Favourite Wedding Venues


One of the perks of the job - aside from photographing all my wonderful couples - is definitely visiting all the amazing wedding venues around Scotland. 


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From five star hotels, to castles, rustic barns, blank canvases and beautiful open spaces - Scotland has a lot to offer wedding couples. Whether you're here for a destination wedding or a local who is looking for some inspiration, here are my five favourite wedding venues from 2021!


5. Riddles Court


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The first entry in the list has got to be Riddles Court. This really defines the meaning of hidden gem in Edinburgh! Walking along Lawnmarket along the Royal Mile, just a stone's throw from Edinburgh Castle, you might completely miss this beautiful wedding venue. A quick glance down Riddle's Close and no doubt you will see a terracotta coloured building a-blaze with sunshine.


Riddles Court offers so much for engaged couples. From a professional photographer's perspective, the venue is bathed in natural light - making for some stunning pictures as you exchange your vows. After the ceremony, the courtyard itself has an amazing space for drinks, canapes, candid shots and of course a confetti throw!


It's city centre location also means that I am able to explore some pretty iconic locations with my couples for their newlywed photos as well. We can nip up to Edinburgh Castle and catch some amazing views, or head down to Victoria Terrace for some quieter, more intimate shots. The Royal Mile offers some stunning nearby locations, but let's not forget the Riddles Court's staircase!

   


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4. Timberyard


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Rustic. Nordic. Cosy. Candles. This place is like a little piece of my own personal heaven in Edinburgh. Behind the famous bright red door lies a wonderful wedding venue space. Inside is full of warm natural light and is such a fantastic atmosphere for your wedding meal. Their massive candles and wood burning stove are also a major plus for me!


Wedding photography at Timberyard can be full of cosy candid shots of your guests as they enjoy their drinks outside in the sunshine. The courtyard is an impressive setting for your ceremony - with lots of natural woods, plants and flowers providing the perfect backdrop for your photographs. For a city centre wedding without feeling like you're in the city centre, Timberyard is ideal.


From a photography perspective, it's again perfectly situated for urban couples portraits and getting those amazing Edinburgh sights into your wedding gallery. The Vennel is a few minutes walk away - as is Victoria Terrace, Grassmarket and even Princes Street Gardens. Timberyard is definitely a venue I'd love to return to  - and bonus points as I can walk to work for once!

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3. Harburn Barn


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In at number 3 is one of those wedding venues that is completely transformed with the seasons. During spring and summer it's all blossom, flowers and long evenings in the sun, but as Autumn takes over, Harburn Barn is ignited in crimsons, burgundy and burnt oranges. 


Wedding Photography around the grounds is an absolute dream. Well into the West Lothian countryside, you and your wedding party will have the place to yourselves and can party the whole night long. It's a blank canvas too - meaning couples can bring in their own suppliers and mix and match everything to what they want from their day. I love Haymain's Cottage and the Stables too, which can be booked up alongside the barn and make the perfect location for getting ready shots in the morning.


With its cosy, rustic vibes, the barn is an amazing place for your ceremony - and I love to play around with a few different camera setups here to make the most of your coverage. There's so much space to enjoy your drinks reception and I can be on candid photography mode all day here. Everywhere you look there's somewhere awesome for couple portraits - every time I go back there's always somewhere new to explore.

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2. Cromlix House Hotel


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The first time I visited Cromlix House Hotel, it was so ablaze with Autumnal colours that I immediately pulled the car over to take a shot of the driveway. It was one of those perfect scenes you'd see in a Hollywood movie. By the time I met my couple for our venue visit I was half thinking of ways to get them to hold their wedding there and then - we had perfect lighting, and the estate was teasing my creativity. 


Though it was nearly two whole months later, my return for the wedding day did not disappoint. Set on a hillside, Cromlix House Hotel was surrounded by blankets of fog, sunlight diffusing through it; creating one giant softbox. It was an absolute delight to photograph. 


The majestic exterior of turrets and creeping boston ivy is matched - if not surpassed -  by its interior. There's a roaring fire, a whisky room, a billiards room and suites that are perfect for morning preparations. The Chapel is blessed with stained glass windows and a cosy, intimate atmosphere. As a wedding photographer, there's so much to explore at Cromlix House Hotel. 


Bonus points for Andy Murray's mum walking in on group shots!

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1. Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh


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And finally, my favourite wedding venue of 2021, and possibly just ever, is the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. Everything about this space is beautiful. Incorporating nature into my couples' wedding photography is something I very much love to do, but I was very much spoilt for choice! On top of stunning lighting and vibrant colours, the gardens are a photographer's playground.


For me, I fell in love with the ceremony location instantly. It has long been one of my favourite parts of the gardens, mostly because it reminds me of time spent in California and Canada. With giant sequoias towering above as you exchange your vows, you feel like you are in a completely different world. Outdoor ceremonies provide me with the chance to roam a bit more freely around the wedding without the fear of distracting the guests. 


As beautiful as the ceremony was, it is in newlywed photos that the gardens really excel above all other wedding venues for me. From setting up natural backlit shots with the sun behind them, to finding unique and creative compositions that would elevate the epic-ness of my couple's photo gallery, the Royal Botanic Gardens was the gift that kept on giving. I'm so lucky to be back for another wedding here later this year!


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Getting married at any of my favourite venues from 2021, or think you've bagged a wedding venue that can beat the botanics from the top spot in 2022?


Jump back to my blog for more wedding inspiration, or head over to my wedding packages & pricing to see how my professional photography services could capture your special day.  


© S.G Mark Photography | S.G Mark Photography is the trading name of Cyclops Consulting Ltd | Registered in Scotland | Company Registration SC437474 | 113 St John's Road Edinburgh EH12 8AT

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