Destination Wedding in Edinburgh, Scotland

I have an intimate destination wedding in Edinburgh, Scotland to share with you today! Alex and Anthony’s destination wedding was a fun-filled and ultra personal celebration of love as they were was surrounded by only their closest friends and family on their wedding day.

Before I share the gorgeous wedding photos from Orange Lemur, let me tell you a little bit about this couple. Alexandra, who goes by Alex, and Anthony were friends for many years before they started dating. Anthony decided to propose marriage to Alex on a rainy day at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. Anthony is English and his parents were unable to travel to the U.S. for the wedding. They couldn’t go back to his home country to marry because England requires a period of residency in order to obtain a marriage license. Scotland, however, is close enough to the groom’s parents and family, and allows couples to mail in their marriage paperwork in advance of arriving in country. So, they settled on a destination wedding in Edinburgh!

A few days before their wedding ceremony, we all traveled to Scotland to help them prepare for the wedding and celebrate. It is rainy everyday in Scotland, call it the local charm, but these two didn’t care and it added to the gorgeous setting on their wedding day. Thank you so much to Orange Lemur for sharing Alex and Anthony’s destination wedding photos from Scotland.

Their DIY wedding stationery was inspired by Penguin Publishing’s iconic orange trim. Alex and Anthony infused their wedding day details with their favorite fictional characters, from the wedding invitation’s postage that had Harry Potter and Batman photos, to their LEGO wedding cake topper to their vintage horror movie poster-inspired reception table numbers. It was truly a personal wedding celebration in a destination setting that everyone who was nearest and dearest to them could attend!

The beauty of a destination wedding, I’ve discovered as a wedding planner and a wedding guest, is that couples are not always bound to a Saturday event! A destination wedding on a week day or off-peak time means that you can get good deals on wedding vendors and venues that might not otherwise be booked. Your guest are already traveling and taking off of work, why not have a mid-week wedding!? Alex and Anthony had a Monday wedding celebration, which in hindsight was really brilliant. Many of us left the U.S. on Friday night, arrived in Edinburgh on Saturday morning. We recovered from jetlag long before Monday afternoon with enough time to truly celebrate their wedding!

Alex and Anthony did a “first look.” However, the pre-wedding ceremony concept of a “first look” has not yet caught on in Scotland, but Alex and Anthony are very glad that they decided to move forward with the idea. There is a quaint park just steps from the hotel in Edinburgh, and the rain stopped only long enough for Jan from Orange Lemur to capture some sweet photographs of Alex and Anthony during their “first look.” I love this image of Alex walking out of the hotel on her wedding day…

After their first look, they moved inside for their personal and meaningful wedding ceremony. For their wedding ceremony, Alex and Anthony embraced the traditional Scottish wedding. Alex and Anthony opted to have their siblings stand by their sides during their wedding ceremony. Alex with her two brothers and Anthony and his sister, who also resides in England, near his parents.

Alex and Anthony mailed in their marriage registration paperwork to Scotland weeks in advance, and they picked up their marriage schedule upon arriving in Scotland 10 days before their wedding ceremony. The marriage schedule is similar to a marriage license here in the U.S. and it is then signed by the couple, their witnesses and the celebrant as the last part of the wedding ceremony. After Alex and Anthony signed their marriage schedule, the celebrant led the entire group in a traditional Scottish blessing, complete with a shot of whiskey for all.

After the marriage ceremony, couples and their wedding guests move to what is called a drinks reception in Scotland. This drinks reception is much like what Americans refer to as the cocktail hour, which is that time after the wedding ceremony, but before the reception starts. However, the drinks reception in Scotland is typically 105 minutes long. Afterwards, Alex and Andy’s wedding guests were seated for what they call a wedding breakfast in Scotland, which was a multi-course seated wedding reception dinner.

Toasts and speeches are a large part of the Scottish wedding custom. It is expected for many folks to speak during the wedding breakfast. Both of Alex’s parents spoke, plus Alex’s younger brother and Anthony’s sister. The remarks ranged from hilarious, to touching, to very emotional!

After the wedding dinner, there was dancing! Lots of it! And with the Scottish wedding tradition, there was a light buffet with sweet and savory snacks offered by the hotel.

Thank you so much Alex and Anthony for letting me be a part of your destination wedding day! I wish you nothing but the best and many lifetimes of happiness.

The following wedding vendors contributed to their wedding:

Photography: Orange Lemur

Venue, Catering: The Bonham Hotel

Florals: Rouge Flowers

Cake: Liggy’s Cakes

Hair & Make Up: City Brides

Coordinator: Bellwether Events

Celebrant: Jackie Grant

Harpist: Deborah Shaw