I love elopements – they are intimate, meaningful and adventurous. Especially if you’ve decided to elope in Glencoe in the Scottish highlands. The adventure is guaranteed. And beautiful scenery. Plus dramatic landscapes. Basically, incredible views all year round, everywhere!

      So if you’re considering eloping in the beautiful village of Glencoe, this Glencoe elopement guide is for you!

       

      Some people say that Glencoe is everything Scotland has to offer encapsulated in one spot. Glencoe is a very popular elopement spot amongst couples who choose to get married surrounded by the Scottish wilderness. What is more, Glencoe is probably the most popular outdoor elopement location in Scotland chosen by couples!

      How come? First and foremost, Glencoe is a beautiful place. And although it’s really a tiny village hidden between mountains, it has so much to offer.

       

      Elopement in Glencoe - Rannoch Moor - Glencoe elopement photographer

       

      But first, where did the name Glencoe come from? Sometimes spelled Glen Coeglen means a valley and Coe is the name of the rivers which runs through the village.

      It became even more famous not just because of its breath-taking scenery, but also because of the fact that its beauty was often used as a filming location for blockbusters such as James Bond’s Skyfall and Harry Potter. And we cannot forget to mention the fan favourite show Outlander. Glencoe appears in the intro of every Outlander episode!

       

      Glencoe is also known to locals for historic reasons. And it is sometimes referred to as Glen of Weeping, with reference to the infamous Glencoe massacre. In late 1692 120 soldiers arrived at Glencoe from Fort William under the command of Captain Robert Campbell. In-keeping with traditions of highland hospitality, the MacDonalds of Glencoe accepted these soldiers as guests into their homes and for 12 days the MacDonalds of Glencoe and their Campbell guests lived together as friends. But on the 13th of February, while the MacDonalds slept, the order was given to murder every MacDonald they could find. By dawn 38 people had been murdered, all for the crime of swearing an oath to the King 5 days too late.

      But enough with the grim pages of history, let’s now move onto much more positive subject. Which are Glencoe elopements!

      Firstly, let’s explore the reasons why you should elope in Glencoe.

       

      Table of Contents

       Glencoe Elopement Guide – How to Elope in Glencoe

       

      First question – why do people choose Glencoe as their elopement location? There are variety of reasons, let’s explore the top ones!

       

      1. The scenery. Glencoe is really a fantastic place to elope and offers so much – winding roads, mountains, rivers, waterfalls… which are the most incredible backgrounds for photos. What is more, travelling between different photo spots in Glencoe isn’t nearly as time-consuming as it could be in other parts of Scotland – Isle of Skye for instance. Which means that you can cover more locations in shorter amount of time!
      2. They love hiking. And if you do enjoy hiking, love the mountains and wildlife… and spending time surrounded by nature, Glencoe is a perfect elopement location for you. Getting to your elopement ceremony spot does not necessarily need to require a long hike though, as Glencoe village offers a number of stunning locations that are also very easy to get to. So, you don’t necessarily need to be an avid hiker to be able to elope in Glencoe!
      3. They’re fans of Outlander, Harry Potter or James Bond. Glencoe had a couple of memorable appearances in famous movies. It was chosen to star in these for a reason! There is no more atmospheric place in the UK than Glencoe on misty, rainy days.

       

       

      Best elopement ceremony locations in Glencoe – Glencoe elopements

      So, what’s the best place in Glencoe for the elopement ceremony? And the after-ceremony photos?

      Let’s see what are your options!

       

      The Study elopement

      The Study is a viewpoint in the village of Glencoe overlooking the mountains.

      And to be specific the Three Sisters of Glencoe – Aonach Dubh, Beinn Fhada and Gearr Aonach. The best, iconic mountainous views are guaranteed when you’re exchanging your vows at the Study! The viewpoint is accessible with a 10-15 minute hike from a lay-by and it’s very easy. The only challenging part of the short hike for some might be getting to the rocky platform where the elopement ceremonies usually take place. But as long as you’re not suffering from mobility issues and have appropriate footwear, it’s a piece of cake!

      The pass of Glencoe is a truly majestic elopement location and the most popular one among couples eloping in Glencoe. Which is definitely understandable – it’s a beautiful place!

       

      Elopement ceremony at the Study, Glencoe Scotland

      Glencoe elopement at the Study - elopement photographer Glencoe

       

       

      Loch Etive elopement

      Loch Etive is one of the most beautiful lochs in Scotland – surrounded by mountains and incredible scenery. It is situated at the end of the Glen Etive road . So if you follow River Etive through the valley, that’s what you’ll reach.

      It’s a beautiful location for an elopement for a variety of reasons. Firstly, of course the most stunning views. Secondly, it’s not difficult to find a secluded place by the banks of Loch Etive for more privacy during your elopement scenery. And lastly, the place is much lesser known to visitors – compared to for instance Three Sisters of Glencoe or the Little White Hut of Glencoe. Which means that you can definitely avoid crowds of tourists at Loch Etive.

      It is worth noting that Loch s the Scottish Gaelic word for a lake so don’t call the lochs lake unless you want to make Scots angry! I’m joking, Scots are super understanding and laid-back people. But it’s worth remembering that anyway.

       

      Loch Etive Glencoe elopement - how to elope in Glencoe - Glencoe elopement photographer

      Jesse & Hayden - Loch Etive elopement in Glencoe Scotland

       

      Rannoch Moor elopement

      Rannoch Moor, also knows as the Great Moor of Rannoch, is a boggy but beautiful moorland surrounded by mountainous landscapes.

      Located just south of Glencoe, it’s definitely worth a visit and it’s an amazing place for wedding photos. Good footwear is absolutely a requirement if you’d like to explore the place though! I love the look of Rannoch Moor in starts to turn green and yellow wildflowers start to cover the area.

      It’s important not to wander too far into the moor due to its bogginess.

