The gardens at Elsick House have been an explosion of vibrant colours this year, with golden tones and rich reds completely transforming the landscape around us.
We were delighted when Emma Lawson Photography chose our grounds for the backdrop of her family portrait sessions, we wanted to show off the spectacular autumn display!
Elsick has always been a family home so we loved seeing Emma capture children crunching in the leaves, couples documenting their engagement with some photos under the arbour and generations coming together to create precious family keepsakes.
Emma said, “shooting at Elsick is always such a pleasure and I was delighted to be able to use it for my Autumn portrait sessions. Having shot plenty of weddings here I knew the beautiful outdoor spaces on the doorstep of the main house would be perfect for these speedy shoots where everything must be done and dusted within 20 minutes. As a photographer it’s such a treat to shoot at Elsick, the estate sits in a really lovely location, it gets fantastic light at all times of the day and there is a pretty vista in every direction.”
Here’s a selection of just some of the beautiful family portraits taken by Emma here recently. To find out more about Emma Lawson Photography, visit her website here.
Getting married at Elsick House? We only recommend those whose professionalism we have experienced. Listed on our Partners page are some suggestions of those who will know the house.
It’s easy to fall in love with the gardens at Elsick House. Bright blooming flowers and meticulously maintained lawns have provided the most stunning backdrop for outdoor weddings and celebrations throughout many years. But explore a little deeper and you’ll be rewarded with some imaginative surprises. Nestled among the plants are delicate wire fairies, butterflies and most recently added, a stunning sculpture of a bridal gown – a nod to the brides who should have been married here in 2020.
So, who is behind these artworks and the amazing gardens? Meet our creative gardener, Mandy.
Mandy and her partner Alec have lived on the Elsick Estate for 6 years. They take care of the gardens and grounds at Elsick House, as well as carrying out ground maintenance and helping with events such as the Farmers’ Market at nearby town, Chapelton.
Mandy: “I first started by helping Alec in the gardens. I never once imagined I would actually enjoy it but then I realised gardening can be creative, like living art. In my spare time I like to draw, paint and sculpt so I feel very lucky that I can combine my artistic side with my job. A typical day at work for me involves weeding, grass cutting, raking leaves, pruning, planting, deadheading and feeding the plants. I’ve recently been redesigning an area of the gardens which I’ve really enjoyed.
Working in the gardens at Elsick House is so serene. I like all the seasons. Spring sees everything come alive again; Summer is amazing with the sun, nicer weather and the garden in bloom; Autumn brings the colour changes and in Winter, the gardens are chilly but very peaceful.
I think my art is inspired by the views around me. Sometimes I stop and stare at the Monkey Puzzle trees. They are so different and make me think, wow look at that!
Weddings and events have been postponed this summer because of the coronavirus outbreak so it’s disappointing that so many people won’t get to see the gardens in bloom this year. We always do our best to make them look perfect for every wedding, it is an amazing feeling knowing they are the backdrop of someone’s special day. Our current plans are to keep the gardens looking as pristine as we can for all future events but I also felt I wanted to honour this year’s weddings that couldn’t take place because of the virus.
The bridal gown is made from wire and pearl beads and has jasmine and Japanese honeysuckle plants growing around it. I’ve made fairies on carved wooden toadstools and wire butterflies for the garden in the past but I feel this piece has a deeper meaning so I hope the couples will enjoy it when they come for their weddings here.
On a positive note, Alec and I have spent more time in our own garden this year and have revamped an area. I love working outdoors with the sun, wind and even the rain on my face. Gardening keeps me fit and healthy; it boosts the immune system too. We’ve been going for long walks with our dogs as living on the Elsick estate there’s so much countryside to explore. It will be great to see holiday makers coming back to the house once we reopen in July. It really is such a beautiful location and I can’t wait to see families back enjoying the gardens again.”
Turning into our beech lined driveway, our brides and grooms can’t help but start to picture themselves here on their wedding day. Only 8 miles south of Aberdeen and surrounded by 1500 acres of grounds and farmland, Elsick House provides countless stunning backdrops for your wedding photography.
By taking a look at some of the highlights from our 2019 weddings, here we explore some photo locations that are not to be missed…
1. The Bridge
Our top spot for the ultimate romantic snap has got to be the bridge over the pond, directly opposite the front of the house. Donna Murray Photographycaptured Natalie and Stewart beautifully here and her natural and creative photography style meant all the emotions of the day were perfectly recorded.
