Wedding Venue of the Year prize for Dunglass near Dunbar

Wedding Venue of the Year prize for Dunglass near Dunbar

Dunglass Estate, south-west of Dunbar, picked up the Wedding Venue of the Year at Scotland’s Prestige Awards.

The sea-view location helped the venue secure a 75 per cent increase in weddings in 2022 compared to the previous year, and enquiries are up by nearly 40 per cent for January compared to the same month last year.

The rise coincides with the completion of an extensive renovation of the grounds, venue and accommodation, and is projected to continue despite the current cost-of-living crisis.

Simon Usher, Dunglass Estate owner and managing director, was delighted with the success.

He said: “It’s in the last nine months that we’ve noticed a really significant spike in bookings.

“We hosted all weddings that were rearranged due to Covid in 2021 and last year was fully booked with all new enquiries.

“Now we’re at capacity for 2023 weekends and only have a limited number left in 2024 too, with a waiting list of couples anticipating the opening of our 2025 diary.”

With several thousand acres, Dunglass Estate has been in the Usher family for more than 100 years, originally purchased by Mr Usher’s great-grandfather in 1919.

The current owner took the helm in 2009 and lives on-site with his wife Joyce and two children Thomas and Lucy.

Prior to this, Dunglass had predominantly been an agricultural estate with in-hand and tenanted farming, along with a number of property lets.

It became apparent to Mr Usher that the estate needed to diversify to sustain a healthy business.

Changes included implementing renewable energy schemes, holiday letting and events.

Dunglass Estate held its first weddings in 2009, with a clear span marquee adjacent to the historic 15th-century collegiate church.

A significant increase in demand for weddings at the estate was noted and, as a result, an extensive renovation of the venue began in 2020.

This included the development of a brand-new premium wedding pavilion, restoration of the Stable Yard and the addition of a luxury ‘tree-house’ honeymoon suite which sits on an elevated platform tucked among ancient spruce trees.

Mr Usher added: “We’re so excited to be in a position to develop and continually improve the estate and our offering for clients, whilst at the same time protecting our historic landscape.

“It’s a fine line between diversification and over development.

“However, I feel we’ve achieved the perfect balance.

“The business has continued to grow and it is now a major contributor towards the overall success of Dunglass Estate, generating substantial revenue and support towards the local economy.”

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East Lothian Courier
Cameron Ritchie

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