Your Wedding Cake Questions Answered

Your Wedding Cake Questions Answered

Home > Your Wedding Cake Questions Answered

A Slice of Heaven

It’s time to start thinking about booking your wedding cake but you don’t have a clue where to start. You will find all the answers to the most commonly asked questions in this handy little guide.

How much does a wedding cake cost?

How long is a piece of string? Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this, as the cost of a wedding cake can vary depending on a number of things, such as the wedding date, guest numbers, overall complexity of design, and venue location.

Every cake designer charges differently depending on their level of experience, ingredients used, overheads and geographical location. As an example, a simple naked cake will be significantly cheaper than a fondant iced cake covered in sugar flowers. Depending on all these factors a 3 tier cake could range anywhere from £300 – £1000 or more.

At your initial enquiry, and based on your wedding details, you will be quoted an estimated price range, which then gives you a good idea what your cake will cost. It’s also important to mention if you have a specific budget you would like to keep to as your cake designer can work to this.

How big should our wedding cake be?

First thing to consider is when your cake will be served. If you are planning to serve your wedding cake as dessert then you will need to cater to 100% of your guests. If you are incorporating your wedding cake into the evening buffet then I would usually advise catering to around 70-80% of your total guest numbers.

For around 100 guests it would be recommend to order a 3 tier cake and a 4 tier cake for 160. Another option to consider is having a smaller cake plus dessert table. These are a great option to treat your guests during your evening wedding reception plus they can be tailored to your colour scheme or theme.

Your cake maker will be able to advise on the most appropriate size for your wedding based on your requirements and guest numbers.

Cherry Blossom Designer Cakes

Can I have a wedding cake tasting?

Every cake maker should offer a cake tasting. They can be done in person or by collecting a box of cake samples. If you have already saved your date with a cake maker, then a complimentary tasting box would likely be included.

Can I have different flavours on each tier?

Absolutely yes! We recommend choosing a wide variety of flavours that you and your guests will enjoy. A lot of couples choose to keep the top tier just for the themselves, saving that for the day after the wedding to enjoy.

How far in advance should I order my wedding cake?

As soon as you have booked your venue, it’s time to start booking your preferred suppliers. To avoid disappointment, I always advise allowing 12-18 months.

A lot of cake makers only take on a limited number of bookings per week.

Peak season (April – September) is more popular and these dates will go first. There is nothing worse than finding your dream supplier has no availability for your wedding date, so make sure you secure your date early.

How long does it take to make a wedding cake?

Your wedding cake is a minimum 5 day process – baking, filling & ganaching, covering, decorating and delivering. If your cake has a complicated design involving many sugar flowers this work would involve additional time which would be started weeks, sometimes even months, in advance.

Can I have flowers on my wedding cake?

Yes, absolutely you can! There are lots of options to choose from, whether you opt for sugar flowers, artificial, fresh or dried, there are options to suit all tastes and budgets.

Dried flowers are becoming increasingly popular for that rustic or boho look. If using fresh flowers, it’s important to make sure these are made food safe for your cake. This is why it’s usually better for your cake maker to arrange the flowers compared to a florist as we are all trained in food safety and can follow the correct protocols. It’s also important to use suitable fresh flowers which are not toxic or poisonous.

Making realistic sugar flowers are more expensive than the other flower options as they are all handmade. However, the possibilities are endless. Is your favourite flower a peony, but they aren’t in season for your wedding? You can have them made in sugar, whatever colour you like! Or maybe you love an iris, but they are poisonous, that’s no problem in sugar! Sugar flowers are food safe and will last a lifetime if stored correctly.

Every cake maker has their own preference and skill level, so important to check what options they can provide.

Get in touch

We would love to help you on your planning journey, whatever that looks like, and are always happy to offer tips and advice – get in touch with our team today for more information.

Music Trends 2024

Music Trends 2024

Home > Music Trends 2024

Music sounds better with you

If you’re planning a 2024 wedding, you may be beginning to think about your music selections and which genres would be best suited to your celebration. In this guide, we round up a few trending styles of music that make for the ultimate soundtrack to your special day.

