Eloping to Scotland, A Guide To Planning Your Scottish Elopement

by Weddings by Sara Jane, Luxury Scottish Elopement Planners

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Elopement Scotland -Photography by Mark Timm


In a country that’s dripping with spectacular scenery and romantic, historic castles, the location for your elopement is going to be a very tough decision, made even tougher by the fact that you can get married absolutely anywhere in Scotland; from the edge of a mountain to the banks of a loch.

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Scottish Elopement -Photography by Morgan and Rose

As Scottish elopement planners, we always think about the location for the wedding ceremony itself, as well as a nearby location for a romantic post-ceremony dinner and also accommodation and local activities.

Many couples marrying in Scotland choose to take advantage of the breathtaking landscapes by planning a wedding outdoors, so ideally you want to look for a spot outdoors with somewhere local to stay and enjoy a post-wedding meal together as Mr and Mrs.


An elopement isn’t just about the ceremony, it’s also a trip to Scotland where there’s so many things to see and do.  We advise putting together an itinerary over a few or perhaps several days so you can enjoy everything Scotland has to offer; from exploring the ancient city of Edinburgh to following an ancient whisky trail.

Photography by Morgan and Rose

The best way to work out your trip itinerary is to begin with choosing your ceremony venue and work from there, finding out what there is to see a do.  Why not take advantage of the landscape and hire a specialty vehicle for the week to explore the countryside?

The Paperwork

Getting married in Scotland is relatively easy, but if you’re not a British passport holder then you might need a marriage visa before applying.  To check your visa requirements and apply online, visit the .gov website here.   We recommend beginning the visa application process about four months in advance, but with the fast track service at at extra cost this can actually be done much faster.

Photography by Morgan and Rose

In addition to acquiring a marriage visa, you’ll also need to register for your marriage licence in Scotland.  When we work with couples to plan their elopement to Scotland, we coordinate closely with them to ensure the paperwork is all submitted correctly and on time, but it’s possible for you to contact the local registrar directly for guidance on the marriage licence application which should be done 3 months before the wedding date if possible.


When you elope, the photography becomes an incredibly important part of the wedding plans and we advise securing an experienced photographer, and perhaps a videographer to capture your wonderful day so you can share it with friends and family.  Many local photographers will be able to work with you to put together an itinerary for the wedding day, with suggestions on the best locations for shooting.

Edinburgh Elopement – Photography by Wilson McSheffrey


In Scotland you can choose from being married by a registrar (civil marriage), a minister of the church (religious marriage) or humanist (spiritual marriage).  Humanist ceremonies are most popular for elopements, and your celebrant will speak to you about tailoring a ceremony script to your wishes.  Whichever celebrant you book will help guide you through the process, and most celebrants will marry you anywhere you like.  You will need two witnesses for your ceremony, but this can often be arranged through the celebrant.

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Photography by The Curries

Other Things to Think About

It’s likely that when planning your wedding you’ll have to think about numerous other elements, including transport, accommodation, flowers, musicians, decor, dress, rings etc. so once you have chosen your location it’s a good idea to work through the list of needs to ensure you have everything covered.  Although you’ve opted for a tiny wedding, we’re still big fans of the details, so make sure you think about the colours and styles you want to bring across in your pictures and show your vendors pictures to make sure you’re on the same page.

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Photography by Charlotte Dupont


Working with Us To Plan Your Elopement

At Weddings by Sara Jane, we specialise in helping couples to plan their Scottish Elopement.  When we work with you to plan your Scottish elopement, we’re there every step of the way to build your dream wedding and create the trip of a lifetime for you both.  Every aspect of your wedding celebration is uniquely tailored to you, from finding the perfect location to the right photographer to fit with your style and all the elements to bring together the happiest day of your lives and we’ve worked hard to find the best suppliers and packages to suit intimate celebrations.

Our elopement planning service includes:

  • Venue search and securing to fit your vision
  • Customised vendor recommendations and communications throughout
  • Unlimited communication via email, phone or video chat
  • Styling and minor detailing including bespoke mood board
    Trip itinerary and recommendations /reservations for local activities
  • Wedding day timeline management and logistics
  • Vendor management and reconfirmations
  • Handling payments for you locally
  • Sourcing of local items from Scottish dress to gifts
  • Assistance with transport and local accommodation
  • Administrative management of the wedding plans
  • Coordination of marriage licence application and ceremony
  • Use of our planning systems to track every detail of the wedding
  • Keeping you on track throughout the planning process on every detail

For more information or a brochure on our elopement planning service, please contact Sara at weddings@wbsj.co.uk.  Costs from £450.


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