Choosing a Design

A Tartan themed wedding is spectacular. Scots girls worldwide can get married making a real statement in a wedding dress from the Joyce Young Tartan Couture Collection which teams up with the groom’s kilt. Add in coordinating bridesmaids and mothers and the colourful combination is Stunning, Scottish and Unique.

You don’t even have to be Scottish, it’s a great look, and most people can find a Scottish connection somewhere in their family tree. You can choose your dress from a wide selection of styles incorporating just a subtle touch of tartan or be totally outrageous in head to toe tartan. We have been specialising in Scottish weddings for many years and can theme your unique day from dresses to venues. Tartan weddings by Joyce Young are original, stylish and lots of fun!

Tartan Couture

Having your own unique dress or outfit made individually for you is an enjoyable and exciting process.


You know you want to wear tartan but not sure how much tartan is going to look best and what style will suit you. Will it be your family tartan or one that your name is associated with or one of the hundreds of new tartan designs that are generic and you can choose the one that has the colours and set (check design) that you like best.

Tartans come in different fabrics and weights and it is important to choose the right one for your dress design. The most easily available in the widest range of designs are the wool tartans. The 16 oz is the traditional weight for a mans kilt. The best kilts for men are made with 8 yards of cloth and are pretty heavy and unless the wearer puts on a lot of weight (they are adjustable at the waistband) it should last a lifetime.In Scotland this is a traditional gift for a young man’s 21st birthday.

Women’s clothing needs a lighter weight fabric. When using wool we use either an 11oz or a spring weight which is 8 oz half the weight of the kilts. The spring weight comes in a large choice of family tartans and when silk isn’t available this is the best one for drape.

We use mainly silk tartan for our wedding dresses and evening dresses but the family tartans are limited to the most popular ones in the silk. The wild or dupion silk has a luxurious glow (unlike the wool which is flat). There are over 7000 different tartan designs so it is impossible for suppliers to hold stock of all the different tartan designs in all the various weights.

I designed my own tartans “Tartan Spirit” and “By Storm” which are made up by Lochcarron in the Scottish Borders in fine wool. I then put silk into work which is our main fabric in tartan and have also had it printed on silk chiffon and velvet. It means in our own tartan we can offer a wide range of dress styles that wouldn’t normally be available in tartan.

If time allows we can arrange for a specific tartan to be woven in silk dupion or printed on chiffon however this requires an order of 100 metres and is an investment. We have had clients who have used the extra tartan as Christmas presents for family overseas or used it for soft furnishings or sold it on the clan website. Remember it is unique and isn’t already available on the market so for someone with a business head it can be turned into a profitable venture and end up paying for the dress.

We have many styles of wedding dresses made up to try on. Some are completely made in tartan and others have tartan insets and some just small touches of tartan. We encourage our clients to try on and choose the most flattering style. The main thing is that it suits the wearer both in style and colour and that it is flattering and not overwhelming.

What to Expect

Your tartan couture dress or outfit will be made uniquely for you in your choice of fabric, tartan and design. The process starts with trying on styles and your own design being sketched and order placed. Your measurements will be taken either when the order is placed or at an agreed later date.

The main thing is to decide on your design so that the fabric can be ordered and the production space booked. Measurements can then be left until later but you are safe in the knowledge that your dress has been booked into production. If the order is left very close to the end date it may be impossible to make it in time at busy periods. Whenever possible we will try to accommodate late orders but it is inadvisable to come at the last minute. Part of the fun of any special event coming up is the process of planning and enjoying the experience of the journey. Being organised in advance takes the pressure away.


When you come to have your measurements taken we ask you to wear the bra that you will wear on your special day. If you don’t have this for your measurements it is essential to have it for your first fitting and all subsequent fittings. It can make a big difference to the fit if the style of bra is changed throughout the process. We take a lot of measurements so that your pattern will be as accurate as possible when you come for your first fitting. Please let us know if you intend to lose weight as we may decide to leave the fittings a bit later if time allows.

Making the Dress

We have a wonderful team of very experienced pattern cutters, machinists and fitters who will bring your dress to life and deliver a perfect fit. Our own custom built production unit is in north Glasgow, adjacent to our elegant showroom.

Our dedicated team who are all employed by the company will make your dress from design to collection. Our Couture designs are all made in-house and never made by outworkers. We also have a workroom in our London shop with a full time pattern cutter and machinist. From your first visit to your final collection at least seven highly experienced people will be involved in the design making and fitting of your dress.


Your dress or outfit will be individually made to measure for you over 3 or 4 fittings. At the first fit it will be made in a cotton toile (mock) or a cheaper fabric that drapes in a similar way to your chosen fabric. Don’t be alarmed as this may be in any colour and not in the fabric and colour that you have chosen. This very important fitting is done to fine tune the pattern and make sure that you are happy with the style and lengths and overall look of your design. The second fit is usually in your fabric and will be made up without the zip and the lengths will still require finishing. At this fitting you will need your shoes for height of heal so that the length can be finalised. We endeavour to finish the outfit ready for collection on the third fitting but some dresses which are more complicated may need extra fittings.

The Final Result

We love the collection day when you come to collect your beautiful dress or outfit. Having been in business for over 28 years it never fails to give us great pleasure to see how happy our brides and mums are when they leave with their stunning creation.

Please send photos after your event, these are so special to us.

designer in studio holding i pad showing sketch

Joyce’s Top Wedding Tips

Download Joyce’s suggestions gained over 30 years of personal experience to help you have the best day ever.

Body Measurement Size Chart

Product Measurements

How to Measure

Size guide

1. Bust
Measure around your back and the fullest part of your bust

2. Waist
Measure the slimmest part below your ribs and above your navel

3. Hips
Measure around the fullest part of your hips

4. Height
Get someone to help you with this and measure from head to toe