Claire Juliet Paton Photography

Music can really set the scene for your wedding day, and has the potential to influence the atmosphere and the mood for each part of your celebration. When it comes time to take to the dance floor during the evening reception, most newlyweds want to sing along to a seamless blend of timeless tracks and on-trend tunes.

If you’re planning a 2024 wedding, you may be beginning to think about your music selections and which genres would be best suited to your celebration. In this guide, we round up a few trending styles of music that make for the ultimate soundtrack to your special day.


If you’re hoping to stay true to tradition on your wedding day, folk music may be the perfect pick. Generally, folk music is considered to be music that has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s the music of small social circles that represents your roots and cultural heritage, and tends to have a mystical charm, with soothing sounds that bring people together. It’s a brilliant genre for celebrating such a poignant moment as the day you get married.

Bagpipe music is a popular choice for those who like folk music, and want their wedding celebrations to be in keeping with Scottish traditions. By incorporating a unique procession of bagpipe musicians into your big day, you’re sure to wow your guests.

Natalie Holt Photography


When it comes to wedding music, you need to plan for more than just your reception. In fact, there are plenty of moments throughout your day that will benefit from a little romantic background music.

While anything goes as you head into your evening party, the same isn’t quite as true for the earlier parts of your day. When it comes to greeting your guests, hosting your cocktail hour, and walking down the aisle, you’re going to want music that promotes a sense of calm, but still feels moving and timeless. For these more intimate moments, the classical genre is perfect, providing a subtle soundtrack that’s romantic, elegant and versatile.

Rock ‘n’ roll

As you head into your reception, you’re going to want to hear the kind of music that makes you really feel alive and ready to party. To get every one of your guests up and dancing, rock music is an ideal choice. It’s a genre that will appeal to most people, as it can be kept as classic or contemporary as you wish. Plus, it’s easy to find a great band to perform your rock music, as the genre is easy to cover and sounds great performed acoustically, too. For a sound as rugged, wild, and even romantic as Scotland is itself, consider rock and roll for your wedding playlist.

Keep it authentic

You don’t want to base your choice of wedding songs purely on what’s fashionable and trending in the moment. While it’s true that you want your wedding guests to have fun, this is your wedding – so you shouldn’t have to sacrifice the music that you love in order to please the crowd.

The best part about choosing your wedding music is that there’s a space for every genre. Perhaps you want classical for your ceremony, rock, hip-hop and R’n’B for your reception party, and some lowkey folk music to serenade you as the night draws to a close. Experiment with your vision, and don’t be afraid to combine your tastes in order to curate the perfect trending wedding day playlist.

Get in touch

We would love to help you on your planning journey, whatever that looks like, and are always happy to offer tips and advice – get in touch with our team today for more information.

Small but mighty

MIcro wedding at Riddle's Court

Small but mighty

Home > Small but mighty

Small but mighty!

Micro weddings, intimate weddings, elopements! Call them what you want, these wee weddings are here to stay

Natalia Swiader Photograpy

Since the pandemic we have seen an increase in the number of our couples looking for something a little different for their big day and choosing to move away from huge guest numbers, the stress of chasing suppliers and worrying about seating plans. Micro weddings, small weddings, intimate weddings, call them what you want, these wee weddings are here to stay.

So, what is a Micro-Wedding?

To us a micro-wedding is a smaller intimate wedding of up to 20 guests. While a micro wedding is smaller in terms of guest size, that doesn’t mean the celebration has to be any less spectacular. A micro wedding is a unique celebration that combines the traditions of a full-blown wedding ceremony with a minimalist mentality. It’s intimate, beautiful, and often (but not always) budget-friendly. Couples can still enjoy the ceremony of a traditional wedding, but do it their way. Less guests mean you can spend your budget on things that are important to you to give your guests a magical experience.

Where can we have our micro wedding?

