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A Highland Fling! by Ruth Cochrane contributing writer, founder of


o, you just got engaged to your soul mate and you fancy a destination wedding, but what would be the perfect location? How about somewhere so progressive that gay weddings have been legal here for five years? What about somewhere so romantic, that celebrities flock here to get wed? How about somewhere steeped in history, full of fascinating culture, with some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, all within a stone’s throw of two of the most gayfriendly cities you could hope to visit? Scotland is having a gay revolution and GLBT couples are revelling in all of its rainbow glory. Ruth Cochrane, founder of gives some great reasons to consider a destination wedding in Scotland.

It’s Legal! I look on with disbelief and dismay as the US struggles to cope with teen suicides, Prop 8, conservative politicking and religious debate. I deeply empathise with my American cousins, but I have trouble getting my head round the whole thing. How can so many people be so violently

against something that doesn’t affect them at all? Seriously, if you don’t agree with gay marriage, then don’t marry a gay person! In Scotland it’s live and let live and we passed our own equality laws without much fuss or objection. I’m not sure whether it’s the British stiff upper lip, or our proximity to the liberal Scandinavian countries of northern Europe, but whether you’re GLBT or S, no-one really cares. What is definitely true though is that we are always delighted to get one over on our English neighbours, and we’re extremely proud that we were the first country in the UK to institute Civil Partnerships, giving gay couples identical legal rights and responsibilities and making Scotland a world leader in equality! I know it can’t be true that prejudice doesn’t exist here at all, but I grew up here, came out here, met the love of my life here and now I’m planning my own wedding here and I’ve never, ever experienced any form of discrimination. We GLBT Scots know how lucky we are which is why we delight in welcoming couples to get married here and share in the joy!

Kilts Okay, so it might seem like a long way to go just so you can wear a skirt, but you’d be surprised how big a draw it is! Even if you think you don’t have the knees for it, or you’ve been putting off going to the gym for a while, I guarantee you that everyone looks good in a Kilt... EVERYONE! Highland

dress appeals to different people for different reasons, sometimes it’s all about discovering your heritage and donning the garb of your ancestors, for others, it’s more about the Jean Paul Gautier chic. Mostly though it’s just about wrapping yourself in gorgeous plaid, revelling in being a true Scot and enjoying the admiration of envious onlookers!

Castles Celebrities like Madonna, Pierce Brosnan and Stella McCartney have their nuptials in Scotland partly because of the seclusion, but mostly because of the castles. Scotland has a smaller land mass than New York State yet we have around 2000 castles. That’s about one for every 15 square miles! From palatial stately homes to romantic tumble down ruins, there is a massive range of venues to choose from. Imagine crossing the moat and climbing the tower to exchange vows with the love of your life, with Loch Ness and the Great Glen in the background. Urquhart Castle is one of my favourite ruinous venues. The fairytale building and the fabulous location, topped with the possibility of

Vol. 6 Issue 1 2011 LGBT Planning Resource Guide 57

The 2011 LGBT Wedding Planning Guide (Vol. 6, Is. 1)  

An expanded issue of the nation's first Gay and Lesbian Wedding Magazine. This issue features the latest tips and trends for 2011 along wit...

The 2011 LGBT Wedding Planning Guide (Vol. 6, Is. 1)  

An expanded issue of the nation's first Gay and Lesbian Wedding Magazine. This issue features the latest tips and trends for 2011 along wit...