You may have joked about running away from your wedding plans especially with Covid-19 causing wedding havoc all year but what if you actually did runaway?  At the moment eloping might be the best way to get married when you want and how you want.  Just imagine getting married without worrying about social distancing, wearing masks and making sure your mum doesn’t get a bit too excited and start dancing.  Even better eloping in Scotland means you can literally get married wherever you want.  So if you are in the UK and you are hoping to elope why not check out how you can do this in Scotland?  You can always have a big party in a year or so when we have all forgotten about Covid-19.  

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The image depicts a bride and groom walking hand in hand in a field. They are eloping in Scotland.
Photo by Sandro Crepulja from Pexels

Why eloping in Scotland is a great idea

The first thing to think about when eloping in Scotland is really, why should you do it?  Each couple will have a different reason to elope.  Maybe you really want 2020 to be the year you get married and this might be the only way to do this now.  Or maybe you just really can”t be bothered to plan a wedding.  Whatever your reason is, eloping is a great way to get married!  And eloping in Scotland is even better!  Although the weather is not exactly tropical Scotland has a lot to offer that not many other places have.  There is the spectacular landscapes and architecture, the freedom to have your ceremony anywhere you like, the great food and places to stay.  Need I say more? 

The image depicts a couple sitting together by a lake. They are eloping in Scotland.
Photo by Matthew from Pexels

How to elope in Scotland

Eloping in Scotland means you can get married anywhere, not just registered venues!  So you can go with any outdoor space you like, any indoor space you fancy and anywhere in between.  That is if you have the land owners permission.  Just imagine getting married with a small glen or a waterfall as your backdrop!  one thing to keep in mind though is that you have to apply to the local council of the area you wish to marry 29 days before the wedding.  Also this declaration needs to outline exactly where you will be having your ceremony.  As such your marriage will only be legal if you marry in this location. 

The paperwork you need to elope in Scotland

The best thing about eloping in Scotland is you can get married anywhere!  So there will no boring registered venue for you.  But there are still some legalities to keep in mind.  

Firstly, you will need the land owners permission to conduct your ceremony on their land.  This can be super simple so get put off by this.  

Secondly,  you have to be married by a registered celebrant.   To find one of these ask your venue for recommendations or check out the Humanist Society directory. 

Thirdly, there has to be two witnesses present for your ceremony and these people need to be identified on your paperwork before your wedding day.  Again this might be more complicated than it sounds as your photographer can be one and your venue can supply witnesses id required.  

Lastly, you need to file your wedding documents with the local council of your wedding location 29 days before your wedding.  So its simple enough but for all the wedding rules in Scotland check out the National Records of Scotland’s site.

How to get to your Scottish elopement

Depending on where you are in the UK or the world many of best places in Scotland will require a car.  You can fly or get the train into Glasgow or Edinburgh and hire a car from there.  Or if you live in the UK you can drive up from anywhere.  Even from the south coast to Glasgow you are looking at an 8 hour drive.  I know not everyone is into driving that far but does anything say road trip quite like a mini break elopement in Scotland?

Should you have guests when you are eloping in Scotland

Eloping is all about doing what you want for your wedding so if you want a few guests go for it.  Likewise if you just want yourself and your partner there then do that.  Just make sure that the guests you have are the people you want there.  Don’t feel pressured to invite family members you would rather stayed home!

eloping in winter guests
Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

Do you need a wedding planner for your elopement?

One of the benefits of eloping is not having so much to plan.  Gone are the complicated planning sessions and negotiations.  Instead you have just you and your partner to please. This can make your wedding easier to organise and cheaper.  However, if you are not from Scotland it might be hard to find the perfect spot for your ceremony or where is a great place to stay. 

To make these things simpler you could consider hiring a wedding planner or ordering an elopement package. A good place to start with finding a wedding planer is Wee Wild Weddings who are a collection of wedding suppliers with lots of local knowledge.  On the other hand there are quite a lot of options for elopement packages in Scotland which range from £995 to £5,000.  Some options to check out are The Lodge on Loch Goil and The National Trust.

Some things to think about with elopement packages is what is included in the price.  Different packages include different items so it is best to compare them to see what you are actually getting for your money.  Another thing to consider with elopement packages is that they often don’t cover some of the bigger items on your list such as your wedding outfits and travel. So the cost of the elopement package will not be the total cost of your wedding.

When to elope in Scotland

Its no secret Scotland does not necessarily have the best weather.  So when you think about the type of elopement you want maybe consider which season best suits that.  Also ask yourself whether Scotland even has the weather you are after.  It would be a disaster if you really wanted a sunny beach wedding and it rained on your day.  

A Spring Elopement (March to June)

The image depicts a bride holding a bunch of dried flowers.
Photo by Владимир Васильев from Pexels

The weather in a Scottish spring can be a bit all over the place.  This could mean you have snow or sunshine on your day.  But on the plus side the days start to get longer meaning more time for you to get the right photos and enjoy your day.  Also the scenery will change from browns to greens and even better the flowers will start to bloom as spring goes on.

