This stunning historical wedding in Glasgow city centre had a wild ceilidh, an autumnal theme and delicious food

Sophie-Elise Anker & Stephen Watts

29th October 2022

Venue | 1599 at the Royal College, Glasgow
Photography | Heather Jayne Photography

Your wedding is an historic occasion. It is the love story you will tell your own grandchildren as you flick through the ‘vintage’ wedding album in the hope they will relay the romantic tale to their own offspring one day. For Sophie-Elise and Stephen, they settled on Glasgow venue 1599 at the Royal College for their day as it had its own story to tell before their chapter was added.

“We wanted something with a sense of history and an elegance to its rooms,” the bride tells us. “It still needed to have a bit of cosiness as we didn’t want to feel dwarfed by our venue, and it needed a bit of Scottish flavour. I’m from Cambridge and Stephen is from Glasgow, so we were looking for something that encompassed a bit of us both.”

With family from across Scotland and England making up the 60 day and 120 evening guests, the couple felt it was crucial to pick a venue close to transport links and with lots of accommodation nearby. The Royal College, on St Vincent Street in the heart of Glasgow, could hardly be a better fit.

The couple had two other places on their shortlist but as soon as they walked into 1599 they knew “instantly” that the popular venue ticked all their boxes – especially as it was available exactly a year from their engagement.

“It had so many lovely spaces, and each seemed to really suit our tastes and plans. We knew as soon as we saw the library, for instance, that we’d love to have our photos taken there,” recalls Sophie-Elise. “The main hall was big enough for a properly wild ceilidh and there were so many other little treats hidden around every corner. We had a great welcome from Fiona Hainey and the team and were always made to feel special.”

The self-described “pair of redheads” chose an autumnal theme for their nuptials, with burgundy, rust and sage-toned details featuring throughout.

“The wooden panelling around 1599 really contributed to a warm, cosy autumn feel,” says Sophie-Elise. “There was also a focus on clean lines and elegance and the sandstone front of the building certainly gave us the grandeur we were looking for. We got gorgeous nighttime shots we never imagined we’d get. We were able to feel regal for a day and yet also totally at home.”

The couple were happy to lean on the experts for help in ensuring their big day, which started with a ceremony at the Salvation Army Hall in Govan, ran as smoothly as possible.

“We were able to have a sit-down with Fiona, our wedding coordinator at 1599, and our photographer and between us hashed out the timings for the day. We totally relied on their expertise for how long all the various portions of the day would take,” recalls the bride. “This was invaluable, and we were able to benefit from some hints and tricks.”

The happy couple opted for 1599’s Ruby package, developed a bespoke drinks package to suit guests and also hired nearby Blythswood Square Gardens for outdoor photographs. 

The food was a “particular highlight”, as not only was the bride’s lactose intolerance catered for, but guests were fuelled up for ceilidh dancing into the wee hours with band Jiggered

The bride says her advice to other couples getting married is to “worry less” and make the most of the day and the support you are offered. “It was our day, and everyone loved it because they saw us in it.”

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