Scotland is one of the most famous elopement locations in Europe. It’s a country full of jaw-dropping wonders of nature such as giant rock pillars, high waterfalls, incredible mountains and so much more. A lot of couples decide to have their elopement in Scotland simply because of nature. And not to mention the rich history and traditions of this country. Unlike in the countries of southern Europe famous for their wines, you’ll toast with a glass of the finest Whiskey after your elopement in Scotland.
We have traveled across Scotland in search of some of the best Scotland elopement locations and we’re writing this post as a guide for everyone looking to elope in Scotland. Planning and organizing an elopement is a journey for itself and choosing the right country is already a great step forward in fulfilling your dream of eloping abroad.
Let us show you what to expect if you choose Scotland as your elopement destination.
Find out more info: What is elopement?
Scotland is the northernmost part of Great Britain. As a country, Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom. It’s a quite famous country known for its stunning nature, culture, and historical cities. Scotland is surrounded by the Atlantic ocean and the Northern sea. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and its most famous city. It served as an inspiration for the famous Harry Potter series.
Scotland is a famous tourist attraction in Europe, similarly as Ireland and the rest of the UK. It’s known for the kilts and tartans, part of the traditional clothing in Scotland. It’s known for its Whiskeys too, and there are many distilleries scattered all across Scotland.
Scotland is the ultimate country for any nature lover because of the natural places you won’t see anywhere else in the world. The Isle of Skye is just an example. It’s a small island full of strange rock formations and other stunning places. To conclude, this country should be on your travel bucket list whether you want to elope in Scotland or just spend your vacation in it.
How to visit Scotland?
When it comes to traveling to Scotland, the airplane is the easiest and most convenient way to get there. Airports in Scotland are very well connected to other international airports across the globe and you can find many flight options. There are 2 large airports, one near Glasgow and one near Edinburgh and you can choose the one that suits you best. Scotland is not an enormously large country and it’s easy to travel through it.
As soon as you land, we suggest you rent a car since we believe it’s the best way to travel through Scotland. The public transport in Scotland is good and reliable and you can travel the country this way too, but we believe the true exploration of Scotland can’t be done by transportation that brings you from A to B. Be your own boss, decide when to stop and what to explore. Rent a car.
Why to elope in Scotland?
The title of this post says that Scotland has epic landscapes. And that’s the main reason why so many people decide to have their elopement in Scotland. The culture and history are also important and Scotland has it all. It’s so well and uniquely blended that just being in Scotland feels like a good dream. That’s how was it when we were there. We just enjoyed driving around and exploring the beautiful landscape.
Elopements are usually done in some stunning spots, some places that just add to your ceremony and maybe tell a bit of the story of your partner, you, and your relationship. The location of elopement is important and it has to be something out of the ordinary. And guess what, Scotland is full of places that fit into this category. Honestly, among many countries we have visited, Scotland is among the countries with the most potential for elopements and intimate weddings.
Scotland Elopement is perfect for couples who love nature and its creations and would like to have the elopement ceremony with an epic backdrop. Scotland is also full of medieval castles and other kinds of buildings and it’s the right country for you if you are into history.
Elopement vs Traditional wedding in Scotland
Before you even start planning your elopement in Scotland, you have to decide about a few other things considering it. First of all, would you like to have an elopement or a more traditional wedding? The main and most important difference is the number of people attending your ceremony. Elopement ceremony usually includes just a couple, while traditional wedding includes additional guests.
Elopements are usually a lot easier to plan and organize and much more locations are available for elopements than for traditional weddings. The more guests you have attending your wedding, the more planning you need to do. Maybe you have a location that you would like to elope to in Scotland, but is it accessible for all of your guests.
Secondly, elopements are usually cheaper than traditional weddings. The more guests you have, the more your wedding ceremony will cost you. Elopements are pretty customizable too, and you can adapt to the weather conditions or other things.
Finally, we currently live in turbulent times and elopements are the best kind of wedding to plan and organize in times such as these. More and more couples decide on eloping each year and the number is going to rise in the following years too.
How to elope to Scotland? Legally binding vs symbolic ceremony
When you have decided on the kind of wedding you want to have, you need to decide if you want your marriage abroad to be legal or symbolic. If you want to have a legally binding ceremony, that means that your marriage in Scotland will be valid in any country.
Before you proceed with a legal wedding ceremony in Scotland, you need to do a bit of paperwork. Sorry about that information, we know that nobody likes to be involved in any type of bureaucracy. It’s best to check all the things you need to do with the local marriage office in Scotland. For a legally binding type of wedding, we suggest you start with the preparations as early as possible because you’ll need some time to collect all the paperwork. Don’t be stressed about it, it’s just the way the world goes round. You can do it!
