Ultimate Elopement in Scotland Guide: Epic landscapes for an epic adventure

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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?

We are a Scotland elopement photographer and videographer

We are Andrea and Mario,  elopement photographer and videographer, and we have been documenting elopements all across Europe for almost 10 years now. With years of experience in documenting elopements and weddings in all kinds of landscapes, we decided to create this guide to serve you as a starting point for planning your elopement in Scotland. 

We know that there are a lot of things to take care of when planning an elopement abroad and the whole process can feel daunting at moments. The most important thing is to take it easy, relax, and don’t worry too much. Elopements should be stress-free experiences you are going to remember for a lifetime.

When it comes to elopements, you can learn a lot about us and our photography style from our website and social networks media. Let’s just say that we focus on real emotions and moments as they happen rather than insist on strictly posed photography. We love to keep the whole documenting process fun and easy for you while making great memories at the same time.

Apart from being an elopement photographer and videographer, we’re here to help you plan your Scotland elopement too. We suggest potential ceremony locations, connect you with local vendors you might need, and help you form a timeline for your elopement day. We’ve got you covered during the whole elopement process.

Let the adventure begin!

‘Love and Ventures are amazing! They helped us pick through locations for our ceremony and accommodated us when we changed locations one week before the ceremony. They also helped us find a makeup artist and officiant. The photos and video they made are incredible, and the locations they picked for them were perfect! We loved working with them and appreciate all they did to memorialize our special day!’

Ellie and Jared

Welcome to a fairytale called Scotland

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, similar to 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.

Related: Our Guide to Elope in Ireland

How to reach 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 boss, decide when to stop and what to explore. Rent a car.

Our best places to elope in Europe – full list

Reasons why you should 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.

Here’s our list of top reasons why you should consider eloping in Scotland.

Related: Our Ultimate Guide to Elope in Switzerland

Stunning Natural Landscapes

Scotland is famous for its unique landscapes and amazing natural beauty. Scottish landscapes range from serene lochs and picturesque coastlines to stunning mountains and rolling hills. Scotland offers a diverse range of scenes and backdrops for your elopement ceremony. Just imagine yourself and your partner exchanging vows amidst the magical Scottish Highlands.

Rich Cultural Heritage

Apart from the stunning landscapes, Scotland has a rich history and cultural heritage which can add significance to your elopement. There are many ancient sites scattered all across the country and implementing them in your Scotland elopement will make an experience to remember. There are easy ways to connect with the timeless traditions of Scotland through music, clothes, or historical landmarks.

Legally Straightforward Process

If you are looking to have legal elopement in Scotland we have great news for you. The process is relatively simple which is great for international couples and anyone looking to deal with bureaucracy as little as possible. There are no residency requirements and the whole process can be done sooner than in some other European countries.

Intimate and Personal Experience

Intimacy and personal experience are things that are very important for every elopement. You want to have your elopement ceremony far from others and focus only on your partner and your mutual experience. This is easily achievable in Scotland since it has vast landscapes that offer many secluded spots for more privacy during the elopement ceremony.

Adventure and Exploration

Elopements are an adventure in a sense. They are wedding experiences for more adventurous couples seeking to get married in a different way than usual traditional weddings. Scotland is a treasure of adventurous experiences and your elopement in Scotland can easily be combined with everything this country has to offer – scenic landscapes, historic sites, charming towns, whiskey… Life is discovering new experiences together.

Also, check our comprehensive guides to elope in CroatiaIrelandMaltaSlovenia

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. The elopement ceremony usually includes just a couple, while a 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 elopement in Scotland 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 around. You can do it! The best thing we already mentioned in a few sections before, dealing with the legal paperwork for a wedding in Scotland is much easier than in some other European countries.

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 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 be, 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 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.

Where to stay for your elopement in Scotland: Importance of proper accommodation

When choosing to elope in Scotland, you’ll have to make some other choices too, and finding the right accommodation is one of them. Accommodation is an important aspect of every elopement experience, not only from a pure enhancement of the overall elopement experience but from the photography aspect too. As an elopement photographer and videographer, we usually document the elopement day starting with the getting ready part at your accommodation. This part also tells a story about your elopement and it’s great if it fits in the rest of the elopement plan and overall vibe.