      There is a great variety of elements forming the Rannoch Moor landscapes – it consist of lochans (small lochs), rivers, rocks, bogs, landforms, trees and plants.  It’s famous as a wilderness reserve – providing perfect environment for different species of birds, wild animals and plants. Rannoch Moor was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation – hence it’s often called last truly wild place in Scotland.

       

       

      Rannoch Moor elopement in Glencoe, Scotland - Glencoe wedding photographer

      Glencoe wedding photos - elopement photographer Scotland

       

      Buachaille Etive Mòr elopement

      Definitely one of the most adored Munro peaks in Scotland located between Glen Etive and Glencoe. Thanks to its distinctive shape the spot is very popular among Scotland elopement photographers. In order to reach the peak, get prepared for a long walk with steep ascents and changeable weather.

      Don’t worry, you don’t have to climb all the way up the mountain though! The foot of Buachaille Etive Mòr mountain is a super picturesque location for an elopement. The bottom of it guaranteed pretty epic views anyway.

      As you can see from the photo below, Buachaille Etive Mòr is also a perfect backdrop for a surprise proposals in Glencoe.

       

      Buachaille Etive Mòr surprise proposal in Glencoe - Glencoe wedding photographer

      Mountain elopement in Glencoe - Scottish highlands elopement photographer

       

      White Cottage of Glencoe elopement – The Lagangarbh Hut

      Without a doubt, it’s an iconic spot on the drive through the Glencoe village. It looks incredible on a foggy afternoon which makes it a great photoshoot background. You will definitely fall in love with the contrast of the lovely house and sharp mountain peaks piercing the Glencoe skyline.

      The official name of the little white house is in fact The Lagangarbh Hut.

      The little white hut looks lonely, but at the same time truly majestic with a big mountain right in its background. This is why it’s a fantastic place for whoever’s looking for epic wedding or elopement photos.

      There are two car parks nearby, one right on the left side if you’re heading north, and one on the opposite side of the street.

      Unfortunately the car park closest to the Lagangarbh Hut is not very well maintained, so be careful when parking there. Unless you’re driving an SUV or a 4×4.

       

      Little White Cottage elopement in Glencoe - The Lagangarbh Hut Glencoe elopement

       

      Best photography locations in Glencoe

      Glencoe boasts an abundance of beautiful photography locations that will guarantee epic elopement photos. They might not be that suitable for the ceremony itself, as they aren’t as secluded. But they’re still breath-taking!

       

      Glen Etive road

      Moorland, mountains, lochs and huge skies – this is how to quickly describe Glen Etive. Glen Etive is a long valley and a part of the Glencoe area. The Glen Etive road stretches along River Etive and if you follow it until the end you will reach Loch Etive.

      The road leading to Glen Etive is a dead-end and requires a single-track drive. So surely not an easy one for a beginner driver – but it’s also one of the most beautiful part of road trips in Scotland. If you ask me – totally worth visiting, since the famous Glencoe winding single-track road offers incredibly picturesque views. You’ll be driving through the Glencoe Valley the entire way to Loch Etive. And the views are really spectacular.

      Glen Etive creates an immense number of opportunities for stunning wedding photos because of the variety of landscapes at every corner. And you don’t have to travel too far from the Glencoe village itself to get there. If you’re heading north and you have passed the Kingshouse Hotel on your right, the Glen Etive road will be reachable on the first turn left after a 2-minute drive.

       

      There are a couple of stops along Glen Etive Road that are known and liked by Scotland elopement photographers. I have my favourites as well – and I promise to show you around them!

      It’s worth mentioning that finding a space to park along Glen Etive road is more than tricky. Especially since the road is narrow, you’re not allowed to park in passing places and parking is very limited. By choosing a local photographer you make it less of a problem – they will know all the best locations to take photos at and convenient spaces to park.

       

      Glen Etive wedding photography Scotland - elopement photographer Scotland

      James Bond Skyfall filming location - Glen Etive road in Glencoe

       

      As a massive Potterhead, I cannot not mention the iconic Harry Potter filming locations within Glen Etive area.

      The first one is Loch Etive where multiple scenes from various Harry Potter movies were filmed. Can you remember the scene from the Deathly Hallows Part 2 when Harry, Ron and Hermione jump off the dragon’s back and dive into a lake? Well, it was a loch as we would say in Scotland – Loch Etive. What about Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows when Hermione ties her scarf to the tree and the other two are arguing? It was also filmed on the shores of Loch Etive. So if you follow the Glen Etive road in order to reach it, it will bring you to the north bank of the sea loch. What’s important to remember though is that there are no roads surrounding Loch Etive.

       

      James Bond Skyfall location in Glen Etive

      Glen Etive has appeared in many popular films, including multiple Harry Potter, Braveheart and James Bond’s Skyfall.

      If you happen to be there, do not forget to seek the famous James Bond’s Skyfall filming location (photo below).

      Why not recreate the iconic James Bond moment from Skyfall with your elopement photographer. It’s a great idea for someone who might not even be a proper movie geek, right?

      As the Glen Etive road is long and winding, finding the iconic Skyfall filming location might not be easy at first. So make sure that you put the following in your Google maps: James Bond Skyfall Road and you’ll find it easily!

       

      James Bond Skyfall filming location - Glen Etive road in Glencoe

      James Bond Skyfall location in Glencoe - Scotland elopements

       

      Outside Kingshouse Hotel

      Kingshouse Hotel is not only a pretty awesome place to stay, but the views around it are pretty great too.

      Buachaille Etive Mòr, little woodland area, pond, ducks – and sometimes even deer! The local deer like to hang out outside the hotel so if you’re lucky you’ll get to see them too.

        

       Glencoe elopement photos with deer - elopement photographer Scotland  Glencoe elopement photos with deer - elopement photographer Scotland

       

      Glencoe Mountain Resort

      If you consider yourself adventurous enough to want wedding photos in a mountain chairlift, then Glencoe Mountain Resort will be a perfect place for these.

