Questions to ask your wedding venue

Strathleven House Ceremony in the Oak Room

Questions to ask your wedding venue

Home > Questions to ask your wedding venue

To get as much relevant information as possible you need to ask your venue the right questions – while the venue will know what information it needs from you, you also need to know what information you need from them, and how to keep the planning and process as easy as possible.

Visit us in January and February

Needing a little support, or just getting started with venue hunting?

Riddle’s Court is delighted to be hosting some open viewing days in January and February, where our Events Team will be onsite and to answer any questions you might have about our beautiful and unique wedding venue as well as the wedding planning process.

For more information, and to book your one-on-one timeslot, visit our Eventbrite page.

First Dance in the Library Room at Riddle's Court
Boy Called Ben Photography

1.

With your initial correspondence, you’re probably contacting a lot of different people and sending lots of enquiries and emails. Have your key information in a document or email draft which you can send out each time – this should include your wedding date/month/season of choice, guest numbers, and the format of your celebration (e.g. ceremony only, full wedding, etc.). You might not have all the answers but this will help the venue give you relevant information, like costs, that actually reflect the kind of celebration you’re looking for.

Evening Guests in the Geddes Room at Riddle's Court
Mirrorbox Photo

2.

When viewing, check the venues policy on number changes (especially due to COVID). Do they charge per head or for the time using the venue? Would they refund you the difference if your plans change? What is their cancellation and deposit policy? Think about what is most important to you when it comes to your wedding – have a list of your essentials and chat that through. Can they accommodate live musicians or a massive buffet if that’s what you’re looking for? Could you have sparklers or fireworks? It might be if you fall in love with a venue these don’t matter as much, but having the details to make informed decisions is really important.

Card box in the Seton Room at Riddle's Court
Ashley-Liv Jamieson Photography

3.

Ask about what spaces are suitable for different parts of your day – most venues will have a flow that works really well, with the ceremony, meal and reception in specific rooms. However, these aren’t always set in stone so be sure to chat through all your options. Ask about details like the location of the bar, storage space for gifts or the best place for a guest book – these little details can help you see the day as a whole in your head, though bear in mind you don’t necessarily need to be making the decisions at this stage.

First Dance in the Library Room at Riddle's Court
Mirrorbox Photo

4.

Ask about price – hopefully with the initial enquiry you have an accurate indication of venue hire costs, but once you have a better idea of how they day will look make sure this is still the case. Check what is and isn’t included, such as furniture, decoration, access the day before and music speakers. Secure an email or phone follow-up after the viewing for any unanswered questions.

Lift Access in the Foyer at Riddle's Court
Mirrorbox Photo

5.

Think about your guest requirements – if accessibility is a concern, make sure there is level access and a disabled toilet with changing facilities. See if the venue has accommodation or transport recommendations for those who might need a little bit of extra help.

Drinks Detail
Stuart Wood

6.

Ask about exclusive use – depending on what your wedding celebration looks like, there’s the potential that another event could take place at the same time if you’re only using certain rooms, or you might have the entire venue to yourself.

7.

Ask your venue if there’s anything they’re prescriptive about, such as decoration regulations (e.g. nothing attached to walls or ceilings), timings for room turnarounds or suppliers. At Riddle’s Court, for example, we use agreed catering partners for your food but are totally flexible for other vendors like photographers and florists. At Custom House, as the building is pre-restoration, there’s no rules about pinning things to the walls or attaching décor to the building. Ask these questions and it will help you understand how they work as a venue. If you have any reservations about their recommendations then just have a chat with the events team – most will be as flexible as possible, and will work with you if you have any specific requests.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and there will always be wedding venue questions that are specific to you as a couple, so make sure you have time before viewing and booking to sit down with each other, go through some checklists online and see what comes up – guaranteed there will be things you haven’t thought of yet! Bring a list with you so you can make the most of your viewing. In terms of the planning process the venue team should be with you every step of the way and accessible to answer questions as and when they come to mind.

Get in touch

Pulled your list of wedding venue questions together and ready to start venue hunting? Get in touch with the team now and organise a visit to one of our buildings.

Our Venues

Riddle's Court Geddes Room ceremony

Riddle’s Court

If you are wishing to exchange vows in an atmospheric historic setting, Riddle’s Court’s captivating painted ceilings, grand rooms, and romantic courtyards offer a truly unique venue.

