The outdoor Aberdeenshire wedding brought together two families to have a wedding set in a picturesque location

Elly Dijkhuizen & Jonathan Brown

6th May 2023

Venue | Glen Tanar, Aberdeenshire
Photography | Aboyne Photographics

Many hands make light work. And many feet make for an excellent ceilidh. Fortunately for Elly and Jon, they had both at their big day at Glen Tanar in Aboyne.

“My sister designed our table stationery while my parents made several log candles for the fireplace and built a wishing tree for our guest book,” says the bride with a smile.

“Both families helped the day before to decorate our tables. We had lots of handmade elements on the day, and it was really nice that everyone got involved in the decoration and set-up.”

The couple live in Aberdeen and were keen to get married in the local area. After enquiring about several venues and visiting two of them, they settled on Glen Tanar. It gave them all they were looking for: a place with an exclusive feel and outdoor space, and the scope to choose their own suppliers and decorate the interior themselves.

“The setting is beautiful and you have your own exclusive part of the estate with the ballroom, lawn and loch area,” says Elly. “My family are Dutch, and Jon and I wanted them to experience a Scottish wedding, so being able to have a ceilidh was really important to us. The large ballroom with its traditional decorations and generous dancefloor is such a great space for ceilidh dancing.”

“We wanted my Dutch family to experience a Scottish wedding with a ceilidh. The ballroom here is such a great space for it”

The couple made their booking 14 months in advance; their date fell on a bank holiday, which made it all the easier for their 90 guests (who were coming from across Scotland, England and the Netherlands) to get there.

Jon and Elly took inspiration from Glen Tanar’s stunning surroundings for their decor. “It has a strong look and character so we decided to keep the decorations quite natural to brighten and elevate the space,” remembers Elly. “We were inspired by the colours and flowers of spring, so used peach, pink and green tones and local seasonal flowers to dress up the areas where we had the ceremony and reception.”

The happy pair opted for venue hire only, which included exclusive use of the ballroom and trout loch as well as tables, chairs, glassware, linen and other accessories. And they were delighted to have the team at Glen Tanar on hand to help, guiding them from booking all the way to the big day.

“Aoibhinn Martin, the coordinator, kept us on track, offering suggestions and checking we’d sorted out our vendors,” says the bride. “She also coordinated our suppliers the week of the wedding, managing deliveries and set-up.”

As well has having the option of personalising the setting, Elly and Jon hired an external caterer and bar for their reception and evening celebrations. Family coming together was important to the pair, so instead of a traditional top table, they went for a larger round table to sit with both sides of their new family.

A highlight of the food was the charcuterie sharing boards which got guests mingling, before everyone took to the dancefloor to enjoy traditional ceilidh music and modern covers later in the proceedings.

Despite the day before being “pretty full-on”, as the bride puts it, the newlyweds say they wouldn’t change anything. “The setting and walk up to the loch was the highlight for both of us,” smiles Elly.
“The speeches were also really wonderful. Jon, his two best men and my mum all did such a great job, and people were in fits of laughter and tears throughout.” 

Their families had a lovely surprise for them: “They made us a wedding newspaper, with stories about us from our guests. It was an amazing gift which we will treasure for years to come.”

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