and new life is punctured by moo-ing calves enjoying the spring pastures.   Spring brings the Marquee back to the walled garden after its winter hibernation.  In addition, the pond at the front of the house comes back to life, framed by beautiful lush grass and tall ancient trees creating a beautiful spot for photos over the bridge.

 

Summer Sunshine

Following the beauty of spring, summer delivers beautiful borders, a blooming pergola, summerhouse cocktails and a sun drenched marquee. Although not guaranteed, summer provides more opportunity for outdoor weddings. We were extremely lucky in 2018 with the wonderful summer – we do hope to achieve many more in 2019!

As you will be aware, we cannot control the weather but we do give it every opportunity. You can decide on the morning of your wedding if you want to be married in the marquee (for weddings greater than 50) or if you want to be married outside. The marquee is set up in two halves with windows the full length so that your guests can enjoy the magnificent walled garden and rose pergola while they wait for you to walk down the aisle. The marquee is a lovely bright space, south facing and offers a complete blank canvass for you to personalise.

Marquee-Garden-House
Marquee Weddings

Our typical hire package involves a 3 night weekend (Friday to Monday) stay.  We can however, offer weekday hire, venue only and a 2 night option depending on availability. If you have any specific requirements, get in touch via email at house@elsick.co.uk.

As Elsick House is an exclusive use venue, the whole house and grounds are yours for the duration of your stay. It is your home for the full hire period which means you have the opportunity to arrange a summer BBQ with your friends the day after the wedding, hog roast, lawn games or perhaps hire in a hot tub and watch the stars in the sky with your bridesmaids the night before the wedding, sipping champagne reminiscing about old times. You can chose for your wedding party preparations to start in the drawing room with family and friends or have your make-up artist and hairdresser visit your king size room with your bridesmaids. We want you to feel right at home at Elsick! We have some lovely examples of the Marquee in summer here.

Apricot Tree – Anne and Pierre

Hayley Fraser Photography – Stephanie and Matt

Photo Credit: Hayley Fraser Photography

 

Autumn brings changing colours and conkers a-plenty

Autumn is a magical time with changing colours and conkers a-plenty. As the air turns cooler, leaves turn and fall from the tall trees, bronzed beech borders transform the drive, birds arrive and others make their journey to warmer climes – the garden is rich with berries, seeds and conkers. As the evenings draw in, there’s no need to retreat to the house just yet. In the evening, the house and garden is lit up to ensure you and your guests can enjoy the garden into the early hours.

Photo Credit: Blue Sky Photography

As mentioned previously, we can set up hot tubs on our new patio – just a hop, skip and a jump from the kitchen fridge, the Champagne can be topped up without getting too cold! While the weather may be too chilly for an outdoor wedding at this time of year, Elsick House can accommodate smaller house weddings for up to 50 guests where you can choose to be married in our reception hall like Angie & Jim’s – House Wedding or in the drawing room. If your numbers exceed this, our marquee is still available until October and can accommodate up to 250 guests. See Louise & Peter’s – Marquee Wedding for some ideas.

 

Winter Wonderland and that Festive Feels

Last but not least is winter at Elsick House and the festive feelings this time of year brings. The open fire in the drawing room is a perfect place to gather around with the family the night before the wedding. The drawing room can also be set up for an intimate formal meal the night before if you choose or alternatively order in a pizza for a relaxed informal night. This is always a great opportunity for the wedding party to meet, relax and settle in to the house for the weekend.

The house can be dressed in any way you like and rooms can be flexible to suit your numbers and room pairings. The fireplaces in the dining room, drawing room, study and bedrooms can be beautifully framed to create a real focal point for your winter wonderland. In 2017 Robin’s Egg transformed the house for Nina and Iain’s wedding.

With the dark nights we offer the opportunity to light up the house, creating a stunning atmospheric backdrop for photos and impressive statement for evening guests arriving. Winter weddings at Elsick House are considered off season therefore are available at a lower cost when compared with summer weddings. Since the marquee is not available from November to March, Elsick House can accommodate only House weddings during this time.

 

So, what season are you?

We hope this has given you lots of food for thought. Be sure to click on the links above to see some beautiful examples of real weddings at Elsick House.

Keep up to date with news and special offers by following us on Facebook @elsickhouseofficial and on Instagram @elsickhouse. Current availability to book a wedding at any time of year can be viewed on our website

WINTER WEEKENDS AT ELSICK HOUSE

Elsick House is located just 8 miles south of Aberdeen in Cammachmore, meaning the joys of the Aberdeen’s Winter Festival are just a few minutes away.