Custom House Exterior

Custom House

Custom House, one of Leith’s most distinctive Georgian buildings, is the perfect blank canvas for the DIY wedding of your dreams in Edinburgh.

Strathleven House Exterior

Strathleven House

Strathleven House, a Palladian mansion near Loch Lomond, allows you to make the most of its stunning grounds for a memorable celebration.

Planning an Edinburgh Wedding for Two

Seton Room Elopment

Planning an Edinburgh Wedding for Two

Home > Planning an Edinburgh Wedding for Two

Introduction

Whether you’re eloping from abroad or planning an intimate ceremony closer to home, weddings that are just you and your partner are a really meaningful and romantic way to tie the knot. With our historic wedding venues, the smaller rooms with incredible period features are ideal for having that intimate moment in a venue whose walls hold hundreds of years’ worth of stories.

Riddle’s Court is right in the heart of Edinburgh and represents everything the city is about, with 400 years of aristocrats’ residences and University accommodation leaving their mark on the walls. It is ideal for travelling in and is accessible from different hotels in the area, right at the head of the Royal Mile. It is perfect for public transport or taxi drop off, or even if you’re just walking up the road – but even though it is so central, it is set back from the Royal Mile. When you enter the courtyards it is a calming oasis in the centre of the bustling city streets – we can’t even begin to describe the peaceful feeling of your own space and overlooking the activity on Victoria Street below. It feels like you’re in another world that is just you and your partner.

Riddle's Court Geddes Room Ceremony
Regenweibchen

At Riddle’s Court, we recommend the Seton Room for an elopement or smaller ceremony, with its romantic window booths perfect for signing the register or relaxing with a glass of champagne.

At Custom House in Leith you can exchange vows right on the Shore or in one of our ground floor rooms overlooking the Water of Leith. Take some time to explore the grand staircase and picturesque archways, before popping to one of Leith’s many boutique restaurants for a celebratory meal and drink.

The Water of Leith outside Custom Hous4e

Decoration

When it comes to planning a wedding that’s just the two of you, things are a little more straightforward than organising dozens of guests. It is entirely up to you how extravagant you go with decoration. Riddle’s Court’s nature lends itself to providing stunning character, and the period features do a lot of talking for themselves. At Custom House, you can keep it plain and simple or you can DIY-decorate to your heart’s content. If you do have a budget then you can do very little and let their grandeur shine through. However, both can also take a lot of luxurious decoration as well if your budget is stretching to big flower arrangements! 

There are lots of options in terms of decoration and what your vision for the day might be. Venues often have a lot of their own bits and pieces to supplement any decoration you’d like to bring in – ask them what you can use, and in most instances there’ll be plenty for you to have a go at.

Guests and witnesses

Even if you are wanting to keep your wedding small, of course you’re more than welcome to bring your own guests as witnesses, but if you would like to keep it very intimate then our Events Team are more than happy to act as witnesses. Why not also ask a photographer to act as a witness so you can capture the day but it’s still just as intimate? Otherwise our Events team are happy to capture it on a phone for some amateur photos. For more information on getting the legalities sorted, you can find a wealth of information via the City of Edinburgh Council

Still interested in involving your family and friends? Consider live-streaming your ceremony or getting your family to write down advice for marriage or notes of love for you to read as part of the ceremony or in your own time.

Library Room Livestreamed Ceremony
Fern Photography

Photo opportunities

Remember to take some photos around Edinburgh as well – whether you have your photographer or a member of the Events Team, there are lots of fantastic opportunities that are local to Riddle’s Court, such as the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and Victoria Street. If you’re down the road at Custom House, make the most of the magical Water of Leith and have some industrial-style photography in front of the eclectic array of boats. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you can also travel further afield – or climb Arthur’s Seat or explore Craigmillar Castle for some truly Scottish backdrops.

Spend the night together

Whether you’re visiting from out of town or are local to Edinburgh, make the most of your time together by extending your stay and using our luxury apartment, the King’s Chamber at Riddle’s Court, as your honeymoon suite.

