When you picture a wedding in Scotland, one of the first images most people conjure up is a fairytale castle venue. Although most castles in Scotland were built with defence in mind, many were also used for entertaining and offer elegant, regal event spaces, ideal for celebrations and many also offer accommodation for you and your guests – with the potential to hire out the entire castle for a day or two to celebrate your wedding in true Scottish style.
Many castles are popular tourist attractions or have been converted into luxury hotels and many are still part of private estates – either hired out for celebrations or kept within the family and used as private residences. The facilities, accommodations and services of castles for hire will vary drastically. More “authentic” castles, which have been maintained in their original condition, will have a wonderful feel of ancient romance, but might not quite come with all the mod cons you might be used to, with many lacking elevators or en suite bathrooms. If you prefer modern conveniences and comforts, many castles have been transformed into luxurious, up-to-date properties which would rival any five star hotel.
While castles offer a wonderful backdrop for wedding photographs, along with a rich sense of history and majesty; there is also something truly magical about the idea of hiring one for a day or two and living out the once-in-a-lifetime fantasy of celebrating your love story in your very own castle.
Here’s a run down of some of our favourite Castle Wedding Venues in Scotland available on an exclusive-use basis.
Set in an extensive, private, country estate in the picturesque Scottish village of Laurencekirk, this castle represents perhaps the ultimate in terms of luxurious accommodation and facilities within the walls of traditional Castle. Once the childhood summer home of William Gladstone, this castle is used exclusively for private, luxury wedding celebrations and comes complete with 19 individually designed bedrooms as well as several cottages on the estate.
The decor throughout is exquisite, featuring the highest standards of modern day luxuries with several beautiful function spaces, a private bar, an opulent library, drawing room, billiard room, state of the art guest kitchen facilities and even a beautiful village chapel on the doorstep, perfect for religious ceremonies.
Set in the grounds of a private estate in the heart of rural Aberdeenshire, the beautiful Drumtochty Castle is the perfect setting for a fairytale castle wedding in Scotland. Surrounded by trees and fields with wandering deer, and beautifully maintained with roaring fires and suits of armour decorating the hallways; this venue definitely makes you feel as if you have been transported back in time.
The public spaces of the castle are elegant, light and opulent with a grand dining room, beautiful ballroom and a regal drawing room and the castle can sleep up to twenty two guests in beautiful, individually decorated bedrooms. There are also additional wings and outdoor lodges which can accommodate a further 62 guests, and the estate has it’s own private chapel a short walk from the castle which can be used for religious ceremonies. The castle staff do a wonderful job of taking care of wedding guests and everything about the venue feels very authentic and very, very Scottish!
This majestic 19th century castle in rural Ayrshire was listed number 14 in the Independent newspaper’s lost of the 50 best places to get married in the world, and we can easily see why. This awe-inspiring regency castle is brimming with history, character and charm and provides the most beautiful, romantic backdrop for a wedding celebration.
The venue has four function spaces to draw from, accommodating up to 100 guests for a wedding breakfast and with luxurious, individually designed bedrooms for 30 guests as well as eight cottages on the estate. As a little claim to fame, the Oscar winning motion picture ‘The Queen’, starring Helen Mirren, was filmed at Blairquhan, so what better pedigree for any potential wedding venue!
Hire rates for exclusive-use castle venues with vary broadly, but you can enjoy reduced prices for mid-week dates and in the winter, and as many Scottish Castles are self-catering and include so much accommodation, you can actually make great savings in comparison to a hotel-stay.
If you’re aiming for an exclusive use castle wedding, we’d advise on working with a budget of £20,000 to £30,000 as a starting point and it’s important not to forget to include in your budget that you will be hosting your guests for more than just the wedding day. You will also need to think about catering for the additional days, as well as activities and entertainment throughout their stay but it’s perfectly acceptable to ask guests to pay a contribution to their accommodation and activities if you’re on a smaller budget.
We hope this gives you some great ideas for planning your Scottish Castle Wedding, but feel free to visit our website at www.weddingsbysarajane.com if you would like any assistance with your wedding plans or help finding the perfect Scottish Castle for you.