Favourite Lothian & Borders Wedding Venues

October 4, 2023

Some of the best wedding venues in Scotland lie in the Lothians & Borders, just outside Edinburgh. As a local wedding photographer, these luxury venues are a real treat to work at and offer some of the most unique locations for wedding portraits. Getting married in a Scottish Castle or having your ceremony outdoors in a beautiful country estate is the dream for many engaged couples and Lothian & Borders offers so many stunning venues with gorgeous views. Here are just some of my favourite castles & estates to get married at.

Dundas Castle

One of the most popular castle venues in Scotland, Dundas Castle is truly something special. With its huge estate, there's so many gorgeous locations for your couples photos. Hire out the castle for the weekend to make the most of your celebrations with your friends & family. Ceremonies can be held outside or in the Auld Keep, while you can get ready in one of the castle's many beautiful suites.

Best bits:

- The views from the top of the Auld Keep

- Glorious sunsets perfect for newlywed portraits

- Gorgeous interiors for your drinks reception

Things to consider:

- Evening receptions are mainly held in the pavilion, which is a little more modern

- The owners also live on site and their dogs freely roam the grounds (which may be a no-no if you're not a dog person)

Carlowrie Castle

Carlowrie Castle is a stunning wedding venue - and you may have seen it featured in Billionaire Blooms. It's iconic exterior is dreamy and changes colour throughout the year, eventually turning a vibrant red in the Autumn. It sports one of the grandest driveways of all the castles in the area, making you feel excited for your day as you arrive. The walled garden is a particular favourite of mine for photography, as is the swing which can make for fun couples portraits. The interior space is gorgeous too, great for the drinks receptions and those all important getting ready shots too.

Best bits:

- The ivy, the turret, the entrance staircase!

- Definitely the walled garden for couples photos

- Bright, modern interior rather than the traditional castle vibes

Things to Consider:

- There is on-site accommodation but unless you've hired the castle out the day before your wedding as well, you may not get access to inside Carlowrie itself until the late morning of your wedding day

- The airport runway is literally across the field. It can be a little distracting and noisy, but it's not too noticeable once the party gets started. Videographers usually can launch drones too, with prior permission.

Cornhill Castle

This beautiful castle is situated just outside Biggar in the Borders, and is one of the most stunning wedding venues. It's iconic driveway & turrets make for some pretty awesome wedding photography, and as we are so far out into the countryside there can be some dramatically Scottish weather too. Get ready in the Dunrobin Suite or one of the on-site lodges, ceremonies can be held outside for brilliant views of the mountains, or in the pavilion with fairy lights and flowers. The dining room is an amazing, cosy space for your meal and dancing, and the staircase is a must for First Looks and bridal photos before the ceremony!

Best Bits:

- The staircase is a favourite of mine

- The Balmoral Suite for the night of your wedding (it's got 3 floors and a champagne room!)

- The grounds & views for your wedding photos

Things to consider:

- There are rooms in the castle, but if you've a larger wedding you may want to consider extra accommodation in the village of Biggar and arranging for taxis / transportation

- It's about an hour's drive from Edinburgh or Glasgow, so ideal for either city

Newhall Estate

Newhall Estate is a firm favourite of mine. With it's famous front door, you'll no doubt recognise it from your wedding venue search. The estate itself is just south of Penicuik and is surrounded by woodland and fields for a perfect secluded feel. There are in fact 3 locations to host your ceremony at in the Estate, and all are amazing. Photography wise there is just endless opportunity for amazing shots with both your friends & family for candids and for your couples portraits. The walled garden is gorgeous and full of colour and greenery and looks amazing in the summer when it's in full bloom and the sun is beaming down.

Best Bits:

- the Walled Garden for couples portraits

- the Sunroom for a ceremony location or getting ready shots

- Secluded and feels completely your own space

Things to Consider:

- Though there are rooms on-site, for larger weddings you may need to have guests stay elsewhere and arrange transport

- It's a very outdoor centric venue, meaning if it's raining the whole day your couples shots may be limited

Arniston House

Arniston House is situated near Gorebridge, and despite being a stone's throw away from Edinburgh feels like it's far out into the countryside. Ceremonies usually take place in the Orangery, with a marquee / outdoor drinks reception to follow. Take your couples photos around the estate, from the woodlands to the wildflower meadows and even the walled garden near the Gardener's cottage.

Best Bits:

- The Orangery

- Lovely grounds for couples portraits

- Bring in your own suppliers to create the perfect wedding day

Things to Consider:

- It's a very outdoor based location, so there's no back up location for couples photos if it's torrential rain

- Definitely make additional time for couples portraits if you want to make the most of the estate

- There's on-site accommodation, but you'll likely want to arrange transport for your guests who are coming from further a field

- Consider transportation to / from the cottages before the ceremony and for later at night as the cottages are a bit of a walk away

Harburn Barn

Harburn Barn is a firm favourite of all the barn wedding venues near Edinburgh. It's very much a blank canvas and is perfect for DIY weddings where you'll want to put your own stamp on the day. What's even better is that Harburn is a magical place throughout the year, with each season offering something slightly different. I've been lucky enough to be here during a winter snowstorm that made for some of the most unique shots I've ever taken. You can get married outside, but many couples opt to exchange their vows in the barn itself due to its unique vaulted ceilings and cosy vibes. The estate itself is fantastic for photos, and gets some of the best evening light during the summer - and sunsets during winter.

Best Bits:

- Blank canvas to bring in your own styling, catering & much more- Beautifully kept grounds perfect for wedding photography

- On-site accommodation at Haymains Cottage, the Coach House and Stables

Things to Consider

- With limited on-site accommodation, you may want to put on transportation for guests so they don't have to drive back at the end of the night

- Reception area can be quite tight for larger weddings, limiting dancefloor space

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