Planning a Wedding in Scotland: The Ultimate Guide

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Planning a wedding can be stressful and time-consuming, but with the right tools and guidance – it can also be a lot of fun

If you’re looking to tie the knot in the beautiful country of Scotland, you’ve come to the right place. To really take the hassle out of your big day organising, you can use our expert wedding planning service to make the process even smoother.

Otherwise, everything you need to know about planning a wedding in Scotland lies within this ultimate guide.

Let’s get cracking.

Read More: Wedding Checklist Uk: Everything You Need For Your Brit Wedding

Scotland Destination Wedding

For those who may still be on the fence as to whether or not Scotland is the right location for your wedding, let us break it down why it is, in fact, the perfect place to say “I do”.

  • It has something for everyone. Whether you love the great outdoors or the chic glamour of the city, Scotland has it all. With mountains, lochs, glens, national parks, castles, the north sea coastline, mythical islands, and so much more, it is the ideal spot for nature lovers who want an outdoor ceremony. Conversely, cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh provide much by way of city dwelling delights.
  • It’s perfectly legal to wed outdoors. Unlike other parts of the UK, you can enjoy a humanist or religious ceremony almost anywhere outdoors in Scotland (with the landowner’s permission, of course).
  • Moody, atmospheric locations. Scotland’s weather and scenery is dramatic and can make for some truly stunning wedding locations (not to mention, epic photography!).

Wedding traditions. Did you know the Scots love nothing more than a cheeky wedding tradition (or two), which can make your wedding just that much more special.

Getting married in winter? Head over to this post instead

Planning a Wedding in Scotland

To save yourself from getting slightly overwhelmed, you are well-advised to tackle your wedding planning in chapters and ticking off your accomplishments as you go.

Scottish Wedding Venues

So, a BIG thing to get ticked off your list that will get you 50% of the way there with your wedding prep is finding and booking the perfect venue.

And you’re in luck because Scotland has SO much to offer when it comes to stylish and stunning Scottish wedding venues. Again, whether you’re lovers of the outdoors, or folks who prefer the creature comforts and modernity of city life, you’re spoilt for choice as to which wedding venue to choose from.

Read More: Engagement Rings in Edinburgh: 10 Locations You Can Visit Today 

Photography by Wildling Weddings

Wedding Dress

Most brides will vouch that the dress is arguably the most important part of the day! Once you’ve gotten that, everything else is a piece of cake (speaking of cake – we’ll get to that in a minute!).

Sometimes getting your dream dress (or dresses, or jumpsuits, or whatever!) can be a faff, and there’s the stress of making sure it arrives on time, fits superbly, looks and feels incredible, and that any alterations are made in time for your big day.

When planning a wedding in Scotland, we highly recommend Bliss Studio in Edinburgh. The lovely team ensures you can try your dress on in the studio and take it away with you that day, if you desire.  It’s actually where I (your Scotland wedding/elopement planner and photographer) got my own wedding dress. 

There are as many as 300 stunning designer dresses to choose from and all gowns are immaculate and beautifully presented when leaving the studio. You can even hook yourself up with some beautiful accessories too, guaranteeing the most daunting part of your wedding planning is sorted.

Photography by Wildling Weddings at Newhall Estate

Wedding Cake

Who doesn’t love cake?!

Choosing your wedding cake can be a lot of fun. We love to be as ethical and sustainable as possible, as well as supporting local trade.

Wildling Weddings loves Plant Patisserie in Musselburgh, who ensure the tastiest part of your special day is handled locally and in time for your Scottish wedding. Because we love local, sustainable, plant-based companies, The Plant Patisserie is ideal for all of your cake needs. Again, my wedding cake was from here and was applauded by many guests as the best wedding cake they had ever had. 

As well as wedding cakes, they also specialise in other delicious treats, such as cupcakes and giant cookies. Is anyone else’s mouth watering?!

Photography by Wildling Weddings at Newhall Estate

Guest List

One of the biggest headaches couples encounter when planning a wedding is agreeing on the guest list – the size of it, whether or not kids should attend, or if you really want to invite your great aunt Mildred who you know will get a bit too tipsy and upset everyone?!

These are all questions you need to be hammering out before you book your venue and caterer. An idea on where to start is to look at your budget and see how many bums-on-seats you can realistically afford at your wedding.

Don’t be afraid to be ruthless either. It’s your special day and you should be happy with every aspect of it – especially that of who attends.

Bridal Party

Your bridal party is an important aspect of your day, especially if you’re planning a big affair. Typically, a bridal party will consist of your bridesmaids and groomsmen. How many of each you should have is entirely up to you.