On the other side lies the beautiful simplicity of symbolic ceremony. Fully customizable, your officiant can be dressed as Darth Vader, nobody cares, and you can do whatever you want to. After all, marriage is just something between you and your partner. You can also get married legally back home to simplify things even further. Symbolic elopement involves a symbolic officiant who takes care of the formal part of the ceremony and this kind of elopement is relaxed and carefree. Symbolic officiants often include some local traditions into ceremonies, which could be a great thing.
Best time of the year for Scotland elopement
First of all, if you want sunny and warm elopement, cross Scotland out of your list. As you already might know, Scotland is famous for its rain and cloudy weather. All year round. Almost all the time. This might sound terrible, but it isn’t. Cloudy weather is actually great for photography, especially if you want more moody results.
One great thing about the elopements is that they are adaptable. If you see that tomorrow is not going to be a particularly good time, but the next day will, you can just move your Scotland elopement to that next day. Of course, you need to communicate that with all the potential vendors that are part of your elopement in Scotland.
To make things shorter, summers are somewhat warmer in Scotland so these months are great if you are looking for warmer weather to some extent. Spring and Autumn are also nice, although a bit colder. Summer is also a season when Scotland is visited by many other tourists and personally, we would not visit it during that period, simply because of the number of people present at some great locations. Like in any other country, preseason and postseason months (April, May, June, September, October) are best for having the best of both worlds – fewer people and warm weather.
Scotland weather and what equipment to bring to Scotland
The weather in Scotland is unpredictable. You can expect a lot of cloudy weather, a bit of rain, and all that mixed with some sunny periods. When you are coming to Scotland, you need to be prepared for its weather conditions. First of all, this means layered warm clothing. If it gets warmer you remove a layer, if it gets colder you put on an additional layer. Simple as that. Secondly, good shoes are of the essence.
Waterproof hiking shoes are the best and we highly recommend those. Scotland is not a country for regular sneakers or sandals. Finally, the poncho-style raincoat is something we found to be very valuable during our stay in Scotland. It’s lightweight, fits into every bag, and protects your whole body. This is a thing you must have. The longer the better.
Scotland elopement locations: Our pick
We spent a lot of time traveling through Scotland and scouting for the best elopement locations in this country. We have visited almost all of the famous locations and we’re bringing you our list of top Scotland elopement locations. When you are deciding on the location, think about where would you like to have your elopement ceremony. Is that a waterfall, top of the mountain, somewhere near the sea… When you reached this kind of decision, it’s easier to pick a final destination.
Later on in this text, we’re going to talk about the Scotland wedding planner and his/her’s role in the organization of your elopement in Scotland. For some of the locations from our list, you’ll need to pay a fee if you want your ceremony to be held there. It’s usually not a large amount of money, especially when it comes to elopements. It’s best if you contact the venue directly and ask them about their rules regarding the elopements.
Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is our favorite part of Scotland. It’s a small island full of stunning places. Unfortunately, it was raining on the day we have visited it, but we were still astonished by what we have seen. In fact, we were so in love with it that we decided to stay near it so we can return in the case of better weather. We didn’t return and the rain kept on falling for the next few days.
The Isle of Skye is maybe one of the most popular Scotland elopement locations. It’s famous for its mountain landscape and has many locations perfect for elopements such as The Storr, Quiraing, Fairy pools, Cullin, etc. The largest city on the Isle of Skye is Portree, a small romantic town and an excellent base for exploration of the rest of the island.
Loch Lommond and The Trossachs National park
Scotland is full of lochs which are basically lakes. You probably heard of Loch Ness, famous for the alleged monster that lives in it. Loch Lomond and The Trossachs is one of two national parks in Scotland and it’s a great location for outdoor elopement in Scotland. This national park is located just north of the city of Glasgow. The central attraction of the park is Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Great Britain.
Glenfinnan Viaduct – the best location for Harry Potter fans
All of the Harry Potter fans out there know of this viaduct because it’s featured in almost every of the Harry Potter series movies. As great railway fans, this was one of the locations we were looking forward to seeing. A lot of people gather each day at Glenfinnan viaduct, just to observe the passing of an old steam train, also featured in the Harry Potter movies as Hogwarts Express. Just imagine getting eloped in Scotland while a Jacobite steam train is passing near you. Marvelous.
Also, consider Jacobite Steam Train as your additional adventurous ride on the elopement day!
Ben Nevis mountain
Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Scotland, as well as in the entire United Kingdom. Its peak is at 1345 meters which is not as high as other European mountains but still offers a charm of a true mountain elopement. Ben Nevis is located near the town of Fort William which is considered to be an outdoor center of Scotland. The area is covered in snow during the winter which is perfect if you were looking to have snowy elopement.