      It’s also a great spot for avid hikers. Once you get off the chairlift you can hike to the mountain top – secluded spot with jaw-dropping views is guaranteed!

       

       

      Best elopement suppliers covering Glencoe area

      One of the most important parts of planning a perfect elopement in Scotland is hiring the right suppliers. Most eloping couples decide to engage services of the following people: humanist celebrant, florist, hair and make-up artist and sometimes also a piper.

      Let’s explore the list of recommended suppliers who will help make your Glencoe elopement an unforgettable experience.

       

      Sunset elopement in Rannoch Moor Glencoe - elopement photographer Glencoe

       

      Humanist celebrants in Glencoe

      Ashton Easter

      Alan Barr

      Alyson Stewart

      Claire Digance

      Gary Smith

       

      Florists in Glencoe

      Wild Flower Workshop

      Little Botanica

      Myrtle and Bracken

      Flowers Vermilion

      Kim Dalgish

       

      Hair and make-up artists in Glencoe

      Bonny’s Wonderland

      Melanie Herriot – MHM Styling

      AMM Team

       

      Pipers in Glencoe

      Glencoe Bagpiper – David Ferguson

      Munro Bagpiper

       

       

      Scotland elopement photographer

      When booking wedding suppliers for your big day, photographer is a very (if not most!) important choice to make.

      All your elopement moments, tears, laughs and smiles are going to be a beautiful memory once it’s over. But photographs will keep your memories alive for years. And you’ll be able to share them with your friends and loved ones right after your wedding gallery is delivered.

      As Scotland elopement photographer, I deliver the final gallery within 60 days of your elopement day. But – I will share a sneak peek from the day with you within 48 hours from the day too.

      I understand how impatient my wonderful clients are to see their elopement photos as soon as they can, which is why I always put good effort into sharing a sneak peek with some highlights of the day with you!

       

      What is more, only a local elopement photographer will be able to show you around lesser known locations and hidden gems. Also, local photographers are familiar with the the area, location of your elopement and will have the ability to answer your questions on various wedding-related matters and offer you useful advice.

       

      Glencoe elopement photography packages

      I offer Glencoe elopement coverage starting from 5 hours, but the most popular package among my clients is the 8-hour one which allows to capture their entire elopement day, inclusive of getting ready photos and toast at dinner.

       

      But when choosing the right elopement photography package for you there are a number of things to think through.

      Firstly, which locations in Glencoe you like the look of and consider how long it might take you to travel between them. Elopement photographers offer consecutive photography coverage. So it’s important to factor the potential travel time between accommodation and ceremony location and then additional photo locations afterwards. Of course you can definitely discuss this with your ch0sen photographer which I’m sure they’d be happy to advise on!

      Secondly, you need to decide whether you’d like getting ready photographs. Personally, I think it’s a great idea. Photographs from bridal/groom preparations help capture the entire story of the day. And if you’re staying in separate rooms, you might want to consider first look photos as well. As a photographer I love capturing the first look moment – it always creates an opportunity for images filled with emotions.

      Finally, if you’re planning a romantic dinner for two in a nice setting, or a nice candlelit dinner with close friends or family at the end of your elopement day, you might want to get some photos from the last part of your day as well.

       

       

       

      Glen Etive wedding photography - Glencoe wedding photographer

      Glencoe elopement in Scotland

       

       

      Accommodation for your Glencoe elopement in Scotland

      Good accommodation options in Glencoe especially in high season may be limited. Which is why I encourage you to look into your options and book a great place to stay as soon as possible. Best if it’s soon after you have confirmed your elopement date with key elopement suppliers!

      The important part when booking accommodation for your wedding is checking whether the place offers catering or whether it’s a self-catering accommodation.

       

      Top tip: choose stylish spaces that allow for lots of natural light to get in.

      Light can make or break the image. Sometimes it helps create a unique, stunning image. And sometimes quite the opposite, it can ruin it.

      So, regardless of whether you are choosing the wedding venue, or accommodation, natural light is the number one aspect to keep in mind. Spaces with big windows will allow for softer, more atmospheric images. What is more, they won’t force your wedding photographer to an extensive use of a flashlight, which is usually distracting and contributes to the undesirable flatness of photos.

       

      Hotels

      Kingshouse Hotel – hotel in the most epic location – in the middle of Glencoe village. Incredible food, especially their haggis, neeps and tatties! Most central and accessible location when eloping in Scotland, Glencoe. It’s a great base to explore Glencoe further. And the best choice if you’d like to have your elopement photographs taken in a few locations around the village.

      What is more, their wedding suite offers the most stunning views at Buachaille Etive Mòr from the massive terrace! Another great thing about it is that you are very likely to get to see the deer hanging around the hotel car park. So if you bring some carrots for them you can count on some photos with the Scottish wildlife as well!

       

      Kingshouse Hotel in Glencoe - wedding accommodation and wedding venue Glencoe

      Kingshouse Hotel in Glencoe - wedding accommodation and wedding venue Glencoe

       

      It’s a big hotel and will be able to accomodate a lot of people travelling together.

       

      Glencoe House – big mansion house located in the Glencoe Glen with stunning Loch Leven views. The hotel is beautiful and situated around a 20-minute drive from the Glencoe village. And if it’s just the two of you elopers – and no guests or witnesses – the Strathcona Lodges of Glencoe House might be just the perfect choice for you. Private terrace, hot tub, wood burning stove and a supersize king bed – what more could you want?

       

      Ardrhu House – guest house in Fort William situated by a picturesque loch. The elegant Scottish mansion is easily accessible and guarantees fantastic views at Ben Nevis, Loch Linnhe and Glencoe. Ardrhu House is often praised for its peaceful location, beautiful surroundings and for serving delicious food.

