By Karen Peattie

From choosing your wedding outfits, finding that dream venue to booking the honeymoon, there’s a very long list of things to do before you walk down the aisle. With many weddings on hold or postponed because of Covid, it’s now looking much brighter for couples as the nation emerges from lockdown. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning for your big day.

IT’S THE big day and while weddings of late have taken a different form they are no less special for the happy couple.

The good news is that from April 26, assuming the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown goes according to plan, wedding attendence numbers will be raised to 50. And with indications that in early June, Scotland could move to Level 1 and by end of June, to Level 0, there’s much to celebrate.

For those planning a wedding or civil partnership, there’s a lot to do and many will set the wheels in motion a couple of years in advance if they want to ensure they get the date they want and the venue they have dreamed of.

Covid-19, however, has seen the rule book thrown out of the window. Figures from the National Records of Scotland show weddings in 2020 declined by more than 50% compared with 2019, with 11,986 marriages registered. There were 26,008 registered in 2019.

For couples who did get married last year, their big day most likely wasn’t quite what they had planned. However, not everyone wants a really lavish affair and many wouldn’t be inviting more than 50 guests to attend anyway. It all comes down individual taste and choice.

In recent years, couples have become increasingly inventive and innovative, choosing unexpected venues and even involving their pets. Scotland certainly has plenty of inspirational venues to offer couples wanting to do something a little different with barns and byres near the top of the list.

Scotland also provides the option of getting married anywhere you please, be that a farm, mountaintop, beach, castle, zoo, hotel or football ground. Even the garden at home is an option! And, of course there’s always the world-famous Gretna Green. When it comes to romance, pretty much anything goes. Indeed, people from all over the world, of all faiths and sexualities, can easily be married anywhere in Scotland.

Making the decision to have your wedding at a more unconventional venue has its own challenges. Preparation is key and the more organised you are, the more simple and stress-free things will be – although good venues will always work with you and do everything they can to make your big day unforgettable.

Make sure you browse our latest wedding features where we speak to some of the wedding suppliers who can help make your big day special and guide you through the Covid restrictions.