Ultimate guide to planning a Scottish wedding holiday cottages

Ultimate guide to planning a Scottish wedding

Lauren 23 June 2023

Choosing the perfect spot for your Scottish wedding should be one of the most enjoyable aspects of wedding planning. However, we understand that there are many factors to consider, and while you have the option of getting married anywhere you wish in Scotland, the endless options may quickly become overwhelming. 

And all this before you even decide whether to serve a traditional Scottish menu and if you should invite the bagpipers or not! 

So, whether you’re looking for a holiday cottage suitable for your wedding party to stay in, accommodation that could host a reception or wedding after-party, or even a venue for the big event itself, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite spots - with a few of our favourite Scottish wedding traditions and alternative venues thrown in to ensure you can plan the most perfect of Scottish weddings! 

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Our Scottish wedding venues

a wrought iron gate decorated with a floral arrangement in the foreground, a wedding party is happening in the background.

These ten properties from our collection are perfect for an intimate Scottish wedding ceremony or reception, and with properties sleeping up to 18 guests on this list, you’re sure to find something special for your wedding party. Many offer grandeur perfect for a big celebration, whilst providing your guests with all the home comforts they deserve. With vast grounds and gardens which could host a marquee, you can celebrate outdoors and take in the spectacular scenery of bonnie Scotland too.

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The Don View Suite – The Cairngorms

exterior view and bedroom view of The Don View Suite

  • Sleeps 6 guests and 2 dogs

This luxury top-floor apartment sits within a 65-acre private estate with spectacular views of the River Don. Being only 3.5 miles from Inverurie and 19 miles from the coastal city of Aberdeen and with good road, rail and airport links close by, The Don View Suite is very accessible for your whole wedding party. 

Wedding ready?

  • Vast estate grounds with formal gardens, ancient woodland and a number of rare Highland breeds
  • 5-star luxury
  • Neighbouring suites, The Sutherland and The Gordon, available for extra guests
  • Top-floor apartment offering far-reaching views

The Pink Castle – Largs, Ayrshire

exterior view and port-hole window view of The Pink Castle

  • Sleeps 8 guests and 2 dogs

Looking for a wedding venue plucked straight out of a fairytale? The Pink Castle is a truly magical space ideal for hosting a unique wedding day. You’ll find the sleeping quarters in the turrets and plenty of shared spaces ideal for celebrating with your group. There are a number of quirky features throughout, including stone spiral staircases and porthole windows which make the perfect spot to capture some memories on film. 

Wedding ready?

  • A sauna in the turrets
  • Magical gardens with a hot tub
  • Unique features throughout including stained glass windows 
  • Abundant photo opportunities 

The Towers – Isle of Arran

Countryside positioning and exterior view of The Towers

  • Sleeps 8 guests and 2 dogs

The Towers on the Isle of Arran makes for a perfect Scottish wedding venue, and by offering accommodation for your guests over three floors, everyone has their own privacy whilst being able to enjoy spending time together. This 19th-century tower house, including its grand arch entrance, castellated walls and arrow-slit windows, offers the ideal backdrop for a romantic celebration and there's also plenty of things to do on the Isle of Arran

Wedding ready?

  • 19th-century tower house full of history and romance
  • Spectacular roof terrace offering views of the Kintyre Peninsula, perfect for a ceremony
  • Abundant outdoor photo opportunities
  • Enclosed walled garden and access to the vast estate grounds

The Castle - Selkirk – Scottish Borders

exterior view and living room view of The Castle - Selkirk

  • Sleeps 10 guests and 2 dogs

The moody atmosphere at The Castle – Selkirk could be perfect if you’re hoping for a venue out of the ordinary. Combining luxury with rustic details, this 16th-century castle is a beautiful space and makes the most of its position amidst the Bowhill House and Yarrow Valleys. 

Wedding ready?

  • Large, enclosed garden with quirky features perfect for photo opportunities
  • 5-star luxury
  • Roll-top baths, open fires and stone spiral staircases
  • Views over the expansive countryside

Grand Victorian Mansion – Scottish Borders

exterior view and living room view of Grand Victorian Mansion

  • Sleeps 11 guests and 2 dogs

With woodland and river walks from the doorstep, Grand Victorian Mansion has something to offer a wedding party both indoors and out. The sweeping lawns and gardens surround the property, while inside there’s the opportunity to unwind in the snooker room with its games and bar, a children’s room to keep the youngsters entertained, and an organ ideal for the wedding ceremony!

Wedding ready?

  • Overlooking the Moray Firth to the Black Isle
  • A grand baronial mansion
  • Colourful, characterful interior with ancestral portraits and tapestries
  • 5-star luxury

River Lodge – Inverness, The Highlands

stairway view and exterior/woodland view of River Lodge

  • Sleeps 14 guests and 1 dog

This idyllic glass-fronted retreat offers guests a truly magical riverside location and sumptuous furnishings perfect for keeping your whole party comfortable throughout the celebrations. River Lodge's thoughtful touches, including a cathedral ceiling light, a walk-in larder, and grand picture windows, provide a sense of luxury, while the proximity to Loch Ness and other nearby attractions ensure your group are close enough to days of adventure too.

