Eloping in Scotland – How to plan your Elopement (the ultimate guide)

Planning to elope in Scotland, but don’t know where to begin? You’ve chosen the right place! Eloping in Scotland has never been easier.

The idea of pledging yourselves to each other in a unique way has been recently attracting more and more engaged couples. And, as a Scotland elopement photographer, I cannot agree more – your wedding should be a relaxed, cosy and stress-free day, memories from which you will cherish for many years to come.

As Scotland elopement photographer who has photographed dozens of elopements all around this beautiful country, I’m happy to be able to share my experience and knowledge about elopements with you.

Elopement is a perfect choice for couples with love for Scotland and the outdoors and who are looking for intimacy on the day. Also, to couples to whom the idea of a big, traditional wedding is more stressful than exciting.

Eloping in Scotland might sound complicated at first, but with my Scotland elopement guide I got you covered.

So in this article we’ll explore the process of planning your Scottish elopement including legal requirements, choosing your Scotland elopement photographer, best elopement locations in Scotland, best wedding suppliers, accommodation options and ideas and of course tips and inspiration!

How to Elope in Scotland – Guide

As Scotland elopement photographer, I have a lot of experience in photographing elopements and I’d love to share my knowledge with you in this article.

So believe me when I say – it’s actually easier to elope than you think! 

With an elopement, you have only yourselves to please, you can get married at any time of day or night. Having a legal aspect of the ceremony covered will be really easy if you have a good plan. With this guide, I promise that eloping in Scotland will be an easy thing to organise.

Don’t have a plan for your elopement in Scotland yet?

No worries, I will guide you through all the important steps on how to plan your elopement in Scotland!

Bride and groom elope in scotland. They stand embracing on a unique land formation in Isle of Skye.

Isle of Skye elopement in Fairy Glen - Isle of Skye elopement photographer - Scotland eloping guide


Getting married in Scotland – planning your elopement in Scotland

Let’s discuss all the things related to you eloping in Scotland – in the following points I will cover legal requirements, elopement locations, unique accommodation recommendations, outdoor weddings, Scotland elopement photographers and the best Scottish elopement suppliers.

First of all, let’s go through the legal requirements related to eloping in Scotland.

Do you know that Scotland is now the only country in the UK where you can legally get married anywhere?

Yes, this is true!

You only need to make sure your ceremony will be conducted by a registered celebrant. This means that if you have any place that brings some special memories to your mind, you can get married there without issue. Scotland is one of the very few countries in the world where getting married doesn’t mean being restricted to official premises and registered wedding venues only. It guarantees a great deal of freedom in crafting a perfect wedding day for the engaged couples who often choose an outdoor setting for their elopement.

Currently there are four types of legal ceremonies that you can have while eloping in Scotland:

  • Civil – conducted by an official from the local government office.
  • Humanist – conducted by a non-religious person (of your choice).
  • Religious – conducted by a person of a religion of your choosing.
  • Multi-faith – conducted by a person who has respect for all faiths.

In most European countries humanist ceremonies do take place, but they aren’t legally recognised. The same thing is applicable to other countries within the UK, such as England or Wales. This means that couples choosing a humanist wedding or elopement in those countries are required to have a separate civil marriage ceremony in order for their marriage to be considered valid.

Thankfully in Scotland it is not the case, which makes getting married here so much easier and free of additional expenses and administrative burdens.

  1. Decide on the wedding location. The wedding ceremony can be held anywhere agreed upon by the couple and the approved celebrant of registration authority. 
  2. You and your partner need to give notice to the registrar of an area where you plan to get married. The notice form must be submitted no later than 28 days before the wedding and no earlier than 12 weeks. Marriage notice must be accompanied by a fee, birth certificates and a certificate proving that you are free to marry under the law of your own country if you are not from the UK. Special immigration rules might apply. 
  3. The registrar office makes details of your intention to get married available publicly for 28 days.
  4. Get your marriage schedule. 
  5. Your wedding day! After all the legal marriage requirements have been satisfied and you both say ‘I do,’ you must return your marriage schedule to the local registrars’ office to be processed.

In order to legally elope in Scotland, you and your partner must be single (or divorced, widowed etc.) and you must be over the age of 16.

You mustn’t be closely related to each other and you must be capable of understanding the commitment of marriage. And if you are an immigrant or not a citizen of an EU country, you will need a marriage visitor visa or a marriage license (marriage schedule).

If you applied for a marriage visitor visa…

You should make an application to be married to the registry office local to your venue. A marriage notice needs to be submitted along with witness details. The notice form must be submitted no later than 28 days before the wedding.

  • Both you and your significant other need to complete the marriage notice
  • The marriage must be conducted by either a registrar or an approved celebrant in the presence of two witnesses aged 16 or over
  • At the end of the ceremony, you, your partner, two witnesses and the person who conducted the ceremony must all sign the marriage schedule

If you are not bringing two witnesses with you, you can always ask your wedding suppliers to act as your witnesses. You can check with your photographer and videographer – or even your florist!

As a Scotland elopement photographer I often get asked whether I could act as my couple’s witness. And I’m always happy to! What’s more, I am able to support the couple in finding the second witness. If possible, I try to bring one of my close friends or my partner to act as the witness number 2. Especially since I understand how difficult this task could be for a couple from abroad who are eloping in Scotland and don’t know many people here.

You can find more information on how to get married in Scotland on the Scottish government website – marriage in Scotland.

Important information applicable to marriage in Scotland can also be found on the Citizens Advice website.

Couple embraces face to face during their Scotland elopement, overlooking the vast landscape in Glencoe.

