A lot of brides-to-be confess to dreaming of their wedding day as a young child. It’s therefore only natural that some grow up hoping to make childhood dreams come true with the perfect fairy-tale wedding. (There’s also the added bonus of making sure it isn’t upstaged by the next occasion a year later…)
But whatever the reason, if it’s a magical setting the bride is after, then fewer countries can deliver as well as Scotland. From elegant castles on rugged green moors to sophisticated Georgian hotels in historic cities, Scotland has plenty to offer a couple looking to wed in beautiful surroundings.
Named after the castle ruins found just two miles away, the imposing Inverlochy Castle Hotel was originally built as a 19th century manor house and is now a five-star luxury hotel. Offering spectacular views of the stunning scenery, the lakeside hotel is found amongst sweeping grounds and has a view of the mountains.
Though wedding ceremonies are unfortunately not permitted outdoors, the building’s interiors are equally majestic. With its rustic period features, high ceilings and tasteful décor, the hotel has an elegant ambience that your guests will love.
Fun fact: On her visit in 1873, Queen Victoria remarked “I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot.”
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Those looking for grace and grandeur with a contemporary edge need look no further than Gleneagles. A luxury hotel and resort, Gleneagles opened in 1924 and quickly became a popular destination for the country’s high society. The hotel is still a premier destination for golf, hosting the Ryder Cup in 2014.
Set amongst 850 acres of private grounds with a commanding view over the romantic Perthshire scenery, Gleneagles is an ideal setting for a luxurious wedding. Its interiors are richly decorated, combining traditional touches with modern flair. A number of different suites are available for wedding ceremonies, which can also be arranged in the local village church.
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A famous Edinburgh landmark, the Balmoral is a historic institution. Opening in 1902, the hotel traditionally provided lodgings for train travellers before their onward journey, with the iconic clock set three minutes fast to ensure guests made their connections. Today, the Balmoral is a five-star hotel offering a range of bespoke wedding packages.
With its ornate function rooms, complete with grand colonnades and beautiful chandeliers, the Balmoral offers guests a taste of elegant indulgence in the heart of a thriving city.
Fun fact: J.K. Rowling finished the last in the Harry Potter series at the Balmoral in January 2007. Her room has since been renamed the ‘J.K. Rowling suite.’
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Knockderry Country House Hotel
Located on the banks of Loch Long, one of the country’s most scenic sea lochs, Knockderry Country House is a charming hotel offering an authentic taste of Scottish hospitality. With just 15 rooms, the house provides an intimate and welcoming atmosphere and is available for the exclusive use of the wedding party when booked for a ceremony.
Embracing its beautiful surrounds, the hotel places great importance on nature and the outdoors, offering personalised walks in the local area and organised tours of the region. There’s even the opportunity for photographs on the rugged shoreline of the loch itself – the perfect way to end your special day.
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Based on the shores of Loch Awe in the west of Scotland, Ardanaiseig’s secluded location makes it the perfect spot for a wedding in the Highlands. Originally built in 1834 by one of Scotland’s most prominent architects, the hotel is now a listed building. Offering a self-styled mix of tradition with a twist of eccentricity, the hotel’s interior combines statement antique furniture with bold colour and beautiful art.
Previously named the Intimate Wedding Venue of the year, Ardanaiseig offers an elegant ceremony room with sweeping views out onto the loch, peaceful private lodging for the newlyweds and scenery straight from a fairy tale. The perfect place to embark on your own story together.
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Which Scottish hotel would you choose for your story book wedding?