A guide to eloping in Scotland

- locations, accommodation and planning tips

A guide to eloping in Scotland


Why elope in Scotland?

In this guide, I share my ideas and inspiration to help you elope in Scotland. Eloping or having a micro wedding gives you the freedom to create a stress-free day. When you elope in Scotland, you can get legally married anywhere outside in nature! You aren’t limited by wedding venues or weekend dates. Eloping allows you to invest in an authentic experience instead of the stuff we are told we have to include in a traditional wedding. Scotland is an incredible part of the world to elope with magical mountains, forests, lochs, castles and landscapes to explore. It truly is one of the most spectacular and breathtaking places in the world.

Places to elope in Scotland

Assynt Elopement

Assynt is a spectacular place with lochs, waterfalls and rugged mountains. Being in nature here feels like you’ve travelled back to a time before humans existed. Assynt also boasts white sand beaches, including the popular Achmelvich Beach.

Wedding Inspiration

Achmelvich Beach & Assynt Elopement

Assynt accommodation ideas

Kylesku Lodges | A rustic hideout

The Albannach | 200 year old highland home

Cairngorms Elopement

The Cairngorms is a truly wild and desolate area in Scotland, full of natural wonders, castles and lochs. This area is quieter and less well known than areas such as Skye or Glencoe. Loch An Eilein has beautiful woodland and a castle situated on the loch – a stunning backdrop for a ceremony!

Cairngorms accommodation ideas

Loch an Eilein Cottage | Located on the shores of Loch an Eilein

The Queen’s Hut | Log cabin with water views

Gairnshiel Lodge | Luxury hideaway lodge

The Boat House, Rothiemurchus | In the heart of the Cairngorms

Killiehuntley Farmhouse | Immersive Scottish experience in guesthouse or self-catered cottages

Glen Dye Cabins | Luxury cabins surrounded by wilderness

Glenfeshie cottage | Modern conservation estate

The Lazy Duck | Award winning off-grid cabins

Fife Arms Hotel | Luxury boutique hotel

Edinburgh Elopement

History enthusiasts will love getting lost in the maze of cobbled laneways through Edinburgh’s historic stone buildings.  The city’s skyline is defined by a mix of natural and man-made landmarks but nestled on a peak of its own, somewhere between the crags of Arthur’s Seat and the monuments of Carlton Hill, sits the castle which looks down onto the city streets below. A day spent wandering can be a full-body experience as the sound of bagpipes is often heard echoing through the streets and in the right weather, the smell of malted barley and hops from the city’s breweries lingers through the air.

See more in my guide to getting married in Edinburgh

Glencoe Elopement

For many, Glencoe is the heart of the Scottish highlands. While the area is popular with tourists, and with good reason, there are still many places here to find yourself alone in nature, and some are not as far off the beaten path as you might imagine.

The landscape truly does have something for everybody here, and while it looks stunning covered in winter snow or glorious in summer sunshine, my favourite season in Glencoe is Autumn. The landscape takes on a radiant golden hue, which adds colour to the greyest of highland days.

Wedding Inspiration

Autumn Glencoe Elopement

Rainy Wedding at Glencoe Lochan

Spring Elopement at Glencoe Lochan

Glencoe accommodation ideas

St Mary’s Space | Creative space for eclectic couples

Glen Dessarry | Highland Scottish Estate in a wilderness location

Bishops Bay Luxury Cottage | Self catering cottage near Glencoe

The Old Byre | Scottish Highlands seclusion

The Kingshouse Hotel | In the heart of Glencoe

Ardrhu House | A restored manor with sweeping views

Camisky Lodge | Victorian lodge in the countryside

Luxury Eco Cabin | Views of Ben Nevis


Isle of Skye Elopement

The Isle of Skye is a popular destination for travellers and tourists. Skye is a place of dramatic scenery, with a variety of spectacular landscapes to explore. Wandering amongst the clifftops along the Quiraing will leave you feeling like you have travelled to another world. A short drive away from here is the Fairy Glen, where it feels like you’re walking through a real-life fairytale, with its enchanting grassy hills and unique landscape. No trip to Skye would be complete without a visit to the famous Talisker Distillery.

Wedding Inspiration

Snowy Isle of Skye Elopement

Stormy Isle of Skye Wedding

Isle of Skye accommodation ideas

The Crofters House  | A cosy cottage by the bay

Strawbale Bothy | Eco friendly cottage made from natural materials

Mint Croft | Luxury self catering cottage

Skye Red Fox Retreat | Central location for Skye’s famous Quiraing and Storr

Blackhouse | Modern cottage with stunning views

Taigh Dan | Cosy Airbnb in near Talisker Distillery

Kinloch Lodge | Luxury hotel, great for foodies

Harlosh |  A stunning hideaway

The Black Shed | Award-winning architecture

A bride leads a groom down a mountain in the Fairy Glen of Isle of Skye


Torridon Elopement

Torridon is a hidden gem on Scotland’s West Coast. Rugged mountain tops, sometimes dusted in snow, stand tall above tranquil bays and secluded woodlands. This region is a favourite for lovers of all types of outdoor activities. Torridon is one of my favourite hidden gems in Scotland, and a unique place to elope in Scotland.

Wedding Inspiration

Autumn Scottish Highlands Elopement

Torridon accommodation ideas

The Net Store | Holiday home on the Applecross Peninsula

The Torridon | Luxury hotel

Shieldaig Lodge | Highland lodge retreat

A couple hug eachother as they stand in the mountains of TorridonA bride and groom hold hands and look out at a loch in Torridon

Other location ideas

There are so many stunning spots and hidden gems around Scotland. Here are some more locations that may be less well known but equally beautiful.