Mountain elopement in Glencoe, Scottish highlands, Scotland - elopement photographer Scotland

Some couples from abroad when eloping decide to officially get married in their country of origin before eloping in Scotland. Which surely makes things a lot easier in terms of paperwork!

A lot of my clients decide to get married in their home country first during a quick, formal ceremony at their local city hall to then travel to a beautiful country like Scotland for the ceremony and photos. And there is nothing wrong with that. They often still decide to hire a humanist celebrant to conduct the ceremony, they order flowers and brides have their make-up done too. As much as legal aspect of stepping into a marriage are of course important, it’s all about memories. Such as those of tying the knot in a gorgeous location, exchanging heartfelt vows with each other and holding hands whilst walking among mountains, valleys and hills.

Again, choose the best option for you! So many eloping couples I have photographed in Scotland chose exactly this option. With this option, the stressful paperwork is minimised and you get to enjoy all the other great aspects of eloping and exploring Scotland.

Best time to elope in Scotland: what is the weather like in Scotland?

The weather in Scotland tends to be very temperamental, but at the same time hardly ever extreme. It definitely is the windiest country in Europe though!

Scottish highlands are one of the rainiest, wettest areas in Europe. And as much as it can sometimes be a nuisance, it definitely adds a lot of charm and magic to the look of Scottish landscapes.

Scots often describe their country’s weather using the word dreich which means dready and gloomy. Did you know that it’s been voted the most iconic Scottish word?

As a Scotland elopement photographer I often get asked by couples who plan on eloping in Scotland: what’s the best time of the year to elope in Scotland?

Let’s go through each month on the calendar to help you decide what’s the best time of the year for your Scottish elopement. Worth a read, especially if you’re considering an outdoor elopement ceremony!

Couple stand facing each other holding hands during their Scotland elopement ceremony with the officiant standing behind them.

Buachaille Etive Mòr elopement wedding in Glencoe


Winter in Scotland (December, January and February)

The winter months are certainly the coldest in the year here in Scotland, with temperature averaging 5°C. Generally January and February tend to be much colder than December, and January is usually the windiest.

When it comes to tourism, winter in Scotland is definitely the quietest time of the year. Because of that, certain wedding venues around Scotland might offer discounted rates for venue hire and have special offers in place. Accommodation tends to be cheaper as well.

But what’s the best thing about winter elopements in Scotland? Snow-capped mountains and magical wintery landscapes of the Highlands. And although the days tend to be quite short and the sun sets right around 4pm, it means that you might catch the early golden hour on winter days. And that definitely guarantees pure magic in photos. Nothing beats the soft sunset light in the winter!

However it’s important to be informed about other, less fun aspects of the Scottish winter. Some roads in the Highlands can be closed due to weather conditions and some places might not be accessible because of snowfall. Also, February is the month of storms. Can you imagine that we had 3 massive storms last February? We were visited by Storm Dudley, Eunice and Franklin. Another thing worth noting is that some tourist attractions, especially outside of cities of Edinburgh or Glasgow, tend to close completely for winter months due to slow season. 

Still, Scottish winter can be incredible. First – you might get to see Aurora Borealis, aka the Northern Lights! And secondly, there is nothing more charming and festive than Christmas in Edinburgh and the Christmas Markets. The decorations around the city are truly delightful.

Spring in Scotland (March, April and May)

March and beginning of April tend to be quite unpredictable weather-wise. You can get proper winter weather, but you can also find some incredibly sunny and cloudless days, reaching even 15°C – 18°C. 

Generally spring temperatures average 7°C – 14°C. The end of March is usually when the busiest wedding season begins and you start to notice more and more tourists all around Edinburgh and the Highlands.

Spring months tend to be much, much drier than winter months. Additionally, the days become longer which leave you with much more time to explore and enjoy the great outdoors. 

Eloping in spring is also a great idea if you’d like to avoid the busiest tourist season which starts right at the beginning of summer. You’ll also get to avoid the annoying flying insects called midges, which are prevalent from late spring to late summer here in Scotland.

Moreover, one of the most epic sunsets you will witness here in Scotland are the ones in spring. Some of my absolute favourite photographs of weddings, elopements and photoshoots were actually taken in May. So if you are lucky enough to get an epic sunset in May, be sure to make the most of it!

I always encourage my eloping couples to set their schedule according to the sunset time, so that at least part of their elopement photoshoot takes place during the golden hour. 

Since on sunny days you always get the best light 1-2 hours before the sunset, I truly believe that it is always worth considering.

Finally, spring is also the time of wildflowers which add some incredibly vibrant colours to the already green landscapes.

Summer in Scotland (June, July, August)

Summer in the city is one of my favourite times of the year, as it tends to be the warmest and sunniest.

Unfortunately, it’s also the busiest season in Scotland. And if you’re eloping in the Scottish Highlands during summer, midges will most likely be a concern. Many Scots often joke that midges are actually the most dangerous predators in Scotland. And as much as they are not dangerous at all, they are incredibly annoying. However, they’re not usually a problem in the big cities of Scotland’s central belt, such as Edinburgh or Glasgow.

To learn more about how to protect yourself from midges, see my Elopement day Checklist – must-have list for your elopement.

Scotland in the summer is without a doubt beautiful. The lush green colours of hills and mountains is what will make you fall in love with it. You’ll also get to enjoy the outdoors for longer as the days are very long, and the sun sets just around 10pm in June and July and 8-9pm in August.

Last important thing – when eloping in the Highlands in the summer, make sure to book your accommodation as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointments.

