The launch of Wedderlie House, between Duns and Lauder in the Scottish Borders, sees a husband and wife business couple enter the burgeoning world of exclusive use wedding & events venues, by literally putting the flags out!

Originally a Castle dating back to the 12th Century, and with parts of the present eleven bedroom Mansion House dating from the 17th Century, Wedderlie is clearly awash with history. Just one of its notable stories over the centuries is that it was gifted by King Robert the Bruce to his loyal liege, Sir Richard Edgar, in 1327, remaining in the Edgar family for 400 years.

Still oozing with character features, Wedderlie House, set on a private sixty acre estate with multiple outbuildings, including cottages and stables, offered huge potential in the exclusive use marketplace, with demand growing for locations where bridal couples and their guests could all stay together to enjoy wedding celebrations lasting several days.

Present owner Jamie Raine-Fraser has already made his mark in entrepreneurial prowess with the successful Summer Camps recruitment business, Wild Packs, which has been operating for the past ten years, recruiting staff to work on camps in the US.

Along with his wife Connie, a busy GP who is now overseeing all the interior design work when time allows, they acquired Wedderlie House only last year, but have literally put their heart and soul into the venture, juggling two young children and a hectic family life, to get the property ready to launch.

Their clear vision was to tap into this new “lifestyle wedding” movement, along with targeting the lucrative staff incentive market.

Lovingly refurbished, Wedderlie House is now a modern and luxurious venue, which still retains its Country Mansion heart. With the help of local tradesmen, Jamie has brought the historic House back to life, also carrying out extensive groundworks around the estate.

With other family members pitching in to help, they have created what they believe is one of Scotland’s most exciting new destinations, offering, in Jamie’s words, “not just weddings, but life events you will never forget.”

The estate can now accommodate around forty four people, with twenty two sleeping in the eleven well appointed bedrooms in the main House. Added to the portfolio is a comfortable cottage with four double bedrooms.

Brides can enjoy a luxurious dressing room in Wedderlie House, in which to get ready, then spend their wedding night in the stylish bridal suite with its stunning views out over the surrounding countryside.

A choice of marquee locations outside mean that Wedderlie can cater for any wedding, large or small. A large secure area directly in front of the House is the perfect location in which to stage an impressive firework celebration, or site Fairground Rides.  A quirky touch is the Doocot, complete with doves, which can play their part in the wedding.

And when it comes to the corporate sector, Wedderlie is setting out its stall with an impressive selection of on site activities, from archery, to croquet, and even blindfold off road driving around the estate, pastimes which hens and stags can also enjoy. A versatile all weather sports court has recently been installed.     

An additional redevelopment is planned for the rest of the year at Wedderlie, as the Raine-Frasers roll out their business plan to create an additional 140 seater wedding venue out of the estate’s stable block. This impressive new venue will launch Summer 2020, offering its own dance area, bar, ceremony room, and two bedroom apartment above. Extra accommodation will be added to the Wedderlie portfolio in the coming months in the form of cosy cabins for couples and small families, complementing the existing accommodation choices.

Commenting on the launch of Wedderlie House, Jamie Raine-Fraser said: “After a great deal of very hard work around this beautiful estate, and in the House itself, we are delighted to officially open for bookings here at Wedderlie House.  We are extremely excited about what we have on offer here, and can’t wait to start welcoming guests. This is an amazing opportunity for my wife and I to diversify into a second business in a vibrant sector. We fully intend to embrace it, feeling privileged to have acquired what is a very unique property in a superb location, just thirty five miles from the Capital.”

“We are perfectly placed to capitalise on weddings and events from customers in both Scotland and the North East of England, together with the US and Canada, attracted by our history and ambience,” added Jamie.

“On a personal level, my Wild Packs Summer Camps, which I run in the US, have given me considerable experience in logistics and event planning which I can now bring to bear in this new business.”

To herald their arrival onto what is becoming a competitive exclusive use scene, Jamie and Connie have come up with a novel idea, which taps into the House and Estate’s long and noble history.

Said Jamie: “The Edgar family had a heraldic crest which would have been flown on a flag above the Castle.  One of the first things we did on taking possession of the estate was to site our own flagpole to fly a flag featuring a new Wedderlie House logo, specially designed for us, and based on the initials W and H.”

“All wedding couples getting married here at Wedderlie can now have their very own specially designed flag, based on their initials, which we will fly for them throughout their entire celebrations, and is theirs to keep afterwards as a special memento. We will also give them this crest as a digital logo which they can use on stationery, place cards, and thank you notes if they wish,” he said.

“It’s not every day you are the Laird and Lady of a place like this, so we want to make it as special as possible, as well as setting the scene for guests who are bound to be impressed by this attention to detail.”

With Wedderlie’s slogan being “Your Day, Your Stay, Your Way”, the Frasers want to ensure that bridal couples put their own stamp on the whole experience.

“We have set a deliberately simple and straightforward pricing policy for both bridal and corporate markets,” said Jamie. “We also felt it was very important that all our customers were not tied into any suppliers, although we can certainly pass on our recommendations. But in effect every single wedding here at Wedderlie will be different.”

“All couples booking for this year will be subject to a discount and we have weekends available now from April onwards,” he finished. “Wedderlie is to be enjoyed over several days ideally – come and embrace it to make it a truly memorable event! The sky truly is the limit with a place like this!”

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