Our Family’s Story
Owners and managing directors Jamie and Connie and their two little ones have set off on the adventure of a lifetime and purchased Wedderlie House. This magical place will soon become one of the most fairy tale like wedding venues in Scotland, as not only are the grounds stunning but also the newly decorated events spaces and bedrooms. Below are a few questions we asked them, to help our future couples understand Wedderlie and the family better.
Tell us a little about the idea behind Wedderlie?
Connie: Well, we loved it from the very first time we came to visit. We saw the potential straight away. The whole idea is really just based on our wedding. We had a big old house on the West Coast and all of our friends and family came for the whole weekend and it was like a big house party, a family party. It was ours for the entire weekend and it gave us so much freedom. That’s the concept behind it. Wedderlie is the blank canvas they’ve got and the couples seem to be responding very positively. They can do whatever they want with the place in their own relaxed setting. It is so private, you cannot see it from the main road and it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere, while actually you are a 45min drive away from Edinburgh.
Jamie: For the longest time we were looking to open a residential children’s summer camp as that’s my background in the US. And when we came across Wedderlie it was an opportunity, perhaps, to diversify the business but so it still linked with events. In the summer camp setting you are dealing with 500-700 people and for wedding it’s 100 to 200 maybe a bit more, so it looked like something we could take on. We also thought with how different weddings are from all other events, we will challenge ourselves.
What is it like to take up a new venture like this in these unclear times?
Connie: Rather stressful. Six months ago we thought this cannot get anymore stressful and then Covid-19 hit. It is always one thing on top of the other, but it gets to a point where you just absorb stress as you have the bigger picture in mind. We got this place last year when Clara, our youngest, was 4 weeks old and she was unwell. Jamie was making phone calls from the hospital. We knew then and we know now that things will settle down, everything will get set up and in place, hard work will pay off and we will definitely look back at these experiences fondly.
Jamie: It’s a start of a business, sometimes it feels like there is so much to do, but then at the end of that week everything comes together and you see results. Also compared to other wedding venues, we do not want to ever become a wedding factory. We want to have time to prepare from one event to another and we will never have one group of guests arriving to see the other ones leave.
Connie: As well as weddings we think Wedderlie would also be a great place for family reunions, special celebrations and much more. The house looks grand, but it is much more intimate inside, if you had a big family birthday, you would never feel like you were having it in a wedding venue.
How do you cope with raising two wee ones and opening a new venue?
Jamie: When it comes to childcare, we could have not done it if Connie hadn’t adjusted her working days to take care of girls and if our family could not have visited regularly to relieve both of us from babysitting duties and give us some breathing space.
Connie: Jamie is working flat out but he always makes time to play with the girls. Just today, for example, he took both of them on a golf cart and went for a long drive around the grounds with them laughing and shouting. Gave me a minute to make a phone call.
What values do you base your family and work life on?
Jamie: I think we care about having a good product that we can be proud of. Not only the rooms or facilities, but actually giving people time, not having everything squeezed into one intense day, but rather letting bride and her girls decorate the venue the day before, have time to catch up with everyone and so on. At weddings people will meet for the first time in many cases, you need time to relax, take a breath, shake a hand with someone you would not normally have a chance to, flirt with someone, really breath and soak it in. As cheesy as it sounds, really truly form some proper memories that are not all packed into one twelve hour block.
Connie: It is a family business. It is all about everyone lending a hand. The grandparents are all helping, Jamie’s father helps cut the grass, my dad has been trimming the hedging, mums are doing the curtains, the whole extended family is involved. Everyone loves being here and that is why it is easy to stay motivated. It is such a special place. Wedderlie is the labour of love for the whole family.