This is the best bit, absolutely anywhere. With reduced numbers of guests this allows the couple to explore more unique venues, from historic buildings, galleries, castles, stables, let’s be honest the list is endless. All you need to get married in Scotland is a celebrant and a couple of witnesses.

At Riddle’s Court, here in Edinburgh we have seen an increase in micro-weddings, especially midweek, when the venue is a bit cheaper. The historic rooms are perfect for ceremonies, receptions, wedding breakfasts or dancing. Riddle’s Court is a unique Historic gem in the heart of the Capital’s Royal Mile and an ideal setting for a memorable wedding. With beautiful 16th century painted ceilings, elegant rooms and romantic courtyards, it is personal, intimate, charming and full of period detail.

Natalia Swiader Photograpy

What are the pros of having a micro wedding?

It’s budget friendly (well sometimes). Having a micro-wedding is one of the easiest ways to save some money because you can go as big or small as you want, you have total control of all of the details. Saving money on the guest list means that you have more freedom to splurge on flowers, catering or the wedding photographer of your dreams.

It’s intimate! Having micro wedding allows for you to celebrate with your closest friends and family. It’s a romantic, tight-knit ceremony and celebration that will allow you to interact with everyone you’ve invited.

Easier to plan! When organising a wedding for 30 versus 150 you can remove the stress and enjoy the build up to your special day. You have more options for the venue, you don’t have to worry about seating plans and too many dietary requirements.

Get personal

Micro weddings are easy to personalise, and couples have free reign to transform the décor, be flexible with the running order and create the atmosphere they want. Bria & Thomas, one of our couples from America, held their intimate wedding in the Geddes room, dancing beneath the elaborate painted ceiling after exchanging vows. Their guests were treated to miniatures of limoncello, the finest fizz and grazing style catering. The flowers were simple yet elegant, it was a beautifully relaxed party atmosphere.

Our intimate weddings allow you and your partner time to enjoy the romantic views over Edinburgh’s Old Town of the Pentland Hills, which is perfect for signing the register or relaxing with a glass of champagne.

Get in touch

We would love to help you on your planning journey, whatever that looks like, and are always happy to offer tips and advice – get in touch with our team today for more information.

Can planning a wedding cause anxiety?

Strathleven House couple walking in grounds

Can planning a wedding cause anxiety?

Home > Can planning a wedding cause anxiety?

Can planning a wedding cause anxiety?

Absolutely, yes it can. It’s a huge project that can literally take years to plan and put together, let alone the money and time you’re investing in it. As suppliers, we understand what goes into it, but we don’t always see the whole thing from start to finish – there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes where we only see the details of one part.

Couple looking over Edinburgh skyline
David Ruff Photography

In reality the process can be frustrating and overwhelming, even if you do keep reminding yourself that it’s going to be an amazing day when it comes. All that wedding anxiety can really be worth it, but it’s often difficult to see that in the moment. The journey isn’t always easy, even when you remind yourself that you get to celebrate with your loved ones and marry your significant other with little to worry on the day itself.

For most couples, unless you have experience with wedding or event planning, this is the first large-scale event you’ve ever planned with vendors, a venue, catering and everything else that comes into play. Often it’s just a mess of scraping together checklists from different websites, creating spreadsheets, sending emails as well as keeping budgets and seating plans in check – which quickly becomes very paperwork heavy.

But remember, you’re really not alone. The most common search terms on Google related to wedding planning are:

  • Where to start wedding planning?
  • Is wedding planning stressful?
  • Can wedding planning cause anxiety?
  • Why is wedding planning so stressful?
  • How can you make wedding planning fun?

These are all genuine questions that couples are asking, and they’re in the hundreds and thousands of Google searches each month – and it breaks our heart, when it’s all going towards what should be an incredible day to mark an even more exciting journey!

Riddle's Court couple on Victoria Terrace
Ashley-Liv Jamieson

So what we thought might be useful is to talk through some of the big worries that can come up – and a reminder that these are all completely normal to have concerns or issues about. We want to be as honest and transparent as possible. If you do have any questions, talk to your vendors – if you have a great relationship with your venue or photographer or celebrant, don’t be afraid to ask them for advice about areas they might not have a direct impact on. They will be more than happy to help or could direct you to another individual or resource for more information.

