Planning a wedding can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be that way. At The Dougarie Boathouse, we’re here to help make your special day as perfect as possible. Our idyllic venue situated in the firth of the clyde provides breathtaking views over the mull of Kintyre, offering a  unique and stunning setting for your wedding celebration.

As you begin to plan your big day, here are some of our top tips on how to make your dream wedding day a reality.

1.   Choose a Colour Palette & Theme

Getting the look just right for your wedding is a huge part of the planning process. Choosing a colour palette and theme may seem tricky at first but it’s important to consider what you both would like before making any decisions. Whether you go for an elegant champagne and blush affair, or something bold and daring with emerald green and gold accents – selecting a colour palette will help to bring your vision to life. If you’re struggling for ideas, Pinterest opens up a world of possibilities with a huge selection of ideas to choose from.

When deciding on the theme for your wedding day, try to think about the type of atmosphere you would like to create for your guests. Are you dreaming of a romantic and rustic affair? Or perhaps you’re longing for a more glamorous and grand occasion? Whatever ambience you choose, work with your colour palette to complete the setting. Our team at The Dougarie Boathouse can help guide you through the process and provide advice and support if needed.

Once you’ve settled on your colour palette and theme, you can then start looking at decorations! Flowers, table settings, fabric swatches, lighting – this is where the fun really begins!

2.   Decorations & Floral Arrangements

photo by @meggymacphotography

For many brides and grooms, the decorations are what makes their wedding stand out from the rest. With The Dougarie Boathouse, you are welcomed with stunning views and scenery, so we typically recommend that decorations are kept to a minimum. A simple colour scheme coupled with minimal flowers and romantic candlelight will do the trick, no matter what the season! Rose gold, blush pinks, shimmering gold and ivory are especially popular for rustic themed occasions.

If you are longing to add a pop of colour to your special day however that’s also completely fine! There is no right or wrong when it comes to your wedding day and the most important thing is to ensure that you add your own special touches to the day to ensure that it is perfect in every way.

We pride ourselves on giving you the flexibility and freedom to host your wedding day exactly the way you want it.

3.   Book Your Vendors

Once you’ve decided on a theme, it’s time to start booking your vendors. Start with the basics: catering, flowers, music, officiant, and wedding cake. It’s also important to decide on a date and time so that you can book these vendors in advance and avoid any potential scheduling conflicts.

If preferred we can take care of the catering for you with one of our complete packages. Whether it’s canapes and simple sharing boards or a three-course sit-down meal, we can provide you with a choice of delicious menu options.

We can also recommend some truly innovative, fantastic local suppliers, from food and flowers and of course, that all-important music. Alternately you can of course choose to source your own.

4.   Book Your Accommodation

Our location is remote enough to feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of daily life but we are still easily accessible for your guests, being just a 45-minute drive from Glasgow and then a short scenic 50-minute ferry ride from the port of Ardrossan. Once you have set the date, it’s important that you and your guests organise your transport in advance to reduce any pressure on the run up to the special day.

At The Dougarie Boathouse, we can sleep up to 32 guests on our estate, across separate houses meaning your guests can stay the night without having to worry about travelling home on the same day. As we are an exclusive rural retreat, there’s no need to worry about rooms being booked by other visitors either!

5.   Create A Timetable

Photo by @SusieOlzenPhotography

Each wedding is unique but there are usually familiar elements which brides and groom include. We highly recommend creating a wedding timetable to help keep everyone on track before, during, and after your special day. This includes outlining events and activities, such as bridal prep, formal photos, cutting the cake, speeches, the bouquet toss and of course, the first dance! Canva offers a great selection of wedding timetables to help you to stay organised and stress free.

6.   Find The Perfect Dress

Every bride wants to find the perfect dress, and this is something that should be done early in the planning process. Don’t forget to include a few friends or family members to help you choose the right gown; selecting a dress is a personal experience, and having a few trusted opinions can really help! Classic silhouettes and light fabrics pair beautifully with the surrounding settings here at The Dougarie Boathouse and will help to create striking photographs.

Photo by @connormcewanphotography

7.   Add the Finishing Touches to your Bridal Look

Once you’ve chosen your dress, it’s then time to select the final finishing touches which will make your bridal look truly picture-perfect. You only get married once, so don’t be shy of adorning yourself with some gorgeous bridal accessories to really help you to shine on the day. Hair vines, elegant flowing veils and vintage pearl jewellery will pair beautifully with the surrounding scenery.

8.   Choose the Right Photographer

Photo by @MeggyMacPhotography

With the panoramic backdrop of the Isle of Arran, rolling green hills and the endless expanse of the sea surrounding, choosing the right photographer is essential when it comes to capturing the beauty of The Dougarie Boathouse. When selecting a photographer for your wedding, make sure to pick someone who has experience shooting outdoors, as well as in natural light. It’s also important to make sure that they have a good portfolio of work and can help capture the memories from your special day. With one of our complete packages we can also provide the services of our preferred photographer to help you to preserve the memories of your day.

9.   Finally, Don’t Forget Your Furry Friends!

At The Dougarie Boathouse, we are pet friendly, so if you plan on including your four-legged friend in your special day, make sure to plan accordingly. Be mindful of potential hazards during the ceremony and reception, and designate a responsible family member or friend to look after your pet during the duration of the event.

Above all else, keep in mind that your special day should be stress-free and enjoyable. With careful preparation and planning, your big day at The Dougarie Boathouse will be picture-perfect! Finally, we’d like to congratulate you on your engagement and wish you happy wedding planning!

Guest blog by Lace& Favour Bridal Shop | Lace & Favour (

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