      Finally, it also has a SPA – doesn’t a relaxing time at the hotel SPA a day after getting married sound incredible?

       

      Ballachulish Hotel – situated in a picturesque setting right by the sea loch – Loch Linnhe. Great base to explore the beauty of Glencoe and surrounding areas.

       

      Isles of Glencoe Hotel – located just by the Loch Leven and at the foot of Glencoe, Isles of Glencoe Hotel is a perfectly located place if you want to explore the Scottish highlands. The views from your hotel room will blow your mind if you decide to stay here!

       

      Loch Leven Hotel – family-run hotel in a stunning loch-side of Ballachulish setting with mountain views. It also has its own gin distillery!

       

      Self-catering accommodation

      Dalness Lodge – large holiday home 17 miles from Glencoe, very picturesque scenery. Beautifully renovated Dalness House is able to comfortably accommodate up to 14 people. Dalness Lodge is really a great accommodation choice, especially for micro-weddings. The Victorian lodge is beautifully decorated and guarantees cosy atmosphere. Just imagine relaxing with your close ones by the fire with a nice glass of single-malt or gin… after an adventurous day spent on exploring this part of the Scottish highlands.

      If you are a fan of highland cows – they like to hang out in the fields just outside the lodge! And if you’re interested in booking Dalness Lodge as your elopement accommodation or wedding venue, take a look at this beautiful micro-wedding I photographed there last autumn.

      What is more, is perfect from a photographer’s perspective. Big windows guarantee a lot of natural light coming in. And – as mentioned before – the scenery is truly breath-taking. So it’s a fantastic place for exploring locations along Glen Etive road.

      Lastly, Dalness Lodge is only let on exclusive basis. Which guarantees privacy and cosy atmosphere! In my opinion Dalness Lodge is a perfect place to stay for a micro-wedding party.

       

      Dalness Lodge wedding Scotland - Dalness Estate elopement accommodation Glencoe
      Dalness Lodge wedding Scotland - Dalness Estate elopement accommodation Glencoe

       

       

      Glenceitlein Cottage – situated in a secluded spot within the beauty of Glen Etive, the Cottage sleeps 4 with 2 bedrooms and it’s pet-friendly. If you love the idea of being in the middle of nowhere, surrounded only by nature Glenceitlein Cottage is a perfect place to stay. Especially if it’s just the two of you and your two witnesses travelling for your Glencoe elopement.

       

      The Old Byre – I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to stay for a couple eloping in Glencoe. The Old Byre is a luxury self-catering cottage for two guests, around 40-minute drive from Glencoe village. Incredibly cosy accommodation option in a quiet, peaceful setting.

       

      Camisky Lodge – around 45-minute drive from Glencoe Village, Camisky Lodge is perfect for someone micro-weddings as it can host up to 14 guests. The Victorian lodge is cosy, beautifully refurbished and guarantees incredible views at the surrounding scenery. Including the picturesque nearby river Lochy.

      It was built in 19th century as a fishing lodge and once even host to the Prince of Wales! It’s located very close to Fort William and a great spot to explore Ben Nevis area from.

       

      Riverbeds Luxury Wee Lodges – luxury lodges with hot tubs in Ballachulish. I can’t think of a better way to relax than to spend a couple of evenings before or after the wedding than chilling in a hot tub! The lodges are incredibly cosy and situated in a very scenic location. You can definitely count on a sense of privacy and to have a truly magical experience. Also, the accommodation is very well equipped and a lot of guests describe it as a perfect romantic place to stay.

       

      Aos Sí Lodges – dog-friendly lodges overlooking Loch Leven, situated in Ballachulish. If you like the idea of luxury glamping it’s a perfect choice for you! The owners also focus on being eco-friendly and minimising their impact on the environment and there is no Wi-Fi available at the property.

       

      Dallachulish Lodge – self-catering lodge situated on a farm by Loch Creran in Dallachulish, 30-minute drive from Glencoe.

       

      Strath Lodge – spacious bedrooms with epic views and excellent visitor reviews.

       

      Highland Croft B&B – situated right by Loch Onich, with the most welcoming hosts serving the absolute best home-cooked breakfast in Glencoe.

       

      Where to eat in Glencoe

      Since Glencoe is one of the kind of in the middle of nowhere places, it’s a good idea to consider meal plans in advance. Of course it’s easy-peasy if you’re staying in a hotel offering three meals a day, but definitely a bit more tricky if you chose to stay at a Bed & Breakfast or a self-catering accommodation. No worries though, I got you covered.

      As a foodie and a constantly hungry gal, food is never not on my mind. Which is why I’m happy to share my top food recommendations in Glencoe!

       

      Glencoe Café – tiny, but cosy place for breakfast and lunch. Not only offers free Wi-Fi, but also really delicious breakfast choices and lunches. The bacon roll I had there was the best little breakfast I’ve ever had in the area! They also offer homemade soups, scones, jacket potatoes with various fillings and pastries. Glencoe Café also offers good quality coffee and a selection of local gifts and products.

      It’s a really tiny space though so it might be tricky to get a table inside during lunchtime. Still a great choice if you don’t mind eating outside or in the car.

      Kingshouse Hotel Restaurant – my favourite restaurant in the Glencoe area. Their fish & chips and venison pie are really tasty. Also, they always have a great selection of cocktails and single malts to choose from. If you’re not staying there it might be a bit tricky to get a table for lunch or dinner during holiday season, but you should definitely give them a call and try! You can also try using their online booking system on the website.

      Clachaig Inn – good stop for a quick bite – menu offers game pie, haggis, neeps & tatties, good selection of ales and Scottish ciders.

       

      What about places to eat on the way to your elopement location? My favourite places to grab a snack on the way to Glencoe are:

      Mhor Bread – when driving from my home town of Edinburgh to Glencoe, Mhor Bread is a place I always visit. It’s a bakery and a tea room offering incredible pies, sandwiches and pastries. My go to pie is a steak & haggis one, best served hot!

