ELOPE to SCOTLAND

THE COMPLETE GUIDE FOR ADVENTUROUS COUPLES

Do you want to elope to Scotland in 2024 or 2025?

REMOTE, WILD, BEAUTIFUL, WITH VARIED LANDSCAPES, RUGGED MOUNTAINS, STUNNING BEACHES, AND PEACEFUL LOCHS.

THIS IS WHY WE BELIEVE SCOTLAND IS ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO ELOPE IN THE WORLD

We’ve compiled everything you need to know to elope to Scotland, from our perspective as Isle of Skye locals and elopement experts, in our comprehensive guide to planning your Scotland elopement.

Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions, or want to get started with your planning (If you spend an hour reading through this and need someone to just plan it for you, we do that too).

Watch to find out how it feels to elope in Scotland

How eloping to scotland works

Where can I elope in Scotland?

Unlike in the rest of the UK, you can elope pretty much anywhere in Scotland– on a beach, up a mountain, anywhere you wish. All you need is your photographers and a registered celebrant, and you are good to go.

Who can elope in scotland?

The great news is that anyone can have a Scottish elopement. If you aren’t from the UK or Ireland, there are a few extra steps to take including applying for a Marriage Visitor Visa, which costs £115 and should be applied for 3 months in advance of your travel date. Read more information about preparing your visa paperwork for eloping in Scotland on the UK government’s website.

How to elope in Scotland?

Having a Scotland elopement takes a lot of planning, which can be an overwhelming process, and you might not know where to start. Let us take the stress out of it with our 13-step guide to eloping in Scotland, whether you are local or having a Scotland elopement as a visitor from abroad.

Our 13 step guide to eloping in Scotland

01

Decide when to elope in scotland

Scotland is beautiful at all times of year – but you should consider the day length (in winter, there can be less than 7 hours daylight), average temperature, and tourism.

Our favourite seasons for a Scotland elopement are autumn/fall (for the colours) and spring (for the warmer days and wildflowers), but every season has its charm, and there is no bad time for a Scotland elopement.

Once you’ve decided to elope in Scotland and know approximately when, then it’s time to reach out to your photographers. We recommend doing this at the start of the process as we are not just photographers and videographers but also Scotland elopement planning experts. We have an easy step-by-step process to help you plan your unique Scotland elopement in a relaxed and stress-free way. Once you contact us, we will have a Zoom call to get to know each other, and we’ll talk you through the planning process. As soon as you book in, we’ll get to work with the planning.

Book your photographers

02

Asian eloping couple walking out at sunrise at the Quiraing

03

Decide on your locations

Eloping couple steering a sailing yacht in Scotland

When you think about looking through your wedding album after your day is all said and done, what photographs do you envision? Don’t just think about you two, think about the place. The best place to start is with the scenery. We’ve got mountains, beaches, waterfalls, forests, and lochs. Scotland is your oyster.

We’ll help you to narrow down a location by sending you a questionnaire so we can envisage what would fit the two of you best and we will put together a list of personalised locations just for you. It’s important to choose a location early so you can book your accommodation.

Eloping requires far fewer vendors than a traditional wedding, but there are still some things that you will want to book. If you have our Elopement Planning package, then we will book your celebrant, hair and makeup artist and flowers for you, so you can relax knowing you’ll have the best of the Scotland elopement suppliers working on your day.

If you decide to DIY and book your own suppliers, then you will need to find a celebrant. In Scotland, this can be either a religious or a belief celebrant. For our couples, we have a list of celebrants that we work with regularly who are all amazing, but some of the best places to start your research are:

Humanist Society Scotland

Humanist Association Scotland

One Spirit Interfaith Foundation

Agnostic Scotland

Book your other vendors

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05

Book your accommodation

Scotland has so many accommodation options, from grand old hunting lodges, to castles, to modern Air BnBs to luxury hotels. When eloping in Scotland, you will likely spend more time in your accommodation than if you were having a traditional Scottish wedding, so we think it’s important to pick somewhere really special, and remember it’s going to feature in your elopement photographs, so you want it to look good.

These are some of our favourite resources for finding the perfect accommodation for your elopement.

