THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING! Rugged, remote and ridiculously romantic, no matter what the season, there is something incredibly seductive about saying “I do” high up in the hills. While the summer months offer a carpet of bright purple flowering heather, wondrous wildflowers and bubbling burns, the winter months bring about a fairytale winter wonderland filled with sparkling snow and glistening glaciers.
With all that gorgeousness going on, it’s easy to see why online searches for mountain weddings have risen exponentially in recent years; however, many an alpine inspired couple have abruptly ended their quest for mountain matrimony when they discover what getting married in the mountains truly entails. It’s all well and good if you and your other half are capable of scrambling to the top of a sky-scratching peak to declare your love for one-another, but what about the photographer or great-aunt Glenda’s dodgy hip or more importantly, your hair and makeup!
Mountain weddings aren’t accessible to everyone, they require extra preparation and a lot of compromise. That is, unless the wedding takes place on Aonach Mor at Nevis Range! That’s right, we have found the answer to all your mountain wedding woes, a GONDOLA! This week’s Incredible Scottish Wedding Venue is a magnificent mountain with its very own gondola and here’s why we’re loving Nevis Range near Fort William so much:
• Just a ten minute drive from the train/bus station and a variety of accommodation in Fort William
• Accessible by gondola and chairlift
• Unbeatable views, a photographer’s dream!
• Innumerable ceremony options
• Available for both summer & winter weddings
• Large space to accommodate 60 (sit-down wedding breakfast) and 100 (evening reception)
• Ample space for a marquee if desired
• Great catering team to create bespoke menus
If you’re newly engaged and eager to take your first steps into the wild world of wedding planning, the likelihood is that Pinterest will have piqued your interest and you’re not alone! Every year, 40 million brides and grooms-to-be turn to Pinterest to inspire, inform and ignite the wedding planning flame and in 2018, couples in the throes of organising their big day were pinning here, there and everywhere with 378 million wedding-related searches being conducted!
The ‘mood-board marriage’ phenomenon has given rise to the creation of Pinterest’s annual Wedding Report. This hotly anticipated document details the trending terms of the moment and this year’s report shows that one of the hottest trends of 2019 is mountain weddings, with searches up by a whopping 32%; however, there’s no need to book a flight to the Pyrenees, as Nevis Range is the bee’s knees!
Nevis Range is gloriously situated at the western end of the Great Glen and is incredibly accessible for all. Not only is there oodles of car parking at the foot of the mountain, there’s also a gondola, which will effortlessly sweep couples and their guests 665m above sea level where they will be treated to SENSATIONAL views over Loch Linnhe, Loch Eil, the Great Glen and towards the north face of Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis.
When adventure hungry duo, Bridget and Jonathan, took their Narnia-like nuptials at Nevis Range we were completely obsessed with their big day, which was captured beautifully by adventure photographer, Hamish Frost. After enjoying a Humanist ceremony with all the trappings of a regular wedding (enter a show-stopping white dress and snow-chilled champagne), the couple took to the slopes to celebrate their newlywed status, racing each other from the summit, out over the back of the mountain before returning to the Snow Goose Restaurant where they enjoyed a reception with friends and family.
If you’re planning on a summer wedding or you’re not quite as surefooted in the snow as daredevils, Bridget & Jonathan, there’s plenty of fabulous options where you can take advantage of the mountain location without even breaking a light sweat! The gondola drops off at the Snow Goose Restaurant and from there, couples and their guests can make their way to dozens of incredible ceremony locations where they can enjoy complete privacy with a mesmerising Great Glen backdrop.
After the ceremony, couples and their guests can either take their wedding breakfast and reception in the Snow Goose Restaurant or head back down to base level where they can carry on the celebrations into the early hours at the Pine Marten Café. This modern and inviting space is filled with natural light and affords breathtaking views up towards Aonach Mor and Ben Nevis through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Both reception spaces comfortably seat 60 for the wedding breakfast and 100 standing guests for the reception and there’s plenty of room for a band or DJ for couples and their guests to dance the night away. The Snow Goose and the Pine Marten are complete blank canvases so creative couples on the lookout for a venue to personalise with their own ideas will be spoilt for choice.
The catering team at Nevis Range have designed several set-menus to suit all tastes and dietary requirements, but should couples wish for something a little more bespoke, the team are more than happy to discuss their wishes.
Should the worst case scenario occur and the good old Scottish weather force the gondola to stop in its tracks, there’s plenty of incredible ceremony options at the foot of Nevis Range. Why not take your nuptials in the shelter of a secluded woodland or down by the peaceful River Lundy? Or if an indoor ceremony is essential, the Pine Marten Café with its breathtaking views, makes for a perfect indoor option.
Known as the Outdoor Capital of the UK, the historic town of Fort William is just a ten minute drive from Nevis Range and offers a great variety of accommodation as well as the opportunity to enjoy an array of pre and post-wedding activities such as walking, rafting, kayaking, fishing, golfing, horse riding, mountain biking and way more besides. All in all, Nevis Range is the perfect mountain location for adventurous couples on the lookout for a unique and exciting big day!
Venue: Nevis Range
Couple: Bridget & Jonathan