      Ben Ledi Coffee Co – another great café in Callander, right on the opposite side of the street to Mhor Bread. Ben Ledi café offer great selection of cakes and pastries. Another point for some good gluten-free and dairy-free options. Finally, great coffee!

       

       

      Glencoe Elopement Day Checklist – what to pack and what to remember about

      If it’s your first time in Scotland, or maybe you haven’t travel much around the Scottish highlands… but you decided to elope here, this is the checklist for you!

      Primarily, the first rule of a Scottish elopement  is being prepared.

      It’s good to be prepared and have a list of essential items prior to heading to the Scottish highlands for the biggest adventure of your life. And with my ultimate elopement packing checklist I will make it super easy for you!

       

      1. Appropriate footwear / hiking boots

      This is probably the most important thing that should be one of the top 3 things on your Glencoe elopement checklist.

      Even if you’re lucky enough to have the most amazing, sunny weather on your elopement day, good boots are absolutely necessary.

      As even on warm days some areas of the Scottish highlands are boggy and wet. So if you’re a wee bit unlucky and step into a bog you’ll be covered in mud. Therefore, ankle boots with a waterproof layer are always the best option.

      So, make sure that you pack appropriate footwear. And remember that boots look super cool with a stunning wedding gown. Also, in combination with long dress they won’t even be visible most of the time. Personally, I love that combination way more than high heels and a wedding dress.

      When it comes to groom’s wedding attire, there is always an option to change to more elegant shoes for the ceremony. But by no means necessary! Basically, choose whetever looks best in your option. And what’s the comfiest choice, of course.

      Also, don’t forget the wool socks. Just in case.

       

       

      2. Clear umbrellas

      Fact: the wettest parts of Scotland experience even 250 days rainy days per year on average.

      So it’s a good idea to have some decent umbrellas prepared for your elopement. As Scotland elopement photographer who always looks at things from the photography perspective as well, I always advise my clients to purchase two clear umbrellas for that occasion.

      There are lots of reasons why clear umbrellas are the best choice for a Scottish elopement. But the most important ones are – primarily – that they won’t cover your faces from photographer’s camera even if it rains heavily. Secondly, they will be a great element of every photograph!

      Clear umbrellas won’t spoil the photos as they don’t have any logos or distracting elements on them. So getting one or two classy clear umbrellas is never a bad idea. Or more – if you’re expecting guests and don’t like the idea of of colorful, patterned umbrellas spoiling the mood in your wedding photos.

      Clear umbrellas will:

      1. Look great in photographs
      2. Protect you from the unpredictable Scottish weather and keep you dry
      3. Won’t hide your smiling faces

      So it’s always good to ensure you are covered, especially on your wedding day in Scotland. Literally!

       

      Rainy elopement in Glencoe, Scottish highlands  Rainy elopement in Glencoe, Scottish highlands - eloping in Glencoe - Glencoe elopement photographer

       

      3. Tartan shawl or blanket to keep you warm and to add Scottish accent to your elopement

      Tartan, often called plaid in different parts of the world, is a uniquely Scottish product which Scotland is super famous for.

      Nowadays, it is most often used to make kilts, blankets, scarfs, wraps and shawls.

      Scottish tartan shawl or wrap will make a fantastic addition to your list of elopement essentials, it will also add colour to your elopement photos. And – of course – will keep you warm on a windy day.

      Scottish shops offer lots of stylish tartan designs. My favourite tartan accessories are designed by Tartan Blanket Co. – company based in Edinburgh. I spent lots of money on oversized scarves from the Tartan Blanket and I love them all – no regrets!

       

      4. Rain poncho / windbreaker

      Scottish weather is very often unpredictable and changes all the time.

      My personal experiences as a Scottish photographer prove that better than anything. One time, during a photoshoot in Isle of Skye when hiking up the Old Man of Storr in the middle of May, me and my eloping couple got caught up in a hail storm. The funny thing is – the weather forecast which I generally considered rather accurate had shown 0% chance of rain or snow. The sun and an epic sunrise were supposed to be the most likely on that day!

      Billy Connolly who’s a famous Scottish comedian one said: In Scotland, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.

      So the important thing when eloping in Scotland is that you’re prepared for all types of weather. Waterproof and windproof jacket, even when you’re planning to visit Scotland in the summer, is always good to have. Even if you’re not planning on wearing an outdoor jacket during a photoshoot or elopement, you can always put it on before or after to avoid getting super cold or wet.

       

      5. Bug spray – don’t let the midges get you down

      Midges are probably the most annoying insects you might see in Scotland. You won’t if you’re lucky – or if you’re visiting Scotland between late September and middle of May.

      They are prevalent in the Scottish highlands. The unwritten rule is that the further up north you go, the more likely it is they’ll try to ruin your time outdoors. Which is quite unfortunate. July and August are usually considered the worst midge season, especially on relatively warm and rainy days. Thankfully they don’t like wind so on windy days in Scotland you are very likely to avoid them.

      Don’t worry just yet though. Scots have some good methods on how to fight these annoying little insects!

      First of all, if you’re eloping in Scotland in July or August, make sure to pack Smidge and Avon Skin So Soft in your suitcase before your trip. They are quite effective insect repellents in spray form, usually also available on Amazon. Make sure to have one of them with you at all times when outdoors. And always spray them on all exposed skin areas. Also, if you’ve not had the chance to buy them before arriving in Scotland, most shops in the Scottish highlands should have both of these sprays available to buy.

      Smidge and Avon Skin So Soft are also effective against ticks and other insects. Ticks are much more dangerous than midges so after every day spent outdoors in Scotland, check your skin thoroughly.

