Now you may think that I’m a little biased but I don’t think there is a greater place in the World to get wed, so I encourage you to get married in Scotland.
I have been thinking about the passion I feel for Scotland and my wish to be an advocate for the Wedding Industry here.
From looking back at one of my favourite ever movies and thinking of the history of this great land, I can see where I get my fiestyness.
My great wish is to share my country and its great talents as well as being part of the Industry UK wide, as together united we are stronger.
I like most Scottish am instilled with some William Wallace Scottish fighting spirit to shout about a country, and an industry that I believe in.
Figures published by the General Register Office for Scotland show that in Scotland marriage is on the rise, with 28,480 marriages in 2010 – 956 more than in 2009.
Scotland has an unique combination of history, tradition and romance, coupled with incredible scenery.
Our countryside is unlike anywhere else with rugged mountains, picturesque lochs, and beatiful heather in bloom making for dramatic landscapes.
Thats before you get to the golf, the whisky, the football, the culture, the iconic Scottish figureheads, the amazing architecture, the incredible events such as the Edinburgh Festival and T in the Park, and the unparallelled welcome you get from the Scottish people.
It may be just to chase Ancestry, or to live that Braveheart fantasy , to revel in the poetry of Rabbie Burns or to soak up all the Tartan dreams that you have, but all brought together Scotland is a fantastic place to live, a brilliant place to visit and an incredible place to get married.
We are incredibly fortunate as a nation that we can get married just about anywhere.
As well as one of our stunning Castles, auld Historic Keeps, beautiful Country Houses, modern city Boutique Hotels, we have the opportunity to wed on a boat, up a mountain, our back gardens, a handfasting in a forest glade, a cliffside or anywhere else that you can imagine, and we can do this without having to go through the formalities seperately before.
This makes Scotland a huge draw for planning those bohemian, laid back weddings and events that are much more a reflection of ourselves rather than being conformed to conventiality.
Gretna Green is also an immense pull to many couples wishing to wed from all over the Globe, and is a village famous for runaway weddings.
It is in Dumfries and Galloway, near the mouth of the River Esk, and was historically the first village in Scotland, following the old coaching route from London to Edinburgh.
It is one of the world’s most popular wedding destinations, hosting over 5000 weddings each year, and one of every six Scottish weddings.
Gretna’s famous “runaway marriages” began in 1753 when Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act was passed in England; it stated that if both parties to a marriage were not at least 21 years old, then parents had to consent to the marriage.
This Act did not apply in Scotland, where it was possible for boys to marry at 14 and girls at 12 years old with or without parental consent (see Marriage in Scotland ), nowdays changed to the age of 16.
Many elopers fled England, and the first Scottish village they encountered was Gretna Green.
The Old Blacksmith’s Shop, built around 1712, and Gretna Hall Blacksmith’s Shop (1710) became, in popular folklore at least, the focal tourist points for the marriage trade. The Old Blacksmith’s opened to the public as a visitor attraction as early as 1887.
The local blacksmith and his anvil have become the lasting symbols of Gretna Green weddings. Scottish law allowed for “irregular marriages”, meaning that if a declaration was made before two witnesses, almost anybody had the authority to conduct the marriage ceremony. The blacksmiths in Gretna became known as “anvil priests”. [ source – Wilkepedia]
As well as Gretna, Scotland in recent years has been a great attraction for Celebrity Weddings, most notably Madonna, and this past summer Edinburgh played host to the Scottish Royal Wedding of Zara Philips and Mike Tindall.
As a part of the Scottish Wedding Industry I really must mention the multitudes of incredible Wedding Suppliers here. I have been especially priviledged to meet some wonderful people in the last few years, who have knocked my socks off with their dedication to service, extreme talent and genuine amazingness.
The achievements of these Wedding providers that go above and beyond is recognised every Year at The Bridal Oscars known as the VOWS.
VOWS stands for Voted Outstanding Wedding Supplier and is an awards body set up in 2005 to recognise all types of companies within Scotland that offer excellent customer service within the wedding industry.
From Designers on the cutting edge of Bridal fashon, extrordinary photographers, to suppliers stretching to all ends of the Wedding Market, Scotland boasts an enviable Wedding Industry that deserves to be celebrated, and I feel honoured to both be a part of it , and to work alongside such special individuals.
It may appear to some that Scotland may be the epitomy of Twee, but Scotland is a country of style, a country of great culture and a country with a great identity, and getting married in Scotland is just incredible.
Image Credit – Stuart Craig Photography