Our Venues

Riddle's Court Geddes Room ceremony

Riddle’s Court

If you are wishing to exchange vows in an atmospheric historic setting, Riddle’s Court’s captivating painted ceilings, grand rooms, and romantic courtyards offer a truly unique venue.

Custom House Exterior

Custom House

Custom House, one of Leith’s most distinctive Georgian buildings, is the perfect blank canvas for the DIY wedding of your dreams in Edinburgh.

Strathleven House Exterior

Strathleven House

Strathleven House, a Palladian mansion near Loch Lomond, allows you to make the most of its stunning grounds for a memorable celebration.

A COVID-Safe Wedding Reception

Wedding Couple on Arthur's Seat

A COVID-Safe Wedding Reception

Home > A COVID-Safe Wedding Reception

Planning a small wedding in light of the coronavirus pandemic has become the new norm in 2020. There is no right answer on the decision couples make in light of whether they consider getting married now to be more important or to delay things for that big celebration further down the line. It is ultimately their personal preference. 

At Riddle’s Court we have had both scenarios, where couples have opted to hold off until next year and beyond in the hope that larger celebrations will go ahead in some capacity, and other couples who have wanted to explore options for the autumn and winter periods.

City Chambers Ceremony
Littles and Loves by Francesca

For Jess & Ethan, getting married on the 17th September 2020 was what was most important to them. Travelling to Edinburgh with their nearest and dearest, having already had to reschedule their wedding with different venues on numerous occasions before the big day eventually arrived. Intending to get married at the Registry Office, they had hoped to host their reception in a nearby restaurant – a socially distant meal for 15 guests. Following a local government announcement restricting the number of households that could meet in a restaurant, their booking was cancelled. Luckily for Jess & Ethan, Jess’s mum did her own research and found Riddle’s Court. With exclusive use, the bright Library Room at Riddle’s Court would suit them perfectly.

So with only a week to go, the couple got in touch and secured a booking with Riddle’s Court. The team has organised full weddings in 5-6 weeks in the past, but seven days to prepare was an ultimate record! Between drawing up the seating plans to account for different households, stocking up for the bar and sourcing suitable decorations, the Library Room was transformed into a beautiful evening wonderland full of fairy lights and flowers.

Wedding Breakfast in the Library Room
Littles & Loves by Francesca

Our onsite catering team at Scott’s Kitchen were kind enough to cater a three-course meal from their kitchen, and supply the perfect space for a drinks reception beforehand downstairs overlooking Victoria Terrace. And, luckily for the couple, our onsite apartment, the King’s Chamber was available for them to retire to. Everything came together so easily in the week of planning, that by the time Jess and Ethan first visited Riddle’s Court the day before, all they had to do was drop off the cake and carry out some last minute decorating!

The day itself was a beautiful, intimate and relaxed occasion. Although, for the team it felt unusually strange to think that earlier in the year we had been catering for weddings of up to 60 guests and more! After a beautiful ceremony at the City Chambers with their loved ones, the family came to Riddle’s Court and enjoyed a wonderful evening full of food, drink, cake and some emotional video messages from loved ones unable to attend.

Library Room Couple Watching Speeches
Littles and Loves by Francesca

Jess and Ethan were wonderful to work with, and the team at Riddle’s Court were delighted that we could help rescue what should be one of the happiest days of their lives.  With lots more ceremonies and receptions scheduled there is still plenty to keep the team here on their toes!

If you are interested in a smaller ceremony at Riddle’s Court, please email the team via events@riddlescourt.org.uk or call us 0131 510 8789. With the role out of a COVID vaccine planned, we are planning optimistically for larger events in 2021 and dates are filling up fast – please get in touch for more information.

Stay safe!

Couple on the Royal Mile
Littles and Loves by Francesca

INTERESTED IN RIDDLE'S COURT WEDDINGS?

Introducing the King’s Chamber

King's Chamber Bedroom

Introducing the King’s Chamber

Home > Introducing the King’s Chamber

Nestled away within the 16th century terracotta walls of Riddle’s Court in Edinburgh, is this newly renovated apartment. With an elegant mixture of historic architectural features and modern additions, it provides the perfect addition to our bespoke weddings taking place in Riddle’s Court, as a very special and unique honeymoon suite.

Celebrating elsewhere in Edinburgh, whether with us or at another special venue? Get in touch with us for more information on our availability.

