Elope in Edinburgh – guide to Edinburgh elopements

      City elopements are always an adventure – especially when getting married in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital.

      As Scotland elopement photographer I love photographing city elopements in Edinburgh. Regardless of whether you’d like to get married inside or outside, it’s a wonderful place to get married.


      How to plan your dream Edinburgh elopement – guide to eloping in Edinburgh

      In this article I will help you explore your options when it comes to planning your dream Edinburgh elopement.

      But first, to find out about legal requirements related to getting married in Scotland, check out my How to plan your elopement in Scotland.


      1. Best elopement locations in Edinburgh

      As I mentioned in my guide on How to plan your elopement in Scotland, you can get married ANYWHERE.

      Edinburgh offers a big number of incredible locations to get married.

      Firstly, let’s explore the best indoor locations for your dream elopement.


      Best indoor elopement locations in Edinburgh


        1. Timberyard Restaurant – Timberyard is a fantastic choice for elopements and micro-weddings. The restaurant offers not only a fantastic selection of food, but also a cosy atmosphere and and a great amount of style. What is more, its location is definitely an asset. Located in the heart of Edinburgh Old town is situated only a short walk away from many landmarks and beautiful photography locations. You can take a look at one of the summer weddings I photographer there here.

      For more information on booking Timberyard as your elopement venue visit their website.


      2. Royal College of Physicians – located in the heart of Edinburgh New town Royal College of Physicians is a beautiful, fantastic venue for a city elopement or a micro-wedding. My favourite space within RCP is without a doubt the Georgian New Library – filled with antique furniture, fireplaces and hundreds of books.

      Royal College of Physicians will be a perfect elopement venue for whoever looks for quiet, magical and charming location (and who might happen to be a Harry Potter fan as well!)

      To find out more about organising a wedding at RCP take a look at their website.

      3. Riddle’s Court – absolutely stunning venue with lots of natural light which guarantees stunning wedding photography. Full of character and located in the heart of Old town, just off the Royal Mile.

      Historic setting, charm and elegance – Riddle’s Court is a perfect place for a city elopement.

      For more information about weddings and elopements at Riddle’s Court, see the venue’s website.


      4. Signet Library – another beautiful wedding and elopement venue in Edinburgh Old town. It’s a perfect place for a couple who want to say their vows in a fairy-tale setting surrounded by elegance and history.

      For more information on how to get married at the Signet Library see their website.


      5. Edinburgh Cheval Grand – apart from being a fantastic choice of accommodation, Edinburgh Grand is also a great elopement venue. Especially their Games Room!

      For more information see their wedding brochure.


      6. Lothian Chambers – Lothian Chambers are the most beautiful room out of all the ones offered by Edinburgh City Chambers for your wedding or elopement ceremony. The gorgeous, historic ceremony room is located in the heart of Edinburgh Old town, in the city centre.

      To contact Registrar’s Office for more information regarding hiring this space for your elopement check the updated information on their website.


      Best outdoor elopement locations in Edinburgh


      1. Royal Botanic Gardens – one of my favourite locations in Edinburgh. And not just for a wedding or elopement!

      The Botanics is a wonderful space located in the Inverleith area of Edinburgh, very close to the city centre (5-minute taxi away!). The gardens are a fantastic space for an outdoor woodland elopement or a micro-wedding.


      The Royal Botanic Gardens offer a number of beautiful wedding and elopement spaces within the gardens which include:

        • John Muir Grove
        • the Caledonian Hall
        • David Douglas room
        • the Chinese Pavillion


      Most people who want to elope in Edinburgh choose John Muir Grove for the wedding ceremony – and I’m not at all surprised why they make this decision. It’s a beautiful, sheltered space surrounded by giant sequoias which guarantees that in the event of rain you’ll be sheltered. And on a bright, sunny day it will keep you from getting blinded by the sunshine!

      John Muir Grove at the Botanics is also a very popular place for surprise marriage proposals.

      For more details about weddings and elopements at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, see their website.


      2. Holyrood Park / Arthur’s Seat – Holyrood Park in Edinburgh is what I always call a piece of Scottish highlands in the middle of the city.

      Therefore a lot of couples who’d prefer to stay in Edinburgh for their elopement wedding, decide to get married here. The backdrop is absolutely fantastic for wedding photographs. And it’s a location that is really easy to get to. Although, if you are considering a hike up for the best views – make sure you have grippy hiking boots on so you don’t slip!