Autumn in Scotland (September, October, November)

As Scotland elopement photographer, I absolutely adore Scottish autumn.

The colours are breathtaking, especially between late October and November. Yellows, deep oranges, browns and dark greens will add an immense amount of charm to your elopement photos.

Although the temperatures drop compared to summer and rain is much more likely, so many people choose autumn to elope. As they love the idea of golden hues and atmospheric mist of Scottish autumn in their wedding photos.

Personally, I love photographing autumn elopements. Even if it means getting a wee bit wet and cold!

Autumn temperatures in Scotland average 7°C – 14°C and you can expect more and more rainy days during this season. An important thing to remember is that in order to make the most of daylight you should consider planning your wedding before the end of October which is when Daylight Saving Time ends and the days become shorter and shorter.

Finally, you can be sure that your elopement will be midge-free if you elope after the second half of September. Click on the image below to read the article about why autumn is my favourite time to elope in Scotland!

A bride wearing a tartan shawl embraces her husband after eloping in Scotland while they take in the view of a valley in Glencoe.

To sum up, every season of the year here in Scotland has its definitive pros and cons. Personally, my favourite months are May, October and November. As a Scottish elopement photographer, I might be biased though – I always focus most on what looks great in images!

If someone asked me what time of the year I’d choose when eloping in Scotland – I’d definitely say the end of October.

Securing your Scotland elopement photographer and wedding suppliers for your elopement

Did you know that the most popular Scottish wedding suppliers book months, if not years in advance?

By suppliers I mean Scotland elopement photographers, officiants, wedding planners, pipers, hairdressers and make-up artists and florists in Scotland.

Make sure you prioritize these details right after considering all the official requirements of getting married. Eloping in Scotland is easy as long as you have managed to secure a great team of professionals to be a part of your elopement. 

And please remember – you don’t have to plan your elopement in Scotland all by yourself. If it proves too time-consuming or you find it too stressful, consider hiring a Scotland wedding planner to help you with organising everything. They will take away the stress of having to think about every single detail of your elopement by yourself! But when it comes to more low-key planning advice, your Scotland elopement photographer will most definitely be able to provide you with that.

First of all, being comfortable and relaxed around who you are spending time with at your wedding is essential, so choose wisely. I believe the best option is to always pick local suppliers. While choosing flowers, check the supplier’s location and if they deliver flowers to your elopement location.

Also, don’t forget about the details. Consider the unpredictable Scottish weather – if your elopement involves being near water or the possibility of getting caught in the rain, it may be a good idea to choose a fast-drying material. Always choose the appropriate footwear and don’t forget umbrellas! What about a tartan blanket to keep you warm? Wouldn’t that make a great addition?

A newlywed couple look into each others eyes on a dock at a loch in Glenco during their Scotland elopement.

Autumn elopement in the Scottish highlands - Scotland elopement photographer


Choosing a celebrant / humanist when eloping in Scotland

This is the most important detail while organizing your elopement in Scotland. A celebrant is the only vendor you officially need.

In Scotland, this can be either a religious or a belief person. Humanist celebrants can conduct a legal wedding ceremony in any indoor or outdoor location in Scotland. However, you should check if your location of choice requires a permit to get married. Make sure you find a celebrant who will conduct a unique wedding ceremony focused on your connection and love for each other.

Recommended celebrants in Scotland:

Rona Burstow 

Ashton Easter

Alan Barr

Angie Alexandra

Gary Smith

Neil Lynch

Viv Adam

Claire Digance

Choose your Scotland elopement photographer

While a celebrant is essential, photography is also one of the most important aspects of documenting your elopement wedding.

Choose someone special who will make a good fit for you and your partner. So, take a look at the photographer’s portfolio and arrange a quick video call to discuss the way they work. Without a doubt, it’s important to make sure they are a good match for your elopement wedding in Scotland.

Your elopement photographer is your most important supplier right after you’ve secured a celebrant to conduct the ceremony. They’re the only one who will follow you around for the whole day, or at least most of the day. They will be there to photograph you getting ready, arriving to the elopement location and very often will stay with you for part of the wedding celebration.

Also, many couples love to get a short video of their adventure when they decide they’re eloping in Scotland. If you think it’s a good idea, ask your Scotland wedding photographer for a Scotland videographer recommendations.

Scotland elopement photography packages

Different wedding photographers might offer a range of various Scotland elopement photography packages.

Personally, I always advise couples to book the photographer for between 4-6 hours for Edinburgh elopements and 6-8 hours for Scottish Highlands elopements. The exact number of hours depends on how many locations my clients would like covered after their elopement ceremony. And whether they want the whole story of the day to be built in photos, including getting ready stage and celebratory dinner.

Most people want the story of the entire day to be told in their photographs which usually starts from the the last stage of preparations  and getting ready (hair and makeup done etc.) until the last stage which are often moments in an atmospheric restaurant with a glass of Prosecco or whisky, or a toast in a restaurant or a pub.

Although, some people choose to have the ceremony and the wedding photos covered and nothing else apart from that.

My Scotland elopement packages start at 4h minimum for Edinburgh and 6h for locations outside of the city and the exact price depends on the location of the elopement. To sum it up, the choice regarding how many hours of photography coverage you will need on the day is yours entirely. But I’m always happy to advise my clients which package is best depending on their needs and expectations.

A couple holds hand during their Scotland elopement ceremony while the officiant performs a handfasting tradition.

Woodland elopement in the Scottish highlands among pine trees - Scotland wedding photographer - eloping to Scotland guide

Scotland wedding traditions: bagpipes for a wedding in Scotland

Hiring a piper (aka someone who plays the Bagpipes) for your elopement in the Scottish highlands isn’t just a good idea, it’s a fantastic one.