Wedding ready?

  • Romantic woodland riverside location with private garden
  • 5-star luxury
  • Abundant photo opportunities inside and out
  • 4 miles from Inverness, guests will benefit from easy transport links

Airlie Castle – Airlie, Angus

countryside positioning and dining room view of Airlie Castle

  • Sleeps 14 guests and 2 dogs

There are few venues that can compete with what Airlie Castle has to offer, with its sprawling estate, tree-lined drive and tennis court to name just a few of its features. With abundant original characteristics, this fairy-tale castle oozes history and a break here includes 2 hours of housekeeping per day, perfect for keeping your wedding party content during their stay. There are plenty of ways to relax and unwind too; why not explore the library in search of a good book to enjoy with a soak in the tub?

Wedding ready?

  • Large and private formal garden within a 30,000-acre estate
  • Formal dining room with direct access to the garden
  • Catering can be arranged
  • 5-star luxury

Downie Park House – Cortachy, Angus

living room and exterior view of Downie Park House

  • Sleeps 18 guests and 4 dog

If you’re looking for a venue with a statement façade, look no further than Downie Park House! The vast column-front house with its large stone flagged and pillared entrance hall welcomes guests into what is a light and spacious retreat. Your group will find luxury features throughout, from claw-footed baths to the dramatic hanging staircase. 

Wedding ready?

  • Approached by a tree-lined drive
  • Pretty exterior and bright, grand rooms
  • Vast dining room ideal for a wedding dinner
  • 5-star luxury

Alternative places for a Scottish wedding

an arrow shaped wooden sign with the word 'Wedding' hanging from a tree trunk

A number of our properties are located in towns and villages with pretty chapels and religious buildings, or close by to monuments and unusual landmarks which could provide the perfect alternative setting for your celebrations. From lush coastlines to romantic ruins, there are so many beautiful spots to choose from when it comes to getting married in Scotland.

St Abb's Head

St Abb's headland

This breathtaking coastal headland is a popular romantic spot famous for its seabird colonies, unique colourful flora and spectacular views over the cliffs and sea. Situated on the coast of the Scottish Borders, the rugged landscape creates a wilderness atmosphere, perfect for an intimate wedding, and yet is only a short distance from the A1 – ideal for loved ones travelling to celebrate with you. For those planning an intimate winter wedding, the beaches are home to a grey seal colony in November and December.

Stay at: Old Manor, Coldingham | Sleeps 8 guests | 3 miles from St Abb’s Head. 

Dunnotar Castle

Dunnotar Castle

Perhaps one of the most enchanting of Scotland’s ruined castles, Dunnotar Castle makes a dramatic wedding backdrop and is perfectly located for some truly memorable photo opportunities! Set on its own hill projecting out in the North Sea, it is both a haunting and romantic spot along the Aberdeenshire coast and is a great place to start exploring Scotland’s spectacular east coast in order to celebrate your matrimony. Holding your ceremony here puts you firmly in the books of this castle’s 1,000-year history. 

Stay at: Gate Lodge - Fasque and one neighbouring cottage.

Sleeps 4 guests, up to 6 guests across all three cottages | 19 miles from Dunnotar Castle.

Robert Burns Monument and Memorial Garden, and Burns Cottage

Robert Burns memorial monument and gardens

Looking for an unmistakably Scottish venue to celebrate in? You’re sure to have a stunning ceremony at the birthplace of Scotland’s most romantic poet. The Robert Burns monument and accompanying Burns Cottage in Alloway, Dumfries and Galloway, has beautiful gardens and reams of character perfect for those looking to celebrate in pared-back style in a peaceful countryside location.

Stay at: Penkill Lodge and the two neighbouring lodges.

Sleeps 2 guests each, up to 6 guests across all three lodges | 14 miles from Robert Burns Monument. 

Loch Lomond and Botriuch Castle

shore view of Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is one of Scotland’s biggest, best loved lochs, and for good reason – the surrounding woodland is home to oak trees and red deer, and there are plenty of vantage points from which to view the expanse of the loch, as well as a number of lowland areas where you can get out onto the water itself. 

Being just an hour’s drive from Glasgow and well connected by public transport too, your loved ones can easily travel to join you for wedding celebrations. For an extra-special day, Botriuch Castle to the south of the loch has a stunning glass pavilion, ideal for combining dramatic landscapes with elegant luxury to make the perfect Scottish wedding. 

Stay at: 5 Lomond Courtyard and the three neighbouring cottages. 

Sleeps 8 guests, up to 30 guests across all 4 cottages | 1 mile from the shore of Loch Lomond. 