Summer Weddings (June to September)

This is the best time of year for the weather, lush green scenery and long days in Scotland.  But this also means more tourists and visitors to all the best spots.  So if you are after a super private ceremony you will need to keep in mind how popular the site is to tourists.  

If you are planning on eloping in Scotland in a venue at this time of year you will also need to consider availability.  Although times are strange now, usually wedding venues would rather cater to large weddings on weekends in peak season.  After all they make more money from big weddings so if you want to elope in summer you might have to move your date to a weekday.

The image depicts a bride walking through a field with her dress blowing in the breeze.
Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev from Pexels

Eloping in Autumn (September to December)

The landscape in autumn may be cold but the colours will be beautiful warm orange hues.  The temperatures will drop through autumn but you can still have beautiful sunny days in September.  Also if you are after the winter vibe but a bit scared of the Scottish weather, you could try the mid to late Autumn months to get the feel you want without the chills.  

The image depicts a bride and groom standing together under a large tree. They are eloping in Scotland.
Photo by Rene Asmussen from Pexels

Winter Weddings (January to March)

The image depicts a bride wearing a wedding dress and standing in snow. She is eloping in winter.
Photo by Danielle Pilon from Pexels

The winter months will look stunning in your photos especially if you are lucky enough to get snow.  Also you can pretty much guarantee privacy as there will be few tourists at this time of year.  However, you will need to get some warm clothes and some venues and shops will be shut.  There is also the chance of the roads being shut for snow but this is rare.

Where to elope in Scotland

When you elope there are lots of things that go by the wayside but your venue is not one of them.  In many ways your venue or location becomes more important.  Also not having to accommodate heaps of guests frees you up to find a stunning location that works for the two of you.  

One thing to consider is how the space will work for a small group.  If you elope in a grand hall it could be really cool or a bit weird and empty.  This is where outdoor spaces are great because the dramatic scenery will both emphasise and support your ceremony.

Eloping in Scotland provides you with so many beautiful options for your venue.  You could go for a castle, a beach, a mountain.  Whatever rustic vibe you are going for Scotland will have it. 

If you pick a venue you need to make sure you feel comfortable there, that the staff are freindly and competent and that they make you feel like your wedding is really important.  Just because you will be spending less money on them doesn’t mean you want to feel that way.  So if you are thinking of eloping in Scotland check our top locations below.

Gretna Green

If you want an elopement venue Gretna Green might be for you.  They are after all experts at elopements, with over 260 years of experience.  With this experience comes a personal ceremony, a great place to stay and a restaurant for your first meal as a married couple.


The image depicts a cobbled street in Edinburgh where you might go if you were eloping in Scotland

Edinburgh is one of my favourite places to visit yet when people talk about eloping in Scotland they often overlook Edinburgh.  This is understandable when you think of the dramatic landscapes and mountains in Scotland. However, Edinburgh has a lot of the things you might look for in an elopement location.  It has beautiful venues, atmospheric locations to take your photos, great hotels and even better restaurants.  Its also the perfect spot to start your Scottish honeymoon.  

The Cairngorms National Park

If you are a bit more adventurous the Cairngorms might be the ideal elopement location for you.  Although many of the ideal elopement settings in the Cairngorms can take a bit of effort and time to get to, they can provide you with an epic location.  Also this national park is not as well known as other sites in Scotland so it can be a lot quieter.  That being said if you are game or have the budget this can make for a great private elopement.

The image depicts a view of the Cairngorms National Park
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay


Glencoeis stunning!  There are mountains, streams, glens and even waterfalls.  For this reason it is a popular tourist site but at the same time it is so vast it is still possible to find your own private spot.  Also if you are after a beautiful rustic venue in among the natural beauty there is St Mary’s Space for you.  

The image depicts a view of Glencoe with a house and mountains in the distance.
Image by Paul Edney from Pixabay

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is a popular tourist destination because it is quite simply stunning.  There is the rugged landscape, clifftop views, medieval castles and quaint fishing villages.  So if you choose the Isle of Skye as your elopement destination you have so many places to consider for your ceremony.  Do you want the backdrop of the Fairy Glen or Fairy Pools?  Maybe the cliffs with dramatic seas behind you?  So if you like the idea of the Isle of Skye for your elopement check out Belle Art Photography for all the details. 

The image depicts a view of the Isle of Skye including mountains and the sea in the distance
Image by Frank Winkler from Pixabay

The Torridon

If luxury accommodation, great food and dramatic landscapes are what you after maybe The Torridon Resort is the place for you.  As a less well known destination it can be quieter than the more famous Scottish sites.  But it sill has the mountain tops, beaches and woodlands you associate with Scotland. Also as the The Torridon is a resort it has everything you need for a special day on site including 58 acres of parkland. 

