Forest Wedding Scotland: Planning Your Magical Outdoor Ceremony

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Scotland is a real-life fairyland full of magical locations and scenery that will take the breath away from even the most seasoned of travellers.

And the best part? Happy couples can tie the knot in many of these outdoor areas, such as lochs, mountains, national parks, beaches, and forests.

Those planning a forest wedding Scotland are spoilt for choice when it comes to woodland scenery to get hitched in, and today Wildling Weddings dons its metaphorical wellies to take a wander through some of the most romantic foliage.

Read more: Secret Herb Garden Edinburgh Wedding: 2024/25 Guide

glencoe scotland wedding photographer waterfall loch lochan forest

Photography by Wildling Weddings

Forest Wedding Scotland: Woodland Wedding Venues

Nothing beats the rural magic of a forest wedding.

Cairngorms National Park

The vast and scenic terrains of Cairngorms National Park are more than generous when it comes to providing beautiful areas to hold your wedding ceremony.

Those wanting a traditional Scottish wedding – complete with bagpipes, tartan kilts, and drams of whisky – will be hard-pushed to find an area more charming, as the park is one of the country’s most treasured locations.

Cairngorms National Park is joint-owned by private holders and several charitable conservation trusts, all of whom have given their blessing to tie the knot at this magical location.

Featuring mountain-dappled backdrops, sparkling lochs, and woodland a-plenty, the national park is ideal for a forest wedding in Scotland. Not only are there multiple areas to choose from, but the park features plenty of hotels, camping spots, eateries, and celebratory venues, so you can enjoy all stages of your special day without travelling too far.

Just some of our favourite Cairngorms National Park locations include:

caitlin and jack loch an eilein lochside wedding scotland aviemore
caitlin and jack loch an eilein lochside wedding scotland aviemore

Photography by Wildling Weddings

Cairngorms Hotel

Having a forest wedding doesn’t mean sacrificing the comfort and glamour of a hotel wedding. While you may wish to say your vows in the thicket of a rural woodland area, those chilly mountain winds will have you longing for a cosy place to warm your bones – and dance the night away!

This indie hotel features a restaurant, bar, and lively lounge area – perfect for post-wedding celebrations. Not only that but you and your guests needn’t worry about travelling to another location once the party is over. Instead, just amble upstairs for a comfortable night’s sleep in one of the hotel’s plush rooms.

Venue features & facilities:

  • Log fire/wood-burner
  • Nearby amenities (0.5 miles)
  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Outdoor seating
  • Wi-Fi
  • Car park

Cairngorm Mountain

Those favouring a hiking wedding surrounded by Rowan trees and other Scottish foliage can enjoy the best of both worlds with a woodland location as well as the summit of one of the country’s most epic mountains.

And after the vows have been said and the rings have been exchanged, why not head to the nearby Ptarmigan Restaurant & Bar for a bite to eat and a glass of champers?!

glencoe scotland wedding photographer waterfall loch lochan viewpoint pap of glencoe

Photography by Wildling Weddings at Glencoe Lochan Elopement

Rowan Tree Country Hotel & Restaurant

Sat at the lip of Loch Avie lies the beautiful family-run countryside hotel that offers cosy accommodation and delicious freshly-cooked meals – all from locally-sourced produce and ingredients.

Featuring 10 unique bedrooms, this venue is an ideal base for smaller-scale weddings with only a smattering of guests. And in case you haven’t heard, micro-weddings and elopements are some of the best ways to ensure a super intimate ceremony at a fraction of the cost.

Glen Clova Hotel

Just below the stunning Glen Doll in Cairngorms is the countryside manor-esque Glen Clava Hotel, another family-run venue offering cosy and romantic accommodation for newlyweds.

Again, this venue only holds 10 rooms, so it is probably better suited for weddings of a smaller size. As well as being pet-friendly (yay!), the hotel features a bar, restaurant, and function space – ideal for wedding receptions.

Loch Drunkie

Scotland has no shortage of beautiful lochs, which can make for peaceful and serene ceremonies located right in the heart of nature – but it can also be overwhelming choosing the right loch for you.

While the famous Scotland lochs (such as Loch Ness) can be bustling with tourists all year round, some of the lesser-known options are idyllic for weddings – and they don’t come with mythical water beasts lurking beneath the surface!

