Do you dream of getting married to the love of your life in Scotland? Many dream of a kilted piper playing Highland Cathedral on the bagpipes as they sashay down the aisle, in a fairytale dress, towards the one they are about to spend the rest of their lives with. A castle wedding in Scotland is downright romantic and there is lots of choices when it comes to location. Because you are allowed to get married almost anywhere you want in Scotland you can chose a derelict ruin, a castle with connections to your ancestors, in the grounds of a castle in a rustic folly or by a loch or you can go all out and get married in a 5 star exclusive use luxury castle with an owl to deliver your rings and full ceilidh in the evening.
Some facts about marriage in Scotland
In Scotland you can have a religious, civil, humanist or same-sex marriage, all are legally recognised.
If you are coming from outside the EU you will need a license and a Marriage Visitors Visa. You will then receive a Marriage Schedule which you will sign on your wedding day. Once you have the visa you can then apply to be married at the local registry office closest to where you will marry, you each complete a marriage notice form which has to be submitted no later than 29 days before the wedding.
If you are coming from the EU the process is the same, other than the Marriage Visitor Visa. You need to apply for a license which will allow you to get the marriage schedule which is signed on the day of the wedding and also apply to the local registry office closest to the venue and submit a marriage notice form no later than 29 days before the wedding.
Usually one, or both, of you will be required to pick up the marriage license from the office in the days leading up to the wedding and return it to the same office after the marriage. You will find out whether this is the case once you contact the office initially.
The magnificent Dundas Castle is situated in South Queensferry, just north of Edinburgh. You and your guests will get exclusive use of this 5 star venue which has just won Scottish Venue of the Year in the Scottish Vows Awards.
The Castle was built in 1818 by Henry Dundas but an earlier building, the Keep, was built in 1416. The Dundas Clan occupied the land to the north of Edinburgh, along the coast of the Firth of Forth, from the 12th century. The Dundas Clan are well known in Scottish history, Hugh Dundas fought alongside William Wallace and his son George fought with Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Bannockburn. Current owner, Sir Jack Stewart-Clark, inherited the castle in 1995 and undertook the challenge of a complete renovation. Now this stunning, grand and beautifully decorated castle is the perfect place to hold a Scottish Wedding.
On your special day you can have your ceremony on the fairytale staircase in the medieval tower of the Auld Keep, or outdoors in the perfect spot within the 500 acres of estate. You’ll have a dedicated wedding coordinator who will help you plan the day exactly how you want it. You can add fantastic things like a piper, fireworks, lawn games, whisky tasting, falconry or clay pigeon shooting.
There are 17 individually decorated rooms, designed by owner Lady Lydia, a romantic Boat House and also several glamping yurts.
High on a cliff top, in 240 hectares of land overlooking the Firth of Clyde on the Ayrshire coast is the popular Culzean Castle. The first building was built here in the 1300’s. During the 1600’s when defence stopped being as important the gardens and surroundings were given a facelift. Sir Thomas Kennedy inherited the castle in 1742 and his son, David, the 10th Earl, really got to work on making the castle what it is today and it was he who hired famous Scottish architect Robert Adam to design this wonderful castle.
You and your wedding party are welcomed to Culzean via a long winding driveway. Welcome drinks are served in the Armoury which holds a world famous collection of Flintlock Pistols and swords. The ceremony itself can be held on the grand oval staircase, among the citrus trees in the Orangery or in the Victorian Folly made of glass and ornate stone. Like Dundas Castle above you can arrange to have your wedding almost anywhere in the castle or grounds and it doesn’t matter what size the wedding will be, it can be tiny or a grand as you like. The reception can be held in the Drawing Room with panoramic views over the Firth of Clyde and celebrate in the same room as the 10th Earl himself partied the night away. When everyone is a little bit tipsy and up for a dance you can have a Ceilidh in the Georgian Kitchen.
There is a fantastic private 6 bedroomed apartment on the top floor of the castle which sleeps 12. It was gifted to the US President, Eisenhower in 1945 and is accessed using the original 1920’s elevator. There are also 5 self-catering cottages on the estate available. Each sleeps four people.
Culzean Castle is run by the National Trust for Scotland so not only will you have the perfect day you’ll be supporting one of our treasured charities. https://www.nts.org.uk/venue-hire/culzean-castle/weddings
In the heart of Robert Burns country, in amongst the Moffat Hills in the south of Scotland is the mighty Auchan Castle. Built around 1220 by the Kirkpatrick family who were close friends of Robert the Bruce if you marry here you’ll be not only be staying where Robert the Bruce was entertained but also The Beatles, Margaret Thatcher and the King of Norway. The castle as you see it today was built in 1849 by General Johnston, of Clan Johnston who are still the Lords of Annandale now.
You can book this castle and it will be exclusively yours for your special day. Stay in a luxury suite with a four-poster bed. The ceremony room is stunning, with two large bay windows and overlooks the magnificent Italian Gardens. The room will be candlelit too, could it be anymore romantic? Yes it could, you could also have an owl (Bonnie, the barn owl) fly in and deliver your wedding rings to the groom! You can have a Ceilidh band, fireworks and a piper in full regalia!
