Search Scotland’s most impressive wedding venues
Table of contents:
More than 25,000 couples decide to tie the knot in Scotland each year – and the country has firmly cemented itself as one of the world’s most magical and diverse wedding locations.
1. Scottish Law means you can get married just about anywhere in the country – there are no limits to where your special day can take place. It also means you can take advantage of Scotland’s astounding natural and historic beauty when selecting your wedding venue.
2. It’s all about traditions. If you want a wedding that embraces rituals, Scotland is the place to go – from dancing and music to gifts and fashion.
3. The food. Hear us out! Scotland gets a bit of a bad rep when it comes to food – but it’s one of the culinary hubs of Europe. From craft beers and whiskies to fresh seafood, wherever you hold your wedding there are plenty of local delicacies to take advantage of.
4. Celebrating heritage. More than 50 million people around the world can claim some Scottish ancestry. A wedding in Scotland is great for celebrating that ancestry by fully immersing yourself in the culture and traditions of your ancestor’s homeland.
It depends entirely on what you want. Scotland’s great diversity of space means that wherever you want your dream wedding to be, they’ll have a location that’s perfect for you.
Some popular choices include Scotland’s seven cities – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness, Perth or Stirling – where unique locations abound, from historic castles to contemporary hotels. You can get married in a civil ceremony in their central government buildings and landmarks – including the beautiful Glasgow City Chambers and the chapel at Edinburgh Castle.
Those looking to elope should visit Gretna Green in Dumfries and Galloway – where young lovers would cross the border from England to marry. Hotels in the area take full advantage of the area’s romantic history to offer a storybook wedding for visitors.
Or, for the nature lovers wanting a wild and untouched landscape to overlook their special day, the Highlands and Islands aren’t just beautiful outside, but promise hospitality and tradition that’s famous the world over.
There are more than 1,500 castles in Scotland, with many offering wedding packages so you can get married surrounded by history.
Farmland makes up a huge percentage of Scotland’s countryside, so renovated, rustic barns and stables are popular for weddings, especially during the summer.
If you’re driving from England, follow the M6 motorway north before changing to the M74 at the Scottish Borders for the direct route to Glasgow. From Southern Scotland, use the same M74 motorway and from Northern Scotland, use the M9 and M80 roads.
Whether turned into hotels or offered as an exclusive use property, beautiful sprawling estates make for a magical wedding location. Some are privately owned, but others – particularly ones with historical interest – are owned by the National Trust for Scotland, which gives a free year’s membership to anyone getting married on its properties.
Scotland has around 1,900 hotels across the country, from five-star city chains to charming, rustic inns and pubs. Many accommodate wedding parties and ensure that your guests will have somewhere to stay and relax while they celebrate your big day.
For those eloping or wanting a low-key ceremony, all county buildings or city town halls will offer space for a wedding. Thanks to Scotland’s incredible architecture, you don’t have to give up a beautiful location for a smaller wedding.
Regional produce is king in Scotland, so when it comes to drinking look out for whiskey, gin and beer distilled or brewed in the city, as well as locally roasted coffee – Glasgow’s coffee culture is steadily become a Scottish landmark all on its own.
Scottish law says that you can get married almost anywhere – isn’t that great? There are thousands of venues across the country, with plenty of unique spots to choose from. From castles and lochside to stately homes and a spot in a national park.
Unlike England and Wales, in Scotland it is legal to get married at a private property like your home, you’ll just need to go to a registrar prior to the ceremony to fill in the correct paperwork. Any property you want to get married in will need to have a marriage or civil ceremony license – so it’s worth checking before you book whether you’ll have to buy a license in advance.
Surveys estimate that the average Scottish wedding costs around £30,000 – but costs will vary significantly depending on the venue hired, catering, how many guests you’re inviting, décor, payment of staff etc.
Putting a sixpence in the bride’s shoe if you’re getting married in Aberdeenshire or Angus is believed to bring good luck to the marriage. If you’re in the Scottish Borders, including white heather in the bride’s bouquet is the way to happy, lucky marriage.
In Fife, an older married woman will often wash and dry the feet of the bride before the wedding. There is a groom’s equivalent, but it’s not quite as popular – it involves having your legs covered in grease, ash and soot while you sit in a tub of water.
Perhaps one of the most common traditions is kilt wearing. Kilts are worn for formal occasions and some families will have patterns and tartan that have a strong significance to the groom or bride’s heritage. You can even incorporate the tartan into the bride’s outfit.
When it comes to gifts, good luck is always the goal. A bride will give the groom a Wedding Sark – a special shirt. In return, the groom pays for the bride’s dress. Alternatively, the groom will gift the bride a luckenbooth – a silver brooch engraved with hearts and considered a love token.
Summer and autumn are the most popular times to get married in Scotland – because it’s generally when the weather cooperates. Though, you can never plan for when it might rain or get stormy; that happens all year round. May to October is the most popular choice for local couples.
It’s worth making sure your wedding doesn’t clash with any major events or you could find yourself struggling to book locations. Try to avoid Hogmanay (Scottish New Year), Burns Night (January 25th) the Edinburgh Festival (August).
You are now signed up for the Hidden Scotland Journal, a free weekly email. Would you also like to gain free access to the full features of Hidden Scotland? To find out more sign up below.