So, without further ado, let’s talk through some of these stresses.

Riddle's Court Library Room fireplace detail
Claire Juliet Paton


One of these is planning – this is a huge event and it can be really overwhelming. We would recommend keeping one centralised plan, whether it’s a spreadsheet, a scrapbook or whatever works best for you to keep referring back to. Having things in one place can save a lot of headaches!

Be realistic about the money and time you can spend on organising a wedding – is it easier for you to plan a wedding in a month or two and just blitz through the process, or would a two year planning process where you can save money and spread out time work better? This is entirely dependent on your own workflow, personalities and budget, as well as any requirements for your guests in terms of the notice they need to attend.

Talk to your venue coordinator about your planning journey – they’ll often have resources like timelines or templates that they can share.  Focus on the parts that are important to you – while there will be other details you need to think about, making sure your attention is in the right places is really valuable – don’t stress about traditions you don’t care about, and make the day important for you as a couple.

Riddle's Court - Handmade décor in the Geddes Room
Harper Scott Photography

Planning logistics can seem really daunting, so trust your venue to be able to contact your suppliers and get the right information to the right people. If you’re not sure about their responsibilities (e.g. if they communicate with florists or musicians directly, or if this is down to you) be sure to ask – they are there to answer your questions and have done this many, many times before!

Sometimes you can feel really out of your depth with planning and a great solution, should you have the budget, is to find a wedding planner – most are flexible in terms of the services they provide as well, from finding your venue for you and sticking with you throughout the wedding journey to just dropping in the day before and making sure things run smoothly during the wedding itself.

At the end of the day, if something small doesn’t go to plan, in a few years you’ll barely remember it – or you’ll be laughing about it instead! You’ll have so many special memories and meaningful moments, the day itself will be a blur!

Riddle's Court couple in the King's Chamber
Harper Scott Photo


If your worry about wedding planning is financial, this is a really common concern.  There’s no denying that unless you have a tiny budget you’re trying to stick to, weddings can be very expensive. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with either option!

Before you start booking suppliers and venues, make a detailed budget and stick to it. If you have any questions for things you might have missed, there are lots of support groups online for newly-engaged couples where you can ask what you might have forgotten about. Also be sure to account for some wiggle room there as well, as there will always be some surprise costs whether it be transport, gifts, or spur of the moment spending!

Check yourself before impulse buying decorations that you might not need. Focus on the things that will last and you’ll want to hold onto like a guest book with a polaroid camera rather than wedding bunting you’re going to throw out the day after the wedding. Consider buying mismatched decorations from charity shops or collecting wine/gin bottles for table centrepieces to keep big displays on a budget. You can also do DIY-decorating rather than shell out a lot of money for a florist. Pick up some flowers from the supermarket or Marks and Spencer’s, and the day before the wedding have a fun day doing some flower arranging with your wedding party!

Some tips for cutting back include getting married in the great outdoors, taking out the need for a venue. In Scotland, you can get married pretty much anywhere!

Riddle's Court - Couple in the Old Town of Edinburgh
Boy Called Ben Photography

Another fix that can be a bit more difficult – but very effective – is cutting back your guest list. While not every couple wants to get married just the two of them, having a restaurant reception for 20-30 guests is a lot cheaper than a full on evening do with a private catering company. If you are cutting back on guest numbers there are lots of great ways to involve your guests who aren’t there in person, like livestreaming your ceremony or asking for advice about marriage to read during the ceremony or in your own time.

The thing to bear in mind is that even if you are worried about cutting back on your budget, these tips don’t make your wedding any less special.

Riddle's Court Ceremony in the Geddes Room
SG Mark Photography


If you’re stressing about how your emotions are fluctuating, take some time to figure out the cause of the problem. Is it family and friends, the planning, the finance, or your suppliers not getting back to you? There can be a lot going on and it’s tricky to pin point where to start.

