Whatever the size, every single wedding is different and all couples who book their special day at four-star Norwood Hall Hotel in Aberdeen are treated like VIPs!
And looking after VIPs is something that Norwood’s general manager Stephane Portes is very accustomed to – for he has waited on the Queen in a previous role. The Paris-born GM arrived at Norwood Hall last year after spending almost 10 years as head of hospitality at The House of Lords in London. There, as well as meeting a number of dignitaries, he served Her Majesty and there was a nice surprise.
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Stephane revealed: “She heard my French accent and spoke to me in French!”
The Queen added a personal touch – and that is exactly what Norwood Hall Hotel offers to all who visit here, it’s not only reserved for couples getting married.
Stephane insisted: “Everyone at Norwood is made to feel special.”
Constituency and staff retention are two things the hotel is most proud of, and no one is better placed to explain this further than the hotel’s wedding sales manager, who has been planning weddings for couple at Norwood for almost two decades, the very aptly-named, Julie Love.
Julie, who started working at the venues as a regional manager in 2003, said: “Unlike elsewhere in the hospitality industry, we have a very small staff turnover. Many of our staff have been here for a long time, including myself and our head chef Matthew Moore, who has been here for nine years.”
“That’s because Norwood is a great place to work, as well as get married,” added Stephane.
“Our staff have a wealth of knowledge, so they are equipped to deal with most requests from couples. Nothing is too much trouble for them when it comes to organising weddings. We cater to suit all individual desires.”
Along with her colleague Aimee Nekrewc, the hotel’s wedding coordinator, Julie’s job is to guide couples through the entire wedding planning process, from their initial visit right up to – and including – their wedding day.
Every wedding is unique at Norwood Hall Hotel in Aberdeen
Aimee, who has been at Norwood for four years, explained: “Every wedding is unique and we can do exactly what the couple wants, including themed weddings. I once organised a Disney-themed wedding for a couple, with multi-coloured chairs and Disney centrepieces. We have also hosted Game of Thrones and Harry Potter weddings!”
Stephane added “From the themed to the simplistic, we can do anything. Our hotel is so beautiful, you don’t need a theme.”
Most hospitality venues were plunged into chaos when coronavirus hit, but, fortunately, thanks to Julie and Aimee’s care and attention, the majority of weddings were not cancelled, and postponed instead.
Aimee explained: “We had one bride who had rebooked seven times before she was finally able to hold her wedding.”
This year, the hotel is understandably busy with weddings – last week, it staged no less than five weddings – and it has noticed a rise in the number of couples booking mid-week nuptials, perhaps down to the fantastic deals the hotel has introduced for weekday weddings.
Despite being busy, Stephane is quick to point out that the hotel is “not a wedding factory”.
That’s correct, given its size and grandeur, you would assume that Norwood Hall could stage two or three weddings at a time, but this is NOT the Norwood way.
“We never hold more than one wedding at the hotel on any given day,” said Julie.
Aimee continued: “One things people don’t expect from Norwood is that we can host weddings of any size, not just ones with large guest numbers. Yes, we have a big ballroom which can seat over 150 guests, but we also have smaller function rooms that are perfect for small, more intimate ceremonies.
“We have held weddings at Norwood Hall Hotel in Aberdeen for just two people, as well as ones with 10, 20, 40, and 150-plus guests.”
Julie agrees: “There is no such thing as a ‘normal wedding’, our brides and grooms discuss what they want, and we will make it happen.”
It’s easy to see why the hotel has won two Top Tier Awards for Venue of the Year (in 2019 and 2022) and that couples planning their big day are drawn to Norwood. Norwood Hall was also winner of the North East Wedding Venue of the Year in 2017,2019 and 2021 as well as the Wedding Coordinator of the Year in 2018. As well as being a stunning four-star venue, which has a countryside vibe despite its close proximity to Aberdeen city centre, it serves award-winning food – Norwood is the holder of two AA rosettes – and has no less than 73 bedrooms, ideal for wedding guests who wish to extend their stay.
To discover why Norwood Hall, which is part of Macdonald Hotels, could be your perfect wedding venue, arrange a visit to speak to Julie, Aimee and the team.