Not only it will add some magic and atmosphere to your ceremony, but since the piper will be there to accompany the ceremony as another third party, you won’t have to worry about how to find another witness for your elopement if it’s just the two of you.

Recommended pipers in the Scottish highlands:

Alistair MacPherson – Skye Piper

Lea MacLeod

Choosing your Scotland wedding attire

Time for the best part!

Once all paperwork is out of the way and everything is sewed up, it’s time to consider your wedding attire. Unless you already have!

You want your wedding dress/suit to fit the occasion, right? Your wedding attire should be perfect, same as your partner’s.

When it comes to Scottish Highlands elopements, I advise against particularly bulky and puffy wedding gowns, as they may restrict your movements. Which also means that more adventurous posing ideas might be off limits because of it. What’s more, it can be more of a problem if the elopement falls on a particularly rainy day and the train of the gown gets soaked.

And when it comes to a suit, nothing is ever more fitting of the Scottish atmosphere than a tweed one! It will not only look great and stylish, but will also keep you warm in unpredictable weather.

And what about kilts? A lot of people choosing to get married in Scotland love the idea of putting on a Scottish kilt for the occasion. And it’s totally fine if you aren’t Scottish or don’t have any Scottish heritage. Scottish people won’t hold it against you if you want to celebrate their culture and love for Scotland by dressing up in a kilt for your elopement wedding! It only shows appreciation and respect for the culture.

Also, think about incorporating some Scottish rituals – handfasting, the quaich, bagpipes and Scottish ceilidh dance. So if you’d like to make your elopement traditionally Scottish, it is a great idea to incorporate one of the old Scottish rituals into your wedding to make it even more memorable and unforgettable.

A groom lifts and spins his bride around at a scenic overlook during their Scotland elopement.

Summer micro-wedding in the highlands of Scotland - Scottish elopement guide

Your wedding vows

Why not consider writing your own vows to make your elopement in Scotland even more special and unique?

Eloping in Scotland can be a very emotional experience – and by writing your own, personal vows you can make your day even more special by adding this personal touch to the elopement ceremony.

Decide on the date and location of your elopement in Scotland

First of all, before you decide on a wedding location, specify the date in your marriage paperwork.

Scotland wedding photographers usually advise couples to get married in September when they get fabulous autumnal colors and outstanding, mysterious and magical mists. If you are more of a fan of dry and warmer, sunnier weather, you should choose late April or May – these months are joyful and offer lots of romantic sunlight. Also, when choosing to say I do in April or May you will definitely avoid midges.

The busiest months in Scotland are June to August so if you are planning your wedding or elopement in Scotland during this period, book your accommodation in advance.

To be honest, Scotland looks just as beautiful at any time of the year, but the colours of the landscapes are different.

There is more daylight in the summer and less in the winter. On the other hand, sometimes there is no way to escape the annoying midges and insects in the summer.

The most important thing, though, is to choose a location you love and plan on the unplanned, with weather being so unpredictable in Scotland you can experience snow in May and and a 20 degrees Celsius at the end of November. Eloping in Scotland is much more enjoyable if you embrace the unknown and the unpredictable. As long as you prepare yourself fully for all the possibilities though!

Subsequently – if you have already pinned down a date, it’s time to choose a perfect elopement location.

Where to elope in Scotland: outdoor or indoor ceremony?

One of the most exciting parts of eloping in Scotland is choosing the perfect location to say I do.

But, it’s perfectly reasonable to worry a wee bit about the unpredictable Scottish weather.

Pros and cons of indoor and outdoor ceremonies

Indoor elopement means more control over unpredictable elements including weather, also there are fewer logistics issues to worry about (it matters when your guests need parking etc.). On the other hand, the space is limited and so are the views! Unless your indoor location has floor-to-ceiling windows, you will have a limited view of the great Scottish outdoors.

The next disadvantage, often highlighted by Scotland wedding photographers, is artificial lighting – indoor venues may be dimly lit or even dark. So your Scotland elopement photographer might need to use their flash a lot if the sources of natural light are limited. Unfortunately this could result in your wedding photos appearing different than you may have expected.

So make sure you choose a beautiful venue with lots of natural light when getting married indoors.

If you are considering an outdoor wedding in Scotland, you will need to be flexible about the weather. So it’s crucial you bring on the bad-weather back-up plan (including a ‘just in case’ event possibility).

At the same time, outdoor weddings are all about adventure. Additionally, they are about embracing whatever is to come. Most couples who chose to get married in Scotland love the idea of a bit of unpredictability. So, as long as you are wearing something warm and have a big umbrella – a bit of rain or snow won’t do you any harm!

What’s more, outdoor weddings make it easy to keep the décor simple. You can easily organize some lawn games and – as Scotland elopement photographers keep saying – nothing beats natural light! Amazing, picturesque locations lead to amazing photos. Natural sunlight will definitely add incredible vibrancy to your wedding photos in Scotland. Clouds will bring stunning moodiness.

And a bit of rain will bring a truly Scottish atmosphere to your wedding photos.

As Scotland elopement photographer I might be a bit biased… but I believe there is nothing better than an outdoor elopement ceremony. To truly capture the beauty of Scotland around you, you need to embrace the great Scottish outdoors!

But if you’d rather go for the safer indoor option on your elopement day, remember that you can always book your elopement photographer for a separate outdoor photoshoot in a scenic place on another day.

