Hankering after some minimalist interiors that you can make your own? These party pads are scribble-free and ready for your masterpiece
Get the venue booked as soon as possible! This is a piece of advice that you were probably already sick of hearing before you’d got five minutes into your engagement. Yes, it’s good to tick it off your list early, but to quote an old adage/90’s rom-com: fools rush in. Smacking a deposit down without having properly worked out what you want your day to be like is about as clever as giving your flowergirl a tube of Smarties while you get your dress on.
Unless, that is, the venue you’ve chosen is blessed with a chameleon-like character that has the potential to work with any theme. Lots of castles and grand homes have powerful fixtures and fittings that would overwhelm a blush pink and ivory palette, for example. And blank canvas doesn’t have to mean draughty church hall – Scotland is bursting with venues that provide a neutral base without sacrificing history or personality:
Killearn Village Hall
Killearn Village Hall boasts stunning views of the Endrick valley from the glazed extension of this flexible space, just one element of a recent multi-million-pound refurbishment. In-house caterers Three Sisters Bake can lay on a flavour-packed spread of family-style dishes and mouth-watering baking.
The Caves, an ancient and atmospheric venue below Edinburgh’s South Bridge, is a great place for a party. You can play up its heritage, but the subterranean setting could just as easily be your ‘something new’, thanks to its brilliant state-of-the-art LED lighting.
Airdrie Town Hall
You’ve picked your theme, but how do you go about executing it? The team at Airdrie Town Hall will use their contacts to hire items on your behalf and light the room to match. And, with space for up to guests in the main hall, there will be no dilemmas about who gets on the guest list.
“At Bogbain, we pride ourselves that no two weddings are the same,” says events manager Laura Bremner. “We don’t believe that one size fits all – quite the opposite, in fact!” Hosting weddings from two to 250 guests, the Inverness venue gives you free rein, and the team have loads of local contacts to help you realise your vision.
City Halls, Glasgow
The darkly atmospheric Old Fruitmarket is a fantastic place for a reception, but a ceremony in the light-filled Recital Room at City Halls next door will give mantelpiece-worthy photos. The complex is the oldest purpose-built performance and meeting space in Glasgow.
Edinburgh’s Summerhall used to be a veterinary school, and it retains quirky nods to its past, including a function space called the Dissection Room. Not that you’d be able to tell, though – a complete transformation has created a blank canvas that can accommodate diverse themes, and wedding planner Sarah Cheung has seen it all: “We’ve even had a Harry Potter wedding!”
Calling all foodies! Dalduff’s in-house farm shop and butcher has made this Ayrshire venue a gastronomic paradise. Its whitewashed stone walls and wooden ceilings are crying out to be festooned with twinkling fairylights, but don’t be scared to walk on the wild side – a recent animal-themed wedding saw some alpacas turn up to the party.
Loch Lomond Arms Hotel
The village of Luss is a picturesque backdrop for the most important day of your life, and the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel is the jewel in its crown. Choose from the Inchconnachan Suite (pictured) or the new waterside Slate Quay, both of which are as beautiful as the surroundings.
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, you’ll find it in prestigious Edinburgh landmark the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, with the Playfair Hall’s ornate plasterwork and gilt-framed oil paintings, and the Prince Philip Building’s fresh white walls and coloured uplighting.
Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, The Lighthouse offers fabulous vistas over Glasgow’s rooftops. For weddings, Gallery 5 fuses old stone walls with minimalist interiors you can put your stamp on. “Your special day can be tailored to reflect your personality,” says the venue’s Ian Elder.