CoolStays – for extraordinary places to stay, this is the definitive collection of amazing places to stay. Huts and Cabins – from cabins on the shore to luxury huts in the mountains

Air B n B – for lots of options throughout Scotland, this is our usual place to start the hunt for beautiful places to stay

Booking.com – more suited to finding hotels in Scotland, but also featuring self catering accommodation

We recommend looking for somewhere within a 30-minute drive of your elopement location to reduce travel time on your elopement day.

Around 50% of our eloping couples from overseas decide to have a legal ceremony, and the other 50% have a symbolic ceremony.

If you plan to have a legal ceremony during your elopement be aware there is a significant amount of paperwork that you will need to complete, but before you start filling out paperwork, you need to speak with your celebrant. They will be able to tell you exactly what you need to do. If you are keen to read more, then all the information you need can be found on the National Records of Scotland website, including this handy leaflet snappily called the RM1 leaflet, and also the Marriage Notice Form which both of you need to submit between 3 months and no later than 29 days before your wedding. It costs around £100 to submit your Scottish paperwork.

If you are eloping from outside the UK or Ireland, you will also need to apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa, which you can apply for up to three months before your travel date. You will need to send your passport away and go for an interview, so we recommend starting this process as early as possible. The cost for this is £115, but you can pay more to fastrack the process.

Do the legal paperwork

06

07

Choose your witnesses

In Scotland you are required to have two witnesses to your wedding ceremony. This can be two of your guests, or if you are eloping just the two of you, then we are very happy to act as your witnesses. You need to decide this before your wedding day as you need to specify who your witnesses will be on your paperwork.

Once all the paperwork is organised it’s time to finalise your elopement timeline with us. We will send you final questionnaire two months before your elopement date to gather the details, and will then craft your timeline. The timeline will be completely unique to you as a couple, and we will help you create an experience that reflects you as a couple, your passions, and interests. We’ll meet up on Zoom around 1 month before you travel to go over the plan and ensure you are ready to come to Scotland.

Finalise your timeline with your photographers

08

09

Travel to Scotland

All the planning is done it’s time to travel to your location in Scotland for your elopement! We can help you with a list of ‘what to bring’ items, which will be personalised depending on your location and activity choice. Just don’t forget any paperwork, and you are set to go! International travel into Scotland is easy as Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness all have airports, or you can travel up from London via sleeper train, or normal train. Once in Scotland, the best way to get around is by car, so don’t forget your licence if you are going to hire a car.

Before eloping in Scotland you need to visit your Registrar to collect your marriage schedule. This has to be collected in person by one of the people getting married in the seven days prior to your wedding, and without it your wedding cannot take place. So don’t forget to allow time in your travel schedule to fit this in.

Collect your marriage schedule

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11

Write your vows

One of the joys of eloping is that you don’t have to stick to a set wedding ceremony script, your ceremony and vows can be whatever you want. We recommend starting to write your vows well in advance of your elopement day, but finishing them off on your wedding morning, and writing them into beautiful vow books is a great way to kick off your wedding day.

It’s your elopement day, everything is planned, your elopement vendors have everything under control and the two of you enjoy your magical Scottish elopement.

Elope in Scotland!

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13

Return your marriage schedule and enjoy your honeymoon!

Before you head off on your honeymoon, you must return your marriage schedule to the Registrar within three days of your wedding. If you return it in person you can collect your Marriage Certificate straight away, otherwise it will be posted to you.

Once you’re married, it’s time to enjoy your honeymoon! You can check out our Instagram planning account, which is exclusively for our booked couples, and here are a few other resources we suggest checking out to plan the most epic Scottish honeymoon.

Hidden Scotland

Wayfaring Kiwi Scotland travel blog

Visit Scotland

Best places to elope in Scotland

Hopefully most of your questions about eloping in Scotland have been answered by our step-by-step Scottish elopement guide. Now let us help you answer the question- Where to elope in Scotland?

Isle of Skye Elopement Locations

We live on the Isle of Skye, so you may call us biased but it is undoubtedly one of the best elopement locations in the world. Its magical scenery will make you feel like you’re an extra in the Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. If you are thinking of eloping in Scotland you should definitely consider it as your location.