A couple playfully peek at one another around an old fashioned light post in Edinburgh during their Scotland elopement.

Edinburgh city centre elopement - autumn elopement in the Scottish capital

Getting married outdoors in Scotland?

So you decided on eloping in Scotland… now you have multiple options to consider. So no matter if you want to rent a wedding venue or just plan your elopement outside, I can tell you right now that it is going to be epic regardless.

Most couples decide to make the most out of their elopement in Scotland, so they choose one of the jaw-dropping, breathtaking landscapes to say the magical I do. Unquestionably, this is the most perfect choice. 

And as a Scotland elopement photographer I cannot agree more – outstanding outdoor scenery full of natural light will definitely make your special wedding day in Scotland even more amazing and memorable.

A newlywed couple walk hand in hand down a narrow road during their Scotland elopement.

Dalness Estate wedding in Glen Etive - Dalness Lodge wedding elopement photographer

Best Scotland elopement locations

So, are there any recommended locations to elope in Scotland? Of course, and you are spoiled for choice.

Let’s take a closer look at the most popular (and the most charming and romantic) locations among Scotland elopement photographers.

Scottish Highlands or Scottish Isles elopement

Undoubtedly the wildest and moodiest area of Scotland. Therefore, most couples eloping in Scotland choose to do so in the Scottish Highlands. Not only because it’s a stunning location, but also because you won’t find similar landscapes anywhere else in the world.

It’s an area loved by Scotland wedding photographers providing their clients with epic elopement photos within the dramatic Scottish scenery.

If this is your first time in Scotland, this area is definitely a must-see. Even though this region is a popular tourist destination, it’s still wild and dramatically romantic. The area was often used as a filming location in various popular movies including James Bond’s Skyfall (Glen Etive), Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises (Isle of Skye), various Harry Potter films (Glenfinnan Viaduct, Rannoch Moore, Loch Eilt, Glen Etive/Loch Etive) or Ronald D. Moore’s Outlander.

Isle of Skye elopement

One of the most spectacular locations in Scotland.

It’s literally breathtaking, no matter how many times you have visited it, no matter the weather and the season of the year. Amazing views, all incredibly photogenic. While planning an elopement in Isle of Skye, couples should also focus on booking their stay as soon as possible.

Bear in mind that with Isle of Skye currently being the most popular holiday destination in Scotland, you always need to make sure to book your accommodation far in advance. The most stylish spaces are often booked up months or even a year in advance.

Fairy Glen elopement – Isle of Skye

Fairy Glen is an area within the Isle of Skye. It’s not big, however it’s simply jaw-dropping. The hills are famous for a rippled effect which was caused by tiny landslips. They look amazingly vibrant in the sunshine which makes any Scotland elopement photographer love them. If you decide to elope in Fairy Glen, it will be nothing short of magical.

Getting married in Fairy Glen doesn’t require hiking and the most beautiful ceremony spots can be accessed with a 10-minute walk from the car park. If you decide to get married here be prepared for sheep to be your witnesses as they like to hang out there!

Fairy Glen is a perfect location for your Isle of Skye elopement if you love the idea of a unique wedding location to say I do.

What’s more, Fairy Glen is situated only a 20-minute drive from another picturesque spot in Isle of Skye – Quiraing. So if you are looking for an extended photography coverage of your elopement then you should definitely get your wedding photos taken in both places!

It’s really a magically fairy-looking place.

Fairy Glen elopement in Isle of Skye, Scotland - Scotland elopement and wedding photographer - How to Elope in Scotland

Fairy Glen elopement in Isle of Skye, Scotland - Scotland elopement and wedding photographer - How to Elope in Scotland

Quiraing elopement – Isle of Skye

Quiraing is a super exciting place with a rugged backdrop. It’s a very intimate elopement location as long as you go for an early (sunrise) or late (sunset) elopement ceremony.

Quiraing is one of the most popular outdoor wedding location chosen by couples who want to elope in Scotland. If you want to choose the Quiraing to elope, get prepared for very changeable weather (as everywhere else in Isle of Skye!), stunning views and breathtaking scenery. A stunning sunset will make it up to you though.

What’s more, accessing most epic locations and views of Quiraing doesn’t require any murderous hikes – it’s a 10-15 minute walk from the nearest car park. The landscapes truly are out of this world. And if I were eloping in Skye I would choose Quiraing as one of the top photography locations for wedding photos, undoubtedly.

Fairy Pools elopement – Isle of Skye

An amazing spot with multiple waterfalls and cold swimmable pools. Were the pools called so due to their magical appearance? I don’t know. What I do know is that the vibrant blue and green water looks absolutely unreal in photos.

The Old Man of Storr elopement – Isle of Skye

The Old Man of Storr is a large pinnacle of rock that stands high and can be seen for miles around. It’s located in the north of Skye. It was created by a massive ancient landscape and it is now one of the most photographed landscapes in the whole world.

The Old Man of Storr requires around 1-1.5h hike one way, from the car park, depending on the weather.

Is is worth it? Absolutely!

The view will surely blow your mind. Storr’s landscape has always reminded me of scenes from Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, it’s truly mystical and unique.

Interestingly, there is a legend explaining the uniqueness of this landscape. The most popular legend has it that there was once a giant living in the ridge, and when he died he was buried with only his thumb sticking far out of the ground of the terrain. Hence the curious, pointy rock formations.

For more legends and stories about the Old Man of Storr visit this page.

Anyway, if your dream elopement location is the Old Man of Storr, you should definitely go for it. The hike is relatively easy and imagine telling your friends and family about this wedding adventure!

