Scotland is a magnificent country to get married in. It’s no surprise that a large number of people come to Scotland every year just to get married. Stunning dramatic scenery, friendly and welcoming hospitality and a wide range of diverse wedding venues to choose from make Scotland a truly unique and romantic location for brides and grooms to be: From lavish castles and five star hotels to intimate houses, lodges, trains and even boats. There is a venue for every taste and pocket, many of them with a bit of history and heritage to share.
A quick search on Google will point out some of the most popular (as well as some of the most expensive) wedding venues in Scotland. But there a few hidden gems, venues that are not wedding factories and remain a little bit more discreet so that bride and groom to be can have a more intimate, off the beaten track experience with their family and friends.
In the Scottish Borders, bride and groom to be can find Cringletie House, a baronian mansion steeped in history set in 28 acre grounds. The hotel has a 3 Rosette Restaurant and 12 individually designed bedrooms as well as a beautiful conservatory from which guests can have a 360 degree view of the gardens. The hotel is still home to owners Jacob and Johanna Van Houdt whom with the help of the staff get out of their way to provide guests a “home away from home” luxury experience. Despite being only 30 minutes south of Edinburgh and minutes from the lovely town of Peebles, the hotel feels remote and exclusive.
In Ayrshire, couples planning a Scottish wedding can find Glenapp Castle Hotel, a gem hidden in 36 acres of gardens and woodlands. Owners Graham and Fay Cowan also live at this lavish 17 bedroomed property and are very meticulous about providing a high standard of service. Arriving at the hotel feels very much like being welcomed to their home. Public rooms and bedrooms are grand in size and décor. Expect great attention to detail and personalised service.
In Inverness-shire, bride and groom to be can find one of the most intimate luxury wedding venues in Scotland. Loch Ness Lodge overlooks famous Loch Ness and provides guests an impeccable five-star experience. Public rooms and bedrooms boast clean contemporary design with a Scottish twist. Tasteful combinations of colours and fabrics that could very well have been featured in Elle Décor Magazine, give the hotel a chic and retreat like atmosphere. Owner Scott Sutherland is very hands on and one of the best assets of the hotel, a passionate hotelier very much focused on five-star guest service and enviable qualifications. The hotel’s seven sumptuous bedrooms have also been individually designed and the food is exciting and stunningly presented.
In Argyll, family and friends will be wowed by Isle of Eriska. The hotel is located on its very own private Island, there isn’t anything more exclusive and intimate than that. Owner Beppo Buchanan-Smith was born into the life of a hotelier as his parents set up and established the Isle of Eriska Hotel. He and his wife have transformed the property into one of the best luxury hotels in Europe, with 25 bedrooms, a 3 rosette restaurant and a wealth of indoor and outdoor leisure facilities. The hotel has a fantastic spa and it provide guests with a very exclusive and yet relaxed experience.
In Kinross-shire, very few fortunate couples can have the chance to get married at one of the most lavish and impressive historic mansions in Scotland. Kinross House, the first neoclassical Palladian mansion ever built in Scotland is now available for exclusive use. The Estate is composed of 100 acres of formal gardens, pastureland, woodland, Loch Leven Island and Castle. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned at Lochleven Castle between 1567 and 1568 and it was there that she was forced to abdicate the throne. This is the ultimate intimate and exclusive venue for the wealthy who can have their very own butler and staff as well as a Michelin-starred chef preparing delectable dishes for their guests. The property has 14 individually designed bedrooms with breath-taking views of Loch Leven and beyond, as well as impressive art and antique items throughout.
Renata Parolari Fernandes is Founder, Director and Editor of Five Star Magazine.