As Scotland elopement photographer, I love helping couples explore their choices when planning their wedding. Elopement is a step away from a traditional wedding though – which is why many couples are hesitant to make a decision to elope.

Traditions might create a sense of belonging, comfort and togetherness, you might say.

However, being faithful to tradition is not the right choice for everyone. More and more engaged couples decide that many old-fashioned and outdated elements of a traditional wedding are not something that feels right for them.

If you’re having doubts about eloping, this article is for you. I’m going to help you explore the reasons why eloping is the right choice for you. So let’s go through top 10 reasons to elope.

Fairy Glen elopement in Isle of Skye - Isle of Skye elopement photographerFairy Glen elopement in Isle of Skye - Isle of Skye elopement photographer

10 reasons why you should elope to Scotland 

More and more couples choose to elope in Scotland, surrounded by wildly beautiful landscapes in the great outdoors. As a result, their wedding day becomes a big, romantic adventure.

As Scotland elopement photographer who helps couples plan their dream elopement in Scotland, I like to remind my clients that elopement can include both elements of tradition and modern approach.

So, let’s explore the signs that elopement, and not a traditional wedding, is the right choice for you!

1. Being the centre of attention the entire day is your biggest nightmare

Firstly, this is the point that I relate to on a personal level. I would definitely consider myself more on an extroverted side but being a centre of attention for an entire day sounds like a lot. If you feel the same way, then tying the knot by eloping is something you should consider.

Being surrounded by a hundred (or hundreds!) people during your own wedding, watching your every word and move for the entire wedding day can feel incredibly overwhelming.

For instance, some introverted couples might not feel confident enough to share intimate vows in front of a big crowd, or even a big kiss.

Glen Etive elopement Scotland - Glencoe elopement photographerGlen Etive elopement Scotland - Glencoe elopement photographer

2. You want to focus on the two of you

Elopements guarantee a complete freedom of choice. And you love the idea of adventure and romance that elopement guarantees – you want something meaningful.

To start with, did you know that here in Scotland you can get married wherever you want? Whether it’s the city hall or the top of the mountain, you can say I do in your dream location.

Additionally, you can exchange vows that otherwise might have felt too intimate for you to share in front of a crowd of people.

What is more, as much as a traditional big wedding involves spending a lot of time with your family and wedding guests, during an elopement you can prioritise your time together. Cherish your bond and connection. So this part definitely becomes a priority during an elopement. 

Also, you are free to plan your elopement day however you want. For example, you can start with a nice breakfast, relaxing time in the morning, then the first look, then go to a perfect elopement ceremony spot. And then wrap up  the day with dinner at a restaurant with delicious food in a romantic setting.

It’s only about the two of you, no one else!

Edinburgh elopement wedding - Edinburgh small wedding photographerEdinburgh elopement wedding - Edinburgh small wedding photographer

3. You hate the idea of spending all your savings on a massive wedding

According to the recent data (2022), an average UK wedding costs around £35k. Which for many people equals to an amount needed for a house deposit and hugely exceeds the average annual UK salary which according to the 2021 data, it was equal to around £26k.

Most importantly, big weddings are expensive. And the more guests you are planning to invite, the higher the cost.

In conclusion, elopements are cheaper than traditional weddings. And definitely allow you to prioritise things that you care about the most. Whether it’s an investment in your favourite Scotland elopement photographer, florist or unique accommodation which has always been your dream place to stay in Scotland.

Intimate elopement wedding at Edinburgh City Chambers, Edinburgh

4. To avoid stress, drama and family politics

Unfortunately big weddings often involve a lot of pressure.

First of all, everyone wants their wedding to be perfect so couples often end up worrying a lot beforehand. Is it going to rain? Are the wedding guests enjoying themselves? Is the food as good as we expected it to be? Are we falling behind the schedule? Is this my drunk uncle trying to start a fight with a friend of mine?

Therefore, big weddings often become a source of stress. And they often become more about satisfying everyone else’s needs ahead of your own. Whereas the elopement is JUST about you, your wants and needs.