2. The Rose Pergola
Another ‘must have’ photo location is under our rose pergola. Nicola Stewart Photographyeffortlessly framing Annabel and Colin here and from a different perspective, in Jonathan Addie’sportrayal of Elaine and Graham’s big day.
Of course, Elsick House itself is a backdrop not to be missed from your photo album. We were lucky to have By Rheahere for two weddings last year. Libby and Alan provided the ultimate photo prop with tractors outside the house! And at Rebecca and Gregor’s summer wedding, Rhea took this smart shot of the groom and his wedding party, making their way to the ceremony in the marquee.
Our tastefully decorated baronial country house has 11 bedrooms and 3 public rooms. We were in awe of these impressive shots taken inside the house by Photomagician. With such an atmospheric and artistic style, Emma and Al’s photos are edgy, dramatic and full of personality and we loved seeing Radek’s alternative perspective of the house.
5. The Surrounding Countryside
Finally, whether it’s a summers day for running into the fields together like Steph and Euan (photo by Sam Brill) or a crisp autumn afternoon like Kelsey and Iain’s big day (main blog image by Ceranna Photography) don’t forget to capture those first special moments as newlyweds by taking a stroll around the acres of beautiful Aberdeenshire countryside that surrounds Elsick House.
It was love at first sight for Louise when she saw Elsick House. Even before James had popped the big question, she had her dream venue in mind and the couple booked their wedding weekend here within 2 weeks of getting engaged. Following Louise and James’ wedding in September last year, we caught up with Louise and asked why she chose Elsick House.
How did you hear about Elsick House? I had seen Elsick House appear on social media about a year before we were even engaged, and I had kept an eye on it ever since. When James and I got back from Thailand, where he had just proposed, my Dad was shortly heading back overseas for work and I wanted us to view Elsick before he left. At our first appointment with Alison we booked the wedding date, I never looked at any other venues as I just knew this was the one.
What were your first impressions of Elsick House? We absolutely loved it. The grounds are beautiful. We first went to view the house on a miserable, cold and wet day in January and we still fell in love with it. When we returned with some family to look at the marquee it was a gorgeous spring day. We knew we had picked the right venue, whatever the weather.
Your ceremony and reception took place in our marquee at Elsick House. Did you have a theme or style for your wedding? I loved that the marquee was like a blank canvas so we could decorate it in our own style. I wanted our wedding to be glamourous and for it to stand out. I’ve been to many weddings in the past, so I tried to make ours a little different. I had pictured in my head how I wanted the marquee to be styled and Higher Calling Flowers and Events made that vision real. On the day it looked perfect.
What were your favourite things about your wedding weekend? I really enjoyed the night before the wedding. All the bridal party came to stay at the house and Hudson’s Catering made some amazing food for us. Then we all gathered around the fire in the drawing room with a couple of drinks. One of my favourite memories of the day was seeing our dog Rudy walk down the aisle with my sister. Also, our little pageboy Rogan had a white balloon that he wouldn’t let go of all morning. When were just about to walk down the aisle he refused to let go of it so I said to my Maid of Honour Laura “just leave him with it.” It was those personal touches, even the unplanned things, that made the day special for us.
What made your day unique? I think we catered for everyone! We had a Prosecco and beer reception after the ceremony which was much to everyone’s delight! I think we’d added a lot to the marquee to give it that wow factor.
Would you recommend Elsick House? I would 100% recommend Elsick House. Alison and all the staff were absolutely amazing from that very first meeting right through all the planning stages and of course, on the day itself. The food and service from Hudson’s Catering was great. So many of our guests commented on how much they enjoyed their meal. Why wouldn’t you want to get married at Elsick?
*Edited 21/03/20 – Unfortunately due to the Coronavirus outbreak we have no choice but to postpone this year’s wedding open day. Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook for a rescheduled date. Thank you.*
We are so excited to announce that this year’s Elsick House Wedding Open Day will take place on Sunday 17th May 2020.
Come along between 12 and 4pm and enjoy a glass of fizz while you view the stunning house, grounds and gardens at your leisure. Our house managers Alison and Karen will be on hand to answer your questions along with the experienced staff from our partner’s Hudsons who can discuss all your catering and event requirements. You’ll also be able to sample their tasty offerings. The marquee will be beautifully decorated by some of Aberdeenshire’s top wedding experts which is sure to give you lots of inspo for your big day!
We have also selected some local suppliers to join us so we hope you’ll enjoy chatting with them to see if they can help make your wedding day special too. Look out for supplier announcements on our Instagram and Facebook pages soon.
Register for our wedding open day online or email email@example.com