For the second part of our how to plan an elopement series, we’re discussing a big one: where to elope in Scotland.
We’re Ella Mai Elopements, and we offer both all-inclusive Elopement Packages and DIY Elopement Planning Resources for couples who boldly choose to elope in Scotland. We want you to make the absolute most of your time and money, without missing out on the best that Scotland’s elopement industry has to offer. We’re here to help you take the stress out of your elopement planning, and add a whole lot of magic and meaning to your special day!
For now, we’re teaming up with The Wedding Collective to lay down the basics for eloping. If you’ve been considering an elopement, or you’ve already started your own elopement planning journey – this series is for you. So let’s get into it!
02. Find an epic location
There are literally endless spots around Scotland for eloping. Not only is the scenery beautiful, but it is one of the only countries in the world where you can legally get married anywhere – up a mountain, by a river, in a forest – you name it, you can probably have your ceremony there!
We have over 50 recommended spots across Scotland. Typically, we organise them into these categories:
Where to elope in Scotland: Edinburgh
The ancient roads of this city are begging to be explored, iconic sites everywhere you look, and hidden gems down every alleyway. We even have a limited, thoughtfully curated package for elopements based in the magical city of Edinburgh. Wander the whimsical closes of the Old Town, say your vows on the ancient sites of Calton Hill, or pick from this city’s endless list of fine dining and top-rated hospitality to celebrate your love. If you only visit one place in Scotland, let it be Edinburgh.
Where to elope in Scotland: Glencoe
The Glencoe National Nature Reserve is one of the most recognisable places in Scotland – and if you’ve ever wanted to visit the Highlands, this is the place to come. The iconic lochs and glens have been used as filming locations for Harry Potter, Outlaw King, Braveheart, James Bond’s Skyfall, and so much more. With mountains everywhere you look, and tons of trails to explore, it’s genuinely impossible to be bored. Once you’re here, you’ll know why they call it the “Heart of the Highlands.”
Where to elope in Scotland: Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is one of the more remote, rewarding locations to visit in Scotland. This Inner Hebridean Island is known for iconic scenery and landscapes, regular wildlife sightings, some of the best trails in the UK, world-class seafood, and slow island living. An unplugged trip to Skye will leave you feeling refreshed, renewed, and ready to say goodbye to civilisation for good.
Where to elope in Scotland: Cairngorms
The UK’s largest National Park, and it has everything you could need: lochs, forests, mountains and amazing sweeping landscapes. The Cairngorms is an incredibly special place, with lots of great activities to do, and full of natural history. A truly magical experience will be had here.
Where to elope in Scotland: Northern Highlands
Home to Scotland’s wildest landscapes, and the largest intact habitat for wildlife. There are no words that can describe how breathtaking this part of the country is – from the rugged mountains to sandy white beaches to castle ruins and lochs – the sheer wild beauty here is not to be missed. It is also one of the best places to stargaze, with some of the darkest skies in Europe. The Northern Highlands are like nowhere else on earth.
Where to elope in Scotland: On-sites
This category features some of Scotland’s best accommodation options, all of them with stunning elopement spots on site. That means you can elope, enjoy a romantic dinner, and stay the night – all in one place.
Where to elope in Scotland: Hidden Gems
These are all the elopement spots that we’re dying to suggest, but they might not fall into any of the other categories. These are the island escapes, wickedly remote mountains, and out-of-this-world ideas.
When we share our list of locations, we also highlight 3-4 top picks just for you based on what kind of place you’re interested in (cliffs, ocean, mountains, castles, cityscape, etc.). What type of scenery do you and your partner feel connected to? Here are some important things to consider:
– Transportation and accessibility – how long are you willing to spend just getting to the spot? Do you want to make that process part of the fun (i.e. Land Rover, hiking, boating, etc.)? Do you need to be able to walk or drive to it?
– Seclusion – Do you mind if there are folks passing by while you say your vows? Or would you prefer to be completely alone? Those postcard-worthy locations tend to either be busy with tourists, or really remote. Which is more important to you?-
– Accommodation, food/drink, and activities – have a look at nearby areas. Where do you want to have your wedding meal? What about staying the night? Are there other things you want to do while you’re there? During our elopement planning process, we send you an extensive travel guide featuring some amazing activities, food and drink, and accommodation options in your elopement location.
The most important thing about your ceremony location is that you check out the spot in advance, or have someone do it for you. You’ll need to know the EXACT location for your marriage paperwork. That’s why we always scope out our elopement locations for our clients ahead of time.
Pro tip: do some research on sunrise/sunset times and light angles so you can plan your itinerary around the best times for photos in your location!