Smoo Cave

inside Smoo Cave, view of a waterfall

For a truly unusual wedding venue, Smoo Cave in Durness in the Northwest Highlands is a great option. This sea cave in the town of Durness is set into the limestone cliffs and can be explored by boat or a waymarked path. The flood lights inside and the small burn that runs down into a deeper chamber create a magical atmosphere, and you’re sure to be enchanted by the rich folklore originating from here. 

Whether you believe the stories about it being a former smuggler’s hideaway or that it is the entrance to the underworld guarded by spirits, the cave is a delight for the imagination. 

Stay at: 54 Sangomore | Sleeps 10 guests |1 mile from Smoo Cave. 

Scottish wedding traditions

a bride stands in a line with wedding guests dressed in red kilts

Scotland is world famous for its unique customs and traditions. You’re probably familiar with the tradition of wearing kilts and having bagpipes to serenade your guests at Scottish weddings, but there are plenty more Scottish wedding traditions you can make the most of, which will really capture the significance of starting your marriage in Scotland.

Quaich or 'The Loving Cup'

the two-handled silver quaich

This sweet and simple tradition involves a two handled cup, known as the Quaich or ‘Loving cup’ which the couple drink from once the marriage ceremony has been completed. Sharing the cup symbolises trust and it can be filled with whisky to intensify the Scottish flavour of the wedding, or any drink symbolic to the couple. Traditionally, the cup would have been passed down one of the families or clans to signify the continuing lineage. 

Ceilidh dancing

two ceilidh dancers in traditional outfits

Ceilidh dancing is a tradition everyone can get involved in and is sure to bring a smile to your guest's faces. Ceilidh dancing is often a key feature of the competitive Highland games, but this long-standing example of traditional Scottish dancing has numerous forms, with many requiring minimal instruction meaning it can be picked up by a range of abilities. 

To ensure a perfectly smooth dance however, you can arrange for a Ceilidh caller to attend and give direction. There are number of types of Ceilidh dancing to choose from - the Military Two-Step, and the St Bernard’s Waltz, to the Gay Gordons and the Dashing White Sergeant! 


a bride and groom take part in handfasting

This ancient Celtic ritual involves tying the hands together to symbolize the unity of two people. Traditionally either a braided cord or ribbon is tied by a priest, with the ceremony intended to mark the engagement, or intent to marry, rather than as part of the wedding ceremony itself. 

Today handfasting is both a popular engagement and wedding tradition, and the tying can be done by whomever the couple choose. The tie would traditionally be kept until midnight, but it’s more common today (and perhaps more comfortable!) for it to be to be slipped off intact before the ceremony and kept as a keepsake. 


a bowl of molasses

This tradition is typically a feature of wedding preparations in the more rural areas of Scotland, and is thought to have originated from a pre-wedding cleansing ritual where soot was used to dirty the feet of the couple before it was ceremonially washed away. Today, the tradition has evolved and is a popular alternative hen and stag-do activity whereby the couple are covered in all kinds of surprising substances, from fish guts to rotten eggs and molasses.


a person surveying jewellry in a shop window

A Luckenbooth is a symbol of love, typically used in jewellery and given as a token of affection. The symbol is of two entwined hearts with a crown on top and will often feature a piece of amethyst, thought to represent the purple colour of Scotland’s national plant, the thistle. In the Victorian era, garnets were more commonly used as they were thought to bring luck in love and be symbolic of love’s constancy. The Luckenbooth can be gifted between the couple themselves, or it can be gifted by a member of the wedding party.

Oathing Stones

two wedding rings rest on a smooth stone

Another simple and sweet tradition whereby the couple place their hands on symbolic stones whilst saying their vows. The intention is to ‘set the oath in stone’, signalling a long-term commitment and devotion. Any kind of stone can be used for the ceremony with many opting to use a stone from a favourite place, or, to enhance the connections to Scottish tradition, a stone carved with the Celtic knot to further symbolise their bond. 

White heather

a patch of white heather amongst purple heather

Heather is one of the most iconic Scottish plants, second only to the thistle. White heather is less common and so has come to be as symbolic as the four-leaf clover, bringing luck to those who find it. There are many legends which claim to reveal why certain patches of heather are white, including one which says white heather is the resting place of a fairy, and one which tells of it being turned white by the tears of a figure from Scottish legend, who had lost her beloved and wished for others to avoid a similar fate. This rich cultural significance is one of the reasons that white heather is often found in a bride’s bouquet, a groom’s buttonhole or even in the flowers which decorate the ceremony space.

There are plenty more traditions similar to these which might suit the style of your wedding; be sure to check out our guide to tartan, a key feature of almost all Scottish weddings to date!

Will you say 'I do' to a Scottish wedding with us?

Hopefully this guide to Scottish weddings has provided some inspiration for your own celebrations and perhaps even inspired a Scotland stay for your honeymoon! We have a wide range of romantic cottages perfect for the occasion, and with hot tubs and dog-friendly options too, you’re sure to find something ideal whatever your plans.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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