      Finally, it’s not a bad idea to get a tick remover or tweezers just in case. It’s not difficult to get and it’s best to do so just before the trip to the highlands or when you get to Glencoe. In Glencoe village you can get one in every little shop, such as the Glencoe Village Store.

       

      6. Download offline maps

      Around 20% of areas in Scotland don’t have a very good broadband and mobile coverage, regardless of which network you’re with.

      And unfortunately the Scottish Highlands have the worst coverage in the UK. Which is why it’s a good idea to download the offline Google maps before your trip – to avoid situation when you are not able to find your way to a specific place.

       

      7. Snacks

      Snacks are an important thing to consider. Especially if you’ve decided on a sunrise or sunset elopement and might not have a chance to have a meal before your elopement ceremony or after the photoshoot.

      Most supermarkets in Scotland are open from 10am to 10pm, but in smaller towns and villager shops might be closing earlier. Also, alcohol is only sold until 10pm. So if you’ve managed to find a shop open 24/7 you might not be able to get a bottle of wine or champagne you wanted. And shops tend to close earlier than in other parts of the country.

      If you’d like to avoid shopping for crisps at a supermarket, there are some amazing bakeries and cafes all around Scotland.

      And if you’d like some advice as you don’t know the area – please let me know and I will try to send over a list of my favourite places to eat there. And remember to stay hydrated, too! So it’s good to get a six-pack of small bottles of water to keep in the boot at all times. Just in case.

      Good spots to grab some snacks in Glencoe are:

      CO-OP Supermarket in Ballachulish

      Glencoe Village Store

      Ballachulish Visitor Centre

       

      8. Backpack

      Backpack is an absolute must-have for your Glencoe elopement. You can pack all the necessary things in it, whether it’s snacks, tissues, hairbrush, bottle of water, phone… all the necessities!

       

      9. Vow books

      Vow books add a romantic feel to the elopement ceremony.

      Although a lot of couples decide to read their vows from their phone or an iPad, I think hand-written vows in cute little books are so much nicer. What is more, they are also an incredible keepsake. Even after years and years after your elopement day.

      So if you want your photos to look timeless, avoid phones and other electronic devices during the elopement ceremony.

       

      10. Coins/change and banknotes

      It’s worth having some change on you in case you need to park somewhere where the parking meter doesn’t accept card payments.

      Also, some food places only take cashless payment so in case you’d like to leave a tip then you might only be able to do so in cash.

       

      11. Champagne / prosecco

      There’s nothing better than celebrating tying the knot with a bottle of fizz! Whether traditional or non-alcoholic, it’s something that’s an essential packing item for lots of couples.

      And, most importantly, champagne pop photos at an elopement are absolutely epic!

      Just remember to aim the champagne bottle away from everyone, prepare the cork to pop without shaking (just yet!) and then shake, shake, SHAKE!!!

       

       

      Tips to make your Glencoe elopement perfect

      In this paragraph, I’m going to discuss some tips to consider when planning your elopement in Glencoe. To make it even more of a memorable and beautiful day!

       

      Wedding photos in Glencoe - Glencoe wedding photographer

      Wedding photos in Glencoe - Glencoe wedding photographer

      Choose the right time of the day for the elopement ceremony and photos

      Every Scotland elopement photographer knows that the key to epic wedding photos is light. Right next to beautiful landscapes and adventurous couples, of course. Therefore, choosing the right time of the day for the elopement ceremony is crucial, to guarantee that your elopement photos turn out beautiful.

      But what does good light mean? What photographers usually mean using this term is simply soft, natural light. Which is why, for instance, we hate the idea of taking photos in harsh, midday light of a cloudless day. Harsh light is bright light without shade which produces dark shadows on the subject. Wedding photographers will always advise you that midday ceremony on a sunny day is always a bad idea.

      Now the important question is – how to guarantee that we’ll have the most amazing light during our elopement?

      So this will differ significantly based on the season of the year when you’ve chosen to elope in Scotland.

      To give you an example, summer days in Scotland are very long. For instance, in mid-June it doesn’t get fully dark until almost 11pm (1) in most areas in Scotland. And it might be even later further up north. Which is why, it might be a good idea to plan your elopement ceremony later in the day, in the late evening.

      Lastly, final thing to consider is the crowds in popular spots in Glencoe, especially in the spring and summer. Sunrise and sunset ceremonies guarantee that there will be fewer people around during your elopement ceremony so it will be more intimate.

       

      Now let’s go through all seasons of the year and look at average sunrise and sunset times.

       

      Spring in Glencoe

      March – sunrise time 6-7am / sunset time 6-8pm hours (note: Daylight Saving Time starts on 26th March 2023 – shift clocks change 1 hour forward)

      April – sunrise time around 6am / sunset time 8-9pm

      May – sunrise time 4:30-5:30am / sunset time 9-10pm

       

      Best time for an elopement ceremony in Glencoe in the spring could be 4pm or 5pm, leaving time for photos right until the sunset. Alternatively, it might be sunrise ceremony at 6am or a sunset one at 7pm or 8pm.

       

      Summer in Glencoe

      June – sunrise time 4:30am / sunset time around 10pm

      July – sunrise time 4:30-5:30am / sunset time 9:30-10pm

      August – sunrise time 5:30-6:30am / sunset time 8:30-9:30pm

       

      Best time for a summer elopement ceremony could be 4pm or 5pm, depending how much photography coverage you’ve booked with your Scotland elopement photographer. Sunset could be a great time too. And sunrise ceremony could be just the perfect option for early birds!

       

      Autumn in Glencoe

      September – sunrise time 6:30-7:30am / sunset time 7-8pm

      October – sunrise time 7:30-8:30am / sunset time 7-8pm (note: Daylight Saving Time end on 29th October 2023 – clocks change 1 hour backwards)

      November – sunrise time 7:30-8:30am / sunset time 3:30-4:30pm

       

      I love love love autumn in the Scottish highlands, I truly cannot say it enough. Sunrise ceremony in autumn months is a perfect option – you’ll most likely have the whole place to yourselves. And since the sunset time is quite early in the day, why not keep taking photos until the sunset? Fingers crossed for the soft light of the golden hour!