There are 26 bedrooms available including 16 Classic rooms, 6 individually designed Luxury rooms with views of the Italian Gardens or the private lake and 4 feature suites with original Victorian details.
Just eight miles from Edinburgh, on the banks of the River Esk, is the 11 acre estate of Dalhousie castle. Having won Scottish Castle Hotel of the Year in 2016 and Best Wedding Hotel at the Best Loved Hotel Awards in 2017 this is a fairytale castles ideal for your fairytale wedding. There is 700 years of history in the walls of this castle, which was once the seat of the Ramsey Clan. King Edward I, Queen Victoria, Sir Walter Scott and Oliver Cromwell have all spent time here.
Spiral staircases, four poster beds, beautiful arched windows and a historic chapel makes this one special castle, especially as it has an amazing spa with a hydro pool, a Roman style sauna, a Turkish inspired steam bath and a tropical rain and cold fog shower. On your special day you can get married anywhere you fancy on the estate and have your wedding breakfast down in the atmospheric candlelit Dungeon Restaurant. You can explore the falconry and have an owl deliver your wedding rings at the ceremony, and have piper greet your guests.
There are 35 rooms including standard castle rooms, suites, family rooms and more modern rooms (Castle Rocks rooms). https://www.dalhousiecastle.co.uk/weddings/
Airth Castle was once owned by the family of Robert the Bruce and dates from the 14th century. It is situated in Stirlingshire, in the village and Royal Burgh of Airth. The castle itself has a wonderful wedding suite and accompanying Stateroom lounge which is perfect for an intimate wedding. The Dunmore Ballroom, in the hotel building next to the castle, is ideal for larger weddings. There is also a luxurious Spa centre with treatment rooms, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, and a state-of-the-art fitness suite. The hotel is in the middle of a £4 million pound renovation, upgrading the rooms, function suites, piano bar, grill room and lounges and it promises to be spectacular once it is finished. There are no shortage of rooms, with 125 situated in both the castle and the main hotel building, so your guests can spend their time all together in one place and the ceremony can take place in any one of the character-packed suites, the ballroom, the gardens or the nearby Airth Parish Church.
This castle is one of my favourites. Its white facade, grand turrets, beautiful grounds and sheer size make it very special. It is situated in the village of Blair Atholl in the south of the Cairngorms mountain range. Over 19 generations of Atholls and Murrays have lived in this spectacular castle and if you take the tour you'll learn about their involvement in the Battle of Culloden, the Civil War, the Act of Union and the Jacobite cause. The grounds include a 9 acre Georgian walled garden, a ruined kirk, a red deer park, a gothic folly and a peaceful wooded glen filled with some of the country's tallest and oldest trees. If you choose to marry here you can choose from several different rooms including the romatic Georgian State Dining Room, and the Victorian Ballroom, which was designed in 1876 for the Duke of Atholl, or you can choose instead to marry in the beautiful gardens, in the exclusive West Lawn or St Bride's Kirk. The team here will work with you to create the wedding you want and can give you recommendations for anything you might need. For your guests there are several large houses on the estate, ranging from 4 bedrooms to 11 bedroons, cute wooden lodges and a caravan park with two and three bedroom static caravans and camping pods.
Myres Castle is an exclusive wedding venue in the heart of Fife. It's just won The Best UK Wedding Venue and it's well deserved. The castle is nearly 500 years old and is packed full of charm, with little nooks and crannies, spiral staircases and towers. Because it's exclusive you and your wedding party will have the whole castle and gardens to yourselves for the duration of your stay, including the cosy drawing room, the billiards room, the Victorian Kitchen, the tennis court and the croquet lawn. Another special touch here is the rustic 'Barnquee', which you can style in whichever way you please and use it as your party space. You can have your ceremony in the cute Apple Store, in the Vatican Gardens, in the hidden lawn or under a 200-year-old copper beach tree. For your guests there are 10 beautifully decorated double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and a pretty special tartan Gate Lodge which sleeps 4.
Eilean Donan Castle
One of Scotland's most famous castles and one which gets visitors from all over the world, this would make a very special wedding venue. During the winter the castle is closed to visitors so you can have the whole castle to enjoy for your ceremony. During the summer tourist season weddings can take place after 6pm when the castle closes for the day. There aren't any catering facilities so wedding parties head to nearby hotels to continue the celebrations, but the ceremony itself can take place in this mesmerising location, at the point where three great lochs converge, with magnificent views. There are also new self catering apartments a two-minute drive away, of various sizes, for your guests to stay.
As you can see, there are many, many options when it comes to having a castle wedding in Scotland. You have the freedom to design your perfect day, no matter what it includes. Some Scottish touches you can include in your day may be
To add any of these special touches to your wedding day you can ask your wedding coordinator at your chosen venue who will be happy to either add them to your package or recommend services which are local to the area. Etsy is also a fantastic resource for items such as invitations, table placements, save the dates and gifts. You can search for a Scottish theme or a seller who is happy to create a custom order for you.