The Isle of Skye is around a 5-hour drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh airports, and around 2 hours from Inverness. There is so much to see on the island so book at least a few days here to explore and take it all in.

elopement couple in front of the old man of storr, isle of skye

Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye

For the more adventurous couples the Old Man of Storr is a perfect option for your elopement ceremony. It’s a 1-hour hike up the hill, but the views from the top are totally worth it. Get married below the huge stone monoliths (the Old Man) created in an ancient landslide, with views out to sea of the Islands of Raasay and Rona. Top tip: have a sunrise ceremony to avoid crowds, as this is the most popular walk on the Isle of Skye.

Quiraing, Isle of Skye

Just five minutes’ walk from the Quiraing car park and you’re in an otherworldly landscape of high cliffs, and unusual rock formations. The Quiraing is another of Skye’s iconic locations, perfect for an epic elopement.

Although you can get to a great ceremony spot in a few minutes we recommend planning on spending longer and hiking out to discover everything the Quiraing has to offer. Follow the 4 mile loop walk that is one of our favourite hikes in Scotland.

The Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye

The Fairy Glen (or Faerie Glen) is a mountain landscape in miniature – made up of small, curiously rounded hills. For us it feels like you might see a hobbit at any minute. Yet another magical elopement location on the Isle of Skye.

Just a 10-15 minute walk from the road, the Fairy Glen is close to the village of Uig.

Loch Coruisk, Isle of Skye

To get to Loch Coruisk you have to take a boat trip from the fishing village of Elgol, over to the base of the Cuillin mountains. Loch Coruisk is a short hike from where you get dropped off and as you come around the corner, the beauty of the Loch is revealed.

There is no road access to Loch Coruisk, so going by boat or a long hike is the only way to get there, meaning you’ll have a very private place to say your vows.

Other Scottish Locations

Although the Isle of Skye is our absolute favourite elopement location, Scotland is home to countless other amazing elopement locations. From the rugged splendour of the Three Sisters mountains in Glencoe, to the ancient and mystical standing stones of the Outer Hebrides. Scotland has something for everyone, and we loved to help you narrow down your elopement spot.

Cairngorms Elopement

The Cairngorms National Park, in the Scottish Highlands, is the largest national park in the UK, and is twice the size of Luxembourg! The Cairngorms are home to 4 of the 5 largest mountains in the UK, and over a quarter of Scotland’s forest. There are a huge number of location options for your elopement in the Cairngorms and this is a great option for outdoors-loving couples.

Glencoe Elopement

Driving from Glasgow to the Scottish Highlands takes you through the valley of Glencoe, one of the most beautiful drives in Scotland. Glencoe was created by the explosion of a supervolcano 420 million years ago, and was further shaped by a glacier in the Ice Age 10,000 years ago. What is left are huge peaks towering over the valley floor, waterfalls cascading down the hillsides, and the perfect environment for exploring.

Glencoe is just 1.5 hours’ drive from Glasgow and 2.5 hours from Edinburgh. It can get busy but there are plenty of spots just off the beaten track, including a secret waterfall we discovered away from the tourist spots.

Outer Hebrides Elopement

The Outer Hebrides are a remote island chain that lie off the North West coast of Scotland. Famed for their vast white sand beaches, ancient standing stones, and slow pace of life, the Outer Hebrides are one of our favourite places in Scotland.

Reached in a couple of hours by ferry from Skye, Ullapool or Oban, or by air, we highly rate the Isle of Harris and Lewis for a Scottish elopement.

Torridon Elopement

Torridon is an area in the North-west Highlands that receives far fewer visitors than a lot of other parts of Scotland. We’ve no idea why though as it has beautiful lochs, epic mountains and pretty villages. If you really want to get away from the crowds, then Torridon could be the elopement location for you.

Find out more about eloping in Scotland

Oli and Steph looking at the camera wearing jumpers at the Quiraing Scotland

We hope that this list of locations and our 13-step guide to eloping in Scotland has helped give you some ideas.

We’re Oli and Steph Photography. We live on the Isle of Skye, and we are Scotland elopement photographers, planners and videographers who love nothing more than adventuring with like-minded couples in the mountains, the forests and the beaches and… you get the idea! If you’re ready to talk more about eloping, then get in touch, and we can chat about your perfect Scotland elopement experience.