A groom embraces his new bride from behind in front of the Old Man of Storr rock formation during their Scotland elopement.

Isle of Skye elopement at Old Man of Storr - Isle of Skye elopement photographer - Isle of Skye elopement guide

Loch Coruisk elopement – Isle of Skye

A stunning spot located at the very heart of the Cuillin, known as the most magnificent of all freshwater lochs in Scotland. The loch is also allegedly full of water horses which makes it even more romantic. Be prepared for possibly getting your wet feet from the boggy terrain!

Loch Coruisk elopements require a bit more planning in advance, as you need to hire a boat that will take you from Elgol harbour to Coruisk. It isn’t difficult though – the best company providing boat tours is Misty Isle and the people operating them are super friendly, well-informed and reply to emails very quickly.

A waterproof jacket and hiking boots are absolutely essential when eloping in Loch Coruisk. The weather changes really fast and you need to be prepared for anything when planning your elopement here.

The last two times I was on a boat tour to Loch Coruisk the views were epic – we saw rainbows and seals on our way there!

So if you like the idea of eloping somewhere remote, accessible only by boat, Loch Coruisk might be just the perfect place for you.

Neist Point elopement – Isle of Skye

A charming lighthouse in Scotland located near the township of Glendale, in the area known as ‘Durinish’. Once you get there, you can count on unforgettable views of the high cliffs and the lighthouse itself. At sunset the view is nothing but spectacular – trust me as a Scotland wedding photographer.

Accessing the best view of the Neist Point from the photography perspective is very easy and doesn’t require any hiking. From the moment you park your car, you will be a 5-minute walk away from the spectacular view!

Unique places to stay in Isle of Skye

Here are some of the most unique places to stay in Isle of Skye for your Scottish elopement:

57 Nord – stylish accommodation with a fireplace and big windows allowing for lots of natural light inside. Scandi design, situated close to the Skye bridge.

Blackhouse – stunning, cosy house with an abundance of natural light. Located in Sligachan in the southern part of the island.

Harlosh Black H – contemporary hideaway in Dunvegan in Skye, stunning design.

Harlosh Wood House – modern, wooden hut with stunning views at the Loch Pooltiel in Glendale.

The Flodigarry – cosy hotel situated right by the ocean. The Laird Suite is an incredibly styled space combining the modern and the medieval times with breathtaking panoramic sea views.

The Stonechat Bothy – self-catering bothy situated amongst stunning scenery of Skye.

Skye Lair – elegant self-catering space of a 5-star standard.

Skye Eyrie

Glencoe Elopement

Glencoe is a perfect elopement location in Scotland.

It offers a variety of breath-taking views: mountains, valleys, rivers and wildlife. And the scenery is so picturesque. Choosing Glencoe often allows eloping couples to travel to a few close locations within the area for a variety of photos and landscapes (such as Glen Etive which was a filming location of James Bond’s Skyfall and Harry Potter; White Cottage of Glencoe, Three Sisters and many more).

The place gets quite crowded, especially in the summer, but you will definitely find an intimate spot in the spring or autumn. If you would like to get married in Glencoe in the summer, my advice would be to go for a sunrise or a sunset ceremony. Not only do these times of the day offer the most beautiful natural light (blue or golden hour) but also allow you to avoid crowds of tourists and wild campers. What’s more, they also allow you to have a more intimate, outdoor elopement ceremony even in most popular locations around the village.

Additionally, Glencoe is easily accessible from the big cities (a 2-hour drive from Glasgow and 2.5-hour drive from Edinburgh). The place offers rivers, waterfalls, lochs and mountains.

Doesn’t it sound like a perfect wedding or elopement location in Scotland?

For a comprehensive source of information on planning a perfect elopement in Glencoe please see this guide.

Glencoe elopement Scotland, handfasting ritual, same-sex wedding Scotland
Handfasting at Scotland elopement in Glencoe, Buachaille Etive Mòr

Glen Etive elopement

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. The views are really spectacular.

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. Even though it’s amazing, get prepared for a long walk with steep ascents and changeable weather.

However, the easiest way to take advantage of the beauty of Buachaille Etive Mòr is to set your elopement photograph location against it. So don’t worry, we don’t need to climb all the way to the summit of the mountain for unbelievable captures!

Rannoch Moor elopement

A breathtaking outdoor space stretching far north and west from the Rannoch Station. The spot is considered to be one of the last remaining wilderness hubs in all of Europe.

Lochans, blanket bog, rocky outcrops and rivers with a variety of flora and fauna – what else could be a better elopement backdrop?

I do need to add that Rannoch Moor was also used as a Harry Potter filming location. Whether you are a fan of the saga or not, the beauty of the landscapes shown in Harry Potter movies is undeniable. And for Potterheads – do you remember the scene with stunning mountain views in the background when the Deatheaters board Hogwart’s Express in the Deathly Hallows? Well, good, because this is it.

Wee White Hut in Glencoe elopement

It’s a very well-known spot in Glencoe village, visible just from the road. Drive slowly and carefully and you’ll easily find it.

In order to find some more privacy for your elopement ceremony, I’d advise to avoid mid-day hours and go a little bit further from the car park and closer to the White Hut.

Wedding photos in Glencoe by the little white house

Glencoe wedding photos - the Little White House of Glencoe

Hidden Valley elopement

The Hidden Valley in Glencoe can be accessed from the car park across from the Three Sister’s peak. The views are incredible. While it might be challenging for some because of a few steep and rocky paths, this location is definitely worth it for the fantastic views. The hike is around 1-1.5h one way, and it requires proper hiking boots and waterproof clothes.

