The Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a breathtakingly beautiful city with so much to offer for couples getting married. The city offers amazing architecture, stunning scenery and a good photo opportunity is never more than a stone's throw away. 

If you are considering Edinburgh as your wedding destination, then this guide is for you. We will cover everything you need to know to plan your Edinburgh wedding, the must-have shots and locations, some personal observations and how to make the most of your Edinburgh wedding experience.

So whether you are a local or visiting from out of town, read on for the ultimate Edinburgh wedding guide. We will explore everything you need to know about Edinburgh and in addition to which suppliers and venues I recommend.

Over time, this guide will evolve, so it’s worth checking back from time to time. For now, please enjoy the first edition. 

Table of Contents

  • Why get married in Edinburgh
  • Harry Potter
  • Types of service
  • Locations
  • Do’s and Dont’s
  • Parking
  • Pre-wedding shoot
  • Wedding day
  • Permits

Edinburgh - A  place to get married. 

In 2021 alone 23,465 couples decided to tie the knot in Scotland and out of those 2,309 chose Edinburgh. 

Edinburgh is also a dream destination for many couples travelling from overseas. Approximately 1000 couples fly over to taste our whisky and witness our breathtaking castles, towns and mountaintops.

With Edinburgh being the most popular City in Scotland to say “I do”, there is a multitude of information prospecting couples should know before settling on a date.

Pre-wedding Portrait Session - what is it? 

If you’re getting married in Edinburgh or closeby, your photographer will likely offer a pre-wedding or engagement photography session. These sessions are a great way to get to know the stranger coming to your wedding while also getting comfortable in front of the camera. 

These sessions typically last anywhere from thirty-minutes to an hour and are a great opportunity for you and your other half to get dressed up and get a feel for what it will be like on the day.

Iconic Edinburgh Photo Spots

Perhaps you’re planning to spend some time on the day of your wedding or thinking of where you;d like your pre-wedding session to be. One thing Edinburgh is not short on is spots to go for photographs. 

Here is my list of Edinburgh’s top 5 spots for a portrait session: 

  1. Carlton Hill

Carlton hill gets really busy, but it’s hard to deny it has some of the most impressive views in the city. With 360 degrees of photo opportunities, it’s hard to take a bad photograph somewhere this beautiful.

  1. The Royal Mile

Possibly the busiest place on earth in the summer but there are so many great spots, such as outside St Giles Cathedral or one of the many “closes” (Scots of Alley).

  1. Princess Street Gardens

The best time of year to shoot here is during the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full swing. Whatever time of year you chose, there will always be one of the best views of Edinburgh castle or the iconic Ross Fountain. 

  1. The vennel viewpoint 

The vennel staircase is one of Edinburgh secret/not so secret gems. The easiest way to get there is from the grass market, up a set of stairs between the old tenements. All you have to do is look back and the outstanding view will be revealed. 

  1. Arthur’s Seat

Arthur’s seat is perhaps my favourite spot in Edinburgh. There are various routes and viewpoints to meet all levels of fitness. My personal favourite is the route up to the Salbury crags, which has impressive views out across the city, while feeling incredibly rough and rugged for a 20-30 minute amble up. 

There are SO many more spots which I intend to add later on. Check back later to find out. 

Another fun idea for your pre-wedding session: Think about a hobby you do together and make that the theme of your shoot. Eg. Perhaps you play tennis and want to incorporate a court into your shoot. You don’t always need to go somewhere traditionally “breathtaking” to get epic photographs. 

Pro tip 1: Try to plan your session around golden hour. 

Pro tip 2: If you want the best photographs imaginable and are willing to put in an early start, consider a morning session to beat the crowds at the most popular spots. You won’t regret it.