Talk to your partner or your loved ones about your feelings. This might sound super corny but it’s really all about having these open conversations about how you feel. It can be difficult, but if it’s a concern about the wedding it shows you’re taking time to process a monumental decision. Often we get swept up in the planning, but it’s important to verbalise the big feelings too.

With friends and family, be totally honest if their constant questions – or even demands! – is just making the process more difficult for you. Again this can be hard, especially if your family is helping financially, but at the end of the day it is about you and your partner and being open is the only way to move forward with these issues.

If you really are struggling, then there are lots of great courses online to help talk you through these difficult conversations. Again just get in touch with your events coordinator and they’ll point you in the right direction, even if it takes a bit of research. Suppliers are there to do their job, but they also do care about your emotional and mental well-being and how you’re coping with the process. Even if it’s just a phone call and venting for a bit, they should be happy to listen and help if they can.

Strathleven House couple walking in grounds
CIA Photography


If your stress is around the partnership with your significant other, this can have a big impact on how you feel about organising the wedding as well. Stress and disagreements happen, and it’s totally normal to feel like someone isn’t pulling their weight or doesn’t understand, especially if the wedding planning is falling more on one person’s shoulders. Emotions are already running high and it’s understandable this can boil over. The key here again is to stay calm, talk through your feelings and focus on what’s most important to you as a couple – even if it takes a day or two to settle!

Remember to do the little things that help you remember why you’re getting married in the first place. Have a date night, cook for each other, or have an evening where you can turn off and watch a movie together. Get away from home, even if for a few days, and take a short break. Planning a wedding is a lot, and even if it often feels like it, it isn’t your whole life. Flourish and enjoy yourself! Everything might feel very high stakes, but it’s not going to be full-time forever.

Wedding Couple on Arthur's Seat
Littles and Loves by Francesca

To finish this up, it is really important to say that if you are having significant concerns about your mental health, again this is totally normal but worth talking through. Breathing Space is a fantastic free service in Scotland for those feeling low, anxious or depressed. Visit their website or call their helpline on 0800 838 587 and you can have a chat with a professional. They can offer advice or direct you to the right places, or even just listen. If you do have concerns just chat it through with your loved ones or contacts, and help realign your thoughts to what matters most.

Get in touch

We would love to help you on your planning journey, whatever that looks like, and are always happy to offer tips and advice (even if you’re not booked with us!) – get in touch with our team today for more information.

Top Tips for Vow Renewals

Riddles Court, Geddes Room, couple smiling with flowers

Top Tips for Vow Renewals

Home > Top Tips for Vow Renewals

Renewing your vows is one of many simple, yet meaningful ways to display your enduring commitment to your partner. A lot of couples use vow renewals as a symbol of closing a chapter in their lives. This chapter may have been particularly stressful, and they would like to start afresh. Or it could be that they want to reaffirm their love for one another as a change is about to occur in their lives.

Why have a Vow Renewal?

Vow renewals also provide couples an opportunity to have the intimacy that they may not have had at their wedding due to putting their guests before themselves. One of the biggest regrets from couples is not spending enough time celebrating with each other on their wedding day as they would have liked – a vow renewal is the perfect opportunity to celebrate your love more personally, either alone or with your closest friends and family.

Planning your vow renewal should be significantly less stressful than planning your wedding day. It shouldn’t be as nerve racking of an experience, as you’ve already gone through the commitment to each other. This is an endorsement of that love for one another. There are no expectations of what your day should be like, other than your own. It is also an opportunity to do what makes you happy, instead of worrying whether everyone else will be enjoying themselves!

The Wild Love Club

This isn’t a Re-run of Your Wedding!

How you celebrate this day is entirely up to you. Your vow renewal can be as formal or informal as you like. You may decide to have a ceremony followed by a drinks reception or a full day event with a sit-down meal. Contrary to popular belief, your vow renewal doesn’t need to be a re-run of your wedding! So pick a venue that caters well to your chosen style. You should consider how many people you would like to be in attendance; a vow renewal is a warm and intimate celebration.

