A Day in the Life: Weddings at Houstoun House
A Day for You. Made by Us.
Weddings at Macdonald Hotels & Resorts involve spending your special day in a variety of stunning rural and urban locations, where you and your guests can make use of all encompassing event, dining and accommodation spaces.
We spoke to Caroline, Wedding & Events Manager at Houstoun House, who explained how her role ensures everything runs smoothly on the day.
Morning of the Wedding
I would arrive at Houstoun House at around half past nine in the morning, before ringing the couple either in their room or elsewhere to make sure they've eaten, as well as ask if they need anything. Once hair and makeup have turned up, then it's all about going through the final details of the day.
Because Houstoun House is based in Scotland, the bride and groom have a choice as to whether they want to get married inside or outside. With the weather subject to change, they would decide around an hour beforehand where they want to go for the ceremony - so we always need to plan for both and have everything set up.
The piper would normally arrive around 45 minutes before the start of the wedding, where they would greet guests and pipe them in as they walk onto the red carpet.
If the bride is staying with us, then we would collect her from her room when everyone is ready, or meet her on arrival at the front of the hotel. If it's the groom, it's all about making sure he is correctly dressed (kilts can be a funny piece of attire to put on when you don't wear them often!).
During the Ceremony
During a ceremony at Houstoun, you have the option to be piped in. As I was orchestrating the music at a recent wedding, our piper just piped to the archway in the hedge, just to let the groom know she was on her way!
I would then tell the bridal party when to walk down the aisle. This can be a rather nerve racking experience for them all, so if I can help in anyway, I will!
Once the ceremony is finished, I would then greet the bride and groom and hand over a well-deserved glass of fizz or bottle of beer.
Because everyone is together at this point, this is the opportunity to get confetti shots and group photos. I would always suggest that the drinks reception is hidden during this time to ensure guests don't walk off, or having them awkwardly not knowing where to put their drinks! It also works really well to hide the couple (I would normally do this in the hunting room) whilst we get the guests ready, just to give them some alone time..
For the photos, it's important to make sure the bride's dress is fluffed so that it looks as good as can be. I would also check with the couple whether they've had enough to eat and drink, as they can often forget when there's so much happening!
Meal and Evening Entertainment
Once the bride and groom have seen their room and are happy with everything (after I've moved all their luggage to the Honeymoon Suite and placed in a card and bottle of fizz from all the staff) - it would then be time to make sure everything is right in the main room.
This includes making sure the favours are where they should be, and that the décor and table places are all correct. The piper would start playing again and point guests into the room for food and speeches - the latter of which would usually last around half an hour.
As the food is being served, I would station myself at the kitchen pass to make sure that all dietary requirements are being met and that the food is going to the right people and tables.
Once the meal and speeches are done, we turn the room around for an evening of entertainment on the dance floor. It's been great that we get to do this again after COVID-19 restrictions.
I always watch the first dance, this is a really special moment to me. I get to know my couples on a really close level, so to be able to watch their first dance before I leave is one of my favourite parts of the day and often leaves me emotional!
"We really want people to make it their own and bring their personalities and their love story to the day in as many ways as possible – because it’s what makes it unique and it brings everyone together."