The bedroom lies underneath a ceiling of restored 16th century painted beams and was once the hall in which King James VI of Scotland hosted a Royal dinner party. It’s now part of this warm and comfortable apartment with a tasteful mix of traditional and contemporary furnishings. 

Our standard venue hire package includes 2 nights in The King’s Chamber, which can accommodate a relaxing evening and morning before your big day getting ready with your friends and family, followed by a restful first night as a married couple after your wedding.

Some of our favourite wedding photos come from these precious moments on the morning of the big day, getting ready and having fun. There’s always delicious food, sparkling prosecco and lots of laughter. You can easily accommodate hair and makeup artists, as well as your stunning dress and accessories. 

The lounge is a great base for your closest friends and family to get ready and relax before the wedding begins and as a calm place to disappear to throughout the day if anyone needs it. 

Inviting your photographer in during the morning will allow you to capture some of the best memories of the day. We adore these elegant photos and candid moments. 

Perhaps one of the best parts about using The King’s Chamber is having a place to stay in the very same building as your wedding venue, and enjoying a beautiful space on the morning after your big day. A quiet moment is precious after a long day laughing, partying, eating and chatting with all of your favourite people.

Location

King's Chamber Bedroom

ZAC & ZAC Photography

INTERESTED IN STAYING HERE FOR YOUR BIG DAY?

Top Rated Venue in Edinburgh

Seton Room Couple in Window Booths

Top Rated Venue in Edinburgh

Home > Top Rated Venue in Edinburgh

The team at Riddle’s Court are so honoured and excited to have been awarded Wedding Dates’ award for Top Rated Wedding Venue in Edinburgh! We couldn’t have asked for a better end to our busiest wedding season yet. And, as this year draws to a close, it is a perfect opportunity for us to look back on some of our weddings since we re-opened and view Riddle’s Court in a new light every time.

While the norm for us may be 40-60 person weddings, we’re nothing but flexible here, with a wide range of different rooms that can suit the needs of every couple. Alex and Cayley, who hailed from the States, made their decision to elope after planning their holiday in Edinburgh. They even surprised our Events Manager Gail when she was asked to be their witness!

Seton Room Elopment
David Ruff Photography

Lois and Derek visited our winter wedding fair in January 2019, and decided that they fell in love with the venue just the way it was – and condensed what some couples may spend a year doing all the way down to six weeks! They got married with the fires roaring under the stunning ceiling of the Geddes Room.

You can read more about Lois and Derek’s experience here.

Spring and summer welcomed in a new season of weddings, with so many stunning days of celebration embraced over the three months before the Festival began. Whether it was Sarah and Craig’s emotional ceremony in the Library Room, Katy and Andrew’s romantic day filled with laughter, or Amy and Glen’s DIY environmentally-friendly favours, our rooms were full of happiness and love from all present.

Our autumn and winter weddings may have seen a chill in the air, but with each month we seemed incredibly lucky with the weather – and even if there was a little drizzle, this never put our couples off enjoying their big day! If we thought spring and summer had been varied, we hadn’t seen anything yet; from September to December we had large wedding parties, intimate family meals, silent discos, Israeli drummers, a champagne tower and a destination wedding! We’re all so looking forward to seeing even more photographs of our winter couples trickle in.

Couple on Pentice Stair
Glitter and Twigs

Some of our favourite events to work are those that are different. While Riddle’s Court may be historic, full of character and incredibly quirky, our couples still manage to transform the space each and every time they come in – whether through flowers, furniture, balloons or sparklers.

A wonderful update!

Even though 2020 was a difficult year, we were so grateful we were able to continue to host special celebrations. Stepping into the world of livestreaming, mask-wearing and virtual speeches it was a new journey for us, and we’re over the moon that we were awarded several new awards: Top Rated Edinburgh Venue for the second year running, Top Rated Exclusive Use Venue and Top Rated City/Urban Venue – wow! We were also recently awarded Top Venue in Edinburgh by LUX Life, and you can see all of these below.

Library Room Livestreamed Ceremony
Fern Photography

We can’t thank our couples and suppliers enough for the incredible support and flexibility they’ve shown over the last year. We can’t wait to see what’s next!

Our Awards

INTERESTED IN RIDDLE'S COURT WEDDINGS?