Visit Scotland have pulled together a wonderful list of events planned for 2018 on their website – it’s getting us feeling all festive!  Some of their suggestions include;

– Follow a parade of bands, festive characters and floats down Union Street and cheer as one by one the lights are turned on at the Christmas Lights Switch On Parade

– Help welcome Father Christmas to Aberdeen at the city’s eagerly anticipated Santa and Reindeer Parade.

– Sing along to carols accompanied by music from the talented Bon Accord Silver Band at a Christmas Carol Concert held in the David Welch Winter Gardens

Get into the festive spirit with a pantomime at the Aberdeen Arts Centre, Tivoli or His Majesty’s Theatre.

The full list of events can be found here

Why not get in touch and make the most of our winter getaway deal.  At time of writing, we still have the following winter weekends available for hire;

– November: 2nd, 16th, 23rd and 30th
– December: 7th and 14th
– January: 11th and 25th
– February: 8th and 22nd
– March: 1st, 8th, 15th and 29th

Check our current availability or get in touch with Alison and Natasha on house@elsick.co.uk.

Look forward to hearing from you

Elsick House Team

ROYAL PARTIES – TREE PLANTING TRADITION

Take a look at the video of The Queen showing Sir David Attenborough the trees that were planted in Buckingham Palace’s garden for her children here.

The photos below show various Royals at Elsick House.  Like at Buckingham Palace, many of the trees in the grounds at Elsick bear planting plaques, bearing witness to Elsick’s popularity with royal guests over the decades.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth marks the late Duke’s sixth birthday tree planting
Queen Mary attending the third birthday of James Carnegie (3rd Duke of Fife)

 

Trees still have all their plaques so it is a great opportunity for a treasure hunt with the children!

We carried on the tree planting tradition in 2017 to commemorate our first marquee wedding couple and our first house wedding couple.  Both couples came back to Elsick House to plant a tree to mark this memorable occasion along with the Duke and Duchess of Fife. We even managed to make use of the “Ceremony Spade” for the event which has been used by the Royals families since 1920.

Lauren and Justin – Our first House Wedding Couple
Jennifer and Keith – Our first Marquee Wedding Couple

VENUE ONLY HIRE OPTION – IDEAS

Why don’t you treat yourself and your family to an exclusive evening at Elsick House – perhaps for an anniversary, a milestone birthday or an engagement party?

Imagine your guests driving down our North drive, through the fabulous iron gates and arriving at the grand front door of Elsick House.  We will welcome your guests with a drinks reception in the reception hall with a little jazz playing in the background to set the scene.

Your guests will be welcome to explore the ground floor as they catch up and wait for dinner to be served.  Your guests can lounge on the chesterfield in the study or sit around the open fire in the drawing room while sipping a glass of red.

A three course dinner will be served by our catering partners Hudsons Catering from their glorious fine dining menu while you reminisce about the good old days!

We are offering a 40% discount on ‘venue only’ costs for April and May 2018 bookings which would mean the price for 18 + guests (minimum) would be £85pp (excluding wine)

If you would like to find out more, please get in touch here

MARQUEE WEDDINGS AT ELSICK HOUSE

Setting the scene

Marquee wedding guests are encouraged into the country house via the grand reception hall for your drinks reception.  The ground floor is for your guests to explore, whether this be in the comfortable drawing room, dining room or in the snug study.

 With a glass of champagne in hand, we encourage your guests to explore the grounds via the door by the study.  This door takes your guests into the south facing gardens of Elsick House.  The rotating summer house can be used to serve your guests further beverages. Perhaps you could have a beer barrow by the string quartet in the corner or an ice cream cart by the lawn games laid out for the children and big kids!

Canapes and champagne top-ups can be arranged by your waiting staff to keep your guests content while you head to the barley fields, woodland or lake with your photographer.

As the sun dips slightly in the sky, we encourage your guests to move from the garden to the gated walled garden towards the sun dial at the rose pergola.  The rose pergola provides a romantic and elegant walkway to the entrance to the marquee.  Perhaps lanterns sit on the steps or flowers drape the handrail to link the marquee to the herbaceous borders below.

Your guests enter the floored marquee to see your tables assembled, your personalities shine through as months of planning, tears and craft adventures come to fruition.

Once your guests are seated, you enter the marquee to a roaring applause.  The new Mr & Mrs, family and friends are reunited once more to celebrate into the small hours.

The joys of a Marquee Wedding at Elsick House

Our marquee is installed as standard with windows along its south facing wall. We love the light, bright and airy feel of the marquee. The height of the marquee allows you to play around with height in terms of hanging flowers, balloons or creative lighting. As the sun begins to set, uplighters around the perimeter frame the marquee beautifully in time for your evening guests, dancing and evening buffet!