      3. Dubar’s Close Garden – it’s a secret garden just off Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. It’s a beautiful, secluded space in the heart of Edinburgh Old town. Its location is definitely an asset – right after the elopement ceremony you can sneak away to other stunning Edinburgh locations nearby for more photographs.


      4. Secret Herb Garden – without a doubt one of my favourite Edinburgh wedding and elopement venues. It’s a wonderful place to get married – especially between spring and autumn where so many plants and trees are in full bloom. Situated in the suburban area of Edinburgh, guarantees quiet and romantic atmosphere.

      What is more, the Secret Herb Garden team are always ready to offer couples bespoke wedding packages – so whether it’s an elopement or a micro-wedding you can count on this beautiful outdoor space to be fully organised for the occasion.

      For more information about weddings and elopements at Secret Herb Garden in Edinburgh see the venue’s website.

      2. Best elopement accommodation ideas in Edinburgh


      As Scotland elopement photographer I recognise the importance of booking the right accommodation for your Edinburgh elopement.

      To guarantee that photographs from your elopement wedding will be fantastic, there are a couple of requirements for your chosen accommodation to satisfy:


      • The presence of natural light should be the absolute priority when booking your accommodation. Therefore big windows are a must! Nothing spoils the photos more as a space without good lighting that requires your elopement photographer to use sources of artificial light.
      • Large spaces are generally better – as they allow your Scotland elopement photographer to take a variety of shots from different perspectives.
      • Stylish spaces are recommended! The most beautiful wedding suites might be pricey, hence why you might want to book one for 2 nights tops. Not only it will guarantee that you have an amazing experience, but also your photographs from the getting-ready stage will be fantastic.


      What are the best accommodation ideas for your elopement or micro-wedding?

      1. Edinburgh Grand (Cheval Edinburgh Grand) – spacious, stylish spaces with an abundance of natural light. Without a doubt my number one when it comes to places to stay in Edinburgh! Pricey but worth every penny, especially on your wedding day.

      See the links below for more information:

        • Director’s Suite – their Director’s Suite is every newlywed (and photographer’s) dream come true. Your own kitchen, deep bathtub and an incredibly stylish living area – what more could you want on your elopement day in Edinburgh?
        • Three-bedroom Penthouse – if you book the penthouse at Edinburgh Grand the entire top floor with the best views in yours! And there is no better view than that.



      2. AirBnBs – AirBnB offer a massive number of options when it comes to accommodation for your elopement wedding. And they are usually on the cheaper side comparing to the hotel options.

      I listed some of my favourite AirBnB options below:



      3. Best elopement wedding suppliers in Edinburgh

      Choosing the right elopement suppliers for your big day in one of the most important decisions when planning your elopement in Edinburgh.

      The most important ones being a humanist celebrant, florist, hair and make-up artist and of course – your Scotland elopement photographer.


      I have a list of my favourite Edinburgh wedding suppliers which I always recommend to my clients. So let’s explore the list of people and companies that will make your elopement a beautiful and magical experience!


      Best humanist celebrants for your Edinburgh elopement

      Finding the right humanist celebrant is a very important decision when planning your elopement in Edinburgh.

      Humanist Society Scotland is a great database of fully-trained and authorised officiant who are capable on conducting your elopement ceremony. You can search the database by location and look through celebrants who cover ceremonies in Edinburgh.

      Recommended humanist celebrants in Edinburgh:




      Best Edinburgh florists for your wedding

      Choosing the right florist is important so that florals go well with your wedding attire on your elopement day.

      Why not go for locally-sourced bouquet with some Scottish elements, like wildflowers or thistles?


        • Rose and Ammi – if beautiful, seasonal, romantic sounds like a perfect bunch of flowers to you – then you should choose your wedding florals at Rose and Ammi.
        • Fleuressence – if you’re looking for something classy and elegant, Fleuressence should be your number one choice. Fleuressence flower designs are modern and delicate. Based in Glasgow but also covering Edinburgh.
        • Narcissus Flowers – Edinburgh-based florists specialising in stunning wedding designs.
        • Snapdragon – whether you’re looking for a gorgeous wedding bouquet or a flower crown, Snapdragon have you covered with their incredible florals. They will create a bespoke design for you based on your chosen colour scheme and favourite flowers.
        • Branch and Bramble – if your perfect wedding bouquet can be described by wild and rustic then Branch and Bramble will be a fantastic accent at your Edinburgh elopement.