I highly recommend it for fitness lovers who want to elope and don’t mind the long hike. And even if you’re not that keen on the idea of eloping in Glencoe’s Lost Valley, you can always leave this hike until a day or two after getting married if you stay in Glencoe a wee longer.

Best Scotland elopement suppliers covering Glencoe area – make-up artists, hair stylists and florist in Scotland

Recommended florists in Glencoe area:

Wild Gorse

Wildflower Workshop

Flowers Vermilion

Myrtle and Bracken

Little Botanica

Kim Dalglish

Tupelo Tree

Floral Menagerie

Recommended hair and make-up artists covering the Scottish highlands:

Bonny’s Wonderland

AMM – hair & make-up team

MHM styling

Fiona Park

Clare Pearson Bridal

Eloping in Cairngorms National Park

Definitely one of the top locations for elopement in Scotland. In the park, you will find hidden gems like Loch an Eilein right in the middle of Caledonian pine forests. The park offers mountains, pine forests and peaceful lochs which make the area really stunning. Cairngorms National Park is also a haven for wildlife.

Here, you can also say hi to the remaining 150 reindeer living in Scotland!

Loch Garten elopement

A spectacular freshwater loch near Boat of Garten located in the Cairngorms National Park. It is beautifully placed in the middle of the pine trees of the Abernethy Forest. On top of magnificent views, you can also admire the wildlife – ospreys, red squirrels and birds – siskin, great spotted woodpecker and common chaffinch.

Loch An Eilein elopement

The hidden gem in the middle of the forest of Rothiemurchus. It’s a loch with the 13th-century island castle, considered to be both the best picnic spot in Scotland and a romantic place for Scottish elopements. The location will definitely take you back in time and provide amazing views of the mysterious Highland castle.

Loch an Eilean elopement in Cairngorms National Park - Scottish highlands elopement

Loch an Eilean elopement in Cairngorms National Park - Scottish highlands elopement

Unique places to stay in Cairngorms National Park

The Lazy Duck – elegant wooden eco huts will add a lot of charm and magic to your elopement in Scotland. Situated in the forest not far from the Loch Garten in a perfectly secluded place which allows for proper relaxing time and constitutes a perfect getaway.

Killiehuntly Farmhouse & Cottages – the most stylish and cosy accommodation choice for people planning their micro-wedding in the Cairngorms. Surrounded by jaw-dropping landscapes – woodlands, lochs and mountains, this minimalist but warm space is a dream-come-true place to stay and soak the beauty of Scotland. The greenhouse on the cottage ground is a stunning place for a wedding ceremony. What else does the place have to offer? Imagine a 4×4 tour to a picturesque location for your wedding photos, having a bonfire in the evening after the wedding ceremony, followed by an elegant dinner at the cottage. Absolutely idyllic setting for a wedding.

The Fife Arms – filled with tasteful art, 5-star boutique accommodation. Perfect for an eloping couple.

Springfield House – spacious, luxury accommodation for up to 6 people in Carrbridge.

Eloping along the North Coast 500

The NC 500 is a road along the most Northern part of Scottish coast, earning its name for its reach of over 500 miles.

The route starts in Inverness and takes you along the far north coast of the country.

The amazing castles you spot on the route and some breathtaking views have quickly become a popular location for elopements. Especially since these locations are much quieter compared to other popular elopement spots, such as Glencoe or Isle of Skye.

The NC 500 road trip is incredible (every Scotland wedding photographer will agree!) as you will get to see some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Just think about those coastal views, beaches by turquoise blue seas and winding roads.

What are the best elopement location along the North Coast 500?

Torridon, Applecross, Achmelvich and Duncansby Stacks

My favourite ones are:

Duncansby Stacks – the most northeastern point of mainland Britain; the majestic cliffs and large jagged sea stacks make up for a perfect background for photographs.

Applecross – situated in the Wester Ross area (does it ring a bell, Game of Thrones fans?) and accessible by one of the highest and most winding roads in Britain, reaching over 2000 feet; Applecross is a fairy-tale village with stunning views where you can have the chance to say hi to Highland cows.

Torridon – small village located by the banks of Loch Torridon in Wester Ross; surrounded by mountains – the scenery is beautiful and dramatic at any time of the year (but most beautiful during late autumn).

Achmelvich Beach – stunning, turquoise-coloured water beach by the sea.

Sango Bay (Sango Sands beach) – beautiful, wide beach not far from Durness.

Isle of Arran elopement

A small island located off the southwest coast of Scotland. It is considered to be an ideal holiday destination with its breathtaking castles, ancient monuments and wildlife. Arran also has a whisky distillery – which may be a cool part of your wedding photoshoot!

Isle of Arran has a lot to offer: beaches, forests, whisky, castles. It’s a fantastic place for people who love the great outdoors and people with a passion for hillwalking. The most popular hiking trail is the one leading to Goat Fell – the views from the peak are breathtaking. But you need to make sure that you’re at least moderately fit. Otherwise the trail might prove a bit challenging.

Getting there requires a ferry from Ardrossan Harbour which is located around 30 miles away from Glasgow. I suggest you book the ferry in advance, since it might be tricky to get tickets at short notice (especially in the summer time). When it comes to getting around on Arran itself, I highly recommend renting a car – otherwise most interesting places won’t be easily accessible. Unfortunately public transport on the island isn’t great.

You’ll find more information on How to get to the Isle of Arran here. 

Isle of Mull elopement

Isle of Mull is a beautiful Scottish area neighbouring Isle of Iona on the Scottish west coast.