Many choose to renew their vows on the anniversary of their wedding to commemorate their special day; however, you can have your vow renewal whenever you like, there is no obligation to have it on your anniversary. So if your wedding anniversary doesn’t suit, how about the day you met or when you started dating? What is key is that the time is right for you both and perhaps represents a period in which you want to pay particular tribute to your commitment.

Make it meaningful for who you are NOW!

Make sure the day is focused on you and your partner and do what makes you happy. Whether that is a more opulent style or casual celebration, there are no rules! We advise couples to try to decide early in the planning process how formal your event and dress code will be, as this will set the tone for your day. It is important though when inviting your guests you clearly communicate the plan so they know what to expect.

Unlike a marriage, a vow renewal does not require a license. It is purely ceremonial, so can be conducted by anyone. Though some couples decide to have a celebrant, it is not essential, and it can be an opportunity to have a friend or family member conducting the ceremony. You can also incorporate your children or other guests who may not have been present at your wedding. For example, if you were married during the Covid-19 pandemic, you may have a number of guests you wish to spend this special day with. Having a celebrant may however, bring you peace of mind and help bring structure to the proceedings. Celebrants can also guide you on readings, poems, quotes etc. that you may want to incorporate into your ceremony. If you are using a family member/s, we recommend appointing one individual to oversee the planning of the speakers and the music on the day, as this can lift some of the responsibility from your shoulders.

The McGlynn Sisters

Your Guest List will be Different from your Wedding

A vow renewal is a fantastic opportunity to have the guest list you perhaps didn’t have at your wedding. You may wish to condense the list you had, making it just your nearest and dearest. As many people find their wedding guest list comprises of many people they do not really know, your vow renewal can be a day dedicated to those you have close relationships with. Or if you were married during the global pandemic, why not invite those you wished you could’ve had there and let them celebrate your love in person? Since being married you may have nurtured new friendships that are very meaningful to you, this could be an opportunity to involve those people in your special day

The day is completely yours- no traditions needed!

As you are already married, a vow renewal doesn’t have a set symbolic act like a wedding, so again it’s up to you what you would like the climax of your ceremony to be. Some decide to buy new wedding bands, however others decide to take a different approach, like other symbols of unity. Hand-fasting is an old Scottish Tradition for wedding ceremonies but can also be effective in your vow renewal. If you have children, you could fast you and your children’s hands bound to symbol of your family and what you have shared together. Another Scottish wedding tradition you could adopt is sharing the Quaich. The Quaich is a two handled ‘loving cup’ which when drank from seals the bond of two people and seals the bond of two families, making them one. The Quaich symbolises the love and trust implied by the bond and could also be passed to family members. You could also light a unity candle or use sand-blending as symbolic gestures.

Harper Scott Photography

I think we can all say that the last couple of years has made us re-evaluate what truly is important in our lives. Those nearest and dearest to us will most definitely sit high in the priority list for most! The renewal of wedding vows may not have been something that you ever gave much thought to. Here at SHBT Weddings our experienced team would happily have a chat with you to see how a vow renewal might work for you from the intimate small celebration to the merriment of partying into the wee hours!

Contact Us

Get in touch with us for more information on renewing your vows!

Four top tips for an eco-friendly wedding

Riddle's Court - Bride with bouquet in courtyard

Four top tips for an eco-friendly wedding

Home > Four top tips for an eco-friendly wedding


With more information becoming available about the current climate crisis, more and more people are choosing to live sustainably. If you’re planning on getting married soon, then an eco-friendly wedding is something you might be considering, and it’s now easier than ever to plan one. Listed below are four top tips for throwing an intimate, eco-friendly wedding that you can easily implement into your special day to demonstrate your love for the planet as well as your partner.

Riddle's Court - Handmade décor in the Geddes Room
Harper Scott Photography

Eco-friendly décor

Décor is an important aspect of any wedding, and it’s not too hard to design and create eco-friendly décor for your big day. Confetti is usually thrown over the couple after the ceremony has been completed, but this can be harmful to the environment as it doesn’t degrade naturally and is often consumed by animals afterwards. Eco-friendly confetti is now an option, consisting of biodegradable, dried out petals, which will still look beautiful and will break down naturally afterwards.