What do when you are eloping in Scotland

When you elope you can just have your ceremony and go home.  Or you can turn your elopement into a holiday and pamper session.  So whether you are from Scotland or not, why not add some extra fun and adventures to your Scottish elopement.

Stay in a AirBnb or hotel

Staying in a fancy hotel or cute AirBnB can be a great way to make your wedding day special.  If you choose to go with an elopement package you will likely have at least one nights stay in a hotel included in your package.  However, there are lots of great places to stay in Scotland whether you want a remote getaway or a hotel room in the center of Edinburgh.  You could also use your wedding as an excuse for a Scottish holiday and book a romantic getaway for yourselves.

Have a picnic after your elopement

Depending on your wedding season you could mark your wedding with a delicious picnic after your ceremony.  If you have chosen a dramatic landscape for your ceremony it could also be a great space to have a picnic afterwards.  You could create your own budget picnic with cheeses, crackers, breads and meats or get Scottish Wild Picnics to make one for you!

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Pamper yourselves for your wedding

If you are booking a hotel or resort for your wedding you could consider booking yourselves some pamper sessions.  You could get a massage, a facial or just enjoy a spa.  These could be booked for before or after your wedding as a great relaxing way to prepare or just enjoy your time.

Find a fancy restaurant for your wedding meal

The image depicts the outdoors of a stone restaurant with three tables and chairs set up and the sea in the distance.

A great way to acknowledge your wedding night is to book yourselves a great restaurant.  With not having to buy dinner for a hundred people you can probably afford to splash out on your own dinner. Depending on how remote you have gone with your venue there are lots of amazing places to eat in Scotland

Go for a stroll or maybe a hike in Scotland

Scotland is all about hiking so of course if you are eloping in Scotland you should consider a bit of stroll.  Some might even hike to their their ceremony!  

What to wear when eloping in

Eloping in Scotland does add some complications in terms of clothing as the weather in Scotland is rarely reliable.  As such, you will need to have lots of back up layers just in case.  This is true even in Summer!  If you are planning a rustic elopement check out our guide to elopement outfits.

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

Eloping in Scotland may require thermals

So if you are eloping in Scotland in July you might not need thermals.  However, its probably good to have them most of the time in Scotland.  You might be thinking thermals are not very sexy or romantic but they can be as simple as wool leggings under your dress or a white merino top under your dress.

The shoes you need when eloping in Scotland

The image depicts two pairs of cowboy boots. Are these the ideal shoes for eloping in Scotland?
Image by Brittany Colpitts from Pixabay

Personally I always like to have comfortable shoes but if you are eloping in Scotland they might be even more of a necessity.  If you are planning an outdoors ceremony at an epic location you will probably have to walk a bit on rough ground.  For this reason its best to wear shoes that you can walk in and are comfortable.  This does not have to mean ugly either.  You could opt for pumps, boots or maybe sandals in summer.  So your shoes could be a statement or just be hidden by your dress depending on what you are after.  On the other hand if you are all about high heels maybe consider an indoor venue for your ceremony or switch between walking shoes and fancy shoes in your photos.   

Coats for eloping in

You might be thinking I’m eloping in July, I don’t need a coat.  But humour me or just think about the whole its better safe than sorry thing.  Scotland is super changeable and can be cold even in summer.  So it is definitely best to be prepared.  After all, it would be really bad if you didn’t bring a coat and then got rained on and became super cold and uncomfortable.  Also wedding jackets and coats are a bit of trend and can add an extra touch to your wedding outfit.  Besides a wedding is a great excuse to invest in a new coat.  At least that is my logic!

Elopement wedding dresses

As with traditional weddings choosing your elopement dress is a big decision.  But the beauty of eloping is that you can choose your outfit without worrying about tradition or what other people will think.  So if you want colour, prints, short skirts or the full princess look its up to you.  Also Scotland will provide the ideal backdrop to all these looks.  The main things to think about is how you feel in the dress and how comfortable it is.  Your dress should make you feel beautiful but it should also be comfortable.  You don’t want to spend the day adjusting your dress or worried about falling out of it.  This is a recipe for bad photos and as you have chosen Scotland for your elopement you probably want to be able to embrace the landscape in your photos.  To find your rustic wedding dress check out our guide to the best rustic wedding dress designers online.

This image depicts a couple sitting facing away from the camera looking at a view. They are eloping in Scotland
Photo by Văn Thắng from Pexels

So did we convince you to elope in Scotland?  I hope so because it is a beautiful place.  If you are serious about eloping make sure to check out our free guide to eloping and don’t forget to let us know about your plans below!

Modern Rustic Weddings uses affiliate links.  This means that sometimes if you click through to a website and register or purchase something, we get a commission from that sale at no extra cost to you.  All opinions and reviews are our own.

Categories: Eloping


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