Crathes Castle: 10 Reasons To Choose This Scottish Wedding Venue
I live relatively close to Crathes Castle, and as a result I spend quite a lot of time here.
It’s an excellent place for fresh air and exercise, with some great trails for walking or mountain biking.
Crathes Castle is also a wonderful place to get married, and is certainly one of the most unique wedding venues in Scotland.
Especially after opening the Horsemill in 2015, a dedicated space for hosting events.
I haven’t been lucky enough to experience a wedding here myself, but after some careful research and discussions with the National Trust for Scotland, I’ve got a good sense of what this place has to offer.
Let’s take a closer look at what a Crathes Castle wedding would be like.
Crathes Castle Location
Nestled right in the heart of Royal Deeside, Crathes Castle occupies a picturesque rural location.
You will find yourself surrounded by rolling countryside, and yet you will only be 15 miles from Aberdeen.
One of the great benefits of wedding venues in Aberdeenshire is their accessibility.
Banchory is less than 3 miles away too.
Shuttling people backwards and forwards from the city will prove quick and easy.
Plus there is ample parking space for both cars and coaches.
Most importantly though, you will have the peace and tranquility synonymous, with National Trust for Scotland properties.
It’s an idyllic location.
Crathes Castle History
There’s some brilliant Scottish history to be found at Crathes Castle.
And some of that history links directly to Robert the Bruce.
In fact Alexander Burnett, who’s family lived at the tower house for 350 years, was appointed Royal Forester of Drum by the Bruce.
Work begun on the castle in the 1550s, taking nearly 50 years to complete.
However the family had lived in the area for two centuries prior to that.
In the late 1600s, a new wing was constructed to house the 3rd Baronet of Ley’s 21 children.
Sadly it burnt down in 1966.
More recently archaeologists discovered what could be the worlds oldest calendar, on the grounds.
If confirmed, it would predate other time measuring devices by nearly 5000 years.
You will find Crathes Castle absolutely enchanting, with its towers, turrets, and winding staircases.
The majestic Great Hall is a highlight, and offers you panoramic views of the grounds and gardens.
It would be an intimate and romantic setting for your ceremony and reception.
What’s really fun is, your guests can get tours of the castle, perhaps whilst you are away with the photographer.
Some of the rooms retain their original painted ceilings, and there are large collections of period furniture and family portraits.
I highly recommend a walk along the gallery on the top floor.
The views are spectacular.
Crathes Castle Gardens
The gardens at Crathes Castle have been evolving for nearly 400 years, and are world renowned.
In fact they are the most northerly Arts and Crafts gardens in the UK, inspired by the work of Gertrude Jekyll.
It’s here that your guests will be able to sip champagne and play croquet.
Or simply take a stroll through the rose gardens and passed the fountains.
It really is a beautiful setting, and well worth a visit even if you don’t choose to get married here.
Crathes Castle Ceremony
You will have the option of both an indoor and an outdoor ceremony at Crathes Castle.
The beautiful Golden Garden offers a wonderful outdoor setting, with the castle providing a dramatic backdrop.
The garden can hold up to 80 guests.
However if you don’t want to brave the elements, the Great Hall provides an excellent indoor alternative.
The hall can hold up to 60 guests.
If neither of these choices are suitable, then the new for 2015 Horsemill could be for you.
It is a dedicated space for hosting events such as weddings.
Crathes Castle Reception
Similar to your ceremony, Crathes Castle can offer you a number of options for your reception too.
The Great Hall can seat 42 guests for an intimate dinner.
However the Horsemill, located a short walk from the castle, in the estate courtyard, can seat up to 120 guests for a grander affair.
It’s an old building, which has been recently refurbished, giving it a rustic, contemporary feel.
And if none of that works, a marquee on the lawn is also possible.
Crathes Castle Catering
In terms of catering, Crathes Castle has a specially selected group of partners, it likes to work with.
They will create a delicious bespoke menu, just for you.
I know that one of their preferred partners is Country Flavours.
Country Flavours provides catering for a number of wedding venues, which includes Balmoral Castle.
They have a very good reputation, and a series of five star reviews.
I feel confident you would be in safe hands here.
Crathes Castle Grounds
The grounds at Crathes Castle are every bit as spectacular as the gardens.
And they add up to no less than 240 hectares of rolling Scottish countryside.
I love the six way marked walks, which are suitable for a range of abilities.
These trails will take you on an adventure through green woodland, and passed ponds, burns, and farmland.
If you enjoy wildlife, then you are likely to see roe deer, red squirrels, woodpeckers, buzzards, and herons.
And if you are really lucky, otters and red kites.
These are things that you are unlikely to do on your wedding day, however they are brilliant for a reminiscing return visit.
And don’t forget the oh so important wedding photographs.
After all, once your special day is over, your memories and your photographs, will be the most important things.
What you really want from a wedding venue, is a beautiful place to take pictures.
Fortunately most National Trust for Scotland properties excel at this.
And Crathes Castle is no different.
The grounds and especially the gardens, are a photographers dream.
So you can feel confident that the backdrops to your images will be picturesque.
Crathes Castle Unique Feature
Similar to the woodland walks, this is not something you are likely to take advantage of, on your wedding day.
However it is nice to know, that there will be good reasons to revisit Crathes Castle in the future.
There are loads of things to do here with kids, including an adventure playground, plus craft activities with soft play.
For the daredevil, there is the Go Ape tree top adventure, which takes you up into the trees on walkways and zip wires.
It’s brilliant fun.
Crathes Castle Wedding Prices
For accurate Crathes Castle 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 Crathes Castle wedding cost:
- Crathes Castle (ceremony & drinks reception), price £2,250.
- Horsemill (reception), price £1,600.
- Crathes Castle (ceremony & reception), price £3,350.
- Wedding Breakfast, prices from £54 per person.
- Drinks Package, prices from £15 per person.
The prices above are for a summer weekend.
Winter and midweek weddings could cost less.
Crathes Castle Conclusion
So those are my 10 reasons you should consider Crathes Castle as your wedding venue.
Of course everybody has different tastes and opinions.
However if you are looking to combine an ancient castle, with a modern reception space, world renowned gardens suitable for an outdoor ceremony, and numerous reasons to revisit after your wedding; then Crathes Castle just might be the place for you.
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 Crathes Castle’s website here.
Good luck with your wedding planning.