Four ways to wow with tartan décor on the big day

It’s the fabric beloved of fashion’s greats, so add some tasteful tartan touches to your venue

Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood aren’t available to style your wedding – sorry ’bout that – but that doesn’t mean tartan is confined to kilts for the boys only. There are loads of ways to incorporate it into your venue décor too. Wedding planner and stylist Lindsey Hunter at Get Knotted has teamed up with tartan specialist to demonstrate four ways of checking it out in style.

Alfresco dining with a hint of pastel Taylor Ancient Tartan (available from 2 copy

Our national fabric may make you think of cosy Highland hunting lodges (more of which below) but it can easily be used outdoors, especially as so many tartans reflect the colours of the Scottish rural landscape. “If you are having your reception outside, take full advantage of the location,” impresses Lindsey.

At this lochside venue – The Haining in Selkirk – the sage, lavender, pink and lime Taylor Ancient tartan takes its cue from its surroundings. Tartan sashes bedeck the chairs at a jaunty angle (in a nod to how Scottish ladies used to wear them at formal events in the past) and are finished with posies of lavender and alchemilla to complement the check’s tones.

Cosy yet contemporary Gordon Red Ancient Tartan (available from 8 copy

“If your wedding venue is a rustic setting such as a great hall in an old manor house or a dark barn – here we were in Aikwood Tower – a colourful tartan can really change the look and feel of the room,” Lindsey points out.

This bright Gordon Red Ancient tartan detracts attention from the venue’s dark walls. It’s an eye-catching plaid that fuses orange, green, hot pink, black and blue meaning there are plenty of accent tones to play around with – cue green and antique cranberry glasses glinting in the candlelight and textured black bottles filled with orange roses.

Contrasting tones Young Weathered Tartan (available from 19 copyIf your chosen reception location already has its fair share of colour, it’s still possible to work tartan into the scheme as long as you choose one that contrasts the room. In this instance, Young Weathered tartan offsets the dramatic blue walls at Eyemouth’s Gunsgreen House.

“We also hired a statement sequinned tablecloth from Pudding Bridge and used delicate hints of the tartan mixed with organza as chair ruffles,” Lindsey divulges, noting that the red ribbon and jewel napkins, tartan-fringed jars filled with gold succulents and the cherries and plums dotted at each place setting really help bring the tabletop to life.

Mix and match tartan Ancient Gordon, Modern Gordon and Gordon Weathered Tartans (available from 4 copy

Weddings are all about two families becoming one, so chances are your respective clans will have their own set of checks that you’d like represented. This setting at Aikwood Tower uses three different Gordon checks and shows how it is possible to combine different tartans successfully.

“This tartan has a beautiful stripe; to make it stand out old chairs were painted yellow. Half of the chairs feature Ancient Gordon tartan and the other half feature Modern Gordon,” explains Lindsey. The signing table is flanked by a sweeping curtain made from Gordon Weathered tartan tied back with a fabulous floral curtain tie.

Photos: Alex Aikman Smith Photography