Traditional Aberdeen hotel wedding a hit with family and friends

Zoey Robertson & Ross Henderson

11th June 2022

Venue | Sandman Signature Hotel, Aberdeen
Photography | Logan from Deeside Photographics

We’ve all heard of Sin City. Showgirls sporting feather headdresses and dollars being splurged like there is no tomorrow, but did you know that closer to home, it’s Aberdeen that has been dubbed the ‘luckiest city in the UK’? Zoey and Ross certainly felt like they won big when they married in the Granite City on 11th June last year.

Aberdeenshire has more castles per square mile than any other part of Scotland, and many of them can be hired for weddings. But not everyone marrying in the north-east wants the hassle of being out in the sticks and having to transport guests to and from the venue – not when there are some really fantastic hotels in the heart of the Granite City itself.

“We never had any doubt that we wanted something central, so we had our ceremony and reception at the Sandman Signature Hotel,” Zoey tells us. “It all came together perfectly, as the ballroom was partitioned for the ceremony and then opened up later on to give us the extra room for our evening guests.”

The historic building has been a fixture of Aberdeen since the early 1900s and a large-scale refurbishment a couple of years ago saw the whole place upgraded, with the addition of some eye–catching elements that are now much-loved features of the hotel.

“From the colourful umbrellas suspended from the reception ceiling to the chandeliers in the great big ballroom, the modern decor throughout matched our theme really well,” says Zoey. “We fell in love with the hotel as soon as we saw it and I would highly recommend it to everyone – it’s stunning.”

Before partying the night away with band Velvet Noir in the Robert Gordon Ballroom (which can seat up to 300 for dinner and boasts a beautiful dance floor), the couple and their guests enjoyed a delicious meal with a surprise twist.

“We’d organised singing waiters as a surprise for our guests – they burst into song just as pudding was being served. Seeing our guests’ reactions was the best – they had no idea what was going on and even afterwards still thought they were part of the hotel team! It was definitely one of the highlights of our day.”

The couple were so impressed by the catering – it was one of the things that had sold them on the venue in the first place, and it won them over again on the day. “The food was incredible,” recalls the bride. “Even the canapés were totally delicious. These were served at the drinks reception while a saxophonist played in the balcony area. So many guests commented on how nice the vibe was – we feel we missed out not being there enjoying it with them! We’d gone out to the nearby Johnston Gardens to get photographs with the rest of the bridal party – thankfully, we had canapés and a pop-up bar there too!”

Zoey was ‘absolutely delighted’ with the way the day went, but does have a word of advice to anyone in the planning stages of their wedding. “Make sure you book rooms in advance for anyone who wants to stay over. I wish we’d agreed on a group booking rate with the hotel at an early stage to secure enough rooms for everyone who wanted to stay, but we made the mistake of leaving it too late.

“If you are marrying in the city, it is also worth booking somewhere for outdoor photographs, especially if it is a nice day.”

The newlyweds couldn’t fault the venue, which caters for intimate dos as well as large-scale affairs, and they commend the way the team brought their sparkling ‘Aber-dream’ together.

“The staff were amazing and couldn’t do enough for us,” smiles Zoey. “Molly especially was brilliant on the day arranging everything and ensuring it all went as planned. I wouldn’t change a thing about our day – we loved every second of it.”