The marquee is large enough to be segregated into two main areas. The first area is where your day guests enjoy your beautiful meal provided by Hudsons Catering. This area is segregated by the marquee curtain ensuring the space feels right for your numbers. The area behind the curtain is where your dancefloor is hidden, waiting for your evening guests and band to arrive. Your band can enter directly to the dancefloor area to set-up as required without interrupting your meal and speeches.

The marquee is large enough that no table movement is required. If additional tables and seating are required for evening guests, these are set-up behind the curtain on the dancefloor so no table movement is required – it’s seamless!

Further details

The marquee is 25m x 12m, can accommodate up to 200 guests and is available for weddings and other events from April to October.

The marquee costs include tables, chiavari chairs, wooden flooring, chandelier lighting, PA system, bar structure, cake table, heating and toilet facilities. All you need to think about is your design and perhaps your florist to create the finishing touches.

The grounds are completely private to you and yours for the duration of your wedding weekend.

For further information or to arrange a visit, get in touch here

 

MAKING THE MOST OF THE GARDEN

Elsick’s mature and beautiful garden offers a multitude of possibilities.

So close to Aberdeen and with all the space in the world to create your own fantasy, Elsick House is the one place where real privacy can be found and you can remain hidden from the outside to escape the hustle and bustle.  A good imagination is not a gift that all of us share so we thought it might be helpful to guide you through some of the ideas we have for a corporate gathering or a family and friends’ celebration. Some are tried and tested ideas and some we know would suit the grounds very well.

Within the walled garden

Join forces with a few friends, raise a plastic glass of prosecco and enjoy the borders and shrubs from a hot tub. These can be hired and fit brilliantly on the top terrace.  You can even enjoy this under the garden lighting for a bit of night-time adventure.

The setting is so well suited to croquet and other traditional games. There is a house croquet set, and if you order it in advance, a second set could be brought in for racing croquet.  Two teams can compete simultaneously, and it is hilarious and easy to adjudicate.

The marquee is up during the summer months and has a fully transparent side set slightly above the main wall so no matter what the weather you can enjoy the setting out of any breeze.  How about teaching employees a new craft on a team building day?

The Yew Garden

In the centre of this area of the garden sits a revolving summer house to make the most of the south facing lawn.  This charming wooden house makes an ideal Pimm’s bar for summer drinks or serving area for a BBQ and there are plenty of outdoor tables and chairs for a real party.  Or you could pop in a central table and let your executive team do a bit of blue sky thinking.

On a more active note, you could set up a Segway tour around the entire 1500 acres of the estate on a set route or a mystery tour and maybe even venture further afield

The garden pond

The Chinese style bridge across the pond makes an ideal photographic backdrop.  Indeed, the whole pond area is an ideal amphitheatre and anyone wanting to do presentations

The Lake and beyond

A long straight area on the estate is the ideal spot for full length archery although there are several places for a more modest competition.  Otherwise a treasure hunt for all ages can be organised through the woods and garden focusing on the amazing wildlife on display here.

The Lochter Activity centre  has great equipment that they can bring to the estate and can work with all sorts of client requirements so take a look.

For the adventurous

A little off-road karting or driving will set the heart racing and the competitive juices flowing and these can be done within team events.   If you prefer your feet firmly on the ground there is a 5km circular trail that you can pick up just on the edge of the garden.

Let your imagination run wild and remember our experienced team can help to guide you as to what will work. Contact Alison to get more details.

 

MID-WEEK WEDDINGS

Scottish mid week weddings are becoming more and more popular.  We feel it is only fair to be offering a wide selection of options for those who wish to celebrate their wedding at Elsick House.  We are currently offering a significant discounted rate for 2018 along with venue only packages.

A well argued piece in the Wedding Ideas magazine outlines the advantages of opting for a mid week wedding.  We hope you will enjoy reading their article on the topic.  Not only is there savings to be made on venue costs but huge savings can be made with all wedding suppliers including photographers, florists and stylists.

At Elsick House, we can offer you exclusive use of the house the night before the wedding, which you can chose to spend with your closest family and friends –  with 11 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms, we can accommodate up to 20 guests.  You will be together to share the excitement and build up to the ceremony – no hire cars, no travel, no rushing about.  At the end of the evening there are no worries or hassle waiting for taxis and other transport.   Wake up as a married couple in our beautiful bridal suite then join your family in the morning for breakfast, enjoying complete privacy in your own little haven.

For those happy to celebrate in simple style and whose family and friends are local, we can also recommend the Venue only packages for midweek weddings.  Suited for a simple celebration and wedding breakfast without accommodation, this option provides even greater value for money.  You will still have exclusive use of the house and grounds for the duration of the ceremony and celebration afterwards.

Our expert team are ready to guide you through all of the options we can offer at Elsick House.

Contact us now to find out more