What can I say about Scotland? A lot, actually. Maybe a little too much, but that’s only because the sheer epic beauty of Scotland is worthy of novels – which explains why so many writers have used its stirring, dramatic and downright romantic landscapes as the imagery for their epic tales. Beaches, woods, forests, faeries, mountains, streams, gothic castles, kilts, bagpipes, highland cows, cèilidhs… Just a few of the reasons why couples LOVE eloping in Scotland.
Oh, and did I mention the whisky? Don’t worry. We’ll get to that.
Scotland contains over 900 (!) offshore islands, each with its own distinct personality. Though what else would you expect from a place whose national animal is the unicorn, whose railway appeared in quite a few of the Harry Potter films, and whose fun tourist attraction is the Loch Ness Monster? This is a place where magic happens and where your inner child can play.
Now let’s dive into the who, what, when, where, and how to make your elopement dreams come true, with my adventure elopement guide to Scotland!
Is Scotland A Good Place To Elope?
The short answer is yes. In fact, when it comes down to the UK, Scotland is the best place to elope, because you can get married anywhere. As long as you have a registered celebrant with you, you’re good!
When Is The Best Time To Elope In Scotland?
The best time to get married in Scotland is always going to depend on what you and your partner want. However, the weather will definitely make a huge difference to the kind of vibe you set.
Love log fires, toasty drams, and Rabbie Burns poetry? While this is certainly a wet and chilly season to travel, winter is not without its merits. Christmas markets, Hogmanay, and Burns Night fall over this season, so if you’ve got a good set of thermal underwear and a lot of toasty fireplace stops along the way, the country has a lot to offer.
Spring (late April–June)
Towards the end of April, temperatures start to rise, spring flowers burst into color, baby animals abound, and a Pagan fire festival is held to celebrate the ending of winter. April is one of Scotland's driest months; however, May’s public holidays make weekends particularly busy in tourist areas, while June marks the beginning of Scotland's midge season (ugh).
Hello, full-fledged midge season! While these critters won't harm you, they can be a buzzy little nuisance and leave you feeling a little itchy. Luckily, the summer months in Scotland are still super mild with temps rarely pushing 75F, so it’s very comfortable to wear longer layers to cover up. Oh, and did I mention how GREEN everything is? Every shade you can imagine – they have it and then some. Also, if you’re fans of comedy, come in August for the world-famous Fringe festival!
My favorite season, and for good reason. Summer holidays are over, the crowds are gone, temperatures are still mild, the midges have buzzed off, and THE COLORS ARE INSANE. When the seasons begin to change between September and October, the trees come ablaze with color, and the sunsets are saturated in hues of pinks and purples – which makes it a Scotland elopement photography dream.
How Do I Plan An Adventure Elopement In Scotland?
Highlands, islands, mountains, moors, forests and cities – with so many scenic options, finding the place to start might leave you feeling overwhelmed. As a Scotland elopement photographer, however, I love options. It gives us the best chance to tell the story of your love, and bring in all the elements we need to create the adventure elopement you want.
Earth, Air, Fire, Water: It All Comes Together in the Isle of the Skye
Mentioned as one of the most Instagrammable places in Scotland, the Isle of The Skye does not disappoint. From the wildness of the moors, to the blazing sunsets, to the amazing ocean views and epic moonscapes, the Isle of the Skye pulls all the elements into one place. There’s no need for Photoshop or color saturation here; the beauty of the Isle does it all for you. Not to mention its selection of amazing castles that are open for elopements.
Favorite Venue in the Area: Eilean Donan Castle
One of the most iconic castles in the Hebrides, the Eilean Donan castle is the only castle in Scotland that has been in the same family for 800 years. It’s located on its own little island with a crossing used to access it – think moat and drawbridge. Though it is a castle, it can only accommodate about 50–70 people at most, so plan your guest list accordingly.
The Teeming Nightlife, Culture, and Style of Edinburgh
Another place often voted as one of the best photo spots in Scotland is the city of Edinburgh. Yup, the whole gosh darn thing. It’s a city known for an eclectic music scene, raucous street performers, and gothic architecture. It offers an amazing mixture of sights and sounds that make for some amazing photography, but if that urban nightlife vibe isn’t your thing, there are tons of weird and exciting places to discover in Edinburgh that offer some of the most beautiful photo locations in Scotland.
Favorite Venue in the Area: The Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh
Despite the zany offerings that Edinburgh provides, the Royal Botanic Gardens are like walking into a wonderland befitting of Alice and her Mad Hatter. The garden explodes with color and life no matter which way you look. There are no bad angles in this place – it’s all a paradise.
Whisky, Whisky Everywhere, and All For You to Drink on the Isle of Islay
We can't get through a guide about Scotland without talking about whisky. While there are plenty of places to find this liquid elixir, there is no place better than the Isle of Islay. The southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides boasts not one, not two, but eight different distilleries that are open to the public, and there are tours of the whole lot of them if you want to make a day of it. With its smattering of lighthouses, its wealth of castles, and its wild terrain, Islay is replete with some of the most picturesque places in Scotland – with or without the whisky.
Favorite Venue in the Area: The Rustic Charm of Charlotte Street
When it comes to charm, No 1. Charlotte Street has it bursting from the seams. The bespoke bed and breakfast offers you all the quaint comforts you could ask for. Adorable rooms, a scenic garden, and the gorgeous views that overlook the bay provide plenty of picture-perfect moments waiting to be captured.
So, What’s Next?
Well, the next thing is simple. Now that all these amazing ideas are running rampant in your brain, it's time to make your dreams a reality – and that’s where I come in. Feel free to reach out to me here and we'll get started on your Scotland elopement adventure!
Featured image by Bjorn Snelders on Unsplash