I first went to Mar Lodge last year – and the second time I visited was a month later! Those two visits confirmed my view that Mar Lodge is one of the great undiscovered (by me) venues in Scotland.
Originally built as a hunting lodge for the Duke and Duchess of Fife in 1895, it unfortunately burned down in the 1990s while being renovated. The immaculate restoration has now reulted in a complex of luxury appartment with all mod-cons (with the exception of a mobile phone signal!)
It is one of the most perfect places in Scotland for a weekend party. The building itself is a wondeful backdrop to any photo. And the 29,000 hectares of beautiful Scottish countryside that make up the estate can leave no photographer at a loss for a location!
In the evening, there is the Stag Ballroom. So named for the stags antlers adorning every surface…. I didn’t count them, but there’s apparently over 1,000 of them.
And on top of all of that – the staff are just some of the most hospitable people I’ve met! Nothing is too much of a problem for them.
Here are some photos, but you can see others on my blog posts about Viki and Brian’s wedding and Fiona and Niall’s wedding.
A McGregor marrying a Campbell, in the Highlands? I knew the ancient history of the two clans, and the modern history of these particular North Berwick Campbells, since I photographed Fiona’s sister’s wedding seven years ago. So I wasn’t expecting the trouble I had been reading about in Wikipedia, that took place in the 1700’s…..
In fact, the only real confrontation to contend with was the wind, which howled down the Dee valley past Mar Lodge at some speed. But after a wet journey from Mar Lodge to Craithie Kirk (where they were married by the Queens Chaplain, surrounded by the royal flowers) the rain stopped and the sun decided to make an appearance.
By evening it was good enough to hold an impromptu football match on the front lawn, with six year old Hamish stealing the show.
It was a day with the smiliest and happiest bride and groom, of good friends and family travelling from afar and a wonderful ceilidh in the evening. I left before the BBQ the next day, but if the previous day’s party was anything to go by, I’m sure a good time was had by all!
Take one magnificent National Trust for Scotland building (Mar Lodge) and bathe it in sunshine by the river Dee, then add a skydiving bride and groom, their equally fun friends and family, and finally add in some inflateable guitars, and you’re bound to have a wonderful wedding. Oh, and there was also a surprise performance by the Ballater Pipe Band, and a ballroom decorated with over 2,400 stags heads….