       

       

      Winter in Glencoe

      December – sunrise time 8:30-9am / sunset time 3-4pm

      January – sunrise time 8:30-9am / sunset time 4-5pm

      February – sunrise time 7:30-8:30am / sunset time 4-5pm

       

      Although winter in Scotland is truly beautiful with snow-capped mountains and deep orange landscapes, the weather can be quite wild. If you’re lucky to get a sunny day when eloping, then getting married at sunrise and sunset can be the best option from the lighting perspective.

       

      Embrace the rain on your elopement day (!)

      First of all, many believe that rain on your wedding day means good luck and that the marriage will last!

      Many brides absolutely dread the thought that it might rain on their special day. Especially if the soon-to-be-married couple have chosen to get married outdoors.

      But, especially in Scotland, believe it or not – a bit of rain will add magic to your wedding photos. As long as it’s not pouring down to the point of you being completely soaked within 5 minutes, there is really nothing to worry about.

      As much as a wedding day shower can happen almost anywhere, in Scotland it’s definitely an essential thing to consider. Thankfully, it’s really not as much of a disaster as most people think. And all you need to do is to plan ahead.

      Finally, please remember that even on the rainiest day you’d usually get a rainless break throughout the day! And there is truly nothing more beautiful than a misty, rainy day in Glencoe.

       

      Get married on a weekday

      Glencoe is a very popular destination among mountaineers, hillwalkers, holidaymakers. And locals who enjoy wild swimming and sports activities in the great Scottish outdoors.

      Therefore it gets super busy in the high season. Hence my advice: choose a weekday to elope! Especially in the summer, between June and end of August.

      Weekdays are far less busy compared to weekends. And there are fewer issues with finding a place to park, the area is quieter and more peaceful.

       

       

      Unplugged elopement ceremony

      Although historically an elopement would mean that there is just the two of you and no one else, nowadays many couples choose to have a couple of closest people around for their elopement day.

      So if you’re planning to invite some people to join you, an unplugged ceremony is worth considering. An unplugged elopement or wedding basically means that the newlyweds ask their wedding guests not to use their phones during the ceremony or on the day.

      The main reason why so many couples ask their guests not to use phones on their wedding day is to experience the wedding fully and be present in the moment, instead of experiencing moments by looking at them through a phone screen.

      If this sounds like a good idea to you, you can ask the celebrant or a person conducting your wedding ceremony to, just before starting, ask the guests not to take photos throughout the duration of the ceremony. As you left this job to a professional and you will gladly share the photos with everyone interested after your elopement day!

      To sum up, unplugged elopement and wedding ceremones are full of emotions and guarantee that the guests are fully engaged. As Scotland elopement photographer – I cannot recommend them enough!

       

       

      Include Scottish wedding rituals in your Glencoe elopement

      There’s a whole variety of Scottish wedding traditions and many eloping couples choose to incorporate them into their elopement ceremony.

      In this paragraph I’ll explore the most popular and meaningful ones.

       

      Celtic hand-fasting ceremony

      If you’re an Outlander show fan, you might already be aware what a hand-fasting is! Jamie and Claire’s wedding in Outlander had strong elements of Scottish wedding traditions, hand-fasting being one of them.

      Hand-fasting is a symbolic Celtic ritual in which partners stand face to face to each other and have their hands tied together. It is often described as joining of the hands.

      The ritual of hand-fasting dates back to ancient Celtic times. And it symbolises binding of two lives, togetherness and trust.

      During the ceremony, the humanist celebrant always starts with explaining the meaning of hand-fasting ritual. Subsequently, the couple then join hands together and the officiant proceeds with reading the vows. After that, partners can choose to exchange personal vows as well.

       

      Hand-fasting at an elopement in Glencoe, Scotland

      Hand-fasting at an elopement in Glencoe, Scotland

       

      The Quaich ceremony – Scottish love-cup

      A Quaich ceremony is a Scottish traditional two-handled cup.  It is also often referred to as the love cup. And how is it used during the wedding ceremony?

      Each of the partners need to take a handle to have a drink. It symbolises trust between two people. As much as you can fill it with a drink of your choice, in Scotland it is usually whisky. Some partners choose to combine two different drinks to symbolise two parties  becoming one.

      In 1589 King James VI of Scotland presented a quaich to Anne of Denmark at their wedding. Since the vessel started to be incorporated in Scottish wedding ceremonies.

      Traditionally, quaich was a ceremonial love cup. In the past it was used by two families or Scottish clans wanting celebrate a bond in a ceremony form, with each leader of the clan or the head of the family taking a sip of the drink from the vessel.

      Nowadays, it symbolises the sharing between the couple.

      Additionally, to add personal details to your ceremony you can choose to order a quaich with an engraving. Many eloping couples love the idea of keeping it as a keepsake, with their elopement date and their names engraved onto the quaich. Finally, when choosing to have a quaich ceremony at your elopement, the best whisky choice would be a Scottish one from a distillery in the highlands.

       

      Scottish quaich ceremony and whisky

      Write your own vows

      Exchanging your own vows with each other is a way to make your day more personal. And to fill it with emotions.

      Sometimes it’s just about a few heartfelt sentences about your other half that will make them shed a little tear during the ceremony. As Scotland elopement photographer I truly love photographing these precious moments for couples.

      And after your elopement ceremony, you can keep your vow books as a heartwarming memory of your wedding day for the years to come.

       

       

      Plan the meal / dinner around the elopement schedule

      Depending on whether you’re staying at a hotel, bed and breakfast or a self-catering accommodation, arranging a hot meal on your elopement day might be an easy or slightly more difficult task on the to do list.

