It’s mid-October when I visit Banchory Lodge and the long tree-lined driveway is ablaze with golds and coppers.
Turning the final corner, the hotel’s unique setting opens out and it’s truly beautiful.
IMAGE | Archibald Photography
Banchory Lodge sits on the edge of the River Dee where it meets the River Feugh and it’s easy to see why so many couples choose to marry in this stunning location.
You can hold your ceremony or drinks reception right on the riverside lawn to take advantage of this gorgeous backdrop.
The hotel itself dates back to the early 1800s when the old Coble Heugh Inn was incorporated into a new mansion house.
Stepping inside, the entrance hall is warm and welcoming and its painting of dogs posing in military regalia gives a first hint of the quirky decor which combines solid Georgian architecture with contemporary design.
I’m staying in a spacious family room with a view over the river.
Rich velvet, leather and tweed in grey and silver hues give a decidedly luxurious feel and I could stay in the deep roll-top bath for hours.
All of the hotel’s 28 bedrooms (22 in the main hotel, six in Cobbleheugh House) were renovated in 2017 and brides often book room 10 which has its very own conservatory, providing the perfect light for hair and make-up prep.
Couples wanting somewhere really special for their wedding weekend however, can take on the private Cobbleheugh House.
This separate six-bedroom house has its own garden area, a beautiful light-filled lounge-come-dining area and cosy snug.
It’s the ideal spot for a family buffet the night before or barbecue the day after the wedding.
While Banchory Lodge is not an exclusive-use venue, it maintains a one-wedding-a-day policy and the hotel splits naturally into the restaurant at the front and the function area at the back.
The function room boasts a huge bay window that again overlooks the river.
If you decide not to marry outside, the room comfortably holds 110 guests for your ceremony or seated on oval tables for the wedding breakfast.
Couples can choose between the Lodge package (priced at £49 per person) and the Top Notch package (£55 per person).
Each offers a choice of menu; however, there’s plenty of scope to serve something a little different.
And the food is divine – I sampled a sweet potato and cauliflower curry followed by a scrumptious Eton Mess, all served by friendly and attentive staff.
Neutral decor in the function room allows you to style your wedding exactly how you wish and the low ceiling creates intimacy.
Incidentally, the room looks amazing with a lighting canopy.
Then when it comes to the evening reception you can have up to 130 guests dancing the night away in this delightful country house with a twist.
The Fox Box is the Lodge’s new addition, a converted horse box that’s been lovingly transformed into an outdoor bar.
Treat your guests to a gin hour, cocktail hour or a traditional champagne or prosecco reception, all served from this cool little bar parked on the lawn.
IT’S A DEAL
If you fancy typing the knot mid-week, Banchory Lodge will waive the ceremony charge and give you two additional complimentary bedrooms in your package on top of the bridal suite.
If you marry January to March (minimum 60 adults) you’ll also benefit from 20% off the wedding meal.
Interested in getting married at Banchory Lodge?
Give them a call on 01330 822625 or email firstname.lastname@example.org