Cairngorms National park
The Cairngorms is yet another national park in Scotland. It’s a mountain range located in the eastern part of Scotland and it’s also perfect for mountain elopement in Scotland. It features some of the most famous ski centers in Scotland. The Cairngorms is also a great Scotland elopement location because of the forests inside of the park. These forests are among the most preserved ones in the UK and they are home to many species that cannot be found in other parts of Scotland.
Falls of Foyers
Falls of Foyers is located near the more famous Loch Ness. It’s a large waterfall on the river Foyers and waterfalls make a great backdrop for elopements. Apart from the waterfall, the Foyers river is also amazing and has some locations that are great options for elopement in Scotland.
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan castle is one of the most famous Scotland elopement locations when it comes to castles and forts. It’s one of the most photographed castles in the whole of Scotland. It’s truly a unique location for elopement in Scotland and you’ll need to pay a certain fee if you want your ceremony to be held there. If you ask us, it’s totally worth it.
Lastly, we come to the capital of Scotland and one of its most beautiful cities. Edinburgh is absolutely gorgeous city and a great option for a more urban elopement with a touch of history. It’s a very famous city and it’s visited by many tourists each year. Even if you won’t have your Scotland elopement in Edinburgh, you still have to visit it. Old parts of the town feel like you have entered a Harry Potter movie and you’re about to buy your first magic wand. Edinburg castle is a central attraction of the city and one of the most beautiful castles we have ever seen.
A role of a wedding planner for your Scotland elopement. Do you need one?
A wedding planner is a person who helps you in all aspects of your wedding or elopement. We always suggest people hire a wedding planner if they are planning to have a larger wedding with many vendors included. Wedding planners just make everything a bit easier. They also help you with booking a wedding venue in Scotland and take care of the communication with all the vendors. You’re left with more free time and you’ll be less stressed when your wedding day arrives.
Wedding planners are not so crucial for elopements as they are for large weddings. The great thing about the elopements is the fact that they are easy to plan and organize, they are fully customizable, and overall cheaper than traditional weddings. You can organize your Scotland elopement by yourself, especially if you want a symbolic ceremony with a simple set of vendors such as a florist, photographer and videographer, and makeup.
We’ve been elopement photographers for years now and we know all there is to know about it. We can help you with advice and organization of a simpler elopement in Scotland and we provide you with a detailed elopement guide that will guide you through all the aspects of your elopement wedding.
Scotland’s traditions in your elopement
Scotland is known for some unique traditions and you can implement some in your Scotland elopement. Bagpipes are widely recognized as a symbol of Scotland and it might be a great idea to have a bagpipe player at your elopement, just to play a few tunes. This is something that would send chills down your spine. Or you could incorporate some other parts of Scottish culture into your elopement, maybe a part of clothing. Symbolic officiants usually include some parts of folklore in their ceremony which is usually not the case with the legal officiants.
There are many ways to include the culture of the country you’re eloping at in your own elopement. Just think about it as it’s a great way to make your elopement even more awesome.
Things to do after your elopement in Scotland
First of all, congratulations on your marriage. Now it’s time to relax and enjoy the rest of your vacation. We suggest you spend at least 10 days in Scotland when organizing your elopement in this country. In these 10 days, you’ll have enough time to have an elopement and visit some of the most famous places in Scotland. All of the places we mentioned as the best Scotland elopement locations are great for a visit too.
We also mentioned the idea of renting a car as soon as you come to Scotland as it is the best way to travel and explore this country. Just don’t forget to drive on the left side. You’ll get used to it pretty soon, trust us. Spend some time together and just drive around. One of you might be a driver and the other one can explore the map and set course for the locations you want to visit.
Scotland is known for great adventure options too. Embark on the mutual adventure. Go hiking or kayaking along the beautiful Scottish coast. End your days in a pub, drinking whiskey or beer. Eat traditional food such as haggis or Cullen skink. Try to enjoy every aspect of Scotland and have a great time.
Scotland elopement packages cost
After all being said, you are probably very interested about the price of elopement in Scotland. You can expect me to be somewhere in the range of 2000 to 5000 Euros, depending upon your wishes. For the price of 2000 Euros, you can have a symbolic officiant, florist, makeup, and elopement photographer for a few hours. This is in case you want your elopement to be in an outdoor location that has no additional fee for such events.
If we are talking about the higher end of this price range, that could include a bagpipe player, videographer, food, flower arrangements, location fee, etc…
Scotland elopement photographer & Scotland elopement videographer
We’re a photographer & videographer duo that does elopement all across the globe. We’re stationed in Europe and shoot weddings all across the continent. As an elopement photographer and videographer, we’re also an outdoor guides and we spend a lot of time scouting for new locations for elopements.
Feel free to contact us through the form below for our photography and videography services in Scotland. We have special prices for 2022.