Alladale Wilderness reserve | Scottish Highlands Luxury

The Croft Collective | Off-grid wilderness in Oban

WildLand Cottages | Design-led highland escapes

The Dundonald | Luxury accommodation in the historic town of Culross

The Douglas Boathouse | Cosy space overlooking Loch Fyne

Guardswell Farm | Eco-considered and design-led accommodation

Lundies House | Stylish boutique hotel in north west highlands

Inver Restaurant & Bothies | Award-winning restaurant on the West Coast

Inverlonan Bothies | Luxury remote bothy in Oban

Kilmartin Castle | Rustic charm in a 500-year-old castle


Spring & Summer (March – September)

The daylight hours are long in Summer. Light starts to appear around 5am in the morning and sunsets extend through to 10pm. The best time to take photos in Summer is early in the morning or late in the evening, where the light is softer and more flattering.

Scotland transforms into a vibrant green landscape, with flowers and grass flourishing. The country is much busier with warmer temperatures and increased tourism. Carparks are more likely to be full and popular tourist locations have high numbers of people visiting every day.


Autumn & Winter  (September – March)

I adore the muted browns and golden colours of Autumn & Winter. The temperature starts to drop and the mountains start to get a dusting of snow. The daylight hours are very short, but the light is soft and beautiful to shoot in all day. Personally, I think the cold temperatures are worth embracing to have the incredible colours of Winter, potential snowfall and also very few tourists.


What to wear for a Scotland elopement

Whatever you think the weather is going to do in Scotland, it will most likely do the opposite. The weather constantly changes, but it’s this changing weather that creates beautiful light and spectacular photos. To elope in Scotland, you need to be prepared with the right gear, be flexible, patient and ready to embrace anything.

My best piece of advice if you want natural and spontaneous photos is to wear an outfit you can move in comfortably. I also recommend shoes that will keep your feet dry if you’re getting married in Autumn or Winter. Thermals, wool leggings, gloves and wool socks are all a must in the colder seasons! Be prepared with lots of warm layers and waterproof clothing so that you’re ready for anything that the unpredictable Scottish weather throws at you. The Tartan Blanket Co sells stunning scarves and blankets to keep you extra warm – they are a very popular choice for the couples I work with.

A bride and groom elope in Scotland on the Isle of Skye


How to get legally married in Scotland

When you elope in Scotland, you have the freedom to get married anywhere you choose! You can get married in nature as long as you have a registered celebrant. You may choose a religious ceremony, a registrar or a humanist ceremony (which is non-religious).


A humanist ceremony

Claire Digance (a celebrant with the Humanist Society Scotland) provides her guidance below:

“Eloping to Scotland is relatively straightforward and I always direct couples here for the official guidelines. Every country has different requirements but, ultimately, all you need to be legally married in Scotland is a date and location, the correct paperwork, someone authorised to conduct your wedding you and two witnesses. The interesting bit, ‘how’ you get married, is up to you.

Think of the most boring wedding you’ve been to. Beige office, boring legal words, married. Congratulations.

Now, imagine the absolute opposite. Imagine you’re in muddy boots on a heather-laden hillside or bare-footed on the stony shores of a loch. A friend is telling your story whilst you hold the hand of the person you’re about to marry and you’re remembering how you felt when you met, got together, got engaged…. Between you, you’ve created a wedding ceremony filled with warmth, honesty and love. It’s quiet, beautiful and damn near perfect.

Or maybe you’re surrounded by the people you love. You’re all on a grand adventure and you’ve gathered them around you in the most glorious castle (we have loads). The sun is setting. You’re about to get married. Whisky glasses clink, candles flicker and your guests settle back and lose themselves in a ceremony full of love and laughter, a million miles from home and it’s everything you’ve ever dreamt of.

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? That’s a Humanist wedding ceremony for you!”

A celebrant conducting a ceremony for a couple who elope in Scotlandhow to find witnesses to elope in Scotland



Are you planning to elope with just the two of you? You will require two witnesses, whose details need to be filled out before the day. So, how do you find two people to witness your ceremony? Luckily, your photographer can count as a witness! Other ideas include your videographer, bagpiper, florist, musician, hotel or venue staff member. Your celebrant may also be able to bring a witness, so it is worth talking to them as well.


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What an incredible resource for couples trying to decide where to elope, or thinking about eloping in Scotland!!! I’d love to visit sometime and check out some of these destinations just for fun – seriously beautiful work!

Wow! Gosh this makes me want to go to scotland. This is such an incredibly informative resource for any couple that wants to elope in Scotland!!

Oh my gosh, LINA!!! This is such great insight! One of my favourite parts was where you added in the eco-friendly focus. I think that’s an aspect so many people overlook when wedding planning! Amazing post!

Wellllll Scotland just moved up to number one on my bucket list! Amazing job!

I LOVE Scotland! i was there in 2014 and 2016 and I’ll never forget always wanting more time to explore. such an amazing country. maybe we’ll make a trip there for our 10th year anniversary for some vow renewal, I’ll be hitting you up for suuuuure!

I am such an advocate for Scottish elopements! Nothing beats that moodiness that Scotland has to offer!

Holy smokes! This makes me want to travEl to scotland so badly. Your work is so inspiring and this Blog post is perfect for anyone planning their scotland elopwment.

Umm are you kidding me?! Low-key wish we weren’t already married so we could elope in Scotland; these photos are stunning! And yes to all your eco-friendly tips!! I actually got my wedding dress for $25 from a secondhand shop haha.

yasss to eloping in scotland, yasss to these pics and yasss to the eco friendly tips!