When singing sensations, Bananarama, belted out their 1987 hit Love in the First Degree, it turned out that those gals were really onto something because over one fifth of married Brits began their journey of l-u-r-v-e on campus. Note: If this fact has inspired you to suddenly embrace further education, you might want to scribble down Durham University at the top of your UCAS form, as a whopping 72% of Durham students go on to marry their campus crush!
If you’ve recently made the leap from university fling to sparkling ring, why not consider saying “I do” to a university wedding? Now, we’re not suggesting that you exchange vows amidst the plastic table-tops and vending machines of your old university canteen, we’re talking about one of the many GLORIOUS on-site chapels tucked away within the UK’s most ancient universities.
As part of our A-Z of Incredible Scottish Wedding Venues series, we have chosen the University of Glasgow as our ‘U’ and here’s why we’re preeeeeaching about tying the knot at the university’s awe-inspiring Memorial Chapel:
• Situated slap-bang in the city centre
• Within walking distance of a whole world of amazing reception venues
• Humanist ceremony friendly church venue
• More atmosphere than Jupiter!
• Suitable for very large weddings of up to 320 guests
• A wedding photographer’s dream
Whether you’re looking up in awe at the vaulted ceiling of a grand gothic cathedral or staring in a kaleidoscopic trance through the stained glass of a rural and rustic kirk, nobody can deny the architectural appeal of churches; but with over half of Brits considering themselves non-religious and a quarter aligning themselves with Humanism, nowadays only one in three couples choose to say “I do” in traditional religious church settings.
So, you might be forgiven for thinking that church weddings would almost certainly be out of the question for brides and grooms-to-be looking to embrace a non-religious ceremony, but you’d be wrong!
The University of Glasgow’s chapel is truly interfaith and one such church that is wide open to hosting religious or humanist ceremonies and when we saw the amazing snaps of Fiona & Stuart’s gorgeous wedding, captured by Lianne Mackay, we were MEGA pleased that the University of Glasgow’s ceremony policy is so inclusive.
Built in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the UK and is such, steeped in both architectural and historical glory. Over the centuries, the university has put seven Nobel laureates and two Prime Ministers through the mill and even welcomed Albert Einstein as a guest lecturer! Let’s face it though, you’re probably not that interested in the university’s famed alumni so let’s have a look at what else is so great about this place.
Fiona and Stuart were married by joy spreading John Leo Scott at the heart of the university, within the glorious Memorial Chapel. This elephantine and inspiring space was built as a memorial to the graduates who lost their lives in WWI and the sense of atmosphere can be felt immediately upon entering. Ginormous arched stained-glass windows bounce light off the intricately carved choir stalls and stone columns making the levels of romance OFF THE SCALE! The Chapel comfortably seats up to 320 guests, but if you’re worried that the your teeny tiny guest-list will be swamped by the sheer grandeur of the space, fear not, as somehow the Chapel works beautifully for smaller weddings too.
For those couples who are after some seriously impressive wedding photography, you’re in for a treat! Not only does the Chapel exude magnificence, the entire campus is peppered with interesting features such as the majorly romantic cloisters as well as the manicured quadrangle, which is overlooked by the university’s glorious gothic buildings.
Situated in the heart of the city’s vibrant west end, the university lies on the edge of Kelvingrove Park and is just minutes from cool and cobbled Ashton Lane, meaning a huge number of excellent outdoor photography and reception options are on hand just a minute’s walk from the Chapel.
Fiona & Stuart chose to take a stroll to their favourite Ashton Lane bar, the Ubiquitous Chip, for their first drink as husband and wife before enjoying their reception just a hop, skip and a jump away at the Hilton Grosvenor. This is where Glasgow University Chapel really comes into its own. It is so convenient for some of Glasgow’s most brilliant bars, restaurants and reception venues so it makes for a city slicking couple’s dream come true. Enjoy your traditional wedding with a humanist twist, followed by drinks in a beloved bar and dinner at your favourite restaurant or reception venue. Perfect!
Unfortunately, couples can only marry within the Memorial Chapel if they or their partner are a University of Glasgow graduate, student, a member of staff or the son or daughter of any of these categories. Weddings take place on Saturdays and Sundays during term time and on any day during the university holidays where they start at the same times each day: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm.
Couple: Fiona & Stuart
Celebrant: John Leo Scott
Photographer: Lianne Mackay
An A-Z of Incredible Scottish Wedding Venues:
A – Arisaig House
B – BAAD
C – Caves (The)
D – Dalduff Farm
E – Errol Park
F – Fernie Castle
G – Glen Clova Kirk
H – Harelaw Farm
I – Isle of Skye
J – Jupiter Artland
K – Kelburn Castle
L – Leith Theatre
M – Molteno Hall
N – Nevis Range
R – Roulotte Retreat
T – Tullibole Castle