      To begin with, if you’re not starting at the sunrise, it’s definitely important to get a nice, filling breakfast before heading out to roam the great Scottish outdoors. You will get hungry very quickly after walking and hiking around for photos, trust me!

      Another question to ask yourselves is – would we like a break during the photoshoot to grab a meal, or is it better to have lunch or dinner afterwards? During autumn and wintertime my advise would be to wait until it gets dark to make the most of the best light on the day, and eat afterwards. Since in the summer days are incredibly long though, it might be best to pencil in a 2-hour break for food during the day, and then continue taking photos until the sunset time.

       

      Self-confetti throw

      When it comes to confetti exit, remember that it’s not reserved just for big weddings. Many couples choose to incorporate it in their wedding day even at micro weddings or elopements!  Whether it’s just the two of you eloping, or you are accompanied by witnesses or having a micro-wedding – a mini confetti exit isn’t off limits!

      Confetti photos are always incredibly joyful and energetic due to spontaneous reactions of the newlyweds.

      Above all, one thing to consider when planning a confetti exit is to choose eco-friendly, bio-degradable type. Whether it’s naturally dried flower petals or a different confetti type, always choose the most environmentally-friendly option.

      To sum up, including elements of a traditionally big wedding into your elopement is a great idea. You can throw the confetti yourself, ask your humanist celebrants to do so, or get a few of your wedding guests to do that. Confetti photos are incredible and there’s never a good reason not to incorporate them in your elopement.

       

      Confetti exit moment at a Glencoe micro-wedding

       

      Wear a kilt

      If you’re Scottish, it’s a no-brainer. Most Scottish men choose to wear a kilt for their elopement.

      But can non-Scottish people wear kilts? Many of my foreign clients ask me that question before making a decision about their wedding attire. But what’s the answer? Absolutely yes. But there is one requirement.

      Truly anyone can wear a kilt on their elopement day in Scotland – as long as it’s a way of showing appreciation for the Scottish culture and not as a joke, for instance. Other than that, there are no rules!

       

      Hire a videographer

      If you feel like you’d love to have a video with highlights from your elopement day in Scotland, then you can’t go wrong with hiring a videographer. Most Scottish videographers offer a few-minute highlight video which will be an amazing thing to show your friends and loved ones. And rewatch, every anniversary.

       

       

      How to drive around Glencoe and the Scottish highlands

       

      First and foremost, please look into the driving rules and drive carefully. Or simply read the paragraph below in which I summarise the most crucial driving rules.

      Glencoe has many single-track roads which might seem a bit challenging to drive on, but I promise – as long as you know the rules and drive carefully and don’t speed you have nothing to worry about. But let’s start with explaining – what is a single-track road? It’s a two-way road which is narrow enough that won’t fit two cars, which basically means that you need to use passing places to pass one another. What are the important things to remember when driving on such roads?

       

      Driving on single-track roads in Scotland

       

      First of all, take extra care, especially at blind corners and blind summits.

      Secondly, reduce your speed when you see a vehicle coming from the opposite direction – whether you or them are closer to the passing place at that point, that vehicle needs to use the passing place to pull in and give way to the incoming vehicle.

      Also, only pull in the passing place if it’s on your side of the road (don’t ever use the passing place located on the right). You need to pass the other vehicle slowly, and take extra care when passing cyclists, walkers, sheep and wild animals.

      Another very important rule – don’t EVER park in passing places. By doing so, you may completely block the traffic, making it impossible for cars on the road to pass each other and can lead to accidents. You may also end up with a massive fine! So, you should only ever park in designated car parks by the road.

      Moreover, if you’re not feeling very comfortable driving on single-track roads just yet and you prefer to take it slow, that’s totally fine. Please remember though that these roads are used by locals on a daily basis, so if someone wants to overtake you, pull in the nearest passing place for a second to allow them to do so. You shouldn’t be blocking the road for other users, it might end up getting people annoyed and it’s against the fair behaviour rules on Scottish roads.

      You will find more information on how to drive on single-track roads here.

      Finally, it’s a good practice to wave at another driver if they reversed their vehicle for you or waited in a passing place for you, so you can pass. Scots are friendly people and it’s good manners to be friendly in return!

       

      Glencoe elopement inspiration

      The best way to find inspiration for your elopement in Glencoe is to firstly – read this guide. Secondly, to look through the galleries of couples who has chosen to elope. If you feel like you need some inspiration before deciding on the key elements of your elopement wedding, here are some wedding stories I had the pleasure to recently document.

       

      James Bond Skyfall location wedding photos in Glencoe
      Deb & Seb – Dalness Lodge micro-wedding in the Scottish highlands

       

      Eloping couple wedding ceremony in Glencoe mountains
      John & Jordan – rainy elopement wedding at the Study in Glencoe

       

      Scotland outdoor elopement in the highlands
      Taylor and Alan – windy Scottish highlands elopement in Glencoe

       

      Where to elope in Scotland – Scotland elopements

      If you chose to elope in Scotland, you have so many options. And of course eloping in Glencoe is just one of them.

      Other popular elopement locations in Scotland include Isle of Skye, Cairngorms National Park, Loch Lomond, Edinburgh… and more.

      For more Scotland elopement inspiration check out my blog and portfolio page.

      And if you’d like to look into all your elopement options, feel free to explore my Scotland elopement guide. The guide covers legal requirements of marrying in Scotland, best time of the year to elope, indoor and outdoor elopement options… basically all you need to know!

      And if you’re looking for a Scotland elopement photographer to document your wonderful day in the highlands, I’d love to hear from you.

       

      Finally, please remember that your choices related to your Glencoe elopement day need to feel like the best choice for you. In every way.

       

      Planning a Glencoe elopement?

      I'd love to hear from you!
      GET IN TOUCH
      SHARE
      COMMENTS