Aswanley is a private family owned estate set in the beautiful Deveron valley near Huntly. It has been in the same family for several generations and is still very much home to the family. A unique venue with a warm welcome and a big heart, you can be sure your day is in safe hands here. The stone Victorian steading conversion is a fabulous space which still retains so much of its history but is finished to a high standard. Inter connecting barn rooms with a fireplace room serving as bar, lounge or and/or ceremony room. Its thoughtful layout means your ceremony, meal and dance can be set (subject to size) without the need to rearrange and move tables. Be it an intimate wedding or a gathering of 250, it has the flexibility to make it a unique and special wedding venue.
A fabulous fireplace dominates the room used for many of the ceremonies. It has an intimacy yet up to 100 or so guests can sit in comfort. Patio doors lead out onto lawn for drinks with lovely views over the valley and beyond. Enough to keep your guests entertained before the next big reveal, dinner through grand double doors in that fabulous connecting barn. Champagne on the lawn in summer or warm by the roaring fire in winter. It really is an all year venue.
The steading is split into two spaces separated by an arched wall where you can keep your tables in position for the duration if you wish while dancing takes place of the stage side. Ample space for a Ceilidh or live covers band or both! The whole area retains features such as the open beams, great for hanging those lanterns, pom poms even ceiling drapes. Black ironwork adds a slightly medieval touch, yet all softened with twists of fairy lights.
I adore working here. It is the perfect canvas – especially for the ever popular rustic/vintage fusions. Our lace and eco hessian sash combination continues to fit well here. Equally strong colours work too against an otherwise neutral background. As a traditional steading it really does suit banquet style dining. Imagine rows of sociable tables with the rise and fall of mixed jars and bottles filled with natural garden flowers. Or perhaps a more elegant mix of candlesticks and silver glass vases or even vintage cut glass filled with elegant roses, peonies, blousey hydrangeas. If individual tables are your thing then the tables combine to make ample square tables. Imagine a log slice topped a mix of china and meaningful vintage items and candles. Or round tables can be hired in if you still love that look. A traditional candelabra dressed with flowers looks stylish and gives height. I really love my centrepieces. The only limit is our imagination. Finally good food reflects you too. Aswanley holds a list of caterers who know the ropes and work hard to make your day. A fabulous sized kitchen and preparation area means you can be sure of a fantastic wedding banquet – whether fine dining or rustic home cooking.
I first discovered the beautiful Aswanley Wedding Venue over five years ago now. I was contacted by Jane, seeking chair covers for an “unusual” chair for her daughter’s forthcoming wedding. This chair would turn out to be the chiavari chair – little did I know five years on how popular that chair would become – undressed! Back then of course weddings went hand in hand with chair covers and so I went in search of a cover to suit. I remember my first meeting well. I jumped through a few hoops to find a cover of a suitable quality. Strictly no lycra and it had to look and feel like a quality cotton in a traditional fit to meet the client and the venue’s own exacting standards. Cover inspection over, cover approved, job done. Phew.
There followed a spate of bookings for our covers, our table linen, our centrepieces and accessories too. Beautiful colours – Teal, latte, purples included.
Then in 2011 came our first dressed chiavari chair without a cover. Now of course you will see lots and lots of examples on Pinterest, but four years ago dressing a chair without a cover was still a relatively brave decision for many couples. It’s ironic really as almost ten years ago I regularly dressed chairs without a cover (a cover just didn’t suit some chairs at all). Fast forward ten years and “no seat cover” is now seen much more frequently and possibly one of my favourite current treatments of a chair. But I digress.
I remember Diane and Steve’s wedding like it was yesterday. Deep plummy purple sashes. A centrepiece which came up in conversation only this month as one of Jenny Durno’s catering team recalled “that beautiful centrepiece”. With a drop of plummy water dye, crystals lit so they bounced extra light at night and floating roses too, all set in a low cocktail vase. A design devised for one of our wedding exhibitions and proved to be a massive hit with brides and Mum’s who trod the boards in search of a stylist that day.
Since then our weddings at Aswanley have varied in terms of style. Almost all now are chairs without a cover. Lace, hessian, hoods or simple sashes and next year we look forward to seeing even more variety emerging. Only this week we confirmed another booking at this venue which is packed full of loveliness.
I still look back on that first wedding which proved to be the opening of a door to some of my best ever weddings. Aswanley will always hold a special place in my heart and I am thrilled to have been one of their few listed venue stylists now for all those years. If you are looking for a venue with rustic charm yet high standards, ample capacity, a venue which allows you a little of your creativity, in a lovely setting, then Aswanley would be top of my “must see” list. With exclusive use, a fabulous team and stunning surroundings it really is among my all time favourite venues. Go on, take a look, and fall in love.
Highland Occasions by Design,
Banffshire AB37 9DL
Tel: 07976 918185