Weddings are special occasions, and a special occasion surely deserves a special location. Argyll and the Isles fit that particular bill to a tee. The unique landscape of Argyll & the Isles provides a stunning backdrop to the big day, from dramatic mountains to breathtakingly beautiful beaches, and romantic sunsets to shimmering seas. Everything is here for an unforgettable wedding day, with a wide choice of wonderful venues and accommodation, locally sourced food, and warm Highland hospitality. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back Scottish beach wedding or a lavish Scottish castle wedding, Argyll and the Isles is an idyllic place to tie the knot. Here we ‘unveil’ some of Argyll’s top wedding venues.
Mansions and Castles
Argyll is home to some truly spectacular castles and historic houses that make magnificent wedding venues. Mount Stuart on the island of Bute must be one of the most remarkable. Visit this beautiful mansion house and you’ll quickly understand why it’s no stranger to hosting A-List nuptials, including those of Stella MacCartney. Imagine saying ‘I do’ in the Marble Chapel. Commissioned by the 3rd Marquess of Bute in 1896, it took no less than 102 years to complete. Lined with brilliant white Carrara marble shot through with veins of grey, turned pink by shafts of sunlight pouring through the ruby-coloured glass of the Clerestory, the chapel’s beauty is said to be unrivalled in Scotland. You can hire out the entire mansion for your reception and guest accommodation.
Beautiful grounds of Mount Stuart, Credit: Mount Stuart
Scottish castles are hugely romantic and none more so than Barcaldine Castle near Oban on Argyll’s west coast. It’s a splendid small luxury wedding venue. Ceremonies take place in the Great Hall, with its large open fireplace and breathtaking views across Loch Creran and up to Glencoe. Castle Lachlan on the banks of Loch Fyne is another fabulous Argyll wedding venue. Duart Castle on the island of Mull is perhaps the most striking castle wedding venue of all in Argyll. Limited dates are offered each year, so getting married at Duart Castle would certainly be a very exclusive event! Torrisdale Castle on the Kintyre peninsula is another special wedding venue, as is Balinakill Country House. Or how about Ardlamont Estate, which is set in stunning scenery right at the southernmost tip of Argyll’s Secret Coast. The centrepiece of the estate, the Georgian Ardlamont House, is a truly wonderful setting for a wedding. Its ringing corridors, sumptuous public rooms with their blazing log fires, beautiful grounds and elegant bedrooms with four-poster beds make for a glorious wedding venue.
Imagine getting married at Iona Abbey, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. Founded by St Columba and his Irish followers in AD 563, it’s one of Scotland’s most historic and sacred sites. Venues include the Abbey Church, a breathtaking building with high ceilings and fine medieval features, Micheal Chapel and St Oran’s Chapel, an intimate, ornate building at the gateway to the Abbey. It’s also the oldest of all intact buildings on Iona. Iona itself is a gem of an island, renowned for its tranquillity, natural beauty and spirituality.
Finlaggan on Islay is another of Scotland’s historical sites where you can marry. This island settlement in Loch Finlaggan played a hugely important role in Scotland during the 14th and 15th centuries. It formed the administrative centre of the Lordship of the Isles, which ruled the islands and part of the west coast of Scotland, from Kintyre to Lewis, virtually independent of royal control.
Outside Iona Abbey, Credit: Historic Environment Scotland
Weddings with a View
Want to make an entrance that's hard to forget, with breathtaking views of the sea? Loch Melford Hotel can arrange just that, by arriving by boat, helicopter and even a digger, if that's more your style. Don't worry they also do simple entrances too. Regardless of the entrance, you will enjoy a wedding venue filled with beautiful gardens and stunning views looking out into the sea and highland landscape. If you want a wedding with a jaw-dropping view, you can’t beat Argyll. One of our favourites has to be The Treehouse at the Lodge on Loch Goil, which overlooks Loch Goil and is an utterly enchanting hideaway. It’s the perfect place for a small intimate wedding celebration. Another venue with a view is the Portsonachan Hotel, which sits on the banks on the south side of Loch Awe. For something super modern, try Portavadie. This stunning contemporary development sits right on the waterfront, with views over Loch Fyne and the marina. There's a whole range of accommodations for your guests, as well as a luxurious spa and leisure facilities. The view of Arran from the outdoor infinity pool is pretty unbeatable.
Portsonachan Hotel looking onto Loch Awe, Credit: Portsonachan Hotel
It’s not just the beaches that are beautiful in Argyll & the Isles. Ancient woodlands, tranquil lochs and rugged hills all make for stunning natural wedding locations. Ardkinglas Estate on the Cowal peninsula is a secluded and tranquil setting. The historic house is approached through woodland, with sweeping terraced lawns opening out onto the shores of Loch Fyne. Crear near Kilberry is another beautiful wedding venue. Crear Studio at the centre of the house has a 60-foot glass wall with views of the Paps of Jura, bringing the outside in whatever the weather. However, if you are looking for something smaller for a more intimate wedding, set in a boutique guest house, check out the Carradales, which is located on the Kintyre peninsula.
Wedding at Ardkinglas Estate, Credit: Ardkinglas Estate
The must needed extras
Kate at Northern Lights Cakery takes pride in attention to detail and loves working closely with clients to come up with stunning, one of a kind cake designs for your special day on Cowal Peninsula. There is a range of delicious flavours and designs to choose from, but if you can't find the flavour you want, Kate is more than happy to discuss your needs for your special day, be sure to check out Northern lights Cakery on Instagram to see how stunning these cakes are.
Wedding Cake made by Northern Lights Cakery, Credit: Northern Lights Cakery
It's not just a cake which is needed to celebrate your special day, you need to capture these moments on camera. The perfect photographer is hard to come by, however, both Kevin McGarry Studio Photography and Ben Shakespeare Photography are here to capture your big day, and are highly recommended by many.
Wedding Captured by Kevin, Credit: Kevin McGarry Photography
Whichever wedding venue you choose, your Argyll & the Isles wedding is guaranteed to be an unforgettable one.