Many couples are now making plans with all the fuss stripped away – these Scottish wedding venues are perfect for your pint-sized party
Accommodating up to 56 guests (of whom 14 can stay the night), the recently refurbished Ballogie House in Aberdeenshire is ideally suited to those who believe that less is more when it comes to a wedding. Celebrate with loved ones in total privacy, enjoying the cosy interiors, the games room and the hot tub.
“Unusually, we don’t have preferred suppliers, as we feel it is incredibly important that our clients choose companies that reflect their own personal preferences,” shares Ballogie’s Helen Knowles. “This ensures that their low-key event is unique in every single way.”
The Bonham Hotel
We totally rate Edinburgh’s west end, with its cobbled streets, leafy squares and upmarket eateries. Squeezed into the mix is the unassuming Bonham Hotel, a chic destination for wee weddings in the capital. “We are made for intimate dos,” says event co-ordinator Melanie Shields.
“The welcoming library is a prime backdrop for post-ceremony drinks, while the Dean Suite can accommodate up to 33 people for dinner. The Snug works for even cosier celebrations – it can hold up to eight. This, plus the fact that we’re in a townhouse, helps to create the feeling that this is someone’s home rather than some anonymous venue.” Sounds like the foolproof w-day solution for those who don’t like leaving the house…
Rufflets St Andrews
This family-owned country-house hotel on the outskirts of St Andrews has long been a hit with brides and grooms keen to cultivate a snug and relaxed vibe. “The homely feel at Rufflets is so important to our couples, who are often after a more intimate wedding day,” divulges the venue’s Louise Turner.
“As a former private residence, the hotel isn’t intimidating in scale. Groups of two to 24 can enjoy its award-winning service, but with a greater degree of choice and flexibility than larger parties would be entitled to.” You’ll still definitely get the best of both worlds, however: with ten acres of grounds to play with, including award-winning gardens which grow produce for Rufflets’ fine dining, you can celebrate with only those closest to you while also enjoying the luxury of space. It’s worth noting that the hotel can cater for up to 170 in the evening if a small do just ain’t for you.
Mabie House Hotel
Hidden in a majestic forest near Dumfries is Mabie House Hotel, an adorable bolthole which has your intimate nuptials all stitched up. Acquaint yourself with the 17th-century country house and its sensational gardens and manicured lawns, and you’ll be feeling like the real world is a million miles away.
And with a limited number of guests, you can curate a bespoke menu they’re guaranteed to savour. All those in favour of a wedding where you can actually talk to everyone in attendance? Aye.
Your wedding is the one day of your life when you can act like a princess (or prince), so rise to the occasion with the inimitable Glamis House. Dating back to 1800, this charming property was once home to the great-granny of HM the Queen Mother, who herself grew up in the castle nearby.
On top of that, the in-demand address has only recently made itself available for weddings – yes, this exclusive-use venue just got that bit more exclusive. “Within the house, there’s capacity for 25 for an evening reception, 12 of whom can sleep over; or a marquee in the orchard would hold 50,” offers general manager Helen Buchanan. “You’ll have views across the picturesque Angus farmland, and direct access to the rose garden, a beautiful setting for a summer celebration.”
With catering provided by the esteemed Wilde Thyme Catering, which specialises in creating personalised menus tailored to taste and budget, we doubt you’d be able to get your fill of this gorgeous space.
Big fan of Scandi-style interiors? It doesn’t get much more hygge than the Kingshouse Hotel in Glencoe, at the foot of the mighty Buachaille Etive Mòr. Snuggle up by the roaring fire, take in mountain views, or get your fill of posh nosh in the candlelit restaurant – we promise this spot will take your breath away.
“They say the best things come in small packages, and it’s true – sometimes it’s the elopement nuptials that make the biggest impact,” considers wedding co-ordinator Lorna Scott. “The Kingshouse is a fantastic place for you to declare your love for each other. When you’ve already gathered your nearest and dearest, you don’t need anything else.” For extra Insta points, why not tie the knot on the balcony in one of the Signature suites with the local deer as witnesses.
Intercontinental Edinburgh The George
The George’s reputation precedes it: it has been welcoming guests since 1881. Even before it was a hotel, though, it was a magnet for famous faces: none other than Scottish literary giants Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott hung out here. But this, and the fact that it occupies a prime spot in classy George Street, doesn’t mean you’ll find it intimidating; Harriet Wood, senior wedding and special events planner, is keen to hammer home just how adaptable this renowned city-centre hotspot is.
“Our library, with ample room for up to 50 guests, is an ideal place to start the next chapter of your life together,” she suggests. “It has all the grandeur of the rest of the building, only scaled down to a more digestible size. It’s full of period details such as wooden panelling and nods to Scottish tradition, and there’s a gorgeous contemporary chandelier. The fireplace, adorned with twinkling candlelight, creates a beautiful feature for photographs.”
Norton House Hotel
“Norton House Hotel really comes into its own during intimate weddings,” says Kirsten King of the Edinburgh venue. “We have an array of function rooms ideal for relaxed and cosy celebrations, such as our drawing room, verandah and patio suites.”
There’s even a dedicated package for couples thinking small, with an appropriately tiny price tag attached: arrangements start from just £1,650. And when that includes canapés and a bespoke three-course menu, you’d be daft not to keep the guest list to a minimum.
Steal away to the Strathearn Valley with only your nearest and dearest to get hitched at these converted stables near Crieff. “Perfect for a Highland hero and heroine wishing to walk through the pages of their own romantic novel, Abercairny is a secluded haven which the red squirrels enjoy as much as our happy wedding guests,” says manager Daniel Parker.
“This is an exclusive-use venue for you to decorate, celebrate and call the place your own.” Don’t mind if we do – Jeeves, prepare the carriage.