Stately homes and castles are all very well, but Scotland also has a large number of other grand municipal and council-owned buildings that are ideal for a wedding – and won’t cost the earth. Have you considered your local town hall?
Words by Gilly Furmage
You don’t have to swear at your sat-nav as you battle to your umpteenth country manor viewing, nor do you have to traipse about the countryside in your finery on your big day just to tie the knot. If you live in a city – or even a small town – there is most likely a stunning municipal venue right on your doorstep, ready and willing to host the best party of your life.
City halls don’t come more glamorous than this, baby. Awash with ornate Venetian mosaics and gold-leaf detailing, theinterior of the City Chambers is a feast for the eyes. A showstopping whiteCarrara marble staircase (where you and your other half can have your very own Beauty and the Beast moment) is a stunning backdrop for photos. There are two decadent rooms available for civil ceremonies only: the Satinwood Suite and the Banqueting Hall. The Satinwood faces onto George Square and is often used for ceremonies for up to 100 guests, while the sumptuous Banqueting Hall can hold up to 300 guests and is quite simplyspectacular. There’s also an Octagonal Suite (adjoining the Satinwood) that can be reserved for drinks and canapés.
0141 287 7655, www.glasgow.gov.uk/civilceremonies
Dazzling the local population since 1670, these Grade A-listed halls can be found nestled between Linlithgow Palace, St Michael’s Church and the picturesque Linlithgow Loch. The venue has recently undergone a £5.2 million redevelopment and now offers two contemporary function rooms, a roof terrace and an art gallery. The bright and airy Provost Lawrie Hall can seat up to 150 and has French windows that lead out onto the roof terrace, where guests can enjoy cocktails on a summer’s day. The Baillie Hardie Hall can seat up to 120 and is full of character, with classical fireplaces and specially commissioned artwork.
01506 282720, www.linlithgowburghhalls.co.uk
This Edwardian building has been renovated and refurbished and now has two state-of-the-art spaces ready to be used as a blank canvas for your big day. The dedicated wedding team, along with your personally assigned planner, can help with all the large (and small) decisions and can provide support throughout the planning process. The Lesser Hall can hold up to 108 guests, with 240 fitting into the Main Hall. Airdrie Town Hall also has its own catering team and has dressing rooms for hire, so the bridal party can get ready together in the morning, knowing that the staff are on hand to help things run smoothly while you and your entourage are busy getting gorgeous and popping the bubbly.
01698 274545, www.culturenl.co.uk/weddings
Settled on the Royal Mile, in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, Edinburgh’s City Chambers is a grand venue that lives up to its splendid surroundings. The venue has its own devoted team of wedding planners who’ll help with everything from table settings to advice on florists and photographers. The beautiful space also offers first-class food from Edinburgh Catering Services, where couples can choose from a delicious selection of canapés, hot and cold buffets, banquets and drinks packages.
0131 529 5974, www.citychambersedinburgh.co.uk
If you’re having a big wedding, Paisley Town Hall could be the one for you. It can host more than 300 guests, and wedding packages include use of the Main Hall, North Minor Hall, the Paisley Room, the Alexander Wilson Suite, the Loggia and the upper and ground-floor kitchens if needed. Services available include table set-up and use of the built-in PA system. There’s a standard and a premium option, which includes linen, a red carpet and a baby grand with a pianist. The venue also has a balcony overlooking Paisley’s historic Abbey. For particularly good value, it’s worth considering the offer of a 20% discount if you hold your wedding between Monday and Thursday.
0300 300 1210, www.renfrewshire.gov.uk
Smart, slick and sophisticated, 23 Montrose Street is a smaller venue on the east side of Glasgow’s monumental City Chambers, and has ‘city chic’ written all over it. The Clyde Room can seat 15 and the Kelvin can hold up to 30, making it ideal for couples who want an intimate and stylish ceremony in front of their nearest and dearest. It can be booked Monday to Saturday, with the exception of public holidays.
0141 287 7655, www.glasgow.gov.uk/civilceremonies
Home to the Midlothian Council registration service, Fairfield House is practical yet pretty and has quaint gardens that are perfect for posing post-ceremony. The house has recently undergone an impressive makeover and its shiny new function rooms can host up to 26 guests. It is, however, only available as a ceremony venue.
0131 271 3281, www.midlothian.gov.uk
Sitting prettily (and conveniently) on Perth’s High Street, the ceremony room at the Old Council Chambers has striking stained-glass windows, intricate wood panelling and impressive beams. The room can seat up to 50 people so it’s a great shout for a mid-sized ceremony before everyone heads to the reception venue for a knees-up.
01738 475121, www.pkc.gov.uk
Rutherglen’s Town Hall has a fabulous mix of the new and the classic, with an impressive and traditional Grand Hall and a smart, modern mezzanine bar. It can cater for up to 150 guests, and there is no minimum capacity, making this a site that is flexible in terms of big or small weddings. Couples who book the Town Hall will be treated to their own wedding co-ordinator, silk flower arrangements and centrepieces, discounts on chair covers and bows, tables, chairs, tablecloths, linen, staff, a bridal room, a master of ceremonies and much more. Drinks packages start from £5.90 plus VAT and wedding menus start from £25.55 plus VAT.
0141 613 5700, www.sllcweddings.co.uk
Situated right in the centre of the Fife coastal town, just minutes from the main street and harbour, Anstruther Town Hall is a great option for DIY-loving couples who want to stay local and get their hands on a space they can really put their stamp on. The venue is available for hire from Monday to Friday up till 10pm for £11 an hour, and all weekend for £27 an hour. These prices cover full use of the kitchen, crockery hire and the use of the stage.
01333 311 977, www.eastneukcentre.org.uk/townhall.php