THE BRIDE GUIDE

The Oban Times - - Front Page -

PART 1 - IN­SIDE THIS WEEK

ON THE beau­ti­ful west coast of Scot­land, cou­ples are spoiled for choice when it comes to fab­u­lous wed­ding venues. Each year, more than 1,000 lucky cou­ples choose the West Coast for their spe­cial day, and since there are no res­i­den­tial qual­i­fi­ca­tions for get­ting mar­ried in Scot­land, it is a pop­u­lar wed­ding des­ti­na­tion for peo­ple from all over the world.

Ac­cord­ing to the Provost of Ar­gyll and Bute, Coun­cil­lor Len Scoullar, any­one choos­ing to have their wed­ding here is as­sured of the warm­est of wel­comes.

‘Whether you al­ready stay in the area or are think­ing about com­ing here for your big day, you can rest as­sured that you will find the ideal lo­ca­tion for your ceremony,’ he said. ‘We have ro­man­tic old castles, breath­tak­ing moun­tains, beau­ti­ful lochs, thou­sands of miles of stun­ning coast­line, sunny sandy beaches, and much more.’

Cou­ples can opt for a re­li­gious or civil ceremony that is con­ducted by an au­tho­rised or as­sis­tant reg­is­trar. Ei­ther way, you will need to con­tact the Ar­gyll Bute reg­is­trar’s of­fice to com­plete the nec­es­sary paperwork. Mar­riage no­tice forms can be down­loaded from the reg­is­trar’s of­fice, and should be sub­mit­ted at least six to eight weeks be­fore the pro­posed wed­ding date. The sooner you book, the more likely you will be able to get your pre­ferred date, as there are a lim­ited num­ber of reg­is­trars avail­able, es­pe­cially on week­ends.

‘The cou­ples who en­trust us with their spe­cial oc­ca­sions al­ways re­mark on how warm, friendly and help­ful our reg­is­trars are’, Coun­cil­lor Scoullar said. ‘Their ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment, com­bined with the plethora of per­fect lo­ca­tions, makes for a truly me­morable day. Ar­gyll and Bute re­ally can of­fer it all – come and visit us, and see for your­self.’

Many venues are li­censed, mean­ing they are pre-ap­proved by the coun­cil. Li­censed venues, whether a ho­tel, cas­tle or gar­den, usu­ally of­fer to­tal wed­ding pack­ages, so can be an ex­cel­lent choice for cou­ples who pre­fer to have all the de­tails taken care of by a knowl­edge­able and pro­fes­sional staff. In ad­di­tion, there are many ex­pe­ri­enced florists, jew­ellers, out­fit­ters and cater­ers in the area that can take care of ev­ery­thing you need.

DIY wed­dings at al­ter­na­tive lo­ca­tions, such as a beach, a loch side or a barn are also a pop­u­lar op­tion; how­ever, the reg­is­trar will have to visit the venue be­fore­hand and ap­prove it.

Out­door wed­dings are very pop­u­lar, es­pe­cially May through Au­gust when the weather is at its best, but Scot­land’s vari­able cli­mate ne­ces­si­tates a wet weather al­ter­na­tive- reg­is­trars are not au­tho­rised to con­duct wed­dings dur­ing in­clement con­di­tions. This is where a li­censed venue can come in handy, as they of­ten have both an out­door and in­door lo­ca­tion, so there is no panic if the skies cloud up on the big day.

En­gaged cou­ples can find out more on Ar­gyll Bute Coun­cil’s web­site at ar­gyll-bute.gov.uk, or con­tact the reg­is­ter di­rectly at reg­is­trars@ar­gyll-bute.gov. uk. Check out their on­line Civil Cer­e­monies guide, which is packed with in­for­ma­tion, venues and ideas for the per­fect wed­ding day.

His­toric wed­ding

The West Coast boasts dozens of castles, manor houses, chapels, abbeys and cathe­drals that will trans­port the happy cou­ple and their guests into a fa­ble as king and queen of their own cas­tle. Even pic­turesque ru­ins or hill forts can pro­vide a sto­ry­book back­drop for that spe­cial day. For those with a sense of whimsy and drama, ev­ery­one can turn out in an­cient Vik­ing or Me­dieval dress- how fun!

Coun­try wed­ding

Pas­toral cot­tages of­fer an in­ti­mate wed­ding ex­pe­ri­ence, com­plete with ac­com­mo­da­tions for all the guests and home cooked fare. For an epic af­fair with hun­dreds of guests, con­sider a barn dance wed­ding- add hay bale seat­ing, fairy lights and a horse drawn car­riage for a rus­tic at­mos­phere.

Is­land wed­ding

Whisk guests off to one of the is­lands for a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding, where scenic hills pro­vide a pic­ture-per­fect back­drop against the stun­ning coast­lines. The guests will get to en­joy an ex­otic hol­i­day be­fore or af­ter the big event.

Out­door wed­ding

Get mar­ried on the high seas in a char­tered boat, or ar­rive at a loch side ceremony in a row­boat. Or choose one of the west coast’s many gor­geous gar­dens, and tie the knot amongst a fra­grant pro­fu­sion of rhodo­den­dron and rose blos­soms. Bare­foot sea­side wed­dings are also very pop­u­lar, given the plethora of sug­ary beaches here.

Theme wed­dings

High­land-themed af­fairs are, of course, a pop­u­lar choice, es­pe­cially for brides or grooms with an­ces­tral con­nec­tions to the area. A ceilidh dance is a must for a tra­di­tional High­land fling, with the cou­ple and guests twirling and leap­ing into the wee hours as the na­tives have done for gen­er­a­tions. A whisky-themed wed­ding at a dis­tillery is an­other very Scot­tish op­tion for a me­morable day. See The Bride Guide Part Two (next week) for church wed­ding in­spi­ra­tion!

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