From choosing the perfect venue and finding ‘the dress’ to considering your impact on the environment, even the most low-key weddings take a lot of preparation before it’s time to take centre stage on your big day

So, it’s not long until the big day or perhaps you’re in the early stages of planning your wedding but whether you’re working towards that dream wedding you’ve always dreamed of – fairy-tale venue, the most amazing flowers and fireworks to finish off the best day of your life – or you’re aiming for a more low-key affair, there’s lots to do and plenty to consider.

Whatever type of day you are planning, there’s one constant theme – and that’s celebration. Weddings are something to celebrate, a time for couples to make a commitment to each other in any way they choose. That could be in a church, on the farm, up a mountain, on the beach, in a castle or hotel … the options are vast. There might even be pets involved! But do consider the weather if it’s an outdoor venue – even the summer months don’t promise sunshine!


Booking your wedding venue is arguably the first thing on any couple’s ‘to do’ list. Dates at many venues get snapped up quickly with the summer months, not surprisingly, the most popular. Experts recommend booking your venue at least a year in advance, even two, to avoid disappointment. If you’re on tight budget, it’s a good idea to consider an off-peak period and avoid a Saturday.

But whether your big day is going to be an all-singing, all-dancing wedding with hundreds of guests, a civil partnership or a small-scale occasion with just a few family and friends, excitement abounds – and it’s important to enjoy the planning experience too, visiting potential venues to get a feel for what you both want. And if you’re using a celebrant, it will take time to find someone who is the right fit for you.

Then there’s the all-important rings, flowers, photographer/videographer, cake and entertainment. You might have to hire a marquee and a caterer. Transport may have to be arranged. And, of course, there’s the dress.

Experts recommend starting the process at least a year to 18 months in advance as some gowns can take six months to arrive, then you have to factor in fittings and alterations. It’s no different for the groom and groomsmen if it’s custom-made kilts or made-to-measure suits. Whatever you opt for the advice is: don’t leave it until the last minute.


At Selkirk-based kilt specialist Lochcarron of Scotland, Leah Robertson, marketing and e-commerce manager, says that people are prepared for a quality product that, in the case of a kilt, will last a lifetime. “It’s a really special thing when you’re choosing your tartan and having an input in your kilt’s design,” she says. “There’s storytelling behind it too and it could be that your kilt is passed down the generations.

The tartan you choose for your kilt can also be incorporated into in table settings such as table runners and napkins but also wedding favours, and gifts such as scarves.

As the world’s leading manufacturer of tartan, the company is focused on environmental sustainability and offers a 100% Scottish Wool Strome kilt, which it launched in 2021 after two years of planning and development. “Our premium kilt quality is unusual as it’s 100% wool so we’ve been pioneering in the market,” adds Leah. “Last year, we sourced fleece from Scottish-farmed Romney Marsh sheep allowing us to complete the journey towards creating a 100% Scottish wool product.”

While Lochcarron is best known for its kilts, the company also weaved the King Charles III Tartan to mark the occasion of his Coronation and in recognition of his fondness of the Scottish Highlands. King Charles and Queen Camilla visited the firm’s weaving mill in Selkirk last July as part of Holyrood Week.

The legal stuff

AMID the excitement of planning your wedding it’s worth noting that love can be fleeting, and to ensure people’s hearts don’t entirely rule their heads, Scottish law firm Austin Lafferty Solicitors has some essential legal advice for couples to consider when making long-term romantic commitments.

John Roberts, partner and director at Glasgow-based Austin Lafferty Solicitors says: “Love is a very wonderful thing but contrary to the song lyric, love is not all you need: there are many legal issues couples need to bear in mind as a relationship progresses. There must be almost a business partnership too, with each playing their part within the rules.

“If it all goes wrong, the fallout can be distressing and costly. We recommend couples set aside some time to discuss these important issues to ensure a happy and successful partnership for many years to come.”


- Consider a prenup agreement: Couples marrying or entering into civil partnerships have increased property rights and entitlements (even in the event of the death of one of the parties). These contracts allow all parties to record their agreement on a range of matters, including the removal of certain items (such as properties or business interests) from the matrimonial pot, as well as how their finances and assets will be divided in the event of divorce.

- Update or make a will: Under Scottish law, an existing will is not automatically revoked when an individual gets married or enters into a civil partnership – so it is recommended that couples make or review their wills immediately after any change in circumstances, particularly if they want to avoid an ex inheriting their assets over a new partner.

- Cohabitation of property: Whether a couple buy a property together or one moves into the other’s existing home, both parties need to understand their legal rights and position. If the former, it’s vital to decide whether it’s best to purchase in pro indiviso shares or in ‘survivorship’. If cohabiting in one partner’s property, a cohabitation agreement can be useful and prevent much heartache if the relationship comes to an end in terms of occupancy rights, deposit refunds and evictions.

- Declare earnings and outgoings: Both parties should be open about their respective salary and resources, and agree on a scheme of division/sharing of domestic expenditure, savings and personal expenses. Here, honesty is the best policy regarding personal expenditure, especially if one party has considerable debts. Remember, if you are financially connected to someone and that individual makes an application to borrow money (e.g. for a loan or credit card), the lender may take both party’s credit history into consideration.

- Family considerations: This can be a complex issue, either in terms of establishing whether both parties want to have a family now or in the future, or if there are any children from previous relationships needing to be accommodated, adopted or have visitation rights. Contact issues with ex-partners will have to be considered in the case of the latter, while the inheritance rights of children from previous relationships will be impacted (or lost) if the parent goes on to remarry. New relationships can also impact the wider family, such as grandparents and their access to children, which may need to be considered too.

- Power of attorney: Looking to the future, couples should appoint a power of attorney (PoA) to deal with any financial, property or personal welfare matters in the future. This legally allows a nominated individual to manage their affairs in circumstances should they become incapable of doing so themselves.