Natural materials such as hemp or pure linen can be used for most of the fabric elements of your wedding decoration, and place cards can also be made from recycled paper or bamboo. The dawn of the digital age means wedding planners can now send their invitations and save the dates out via electronic means, instead of using paper materials.

Riddle's Court -  Bride with bouquet in courtyard
Fern Photography

Choose eco-friendly floral arrangements

Another big aspect of wedding planning is the floral arrangements. Whilst exotic flowers may look glamourous, freshly cut stems aren’t great for sustainability. If you still want traditional floral arrangements at your wedding, you could consider using seasonal plants that are grown locally, or look for a sustainable florist in the local area, instead of transporting flowers across large distances.

Some florists may be able to use the leftover floral arrangements for compost after the wedding, or the wedding party may be able to do this themselves. Alternatively, you could look into using other forms of flora for your wedding, such as potted flowers and plants. These can then be reused at another location such as your home after the wedding, meaning they are much more sustainable than traditional, disposable floral arrangements.

Riddle's Court - Couple sitting in the Geddes Room
David Long Photography

Support repurposed buildings

Did you know that the construction industry in the UK contributes to two thirds of all waste and 10% of all carbon emissions? Over 50,000 buildings are demolished in the UK every year, and using buildings that have been repurposed for weddings helps to address this. With Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, not only can you celebrate your special day in meaningful, historic buildings, but you support the re-use and restoration of these spaces which is a big step in the right direction.

We’re always looking for ways to help make our restoration process more environmentally friendly, as well as ensuring that our buildings are sustainable in their long-term use (such as by using solar power). You can find out more information on how we intend to help address the climate crisis on our main website.

Riddle's Court - Wedding Party on the Royal Mile
Claire Juliet Paton

Choose a wedding location close to home

Destination weddings have become increasingly popular in recent years, with travel becoming more affordable. Whilst this can make your special day more memorable, keeping your wedding close to home will ultimately be more sustainable, as it means that guests and the wedding party don’t have to travel far, thus reducing the carbon footprint of your wedding.

Air travel also has a major impact on the environment, so choosing a wedding location within your home country is a good idea, and if you keep it really close to home, people may also be able to rideshare or get taxis together, instead of travelling individually.

This is not an exhaustive list and there are many other things you can do to make your wedding more eco-friendly – even a small step makes a difference!

Contact Us

Get in touch with us for more advice and information about hosting an eco-friendly wedding in our buildings.

Win a Wedding Ceremony

Wedding Ceremony at Custom House

Win a Wedding Ceremony

Home > Win a Wedding Ceremony

This competition is closed

This competition closed on 14th March 2022. For more information on all our wedding venues, please visit

Happy Valentine's Day!

We know how hard the last few years have been, and that there are so many couples out there who are thinking ‘let’s just get married!’ – so if you’re looking for a wedding ceremony in 2022, then we have great news for you.

You can win a wedding ceremony at Riddle’s Court, Custom House or Strathleven House (one winning couple per venue). All are beautiful and unique in their own ways, from the city centre in Edinburgh to the creative hub of Leith, and a restored Palladian mansion in Dunbartonshire.

What can you win?

  1. The prize for this competition is a wedding ceremony at one of our venues – there will be three winners: one for Riddle’s Court, one for Custom House and one for Strathleven House
  2. Ceremonies must take place in 2022, on a Monday-Friday with dates subject to availability
  3. The prize covers the venue hire for a 2 hour wedding ceremony, all onsite furniture and decoration, and event staff time
  4. Drinks and canapes can be provided after the ceremony for an additional cost
  5. Any additional furniture/linen can be provided for an additional cost
  6. The ceremony can form part of a larger celebration where the venue can accommodate it (such as a full wedding or extended drinks reception) and the value of the competition prize will be deducted from the total cost
  7. For Riddle’s Court only: a two-night stay in the King’s Chamber can be added on, subject to availability, at an additional cost
  8. Capacities for the ceremony or additional wedding celebrations may vary between venues

The competition closes on the 14th March. For a copy of our full Terms and Conditions, click here.

