Scotland offers wonderful indoor and outdoor locations to hold your ceremony of marriage whether you’ll have a large, small or wee group, or you’ll elope or marry just the two of you.
What do you dream of? A beach? A ruined castle? A garden or forest? A lighthouse or boat? Or maybe you’d like to be indoors with all possible comforts to hand?
Here in Scotland we have something for everyone whether money is no object or you’re on a budget, and we know of venues that cost several thousands of pounds to hire, all the way to no cost locations!
- Famous Castle Ruins
We have so many castles in the North of Scotland we even have a Castle Trail! Favourite famous ruins are Dunnottar, and Urquhart (pictured) in its dramatic location overlooking Loch Ness!
With around fifty guests of family and friends bearing witness to their exchange of vows Lucy kept warm with her specially embroidered wedding denim jacket over her beautiful dress, and Calum was handsome in his kilt.
- Romantic Castles
There are so many romantic castles. Eilean Donan on the West Coast is iconic, and Brodie Castle (pictured) is a beautiful castle you can stay in and have your ceremony inside in your choice of several different locations, or outside in the garden.
Crystal and Harley travelled from Australia to marry at Brodie Castle, and though they was just the two of them with their two year old daughter Scarlett, they had everything they dreamed of, including a horse drawn carriage.
- Small And Secret Castle Ruins
Sssshhhh, don't tell anyone, it's a secret! We have some amazing small ruined castles close to where we are which give you a good chance of having the place all to yourselves.
Nele and Marcel eloped so we were just five of us present - bride, groom, celebrant, and photographer and singer as legal witnesses. They enjoyed a champagne toast and a little dance to celebrate.
- Beautiful Beaches
The beaches of the North of Scotland, whether on the islands, west coast, north coast or Moray, are second to none. Depending on where you choose, you may have the beach to yourselves.
Findhorn Beach (pictured) is a special place for Jay and Prima, who like many other couples who have married on the beach, love that you have green grass and dunes on the spit, as well as multi coloured pebbles at the top of the beach, then when the tide is out there is a long stretch of golden sand. There are also weathered, wooden steps, and quirky coloured beach huts.
- Purpose Built and Popular Hotels
Hotels where you can have every aspect of your wedding day in one place, will never go out of fashion. You can get ready there, you and your family and friends can stay there, you can hold your ceremony there, you can have your celebration drinks, meal and dancing there.
Lauren and Ally were married at Meldrum House Hotel (pictured) one of the many comfortable and elegant hotels in the North of Scotland. Each hotel has something unique to offer - for example, Meldrum House has Heilan Coos in the paddock, a golf course and a lovely fountain in the grounds, and nice lawns for a little croquet if that's what delights you - and it has a new purpose built function suite.
- Village and Community Halls
There are some great community halls and centres dotted around the North of Scotland, which make very cost effective and adaptable wedding venues. They often offer a place to hold your ceremony and have your celebration meal and party, with kitchen, cloakroom and parking facilities to hand.
Asha and Kyle chose Strathpeffer Pavilion (pictured) for their wedding day celebrations and put their heart and souls into decorating the place to give a festive feel to welcome their 150 guests and create a party atmosphere.
- Exclusive Use Wedding Venues
There are some very special places you can hire where you can enjoy luxury and privacy for a few days and have a wedding weekend.
For example we particularly love Achnagairn Castle Hotel near Inverness which has bed rooms to accommodate around 50 people, a ballroom for your ceremony and party, reception rooms, kitchens, beautiful grounds, and further cottages to accommodate more guests.
Micaela and Dave chose to hold their ceremony in the Drawing Room of Logie Country House near Inverurie (pictured) which is a purposely refurbished manor house, that offers accommodation and the drawing room for ceremonies up to around 50 in the main house, as well as a stable block for larger ceremonies across the way. There's a wee pool inside and two hot tubs outside, and plenty of space.
- Woodland and Forest Weddings
We don't know if we in Scotland get a lot more rain than anywhere else, but it is enough to keep the local countryside green and lush. Angie and Will have woodlands and forests close by - and a little further away Glen Affric is a possible location for your ceremony as well as the Cairngorm National Park. Jane is near Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Your choice may depend on if you like trees near water, and if you prefer ancient oaks and beeches, or Scots Pine.
Here are Gunda and Axel enjoying the bluebells in May in the grounds of Boath House Hotel. The hotel is a great place to stay and dine, and has beautiful grounds and garden with a pond. It's also close to our favourite Cawdor Woods next to Cawdor Castle - magical, ancient woods where you can marry beneath a stone bridge next to a burn.
- Loch Ness Weddings
Did you know you can get married legally on water and on a boat? There are two lovely spots actually on Loch Ness where we like to hold ceremony - one on Dores Bay, and one on Urquhart Bay, with the iconic castle behind you. There are a few simple stipulations we must adhere to, but if the idea of marrying on water on a boat excites you, we're happy to oblige.
The luxury speedboat Eilidh Catriona (pictured) is one of our favourites - you'll have a warm welcome from skippers Gary and Bruce - but they can only take six visitors, so it would be a tiny group. However there are many more options for larger groups - it depends which body of water you would prefer, and which boat.
- Glorious Gardens
There are beautiful manicured gardens as well as amazing wild gardens that might be open to the public, or that you can pay to enter, or perhaps your choice of holiday home has some options?
For Kat and John who were married at Geddes House (pictured), they loved the idea that the ceremony could potentially be outside (weather permitting on the last day of April) and guests could sit in circle on bales of straw. We had two options of garden - one was just in front of the house, where everyone congregated for the ceremony, then there were further extensive mature gardens where we could take more photos for them.
- Sacred Spots and Wee Kirks
There are some quite lovely small churches as well as churches with a large capacity. One of our favourite large churches is Haddo House Chapel near Ellon. Its stained glass windows and pews, altar and organ, give it a very traditional church feel - also it's set in beautiful parkland, and the actual house has reception rooms where you can enjoy a post ceremony drink.
Belladrum Temple near Beauly is a very special place too. A tiny church in the round, it does not have electricity and can seat 30 people maximum. But many couples, like Russell and Wendy pictured, elope, and have the temple to themselves - and it does look beautiful decorated with candles and flowers.
- Home Sweet Home
In Scotland you can get legally married in your own garden or front room, so long as you choose a celebrant who is authorised to hold legal cermeonies and so long as you make an advance application to be legally married. You could have a five minute ceremony if you'd just like to be married with no fuss, or you could invite family and friends along to celebrate and put up a marquee or gazebo like Alan and Wendz who are pictured did. What you can't see is that their property is set on a clifftop with a fabulous view of the North Sea.
- Unusual Venues
Perhaps you fancy a treehouse, or a lighthouse, or what about a hobbit house? The Nature Sanctuary pictured looks a lot like a hobbit should live there, but it's actually a meditation and singing sanctuary that belongs to The Findhorn Foundation. It's the perfect wee spot for a tiny wedding or blessing, and able to seat around 14 people. So maybe you'll follow in the footsteps of Naomi and John pictured who had a betrothal ceremony there with just the two of them.
What would be a fun and unusual venue or place that you would like?
- Watery Places
We've mentioned beaches and Loch Ness as one example of a loch, but Scotland is home to rivers and other watery places. We have woods with burns (small streams) running through them, ponds surrounded by woodland, rivers surrounded by woodland (the River Findhorn is a favourite), and the wonderful Fairy Glen Waterfalls on The Black Isle (pictured) combines a burn, a pond, and two waterfalls with woodland - you get the best of all worlds. It's around a 20 minute walk from parking but remains one of our favourite spots, and we love to say hello to the fairies!