What Does a Wedding in Scotland Cost?

eilean-donan-cottage-scotland

The costs of a wedding vary enormously depending on what you choose for your big day, the location, the number of guests and the time of year.  The initial planning phase can be one of the most important, and it’s vital that you create a working budget of estimated costs before you book anything to be sure you are making the right choices.

While we can’t tell you exactly what things will cost, we can give you an idea of what to expect as well as how to make the most of your budget.

Ceremony

Church ceremony:                                                                       Approximately £600

Religious ceremony carried out outside of Church:          From £150 to £300

Civil Ceremony:                                                                            From £55

Humanist Ceremony:                                                                  Approximately £500

Venue

Some venues in Scotland will charge you venue hire fees for the rooms you are using and others will simply charge you a package price per head.  Package prices would generally range from £50 to £150 per head on average and venue hire costs would go from £300 upwards depending on the size and location.

Top tip: You can often reduce your venue charges by choosing a mid-week celebration, which works well for destination couples.  If you take a venue on an exclusive use basis, it is acceptable for you to charge your guests for their accommodation if you prefer to do so.

Photographer / Videographer

Photographer:                                                                               Approximately £800 -£3000

Videographer:                                                                               Approximately £800 – £2500

Photo or video booths:                                                               Approximately £500 – £2000

Printing

Save the dates                                                                              Approximately £0.50 each upwards

Invitations                                                                                     Approximately £1 to £5 each

Menus                                                                                             Approximately £0.50 each upwards

Programs:                                                                                      Approximately £0.50 each upwards

Seating plan:                                                                                 Approximately £20 to £500

Place Cards:                                                                                   Approximately £0.50 each

Wedding Cake

Standard 3 tier cake for 100 guests                                         Approximately £300 -£500

Standard 2 tier cake for 70 guests                                           Approximately £200 -£350

Standard single tier cake for 30 guests                                  Approximately £70 to £150

Music & Entertainment

 Scottish bagpiper                                                                         Approximately £250

 Harpist                                                                                             Approximately £150

 String Quartet                                                                                Approximately £600

 Live Ceilidh Band                                                                          Approximately £800 upwards

Live Party band                                                                               Approximately £1200 upwards

DJ                                                                                                         Approximately £300 upwards

Lighting & Extras

Bespoke Lighting                                                                                         From £300 upwards

Festoon or fairy lighting                                                                            Approximately £350

LED Dancefloors                                                                                           Approximately £800

Fireworks                                                                                                        From £750

Catering

This is the most difficult cost to predict.  Costs for venue, drinks and catering would start at about £40 per head for something quite simple at a standard venue, moving right up into the hundreds for a top venue with extensive catering services and fine wines and Champagnes.

  • The cost of venues varies widely. Many venues offer free venue hire in exchange for using their catering and accommodation services.  Other, more luxurious or exclusive use venues can have a high venue hire fee. 
  •  At some venues, furniture, linen and tableware can be included as standard, but other venues offer a blank canvas where you would need to hire in all these items. The costs vary widely depending on your brief.
  • Many venues offer in house catering services, where they provide all food, wine and service. In other venues you would need to bring this in.  Outside caterers in the UK usually include furniture, linens and tableware in their packages making it very cost effective.

It is standard at a Scottish wedding to serve:

  1. A welcome drink, or cocktails along with canapés at the post-event reception (or cocktail hour)
  2.  A three to five course wedding menu at the main meal, or for more casual weddings a buffet or barbeque.
  3.  Wines throughout dinner, along with Champagne or an alternative for the toasts.
  4.  An evening buffet of some sort.

It is not uncommon at Scottish weddings to have a cash bar during the evening.  However, for more formal weddings, or where there is a higher budget, it is of course possible to purchase fixed drinks packages to ensure all your guests’ drinks are paid for.  Most US couples prefer to have an open bar facility for their guests.

Flowers

 Brides Bouquet                                                                                            From £90

Bridesmaids Bouquets                                                                               From £50

Buttonholes                                                                                                  Approximately £8 -£25

Ceremony flowers                                                                                       From £300 upwards

Table Decor                                                                                                    From £50 per table

In Scotland, usually only the Bridal party would have buttonhole, except at the most elegant weddings.  Flowers for the ceremony can be quite basic, or you can use flowers to create a stunning atmosphere.  At the tables, you can opt for very small and simple displays, or large opulent displays.  All of this will affect the costs widely.  For a simple or smaller wedding, budget between £800 and £1200 for flowers.  For a larger or more opulent wedding, budget around £2500.  

 Transport

 Luxury car hire                                                                                             Approximately £300 upwards

Coach for guests                                                                                           Approximately £150 upwards

It is traditional to arrange transport for the bride and the bridal party to and from the church to the reception venue.  However, if the wedding is taking place at the same venue as the reception there may be no need for this service.  If guests do not have accommodation on site, or if the ceremony is at a different location to the reception, it would be wise to provide a coach. There are also many other options for “fun” transport, from the hire of vintage cars, the horses and carriages or even a London Bus.

 Hair & Makeup

Bridal hair and makeup with trial                                                           Approximately £150 upwards

Bridesmaid / Mother of the Bride hair and makeup                          Approximately £30 upwards

 Other Costs to consider

  • Hire of props to fit your theme
  • Little extras to add to the day, such as candy bars or creative guest book alternatives
  • Custom linens, tableware and glassware
  • Chair covers, custom sashes and hoods
  • Ceiling decorations with flowers, drapery, lighting or lanterns
  • Chill out furniture hire
  • Customised aisle runners
  • Confetti cones or flower petals
  • Specialist entertainment
  • Gifts for your bridal party
  • Wedding favours or bespoke welcome gifts for your guests
  • Postage for invitations and thank you cards
  • Wedding planner fees
  • Staff costs for a dry hire venue
  • Hire or purchase of wedding party clothing
  • Wedding gown and accessories
  • Gentleman’s outfitting
  • Dance lessons
  • Travel & Accommodation
  • Marriage licence fees of £70
  • Visa application fees from £25 upwards
  • Rehearsal dinner costs
  • Other supporting activities for your guests
  • Wedding website
  • Wedding insurance