Did someone say ‘outdoor wedding in Scotland’?! We did – and we’re not crazy!
Mention the option of an outdoor ceremony to any couple hoping to wed in bonnie Scotland and you’ll likely be met with a wry smile, literal fear or a wishful gaze into the distance.
Couples aren’t wrong to be apprehensive about an outdoor ceremony in our unpredictable climate but the team at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh are here to explain why it’s perfectly acceptable to make your dreams a reality.
First thing we must do is remember that it’s all about you!
What is your dream – is it to exchange vows in an inspiring, natural, intimate and unique ceremony?
If the answer is yes, then ok, let’s make this happen.
Some of our couples tying the knot under the towering canopy of the Redwood Grove.
The main thing you have to bear in mind about your wedding outdoors is that you have to roll with it. You’re likely to go for a Spring or Summer wedding if you’re looking for that outdoors element which means you’re likely to get lucky with the rain. But if you’re unlucky then you have to be ok with your indoor alternative and you have to be ok with making that decision sometimes at the last minute.
If the weather is expected to be chilly, remind your guests to wrap up warm – remember that your family and friends are there to share your special moment, not complain about the temperature!
Usually couples who consider the Botanics as their wedding venue do so because they are hoping for a wedding that is as unique as they are. The Redwood Grove is a spectacular location for your outdoor ceremony and the indoor alternatives are just as inspiring, each in their own way. From the intimate Pavilion to the classic Caledonian Hall, it’s ok if mother nature isn’t playing ball, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable day.
Secondly, think about your day as a whole!
Another reason for an outdoor ceremony is to give your guests something that they might never have experienced and may not again. Is there anything closer to nature and more breath-taking?
At the Botanics you have the option for your ceremony to be outdoors and why not continue the theme for your drinks reception and BBQ dinner! The outdoor terrace is the perfect location to enjoy time in the heart of the Garden with delicious food and drink to enhance the experience. It is also conveniently located beside the John Hope Gateway where dancing can take place in the evening!
With so many locations to choose from all ‘under one roof’ your guests will feel like they have been to a different venue with its own atmosphere at each point of your entire day.
Your key locations:
The Redwood Grove
Located in the heart of the Gardens and only a short walk from the Caledonian Hall, this ceremony area can be enjoyed at any time of day. Also known as the John Muir Grove after the famous Scottish naturalist, writer and explorer it seems fitting to start your new journey in this inspiring location.
Perfect for an intimate indoor wedding ceremony. Located beside the waterfall and rock garden your guests can enjoy the Garden while they await the start of the ceremony. When indoors, the large windows offer unspoilt views over the Garden.
The Caledonian Hall
Located towards the East of the Garden is a Victorian hall with high ceilings and large windows which offer the perfect ceremony venue for a rainy day or a more formal dining affair. With an indoor bar area and outdoor patio with seating your guests will have all they need for an afternoon and evening of celebrating!
John Hope Gateway
Ideal for an atmospheric indoor wedding breakfast and evening reception. This is our largest wedding space in one of Scotland’s most sustainable buildings! To truly enjoy the outdoors, the building opens out onto the Outdoor Terrace where your guests can relax, enjoy drinks and an exclusive after-hours at the Botanics experience.
Finally, memories that last a life-time
When you have been to a wedding what is it you remember? Was it the fine detail of the venue, or the elements of your food, or each guest you danced with? When days, months and even years have passed, most guests say that they remember the overall atmosphere – was it a spectacular day that was all about the couple where there was love in the air and laughter all around. Whatever venue you choose for your big day just make sure that you trust the team that you’ll work with, that the location suits you as a couple and that you ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’!
Oh and make sure you have some amazing photographs to remind you of special moments that will last a lifetime…
If you have any questions, would like to be sent a wedding proposal or would like to arrange a show round, please contact our team on