So a lot of people decide that elopement is a better choice for them than a big wedding. Whether it’s because of complicated family politics, or to simply avoid potential drama. Divorced parents, conflicts Family dynamics can be a handful to manage or worry about. Particularly on the day which is supposed to be the happiest day of your life.

Speaking from experience, many of my past clients were so worried about potential conflict between family members that it did dampen their mood – even before the day even started!

To sum up, your big day is supposed to be all about happiness and tears of joy – not sadness. If there is even the slightest chance of a family conflict on your wedding day which keeps you awake at night, remember that big, family event is simply not the choice that will really make you happy. Explore the world of carefree eloping couples and let’s start planning!

Elopement in Glencoe, Scotland - Glencoe wedding photographerElopement in Glencoe, Scotland - Glencoe wedding photographer

5. You don’t have to compromise

As wedding planning may involve a strict budget that you cannot exceed, sometimes you end up having to make a difficult decision.

Such as: do I want my dream florist or a my dream elopement photographer? Which do I choose?

Do I want to book my dream venue or invite 20 more guests? I always wanted to get married at a castle in the Scottish highlands but it exceeds my wedding budget!

If not all of your dream wedding suppliers fit into your wedding budget, it could leave you with an unpleasant feeling of disappointment.

Eloping allows you to massively cut your budget that would otherwise be impossible when throwing a big, lavish wedding. First of all, you don’t need a venue – you can get married outdoors. Secondly, you don’t need to pay for a 3-course meal for 150 people. Also, you don’t really need a wedding planner.

So deciding to elope allows you to prioritise your budget according to what you care about the most. Whether it’s your dream wedding dress or saving money for a long honeymoon around Europe instead.

It is estimated that an average elopement in Scotland costs 6 times less than an average wedding. So it is much less likely that your elopement will require you to compromise that much!

Intimate elopement wedding at Edinburgh City Chambers, EdinburghIntimate elopement wedding at Edinburgh City Chambers, Edinburgh

6. You don’t like outdated wedding traditions

When planning your elopement, you can forget about traditions.

So if you don’t like the idea of wearing white wedding gown – you don’t have to.

You don’t have to perform the often dreaded first dance in front of all your guests (but you can – if you want to! I will gladly put on your favourite song on my Spotify and snap a couple of photos of you dancing in some gorgeous place!).

You want to have a best woman instead of a best man, or a man of honour instead of a maid of honour? Why not!

You don’t have to wear high heels – you can put on some comfy boots instead!

So you always hated the idea of a bouquet toss? Don’t do it!

You don’t have to order flowers. You can do your own hair and make-up. You don’t have to be walked down the aisle!

Let me assure you – you can craft your day however you want to. So if you love the idea of being walked down the aisle by your father, you want to put on a white wedding dress and you want to be pampered and have your make-up and hair done by a professional, you definitely should!

7. You hate the idea of a lenghty wedding planning process that big wedding requires

When planning a big wedding, it is often impossible to plan every detail in a couple of months. Couples who plan a big wedding celebration book me as their Scotland wedding photographer sometimes even 2 years in advance!

Since Covid pandemic created a big backlog of weddings, booking your dream wedding venue for a big wedding can be a challenge. And might require putting in a retainer even 2 years in advance.

I have recently started receiving inquiries for 2024 weddings from couples who are planning a big celebration and 2024 is the earliest they could book their wedding venue for!

In comparison, elopement planning could require only 10% of the time that planning process required for a bigger wedding.

Also, remember that you can always hire an  elopement planner if you find the planning process overwhelming! And if you simply need guidance regarding the best elopement suppliers for your big day?

I will be more than happy to provide you with recommendations to make your elopement unique and special.

Intimate elopement wedding at Edinburgh City Chambers, EdinburghIntimate elopement wedding at Edinburgh City Chambers, Edinburgh

8. You’d rather spend your money on something else

One of the reasons why a lot of couples lean towards eloping is of course the cost of a wedding which I had already discussed in one of the points above.

It is definitely not surprising that you might want to spend your money on something else. Whether it’s your honeymoon, deposit for a house or a month-long trip around your dream travel destinations.

