Be inspired by your first date when picking your wedding venue

Go back to basics and return to where your relationship first started as you celebrate the next chapter beginning


Where did you meet your partner? In 2016, the answer, overwhelmingly, is online. Tinder has taken over our private lives and, with its 50 million users, it should be no surprise to hear that it can also take credit for more than a few engagements.

Now that you’ve (hopefully!) left your swiping days behind and are searching for wedding venues rather than a wi-fi signal, how do you land yourself that special place? By getting personal. If not where you met (perhaps a Tinder wedding isn’t the greatest idea), then base your day on where you met. With a little artistic licence, your guests will get a glimpse of where it all began and how you fell in love. Aw.

At a nightclub

Your eyes first locked on the dancefloor, or you dragged a reluctant group of friends along to the town dive, sensing there was a chance your crush would be there. How to recreate this? You’ll find all of the glamorous aspects of a nightclub and none of the seedier ones at an atmospheric venue like 29 Glasgow (above). “We have Apartment 29, which years ago was a nightclub,” explains the venue’s wedding co-ordinator Louize Hollywood. “In fact, many other parts of the building have been nightclubs –  I am sure there are lots of couples with fond memories of meeting here!”

At a festival


You bonded over warm beers, while the crowd bounced around you to Calvin Harris. Pay homage to your festival romance by hosting your own. Not only is Belladrum Estate in Inverness-shire home to the annual Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, it even has a temple in which you can tie the knot. “Belladrum Temple was built as a family chapel in the 1930s,” says the venue’s Lesley Strang. “Following an extensive restoration programme in the 1990s, the temple began to host many weddings, some of them during the August festival.” 

At the races


You were feeling oh-so glam, getting dressed up and sipping champagne from the sidelines, so when a dapper stranger caught your eye, you didn’t hesitate to bust out your cheesiest chat-up line. Do the races right this time and head to Hamilton Park Racecourse. “Couples can theme their day around racing, gifting race bet favours and organising a sweepstake during the arrival drinks reception to add a bit of extra excitement,” suggests sales manager Georgia McKay.

On holiday


Friends weren’t convinced, but you knew after that first walk on the beach that this exotic stranger was the one. Now that you have the ring to prove it, take your guests en vacances courtesy of East Lothian’s coastal glamping venue, Harvest Moon Holidays. “It all started with a couple who came on holiday and asked us if they could get married here,” recalls Alex Mitchell. “It has grown steadily from there to around a dozen weddings a year.” Guests can stay in safari tents and treehouses and make a weekend of it. 

At the library

Photo: Craig and Eva Sanders Photography

You had your head buried in the books, studying (okay, procrastinating) hard for your final exams. You looked up and there they were, loitering in the reference section. It was love at first book fine. Relive it all by marrying in Edinburgh’s Signet Library. “It is unusual to be able to enter these historic buildings on the Royal Mile but the Signet Library is a well-established wedding venue,” explains the venue’s Agnieszka Jablonska. “It is still a working library and couples love having the rows of books as a backdrop when exchanging vows.” 

At the pub


Weekly trips to the local have all led up to this moment – tying the knot with your pub squeeze. Sigh. Grab the crew and head for Glasgow brewery WEST On the Green, where you’ll experience all its charm and more. “The building is based on the magnificent Doge’s Palace in Venice,” says Fiona Shields. “The courtyard has huge windows overlooking our brand new production brewery, with mood lighting to fit any colour scheme.”