Are you thinking of having your wedding in Scotland? A Scottish wedding can represent a great way to enjoy a traditional ceremony in historic venues, with options available across the Scottish Highlands and Glasgow and Edinburgh, and many more places besides. When planning a wedding in Scotland, what are some of the things that you need to focus on, from registration and practical matters through to exploring traditional vows and rituals for an authentic Scottish ceremony?

Registration and Practicalities

In terms of getting a wedding off the ground, you’ll need to make a Marriage Notice Application to a local registrar in Scotland, as well as registering the details of witnesses. As with other parts of the UK, both bride and groom will have to be at least 16, and legally free to marry. For religious weddings, you’ll require the approval of a local minister. Basic costs include around £30 for the Notice Application, which should be sent at least a few months before a wedding is planned to take place.

For civil ceremonies, rules include choosing a place that’s not used for religious worship, and that carries a civil venue license; humanist wedding ceremonies can also be arranged, after being made legal in 2005. At present, same sex marriages are not allowed under law in Scotland, but may be enabled in the near future as a draft bill is being developed by the Scottish government as part of a revised Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill.

Traditional Weddings

If you want to have a traditional Scottish wedding, there are a range of options that you can consider; these include the wearing of Celtic wedding dresses and kilts for women and men, as well as the use of bagpipes and well established songs like the ‘Highland Wedding’. Other options include exchanging Scottish Lucenbooth brooches prior to the wedding ceremony. Many exclusive wedding venues in Scotland will have provisions for booking traditional wedding entertainment and decorations for the day.

Venues

One of the major appeals of having a wedding in Scotland is the choice of venues that you can use. A wedding in the Scottish Highlands can represent an opportunity to enjoy remote landscapes and views, as well as allowing you to hold your ceremony and reception in a historic building. Ackergill Tower, for example, represents a 15th century Highlands castle with 37 bedrooms and a private beach, enabling you to enjoy a traditional wedding day in peace and quiet. Other options include venues such as The Hermitage in Perthshire, and Brig o’ Doon in Alloway.

You can also look for wedding venues in Scotland’s main cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, with the former offering boutique hotels and halls around the West End and on the banks of the River Clyde. Within Edinburgh, consider the Princess Royal Suite in the Royal Scots Club, as well as the Bonham Hotel. Other, more unusual places to look for in terms of Scottish wedding venues include the medieval Balbegno Castle in Aberdeenshire, which overlooks a private lake.