5 Reasons to Plan an Elopement in Scotland
Destination elopements can be truly incredible experiences. As you’re starting the newest chapter of your life, you’re also enjoying a trip of a lifetime with your loved ones. Choosing where to elope is one of the hardest questions for couples to answer, because there’s so many amazing possibilities. I’ve photographed elopements in cities, on quiet hills, and on the beach. Every single one is always breathtaking. In the end, choosing the perfect location for your elopement is about knowing what you’re looking for and where to find it!
One of the dreamiest, most magical elopements I’ve photographed took place in Scotland. It’s so romantic! If you’re looking for a truly unique experience for your elopement, here’s why you should consider Scotland!
1. The incredible views!
This one’s kind of self-explanatory, but Scotland has so many beautiful castles, cliffs, mountains, and pastures. These castles are not only fun to explore, but they’re the best backdrops for your portraits, ceremony, or reception. Scotland also has a ton of natural locations that are stunning - from dramatic cliffs to mountains in the mist. It's like a dream!
2. Time slows down.
When you travel with those you love, time slows down. Scotland has a magical vibe to it - the moody weather, the hills, the quiet romance of the country really allows you to slow down and take it all in. That’s truly the best part of intimate elopements like this - you get to focus on what’s most important to you as a couple.
3. Lots of tourist activities!
No matter what your guests are looking for, there’s plenty to do in Scotland. Bring the history buffs, the nature lovers, and the animal whisperers. There’s lots to do, see, and taste while you’re in the country! Here's a few must-see Scottish tourist destinations:
Edinburgh Castle is absolutely incredible. It's one of the most recognizable landmarks in the country, and interestingly enough - sits on an inactive volcano. If you're looking for history and beauty all in one, don't miss this beautiful castle!
St. Giles' Cathedral is located in Edinburgh, and is another can't miss landmark in Scotland. With beautiful stained glass windows, the Thistle Chapel, and so much more, it's the perfect stop on the historic Royal Mile.
If you're ready to search for the Loch Ness monster, book a tour with Jacobite Tours. They're the best in the business when it comes to this mythical monster. Enjoy an afternoon cruising around and learning about this legend.
From puffins to Highland cows, there's lots of wildlife and animals to find too. Enjoy tours in more rural areas to see farm life in action, or book a tour in Staffa to see the puffins. Wherever you're staying, there's bound to be local tours, cruises, or rides.
Which leads us to…
4. Distilleries are everywhere.
Scotland is known for its distilleries! If you love whiskey, Scotland is definitely a dream destination for you. Enjoy a trip to a distillery around your wedding ceremony or celebration - or just take some time to relax there when you arrive. Either way, there’s lots of yummy options to visit! Whisky is definitely the drink of Scotland, so there's no shortage of places to visit. Here's my top 5 distilleries to enjoy a taste of during your trip:
The Scotch Whisky Experience is a great place to start if you don't know much about this drink. Located on the Royal Mile, it's a wonderful stop while touring Edinburgh. I love this spot because you can learn about the process and the history of whisky making in the UK.
Glenfiddich Distillery is a family owned distillery in Moray known for their single malts.
Looking for an option up north? Check out the Highland Park Whisky Distillery, which is the northern most distillery in Scotland. This distillery dates back to 1798, so you know they know their stuff!
The Clydeside Distillery produces whiskey in Glasgow, and overlooks the old docks in the area. It's a beautiful places to stop for a delicious drink!
If you're looking for something remote and really special, consider making the trek to the Inner Hebrides to visit the Jura Distillery. It requires two ferries and traveling, but the taste is worth the effort.
5. Amazing places to hike.
Whether you’re looking to create a truly special ceremony location or just love nature, Scotland is full of some incredible hikes. Sunrise ceremonies are beautiful when you’re on top of a hill in the middle of the mist - or they can make a beautiful photo op afterwards. Either way, you’re pretty much guaranteed some truly incredible portraits!
While there's lots of beautiful spots to explore in Scotland, there's a few hikes I'd recommend!
One of my favorite areas to visit is the Isle of Skye, which has lots of great options. Old Man of Storr is one of the most iconic hikes, with unique rock formations. The hike is relatively easy and takes about 45 minutes.
Ben Nevis is another beautiful option, but is definitely for more serious hikers! Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK - and can get icy in the winter - so it's a challenge, but the views are so worth it.
If you're a beach lover, check out Sandalwood Bay. This is a super short hike, but beautiful and remote - perfect if you need a little time out in nature.
Quinag is another remote trail with three summits. It's beautiful, circular, and well worth the work. But, if you're looking for a shorter hike, just focus on the first peak - the view is still amazing!
And remember, all of these gorgeous hikes can double as the perfect spot for your elopement in Scotland!
In Scotland, you can legally get married any time of day and anywhere outside, so it’s definitely a beautiful option if you’re dreaming of a moody, magical wedding day. The country is full of romantic locations and is truly a wealth of beauty! If you’re thinking about a Scottish elopement, let’s talk! I’d love to help you bring your dream wedding day to life.
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A lover of adventure and travel, it’s my dream to tell stories of love all over the globe. My home base is in Charlotte, NC, but if your wedding is taking place anywhere else - say no more. As I like to say, if there’s a love, there’s a way.
I am a Charlotte luxury wedding photographer and destination elopement photographer available to capture your unique wedding day.