Do you dream of gilded wallpapers, lavish fabrics and glittering chandeliers? You need a party ready pad for your big day
While sparse barns and trendy repurposed event spaces are having a bit of a moment just now, the effort involved in styling these venues into something that remotely reflects your aspirations of a breathtaking, glamorous setting for your big day can be overwhelming. If grand and glitzy are how you imagine the interiors of your wedding venue then starting with high-quality fixtures and fittings then working your own scheme into it makes much more sense. It doesn’t come much fancier than this lot:
Balbirnie House, Fife
Couples who choose to tie the knot at Balbirnie House do so because they love the venue’s incredible heritage and its stunning period interiors. “The house dates back to 1777, so it is, of course, a Grade A listed building,” explains senior wedding co-ordinator Gaynor Russell. Ceremonies can be held in Balbirnie’s Long Gallery, which “has four individual circular plastered ceilings, each of which gives the illusion of being domed, but is in actual fact flat,” says Gaynor.
Another option is the West Room, which is often used for cake-cutting and photography. And, speaking of photographs, there are several special spots to earmark for snapping. “We have a beautiful Stuart Park painting in our East Room in front of which brides pause en route to the wedding breakfast,” highlights Gaynor. “Look out for the grand staircase too, which is great for shooting the gown from the back.”
Crossbasket Castle, High Blantyre
When you’re marrying in an ancient castle, decorating it with an eclectic mix of pieces from a variety of eras is not an option. Crossbasket Castle’s owner, Alison Reid-Timoney, had to knuckle down to mammoth research sessions before she revamped the interiors. “We needed to make sure we captured the spirit of days gone by to create an interior worthy of such a beautiful building and its rich history,” she explains.
“You can see this from our choice of antiques, furniture and paintings, as many of these have been sourced from other notable homes and castles in Scotland. We’ve worked hard to find the right balance of elegance and comfort,” adds Alison. And the homework has paid off, as you’ll notice when you’re posing at the top of the dramatic staircase and balcony, before swirling through the castle’s medieval grand ballroom (which can hold up to 250 guests).
Recent £20 million renovations have restored the Grand Central Hotel as one of Glasgow’s landmark hotels. Its location, backing onto the city’s main station, gives it a glamorous edge that’s more than enough to keep you from travelling onwards (if that’s not enough, we’re sure the Champagne Bar will tempt you).
“With its gables and multi-paned windows, the Grade A-listed building is a fine example of the Queen Anne style and was designed by the celebrated Victorian architect Robert Rowand Anderson,” says Amelia Birtwistle of PH Hotels. “My favourite spot is on the first floor at the chandelier, at the very heart of the building. When the sun shines through the window the reflection from the chandelier illuminates the space with a world of colour.”
“Formerly known as Erskine Mansion, Mar Hall is part of the 200-acre Earl of Mar estate,” recounts the venue’s Vikki Bal. “The building was designed in the 19th century by Sir Robert Smirke, who had previously worked on the British Museum in London.” The contents of Mar Hall are most definitely museum-worthy: you’ll find tapestries, a grand piano and chandeliers to effortlessly enrich your photographs and influence your wedding moodboards.
Small ceremonies can be staged in the Kilpatrick Suite (Vikki’s favourite), while larger services take place in the Burgundy Suite, which can entertain 160 people.There is much to admire in these grand interiors, as each detail is the product of careful renovation. “The house fell into disrepair in the 20th century,” Vikki explains. “It was only in 2004, following a £15 million restoration project, that it was returned to its former glory.”
The capital isn’t short of sumptuous hotels, but The George epitomises an indulgent glamour unmatched by many of its rivals. “The hotel has been given a multi-million-pound refurbishment, with luxurious designs by interior architects Goddard Littlefair,” explains Amelia Birtwistle of PH Hotels, which runs the central Edinburgh hotel.
“It has been designed to reflect its Georgian heritage: a collection of classic furniture evokes the local cityscape through a rich palette of colours and textures, while an undertone of edgy, industrial-inspired detailing and finishes reflects the site’s history as a printing works and the changing city all around.” Amelia strongly recommends you gather your guests for a dance in the Kings Hall and arrange a few photographs in the glamorous lobby and reception areas.