A bridal party will usually consist of the best friends of the couple, sisters, brothers, nephews, nieces, in-laws, etc., and everyone will have assigned tasks (appointed by you and your spouse) as to what to do on the day (ring-bearer, best man, etc.) to make the before, during, and after of the ceremony as smooth and pleasant as possible.

Photography by Wildling Weddings at Newhall Estate

Wedding Photography

Another crucial element of your wedding prep is selecting the right photographer. It’s important you and your spouse are on the same page as your photographer, so that he or she can capture your special day in exactly the way you both want.

It’s imperative you work with someone who understands that it’s your day and it isn’t about what they want (whose wedding is it, afterall?!). A wedding photographer who tries to be too controlling and who doesn’t respect yours or your partner’s wishes is a red flag.

Questions to ask a potential wedding photographer include:

  • Do you have a portfolio?
  • Are you available on the selected day? (This one is kinda non-negotiable!)
  • Do you understand our vision of our big day?

Imogen and Gillian’s Portpatrick Wedding – Photographed by Wildling Weddings

How to get the BEST wedding photos – tell me where to send these tips!

Wedding Planner

If all of this sounds like a bit of a headache and you’d really rather leave it to the experts to plan, then look no further!

We offer a bespoke wedding and elopement planning service completely unique to you and your partner’s budget and is designed to cater to those planning on tying the knot in Scotland.

Planning a Wedding in Scotland: Checklist

We love the satisfaction that comes with ticking off a checklist, and planning a wedding is the ultimate opportunity to do just that!

So here’s an idea of what your checklist should look like:

  • Settle on the type of wedding that both you and your partner think will be wonderful (themes, colours, ceremony type, etc.).
  • Agree on a wedding date or month (it’s helpful to have this in mind when inquiring, but you may find this changes based on vendor availability)
  • Start creating a wedding mood board (Pinterest is always a good place to start)
  • Be clear about your budget.
  • Start building a gift list (people will ask for one even if they’re not invited – so it’s nice to have one ready. We love this site to build a gift list where you can just ask for cash!)
  • Consult a wedding planner (if you desire assistance).
  • Select members for your bridal party.
  • Start building a guest list.
  • Venue visiting/choose the venue or location.
  • Book your wedding photographer (your venue and photographer are probably your top two priorities as they book up years in advance)
  • Start looking for wedding outfits.
  • Start planning an engagement party (if you desire one).
  • Start planning bridal party clothing/colours.
  • Put down a deposit on your venue.
  • Book the celebrant.
  • Try out caterers and book the one you both agree is right.
  • Book the celebration entertainment (band/DJ, etc.).
  • Book a florist.
  • Book wedding day accessories (chairs, marquis, etc.), if the venue does not provide them.
  • Send out your RSVPs.
  • Purchase all bridal outfits and accessories.
  • Plan your hairstyle and makeup for the day and hire a stylist and makeup artist (if applicable).
  • Order your cake.
  • Plan your bachelorette party (or appoint your MoH to do so for your).
  • Book your wedding accommodation. 
  • Create a wedding gift list (if applicable).
  • Organise transportation to and from the venue.
  • Ensure wedding documentation/visas are applied for and approved.
  • Plan your wedding feast seating.
  • Write your vows.

Planning a Wedding in Scotland: FAQs

How much does an average wedding cost in Scotland?

According to a survey conducted by the Sunday Post, the average cost of a wedding in Scotland is around £30.000. That being said, this is for larger weddings (75+ people) and smaller weddings and elopements are much more affordable. Another benefit of working with a local planner is that you get access to the best deals and local connections – plus they can help you really make the most of your budget. 

I work with couples planning Scotland weddings and elopements in a range of budgets. Let’s chat about what your budget can get you. 

What is the cheapest way to get married in Scotland?

Eloping in Scotland is one of the most budget-friendly options there is, as it allows you to have a stunning spiritualist or humanist wedding with a minimal guest list, and can also mean you get get hitched outdoors, amidst the gorgeous lochs and glens that Scotland has to offer, and not have to shell out for a big venue.

How quickly can you get married in Scotland?

If eloping, the shortest window of time you have to apply for your marriage licence is 29 days. 

Can non-natives legally wed in Scotland?

Yes, it’s perfectly fine for couples from overseas to tie the knot in Scotland. However, they will need to apply for a marriage visa and have it approved at least three months before the planned date of the ceremony. 

Get in touch today so we can start planning your Scotland wedding!

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