Let’s be honest; picking the wedding dress is one of the most important parts of the wedding planning process, and the mission to find the ultimate wedding gown can be challenging.
But relax – we’re here to help. If you’re planning a Scottish wedding, well, first of all, congrats! It’s going to be epic! Secondly, we’re in no doubt you’ll want to add some traditional Gaelic attributes to your wedding, no?
If you’re tearing your hair out at the thought of trawling through endless Scottish wedding dresses in hopes of finding the perfect one in time for your big day, we’ve got you covered – literally!
We’ve put together this expert guide on wedding dress designers and ideas – and everything else you need to get you kitted out for your big day.
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Scottish Wedding Dresses: Designers & Ideas
First things first, if you’re planning a Scottish wedding ceremony – particularly an outdoor one – you will likely need to take the country’s infamous unpredictable weather into consideration when planning your wedding attire.
This could mean having warm clothing, a shawl, waterproofs, and even wellies on standby. Many couples opt for traditional Scottish scenery to tie the knot in, such as the Highlands or the Hebridian Isles, which can mean higher, colder altitudes and the possibility of wind, rain, or snow. So, bear that in mind.
Now that the obligatory weather warning is out of the way, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of finding Scottish wedding dresses.
Celtic Wedding Dresses
Many Scottish brides opt for a traditional Celtic wedding gown, which adds a dash of culture and fairytale to the day.
Oftentimes, traditional Celtic wedding dresses go heavy on the tartan – this can be a tartan bodice, veil, shawl, or even the whole dress (often teamed with white tuille underneath).
What we love about Celtic wedding dresses is that there’s much room for creativity and personal taste. You can opt for a modern variant, if that’s your preference, or you can go the whole hog and look at more traditional options, which often have a Mediaeval element to them, and add an ethereal Lord of the Rings-style beauty to the look (think more Cate Blanchett and Liv Tyler rather than orks or hobbits!), and make for some seriously stunning photos.
You’ll be hard-pushed to orchestrate a Scottish wedding without good old tartan finding its way into the equation – even if it’s only in the form of wedding favours or table decorations!
In many cases, either the bride or groom will have Scottish heritage, in which case, it’s a well-known tradition to incorporate their clan tartan into the mix, as opposed to any generic tartan pattern.
While many brides may not be keen on going for the plunge and having a completely tartan dress (although many Scottish brides do), and may wish to stick to a traditional white dress, or a dress of a preferred colour, incorporating or accessorising tartan into the ensemble is often favoured by brides.
This can be entirely up to the bride and could be as subtle as a tartan corsage or pair of shoes, to something bolder, like a tartan sash, detachable train, or corset. Also, many brides like to choose their wedding bouquet/flower colours to match the tartan of choice.
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Wedding Gown Designers & Boutiques in Scotland
To be as authentic as possible, why not consider investing in the services of one of the many fabulous Scotland-based bridal designers or boutiques?
Working with a designer or boutique is the best way to ensure you end up with a wedding gown that is quintessentially you, that fits well, and features any customisations or amendments that will be done perfectly and in good time before the ceremony.
Some of the Scottish designers and boutiques we love are:
Joyce Young, Glasgow
Glasgow-based Joyce is something of a local celebrity within the Scottish bridal industry and has been in the game for almost three decades.
Not only does she create stunning tailored wedding dresses, but she also comes equipped with a team of stylists, fitters, and seamstresses to make sure every thread and fibre of your gown looks and feels incredible.
Whether you favour something off-the-shoulder, full-sleeve, or something in between, you’re in good hands with Joyce Young and her team.
Rachel Scott Couture, Edinburgh
Rachel’s boutique can be found in the stunning city of Edinburgh and offers a unique, flexible, and completely tailored experience for all of her budding brides.
Not only that, the boutique features dresses from designers including Vivienne Westwood, Andrea Hawkes, and Suzanne Neville. Also, for non-native brides who are planning on getting hitched in Scotland, Rachel Scott Couture offers virtual appointments, as well as full private consultations and accessories appointments.
Mirka Bridal Couture, Kirkcaldy
Next up is the award-winning Mirka Bridal Couture, which has been kitting out Scottish brides for over thirty years.
Based in the delightful coastal town of Kirkcaldy, Mirka offers handmade, bespoke, and customisable wedding gowns made by Mirka herself. Her boutique is also home to several wedding dress designers and brands, of whom specialise in dresses for brides and bridesmaids
Eleganza Sposa, Glasgow
Founded in 1992, Eleganza Sposa prides itself on being one of the leading Scottish boutiques specialising in wedding gowns and formal evening wear.
Helmed by the renowned expert in all things bridal, Anna Cirignaco, and backed up by a dedicated team of stylists, Eleganza Sposa offers a vast array of wedding gowns from designers including Savin London and Martina Liana, as well as ensuring the rest of the bridal party, including the mother-of-the-bride and the flower girl, are kitted out with everything from dresses, shoes, accessories, and anything else required.
Opus Couture, Ayrshire
This boutique offers what it calls the ‘Opus Experience’, which nurtures the bride throughout every step of the wedding dress journey, making sure it is enjoyable, and stress-free, and that each bride ends up with the perfect wedding gown.
As well as fittings, alterations, and dress-cleaning, the award-winning Opus team ensures exemplary customer service so that the dress-choosing process is one less thing for the bride to worry about.
NutMeg Couture, Glasgow
NutMeg Couture is run by Megan, who has over ten years of wedding dress designing and making under her belt, and provides brides with bespoke designs (including capes and veils), bespoke redesigns, and beautiful bridal accessories.
The redesign service is especially useful for brides who wish to get married in a vintage, second-hand, or heirloomed gown that requires amendments or personal customisation.
Ivory Pinks, Glasgow
Helmed by a mother-daughter team, Ivory Pinks ensures its brides walk away with the gown of their dreams after experiencing a friendly and fully-bespoke experience.
Boasting a collection of over 200 dresses, the boutique holds dresses in-store that you can take home on the day if you so choose.
Owners Kirsty and Wilma understand that we all come in different shapes and sizes, and therefore, ensure that their services provide brides with dresses that match their own uniqueness.
Bijoux Bridal, Hamilton
Winners of Bridal Buyer’s Bridal Retailer of the Year 2022, Bijoux Bridal offers three wedding dress collections: the main collection, the curvy collection, and the bespoke collection, and has a particular focus on minimalist and boho gowns, as well as providing a relaxed, friendly experience that caters to soon-to-be brides who are particularly nervous about the wedding gown process.
Scottish Wedding Dresses: FAQs
As well as the fabulous designers and stores we’ve mentioned throughout this article, we also recommend other climate-friendly and indie options, such as Etsy and thrift stores.
Here at Wildling Weddings, we strive to be as sustainable and local business-supporting as possible, so these options help you find the ultimate wedding gown at no cost to the earth while doing your bit for the local economy.
Failing that, why not look into the tradition of wearing the gown your mother/grandmother/future mother-in-law wore on her big day?
Like many countries and cultures, Scotland often adheres to the Western bridal tradition of wearing a white gown to tie the knot.
As well as that, many Scottish brides like to incorporate tartan into their wedding outfits, either by way of a sash, shawl, hairpiece, or some other accessory.
Most weddings require guests to be well-dressed, with casual clothing being mostly frowned upon. Some weddings may have a theme (such as ‘mystical folklore’ or even something from popular culture, like Star Wars), which encourages certain attire or fancy dress.
Scotland is one of the small handful of countries whose native actually wear their wedding ring on their left hand. However, this is not a requirement, and couples are free to choose which hand they prefer to rock their rocks on!