      Best hair and make-up artists for your elopement

      Choosing a great HMUA or MUA is a crucial decision when booking your elopement suppliers. And as much as some people would prefer to do their own hair and make-up when preparing for their elopement, in my opinion it is a good idea to consider a professional to do it for you. Just because the weather is so unpredictable here in Scotland that only a professional will be fully capable to make sure that your make-up and hair stays perfect throughout the day!

      What is more, booking a professional hair and make-up artist alleviates the stress of your wedding day. Preparing for your elopement might still be a bit of a stressful experience at first. Especially when trying to make sure that everything goes well and according to the schedule and then also being responsible for your own hair and make-up. So why not leave this job to professionals.

      So which hair and make-up artists can I recommend for your Edinburgh elopement?

        • Melanie Herriot – Melanie is a great hair and make-up artist available to travel all around Scotland for elopements and weddings
        • Jenn Mathieson – Jenn is a talented HMUA based in Scotland
        • Fina Beauty – a team of skilled HMUAs covering elopements and weddings in the Scottish capital.
        • Becki Vernon
        • Sara Hill



      Best cakes in Edinburgh

      Although not a lot of couples planning their elopement in Edinburgh want to order a cake a their wedding day, as it’s usually just the two of them… I think it’s a great thing to do. Who could say no to a beautiful, delicious cake?

      It can be beautifully photographed and then devoured together with a glass of champagne or Prosecco at the end of your elopement day!

      What is more, Edinburgh has numerous options when it comes to wedding cake bakers and they are all delicious and super pretty.

      Let’s look at our wedding cake options then!


      4. Best Edinburgh restaurants for after-elopement dinner

      Celebrating tying the knot with a dinner in a great Edinburgh restaurant is a perfect way to end the day. And your elopement photographer can take some last photos of the day before you get served your dinner for you!

      Delicious food and a toast with Prosecco or whisky?

      I’d love to share my favourite fine-dining Edinburgh restaurants with you so this part also becomes an unforgettable part of your elopement day!


      1. Timberyard – apart from being a fantastic elopement venue, it guarantees an amazing food experience.
      2. Gardener’s Cottage – rustic, stylish restaurant with big focus on seasonal, organic ingredients. All menu options will provide you with an incredible, unique dining experience on your elopement day. Or for your micro-wedding!
      3. The Lookout – situated on top of Calton Hill, guarantees breathtaking views at Edinburgh skyline. Why not have your elopement photos taken at Calton Hill and then head straight to dinner at the Lookout?
      4. Number One at the Balmoral
      5. Hawksmoor at Edinburgh Grand



      5. Ideas to make your Edinburgh elopement unique and unforgettable

      There are so many incredible things you can add or incorporate into your elopement day that will make it so much more unique. I’d love to share my favourite elopement ideas with you!


      Include Celtic rituals in your Scottish elopement

      Hand-fasting and quaich are symbolic rituals that a lot of eloping couples choose to include in their elopement ceremony.

      Did you know that until the middle of 18th century all marriages in Scotland were celebrated with hand-fasting? Two partners would join hand and the celebrant would put a cloth or a ribbon around their hands to symbolise the binding of two separate lives into one.


      What about quaich? Quaich is a Scottish love cup. It comes from the Gaelic word cuach which simply means cup.

      After the elopement ceremony is concluded, newlyweds would take a sip of whisky from the quaich when still holding the cop at the same time.


      Hire a piper

      Hiring a piper for your elopement is a great way to add some more dramatic Scottish mood to your day.

      Piper could welcome everyone when arriving to the ceremony location or announce the end of the ceremony with a Scottish tune. Whether you’re getting married indoors or outdoors, piper will always be a great addition to your elopement.


      Consider hiring an elopement planner

      Elopements require far less planning and organising than big weddings but still… in today’s busy world you still might not enough time to organise your perfect elopement in Edinburgh.

      Especially if you need to plan your elopement from across the world. It might be particularly challenging if you live in a completely different time zone! So why not consider hiring an elopement planner to deal with all that for you? There are a number of fantastic wedding planners in Edinburgh which will organise an unforgettable Scottish elopement for you.



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