To enter:

There are three ways to enter this competition and win your wedding ceremony:

  1. When enquiring via our website, remember to quote ‘SHBTCEREMONY’ in your enquiry for a chance to be entered into the competition
  2. Visit our social media channels and follow the instructions there

Enter Now

Contact us, quoting ‘SHBTCEREMONY’ for a chance to win!

Getting Married in a Historic Wedding Venue

Couple in Edinburgh Old Town

Getting Married in a Historic Wedding Venue

Home > Getting Married in a Historic Wedding Venue

There are so many benefits to getting married in a historic venue – they are beautiful, unique, and your wedding is part of a really long line of history that probably defines the area it’s located in. There are likely stunning rooms and romantic feature décor, especially if you’re in a grand house or castle. For buildings like those run by the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust which is a non-profit, you can really enjoy your day knowing that any income from your wedding gets invested directly back into your local or national heritage.

But different venues will have different challenges to overcome – so if you are planning to get married in a historic building, it’s important to consider the following points and ask your venue team questions to put your mind at ease:


Is the building pre- or post-restoration? Depending on its current status, it might be a bit run-down, or recently done up. There can be restrictions both ways in terms of décor and affecting the historic fabric of the building, or there might be a lot more DIY involved than you’d intended – but on the plus side, you might have complete free rein to hang lights from the ceiling or stick things to the walls!

A building that has already been restored or has been maintained might not allow the same level of attachment, but you can rest easy knowing that facilities such as lifts or disabled toilets have likely been considered and implemented as the building has been changed to fit 21st century needs. If you are wanting to attach things to walls or ceilings, ask the venue if there’s any flexibility to use these ideas with their newer fixtures, like wrapping lights around a bannister or using shelving rather than Blu-tac.

Riddle's Court couple in the Geddes Room


How can you use the history to your advantage? You can entertain children with historical activities, colouring in, quizzes, or ‘I Spy’s’ in the rooms. If you have a smaller wedding party, ask your venue team to take them on tours of the spaces or have information cards for guests to start conversations.

Chances are the venue team greatly value the history of the building, and will be more than willing to talk about it to your guests and will be passionate about bringing its stories to life in lots of different ways!


What kind of storage is available? While some grand country houses will have stacks of rooms suitable for furniture or decoration storage, other historic venues don’t have the same capacity – for the simple reason that they probably weren’t built with weddings in mind!

Always check with your venue that they have the space for the things you need, like a kid’s room, a bar area, storage space, a room for the band to wait before setting up, or anything else that comes to mind. If they have been hosting weddings for years then they likely have systems in place that work really well, so will be able to recommend how to use their space to make your day run smoothly.


What is the flow of visitors or tourists like? There’s no denying that people love to see a historic venue, especially if it is normally open to the public, like a country house whose grounds are publicly accessible or a historic building in the centre of the city. Ask your venue if the space will be used for other purposes, or if you have exclusive use, and how they will manage the public if they try to visit the grounds.


Don’t get stuck thinking that just because it’s a historic venue, there’s only one way that it can be set. While some of the features may feel more traditional, there are infinite ways that you can use your creativity to showcase your own personality – it is your day after all! If you’re not looking for a wedding designer, simply talk through ideas or ask for advice and inspiration from your venue team.

Feature Decor for Wedding Ceremony at Custom House
Duke Photography

Ultimately having your wedding in a historic venue is a truly memorable experience, and one that is incredibly unique! Use all of its spectacular features to your advantage, and trust your venue team to show you what can be possible – and you’ll never forget it.

Decided on a historic venue?

If you think that a unique, meaningful and romantic historic venue is for you, then browse our venues on our website and get in touch for more information on our spectacular celebrations.

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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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.