Loch Drunkie is a small freshwater loch that can be found in the Trossachs National Park in Stirling. Be mindful that Drunkie is a little off the beaten track and is only accessible via the Three Lochs Forest Drive (open between April and October only).

scotland loch drunkie forest elopement photoshoot with kat and douglas
loch drunkie scotland elopement

Photography by Wildling Weddings

The Hermitage

Owned by the National Trust for Scotland, The Hermitage is a glorious stretch of land in rural Perthshire

Dappled with Douglas Firs and strewn with Highland springs – including the cascading waters of the formidable Black Linn Falls, which can be viewed from Ossian’s Gill – this magical woodland area is ideal for those wanting a forest wedding.

But trees and waterfalls are just some of the epic aspects of this area. Couples can say their vows in front of the serene waters of the River Braan or the hidden totem pole deep within the Hermitage woodland – a firm favourite of the area’s most athletic resident: the red squirrel!

Forest Wedding Venues

Choosing the right woodland spot to hold your wedding is best done once you’ve found the right post-wedding venue or accommodation. Some of Wildling Weddings’ favourite spots include:

Craigard at Carrick Castle Estate, Argyll

Overlooking the rippling waters of Loch Goil, Craigard at Carrick Castle Estate is a remote and sublimely peaceful woodland venue, which also happens to be an ideal location for lovers of water sports, such as kayaking, windsurfing, and wild swimming.

The estate has a dedicated rustic barn for those favouring an alternative option, perhaps for a summer wedding with a barbecue. However, for those desiring something a little more traditional, there is a range of ceremony, reception, and accommodation options to suit every style (including a private chapel). 

Finally, unlike many venues or locations in Scotland, Carrick Castle Estate is open all year round, making it the perfect snow-capped location for a romantic winter wedding. 

Cluny Castle, Aberdeenshire

Scotland has no shortage of epic and mystical castles, but it is hard not to see how Cluny Castle stands out from the rest with its regal turrets and perfectly manicured grounds.

Dating back to the 14th century, Cluny Castle sits among acre after acre of quiet woodland – and the castle itself features a gorgeous tree-lined driveway for the utmost privacy and rural charm. 

One thing that is worth bearing in mind is that Scottish weather – even in the height of summer – is nothing if not unpredictable, and while a forest wedding might seem like the epitome of fairytale romance, a chilly downpour or surge of Highland gusts can put a (literal) damper on the day – so a back-up may be required.

Cluny features its very own chapel (complete with stained glass windows, just FYI), as well as plenty of room for a beautiful marquee – all while being served champagne and canapés fresh from the castle’s own kitchen.

Marthrown of Mabie, Dumfries

Sometimes the best way to enjoy a forest wedding is to go all out and opt for a glamping option!

Marthrown of Mabie is an award-winning wedding venue in the Southwest of Scotland – and it is BANG ON THE MONEY for those who adore all things woodland and al fresco.

With ceremony options including a forest canopy, the Celtic Roundhouse, or anywhere else within the grounds of this Solway Firth nature reserve (which even includes a loch), you are spoiled for venue choice, whatever the weather. 

Once the festivities are over, you and your guests can tuck yourselves up into the venue’s glamping yurts for a cosy night in nature.

Gilmerton House, East Lothian

Fancy a woodland wedding complete with a rose garden?! Gilmerton House delivers! This stunning Georgian manor prides itself on merging history and tradition with modernity and sustainability, making it perfect for all tastes and preferences.

As for the wedding itself, Gilmerton allows couples to fully take the helm with independent planning for a completely bespoke ceremony. Conversely, you can choose one of several wedding packages to take the stress out of orchestrating your big day.

Forest Wedding Scotland: FAQs

One of the many amazing things about tying the knot in Scotland is that you can get hitched pretty much anywhere – indoors or out. 

Unlike many other countries where getting married outside is prohibited, Scotland allows you to take advantage of the abundance of rural al fresco locations, such as lochs, mountains, beaches, and more.

Yes, they are perfectly legal, provided you seek the landowner’s permission. This could be private, government, or National Trust (to name a few), so make sure you do your research and be ‘by the book’ about it.

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