Old Town wedding photos Edinburgh

9. You want magical photos from your wedding day

Outdoor wedding ceremonies always guarantee the most stunning photos. However, at big weddings people always find it too risky to have an outdoor ceremony and in most cases opt for an indoor one. As it’s a safer option.

But Scotland is breathtakingly beautiful and being surrounded by its great outdoors when committing to a life together will allow your elopement photographer to create the most epic images for you. So when deciding to elope you won’t have to listen to your auntie or uncle complaining that it might rain.

Moreover, what I often find to be the case at big weddings, is that couples often decide not to prioritise their couple photoshoot on the day. Why? Either because they don’t want to disappear from the wedding party and leave their wedding guests alone for too long. Or they prefer their photographs taken during downtime and not necessary during the time of the day that guarantees the most magical light.

Isn’t it quite unfortunate to be tying the knot in one of the most beautiful places on the planet and not have too many photographs that showcase its beauty? Or your love, laughter and excitement when being together, just the two of you?

Personally, as an elopement photographer in Scotland, I believe the couple wedding photos should be one of the priorities of the day. Especially since the couple photoshoot allows you to spend a little bit of time together, without being surrounded by anyone else. Moreover, the couple photos on your wedding day will be your memory to cherish, for the rest of your life!

In contrast to traditional weddings, eloping allows you to have a a number and variety of photos from your big day. You can travel to a number of locations you love without making it a logistical pain in the ass, pardon my French. Or without your guests complaining that you disappeared for too long. And you can plan your photoshoot at the time of the day that guarantees the most magical light depending on the weather and your photographer’s advice.

But did you know that Scotland is one of the very few places in the world that allow you to get legally married anywhere outdoors? Not only that, but this country also offers a variety and big number of insanely beautiful places to be photographed in. And an abundance of stunning locations to have your elopement ceremony in! Such as stunning, dramatic and unique landscapes of Isle of Skye, Glencoe or Cairngorms National Park.

To sum up, since you can elope in any place you want here in Scotland, the opportunities are endless (and fantastic!). So ditch deliberating the big family wedding that your mum wants – put on your boots, pack your bouquet in a backpack and elope in Scotland!

Dean Village wedding photos EdinburghDean Village wedding photos Edinburgh

10. You love an adventure – and elopement is an adventure

Is there anything better than starting a new exciting chapter in your life with an epic adventure?

I’m sorry to say – traditional weddings are hardly ever an adventure. You can’t ditch your wedding guests and go on a 5-mile hike. Or do a champagne pop and spray it all over your guests (or can you?). But on your elopement day, you can! You can drive into the sunset, open a bottle of Prosecco, cherish the moment and get some epic photos taken in the process. You can even hire a helicopter to take you to an epic location, totally off the grid. And if hiking isn’t for you, you can get some epic and unique photos taken in a hired 4×4 in a little off-road adventure!

What if I still have doubts about eloping?

What is the most common thought that puts doubts in people’s minds about eloping? It’s that your families and friends will not be able to witness you get married.

So what is most important, eloping definitely does not equal excluding your loved ones from your day. Most Scotland elopement photographers will share a sneak peek from your elopement day with you within 48 hours of your day, which you’ll be able to share with your closest ones as soon as you want.

Moreover, a lot of people choose to bring their witnesses with them! Eloping in the modern sense doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be just the two of you. On the contrary – modern elopement can be whatever you want it to be. And if you’d like to turn your elopement into a micro-wedding, because it feels like a better option for you, then why not?

Micro-weddings are still incredibly intimate. And don’t require as much funds. And don’t generate as much stress either.

Additionally, if you choose to hire a videographer to capture the story of your day, you will also be able to share these moments with your families and friends as well. By sharing the video with them you allow them to be a witness of these moments.

I’ll explore micro-weddings in Scotland and common myths about eloping in another article, so stay tuned!

Find your dream Scotland elopement photographer

In the meantime, if you are planning your dream elopement in Scotland please get in touch to check my availability and current offer.

You will also find a lot of useful information about Scottish elopements in my How to plan your dream elopement guide.

For more formal requirements-related information, visit Scottish government website.

I’d love to capture your elopement day and help you plan your dream elopement in Scotland!


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Elopement Photographer in Scotland

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