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Tying the knot in Scotland

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With the most anticipated wedding date of the year set to be 19 May, no doubt we’ll all be turning on the TV to watch Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle.  We’d be lying if we said we weren’t upset about not receiving a public invite to the Royal Wedding… It must have got lost in the post, right?

Nevertheless, romance is not just in the air for the monarchy!  If a wedding at Windsor Castle seems a little out of reach, Scotland offers plenty of choices for that special day. The Royals are big fans of Scotland; from their regular visits to Balmoral, Prince William finding love at our very own St Andrews University, the annual Palace of Holyroodhouse garden party, or the recent Royal visit to Edinburgh, Scotland definitely has a place in their hearts.

Whether you’re a true Scot hoping to celebrate at home, or you have selected Scotland as the destination for a Scottish-themed wedding, we’ve got your big day covered!

The most important decision is the location.  With a long history of hosting weddings at Gretna Green since the 18th century, Scotland offers some truly great choices. From the iconic Highland scenery, private stately homes, or the symbolic backdrop of Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, you‘re spoilt for choice.

As with any wedding, the menu will play a big part in your special day and in Scotland we’ve got some iconic dishes to delight your guests. From haggis, top-class seafood, Scotch beef, or some after dinner shortbread, Scotland produces some of the best local delicacies that will cater to all tastes, and is sure to leave guests wanting more.

And – don’t forget the whisky.  With over one hundred working whisky distilleries in Scotland – and as the country’s national drink – weddings aren’t often found without this tipple.

Scottish weddings boast many of their own unique traditions, including handfasting, where the original saying ‘tying the knot’ comes from. This is where some couples tie their hands together with a tartan sash, and is used as a way of strengthening weddings vows. Another unique Scottish tradition is for a piper to entertain before the ceremony or the start of the wedding reception, but there may be other Scottish wedding customs that are less well known.

Some lucky charms range from ‘feet-washing’ where older married women wash and dry the feet of the bride, or the ‘wedding scramble’ where the father of the bride throws a handful of coins for children to collect, and is believed to bring about financial good-fortune.  As for other traditions, did you know the bride traditionally gifts the ‘wedding sark’?  This is the shirt worn by the groom, and in return the groom conventionally pays for his bride’s wedding dress.

And of course, a Scottish wedding would not be complete without kilted men in their clan tartan! Many couples choose to dance the night away with a traditional ceilidh, which involves Scottish music and energetic dancing. Popular dances at weddings include ‘The Traditional Grand March’, which is often the first dance to take place, or ‘The Lang Reel’.

If all of this sounds perfect for you, then start your happily ever after with us on the Royal Mile. Our iconic venue has dedicated in-house wedding planners, who can help organise your wedding in Scotland. With several Scottish themed wedding packages, including ‘The Royal Mile Romance Wedding’, or ‘The Tartan Tryst Wedding’, we can deliver a range of Scottish aspects that include all you need to make your Scottish dreams come true. We can also tailor-make a bespoke event for your perfect wedding day, to help you fit in more regional or unique Scottish traditions.  And we offer one of the most stunning backdrops in Edinburgh with our unique decoration and inspiring gothic architecture.

Contact us for more information and find out how to hire our unique venue for your special day.