We’re a big fan of wedding venues that can feel like home for the weekend, and Guardswell Farm have that spirit in buckets. They’re also the complete full package – as well as being a gorgeous wedding venue, their stunning scenery and cosy hut accommodation is perfect for honeymoons, minimoons, occasions, and special weekends away. Plus, they’re all about the community spirit, something you know we love to champion here at Patchwork – but we’ll leave the lovely Anna to explain that below!
Tell us a bit about Guardswell Farm and what makes it so special.
Guardswell Farm is perched on a hillside, overlooking the beautiful Carse of Gowrie and River Tay…big panoramic views, a lovely and remote feeling, but really not too far from anywhere. We are a 150 acre grassland and mixed woodland farm, which is home to happily grazing Hebridean sheep and two characterful donkeys – Hugo and Ollie – as well as the other wildlife that we hope to have enticed over the last decade of improving the ecosystems. It’s all of these surrounding elements that make Guardswell Farm “the venue” more than just a space to host a wedding. Guardswell weddings give back a little…they mean that we can run workshops on the farm, as well as welcoming school children to ornithological mornings and apple pressing. They allow us to welcome guests into our little offgrid huts throughout the year – a chance for a real digital switch off, and an opportunity to slow down and notice the wild flowers and bird song.
If you could choose just five words to describe the venue to couples, what would you say?
Relaxed, welcoming, natural, contemporary-agricultural (thats not really a word), fun
What’s your favourite feature and why?
I adore the Bull Pen, a little space tucked away in the Steading with a corner glass window. When we first bought the farm, The Bull Pen was full to above the knees with ancient hay and deep “farm litter” but it was so charming! The old door, that would now lead to our covered “Lean To” at the front, had a chalk note scrawled into it describing the farrowing of a pig overnight. Now the walls are clad using the old timber that used to hold the Cattle Court roof up. A tiny safe hides in the corner for my grandfather’s whisky, massive squidgy sofas covered in waxed cotton are draped with wild sheepskins, a couple of chairs face south and there’s an old milk churn as a rest for your tea. I could spend hours in there reading, or looking at the view.
Which weddings stand out for you – any weird or wonderful ones?
To be quite honest (and without sounding too twee), we only host a handful a year all of our weddings stand out! We really do get the opportunity to get to know the couple – even become friends in some cases. We adore the really hands-on, everyone involved, DIY floristry weddings – the ones where every member of the family is there the day before and every task is covered by them – be it making the buttonholes, or even just keeping the tea topped up and tummies full. In terms of memorable… we’ve definitely been given a lot of animal related responsibility – that doesn’t always go well, or to plan, but we love having dogs involved in weddings – so totally worth the drama!
Have you ever had to be a hero and save the day?
Wow this is a hard one. There is always a bit of an emergency “kit” in the office, including nail varnish, safety pins, batteries, needle and thread, even we had some car parts that we bought from Auto News, just in case the just married car broke down… I guess there are lots of tiny things that we help with but nothing major – touch wood! – has happened, and certainly not something that we haven’t been able to deal with yet. We are a hardy bunch from farming families, so I think we’re pretty resourceful – and we also have the magical Jade, who has come from working in zoos for 10 years, so we like to think that if she can deal with rhinos and elephants, she can deal with anything at a wedding.
Do you have a favourite season or a particular theme or time of year that you think works best at Guardswell Farm?
As much as I adore the bright greens of spring…I think Autumn is just the best. The cosy evenings that are starting to draw in, dark wild foliage and roaring fires (but not too cold outside). Pretty dreamy!
And finally, give us the lowdown – quick facts and stats
- Family business, with some new adopted family now with us
- 3 Huts and 3 Houses, sleeping 30 in total on the farm
- 27 weddings of beautiful souls every year
- Opened in June 2017
- 150 acres of rolling grass fields and beautiful woodlands
- At least 2 courses or our own events a month- including our new Evening Markets
- Guardswell Grows – our sister company, run by my sister, growing gorgeous ecologically minded vegetables
- The best collection of farm/work dogs you’ll ever meet: 2 chocolate labradors Raisin and Porridge, 1 chocolate Cocker Mole, 2 black labradors Gillie and Ramsay (Porridge’s babies).
See! Didn’t we tell you that Guardswell Farm is just the dream location for everything?! If you’re looking to create a Patchwork for your DIY wedding, head to our wedding gift list templates – or why not try our Highland Fling honeymoon template?