Scotland is full of diverse accommodation options and we always encourage couples to find the option which will work best for them and have the vibe of the country that they are eloping to. Scotland is famous for its traditional houses and picturesque villages, but there are many other options too, ranging from highland cottages to castles and luxurious hotels.

Accommodation is usually chosen after you know the elopement venue and it’s usually a great practice for it to be within one hour of driving distance away from the elopement location. Of course, once your elopement in Scotland is done, you can choose another location in a place you are visiting next or simply choose another option if you want to try something different.

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 venues: Our top 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, on top of a mountain, somewhere near the sea… When you reach 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 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 visited it, but we were still astonished by what we had 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 Lomond and The Trossachs National park

Scotland is full of lochs which are 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!

Elopement in Scotland Love and Ventures 5 | Croatia Elopement Photographer and Videographer

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.

Here are some ideas for your hiking elopement in beautiful mountains

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.

Elopement in Scotland Love and Ventures 28 | Croatia Elopement Photographer and Videographer

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.

Explore how we work: real mountain elopement – Jeanette and Nigel

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 worth it.

Edinburgh

Lastly, we come to the capital of Scotland and one of its most beautiful cities. Edinburgh is 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.

Elopement in Scotland Love and Ventures 17 | Croatia Elopement Photographer and Videographer

The 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 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.

Implementing local traditions in your Scotland 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 elopement. Just think about it as it’s a great way to make your elopement even more awesome.

Elopement in Scotland Love and Ventures 20 | Croatia Elopement Photographer and Videographer

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 the 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: Price estimate

Budgets are a very important aspect of every elopement and you are probably very interested in the price of elopement in Scotland. In this section, we’re going to deal with this matter and do our best to give you an approximate estimate of what to expect when it comes to the cost of your Scotland elopement. Please note that this is only the estimation and we’ll do our best to keep these prices updated from year to year. Also, it’s best to contact each of the vendors and ask them prices directly.

Scotland elopement Total Price Range Estimate:

  • Low-End Budget: Approximately €2,300 – €5,000
  • Mid-Range Budget: Approximately €5,000 – €10,000
  • High-End Budget: €10,000 and above

Detailed Price Estimates and Expectations:

  1. Officiant/Ceremony Fees: €350 – €700
    • Depending on the type of ceremony and the officiant’s experience.
  2. Marriage License: €80 – €120
    • Mandatory for legal marriage, covers the legal documentation.
  3. Venue: €0 – €2,300
    • From free public spaces to exclusive venues like castles.
  4. Accommodation: €350 – €1,700
    • Based on the type of accommodation and location.
  5. Photography: €900 – €2,300
    • Varies with the photographer’s experience and package details.
  6. Videography: €900 – €2,300
    • Similar to photography, depends on the videographer’s expertise and package options.
  7. Attire: €100 – €1,100+
    • Includes the cost of dresses, suits, and accessories.
  8. Travel and Transportation: €600 – €1,700+
    • Includes flights and local transportation costs.
  9. Meals and Dining: €200 – €700
    • For special meals or a celebratory dinner.
  10. Miscellaneous (flowers, rings, etc.): €200 – €1,100
    • Covers additional elements like flowers, rings, and other special touches.
  11. Elopement Planner: €500 – €2,000
    • An elopement planner can handle the logistics, vendor coordination, and day-of coordination, making the process smoother and less stressful

Hire us as your Scotland elopement photographer, videographer, and planner

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 videographers, we spend a lot of time traveling and scouting new elopement locations. So far we have documented elopements in Croatia, Switzerland, Ireland, Malta, Italy, Austria, Slovenia… and we would love to be a part of your elopement in Scotland.

If you wish to connect with us, you can do so through the contact form on this website and we’ll send you our Scotland elopement packages and prices. We have some great updates for the upcoming year and we’re sure you’ll love them.

Hope to see you in Scotland!

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We are Mario & Andrea, a photo+video team, specialised in adventure elopements and intimate weddings all across Europe. Contact us if you plan an elopement or intimate wedding with a pinch of adventure.