Castle Fraser: 10 Reasons To Choose This Scottish Wedding Venue
The first wedding I was a guest at, was held at Castle Fraser.
And not just any guest, but an usher for one of my best friends.
It sounds like a great honour, but it really means you just have to help with everything!
During the course of my ushering duties, I was able to get a real peak behind the curtains, at what Castle Fraser is like to host a wedding.
There are so many incredible wedding venues in Scotland, but this one is absolutely superb.
I would now like to share with you, what makes it so special.
Let’s take a closer look at what Castle Fraser wedding would be like.
Castle Fraser Location
A common theme amongst country wedding venues in Aberdeenshire, is their convenient proximity to Aberdeen.
If you are chauffeuring guests and materials backwards and forwards, you’ll be glad of a short distance to the city.
Castle Fraser ticks this box perfectly, as it is situated only 16 miles from the oil capital.
And despite the convenience of its location, you get a brilliant sense of countryside isolation.
Just wait until you see the manicured, tree lined entrance to the estate.
There is an enormous amount of space for cars and coaches too.
Castle Fraser History
As with all National Trust properties, you could write entire volumes about their history.
And Castle Fraser is no different.
It’s a big part of why people get married at these locations though, so I will list some of the highlights.
Thomas Fraser was granted lands around Muchall and Stoneywood, by James II in the 1400s.
Castle Fraser becomes the ancestral home of the Fraser family.
The traditional Z plan tower house, which you can see today, was completed in the 1570s, after a major expansion by laird Michael Fraser.
Interestingly, the castle was captured and sacked by James Graham, leader of the royalist forces for Scotland, in the 17th century.
Several alterations were also made during the 18th and 19th centuries, to give the castle its current day look.
An absolute must if you visit, is to find the “lairds lug”, a small hidden room above the great hall, where the laird could listen in on his guests.
Not all castles are particularly attractive.
They were designed for defence rather than aesthetics after all.
But for me Castle Fraser, the largest Z plan castle in Scotland, is a really nice looking building.
And the interior is even more spectacular.
Entering the castle through the South doorway, you will be greeted by both a medieval and victorian setting.
Each room is decorated with furniture, portraits and family mementos, which really transport you back in time.
Take note of the great hall, which dates back to the 1400s, and will play a big role on your wedding day.
If you are looking to wow your guests, then the castle really does not disappoint.
Castle Fraser Gardens
Nobody does a garden quite like the National Trust.
They put so much time and effort into creating these secret walled in gardens.
And it definitely shows.
Castle Fraser gardens has gone through some major development work, to recreate the original 18th century style.
Within the walls you will find beautiful trees, shrubs, herbaceous borders, and also organic fruits and vegetables being grown.
It’s a fantastic place to go and see, and an even better one for taking wedding pictures.
Castle Fraser Ceremony
Castle Fraser does not have its own private chapel, unlike Drum Castle which does.
However there are a number of other excellent options.
The great hall would be my choice, with its large south facing windows, and high barrel vaulted ceilings.
Accessed by a stone spiral staircase, and situated on the first floor, the room is light and airy, and can seat up to 100 guests.
You could also use the library, which is located on the fourth floor, and can seat up to 70 guests.
This room is in the regency style, and retains many original features, including rich wooden bookcases, and wallpaper dating back to 1839.
Finally there is the round tower, which offers a small but unique experience.
The views over the estate are spectacular, however your numbers will need to be no more than 10.
Humanist, civil, and religious weddings are all welcome.
Castle Fraser Reception
Castle Fraser can offer you a number of options, when it comes to your reception too.
The great hall is the perfect choice, for a grand banquet and dancing for 70 guests.
Its 16th century fireplace will make for a great focal point.
The dining room is also a possibility, which can seat up to 22 guests for dinner.
This room is located in the 17th century east wing, and is vibrantly decorated, with numerous 18th century treasures.
If neither of these spaces are large enough, then a marquee can be put up on the east facing lawn.
This was the case for my best friends wedding, and it offered great views back to the castle.
Castle Fraser Round Tower
The round tower at Castle Fraser looks great from the ground, but just wait until you see the panoramic views from the top.
You can actually have your ceremony up there, although space is very limited, and your numbers will need to be small.
A better option is to make use of this area for your wedding pictures.
A lot of brides do, and when you see the results, you’ll know why.
Castle Fraser Grounds
Although much reduced from their original size, the grounds at Castle Fraser still extend to 120 hectares.
There are two beautiful walking trails, that take you through parkland, woodland and farmland.
Not something you are likely to do on your wedding day, but I highly recommend them for a return visit.
There is also a secret woodland play area, complete with a tree house, tepees, and a bamboo snake walk.
Worth noting for when you have children.
Another area where National Trust properties excel, is in providing excellent photo opportunities.
Your pictures will be so important, largely because along with your memories, they are the only thing that lasts beyond your wedding day.
Now I know with some wedding venues, photographers have to drive the bride and groom somewhere picturesque.
Not so with Castle Fraser.
The gardens and grounds here are a photographers paradise.
Castle Fraser Unique Feature
And what castle would be complete without a proper ghost story.
I’m sure these are made up for the tourists, but it’s all a bit of fun.
Apparently a young princess was murdered in the castle, and the blood stains can still be found behind the wood panelling.
Screams have been heard by visitors, as they walk the corridors.
Other guests have reported hearing piano music being played, only to enter the room and find no one there.
Some fun stories to tell, to scare your guests.
Castle Fraser Wedding Prices
For accurate Castle Fraser wedding prices, you should contact the venue directly.
Their wedding packages can be tailored to meet your specific needs.
However to give you an approximate Castle Fraser wedding cost:
- Castle Fraser (ceremony & drinks reception), price £2,250.
- Castle Fraser (ceremony & reception), £4,800.
- Lawn Hire (marquee), price £2,850 (marquee not included).
- Wedding Breakfast, prices from £54 per person.
- Drinks Packages, prices from £15 per person.
The prices above are for a summer weekend.
Winter and midweek weddings could cost less.
Castle Fraser Conclusion
So those are my 10 reasons you should consider Castle Fraser as your wedding venue.
Of course everybody has different tastes and opinions.
However if you are looking for something beautiful and historic, with stunning scenery, interesting features, and space for a marquee; then Castle Fraser just might be the place for you.
You would also be supporting one of Scotland’s leading conservation charities.
Whilst you are here, you should take a look at some of the other wedding venues in Scotland, featured on White Rose.
You can also find Castle Fraser’s website here.
Good luck with your wedding planning.