The capital of the island – Tobermory – is famous for its beautiful, colourful fishing port.

There are so many interesting places and things to do on the island. Starting with the well-known Scottish Tobermory Distillery. If you do enjoy a drink, you should definitely pay a visit. The Hebridean distillery produces single-malt whisky and gin, loved by many. You can plan a tour around the distillery or book a whisky or gin tasting in advance.

The best way to experience the Isle of Mull to the fullest, though, is by boat. The isle is accessed by ferries from various places on the mainland. What about hiring your own traditional sailing boat and skipper and making a Scotland elopement you will never forget? A lot of people planning their elopement in Isle of Mull decide on hiring one.

If that is something that sounds good to you, check out this website for information on board hire.

One of the most spectacular-looking places is a The Glass Barn Café. Located on a dairy farm, offers an incredible selection of cheeses (Isle of Mull farmhouse cheddar and Hebridean Blue being the most popular choices) and a great atmosphere. If you’re planning an elopement in Isle of Mull, this cafe is a must-visit!

How to get to Isle of Mull? The direct route to Mull is a ferry journey from Oban taking you to Craignure. But you can also reach the island from Lochaline and Kilchoan on Morvern and Ardnamurchan. Booking in advance is recommended – see the Calmac Ferries website for more information.

Castle elopements

Scotland is exceptionally rich in castles – they range from mighty fortresses on rocky crags to lonely towers on the hillsides. They are beautiful, often photographed and extremely romantic. Perfect place for an ideal Scottish elopement. Especially if you’re looking for Harry Potter, Game of Thrones or Outlander vibes.

One of the most popular castles to get married at are Kilchurn Castle by Loch Awe and Eilean Donan Castle by Loch Duich.

Kilchurn Castle at Loch Awe elopement - elopement wedding in the Scottish highlands

Kilchurn Castle at Loch Awe elopement - elopement wedding in the Scottish highlands

Eloping in Edinburgh

A must-see place in Scotland and at the same time a perfect elopement spot. Remember that eloping in Scotland doesn’t necessarily have to mean getting married in a super remote place! Eloping in Scotland could mean spending a comfortable day in the Scottish capital in a nice hotel or AirBnb, getting married and then celebrating in one of the best restaurants in town.

If you love art and culture but at the same time you want your elopement a bit less wild and windswept, Edinburgh’s got you covered! It’s a historic city with vibrant theatres, beautiful history hidden in every corner of the old town and filled with incredible eateries. So it’s a perfect place to get married for a history geek or a foodie!

Summing up the issue of choosing a location – keep in mind that you are not stuck to only one spot. You can easily get married anywhere you want and then travel to a couple of places for even more elopement photos in Scotland, which is an option that a lot of eloping couples consider when choosing Edinburgh to elope. As this option gives you the best of both worlds – you can get married in the Scottish capital surrounded by family, friends, just the witnesses or it could be just the two of you of course. After the city elopement ceremony you can still get some stunning photos not just in multiple spots around the city after saying I do… but then a day or two later hop in the car to go on an adventure and bring your photographer to a fantastic place with magnificent views such as Glencoe or Isle of Skye! With no more added ceremony stress and few time constraints, you can fully align your plans with the weather, light and locations you dreamt of being photographed at.

Your Scotland elopement photographer will be able to recommend you the best places to travel to for your post-wedding photoshoot. Whether it’s a remote place in the Scottish Highlands or a picturesque location that requires no more but a one-hour trip outside of Edinburgh – your wedding photos in Scotland will most definitely be breathtaking.

For more information on planning your perfect Edinburgh elopement see my Edinburgh elopement planning guide by clicking on the image below.

Eloping in Edinburgh – Guide to Edinburgh Elopements - Edinburgh elopement planning guide
Guide to Edinburgh elopements – plan your dream elopement in Scotland’s capital

Accessibility of your location – something to consider

One more thing to remember – consider the accessibility of the location if you are bringing witnesses or guests to your elopement. Is there anyone with mobility issues? Does the location require a hike? It all matters!

Especially if you decided to have a few more people around during your elopement ceremony.

Book your place to stay in Scotland before eloping

There are many accommodation options in Scotland to choose from, starting from grand old hunting lodges to castles to cottages. Remember, it is your Scotland elopement so it’s really important that you choose something really special. And something you love.

As you will probably hear from your Scotland elopement photographer, choose a place with nice décor and big windows. This will allow for a lot of natural light which should make your photos incredible and outstanding.

Booking the right accommodation is an important part of eloping in Scotland. It is crucial not only so you can feel at home, but also to allow your Scotland elopement photographer to tell a beautiful story of your elopement day from start to finish.

The last step – celebrate

If everything is planned and your suppliers have everything under control, it’s time to enjoy your magical Scottish elopement!

Make an adventure out of it and remember it’s all about the two of you, and no one else.

Looking for Scotland elopement photographer for your dream wedding adventure?

Have you considered eloping in Scotland? If so, please remember that photography is one of the most important aspects of your big day.

If you are still looking for your perfect Scotland elopement photographer, I’d love to work with you!

At the moment my schedule is looking more and more busy for 2023 . So inquire as soon as you can and we can look into securing my photography services for your wedding day.

I’d love to hear all about your elopement plans so please get in touch using my contact form on the website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


My Work

Kind Words

About Me


Elopement Photographer in Scotland

Just said YES or already on your Elopement Planning journey?

I choose to capture a limited number of elopements & weddings each year to give every experience my all. Keen to get your date in my diary? Contact me by clicking on the button below and fill in the enquiry form.
I can't wait to hear all about your dream elopement day!