SCOTLAND ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER // UNITED KINGDOM ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER
Known for the Loch Ness Monster, bagpipes, castles and more; seriously SO MUCH more. Scotland is a remarkable country to elope in, you can explore historic cities and see phenomenal landscapes all in one day. The history of Scotland and the Clans is one of extreme interest, everywhere seems to be steeped in it. There honestly isn’t another place like it in the world and it’s not surprising that lovers of all walks of life are attracted to the cobblestone streets and rolling green mountains. Nearly everything is in close proximity and accessible by bus, train, or car; making the ease of travel a breeze.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to break out your sundresses and get a tan on the beach then these shores are not for you. The weather stays relatively mild, rarely exceeding 60°F, and although the sun is out it’s unlikely you’ll want to strip down on the chilly shores. However, rest assured, that doesn’t distract from breathtaking scenery and culturally dense villages. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a new culture and frolic in the greenest meadows out there, this place may be perfect for your elopement! I am going to let the below info speak for itself as to why you would want to elope in Scotland.
Scotland is full of lochs and valleys, castles and fishing villages, amazing cityscapes and landscapes. I can promise you that there’s no shortage of places you can elope and explore. It’s always important to keep in mind that your elopement is only one day (maybe two, you do you!), so it’s important to pick a destination full of interest that can provide entertainment from the beginning of your trip to the end. That is exactly why I think Scotland is such an excellent choice and I was truly overwhelmed trying to narrow down the list below; it’s only the tip of the iceberg!
What if I told you, you can go dolphin spotting in the Scottish Highlands? The Moray coast is a scenic coastline accessible by car or public transportation. This area is known for its sunshine and low rainfall, making it a good choice for anyone seeking a more predictable climate for their elopement.
Best Weather is spring (late March to May) and fall (September to November) temperatures are warmer, with an average of 43°F-59°F, although there will still be snow in the mountains of the Highlands and the Cairngorms. Regardless of the time of year you visit it is highly unlikely the temperatures will exceed the mid 60’s.
Spring you can anticipate snow and cool temperatures to linger. Come April there are festivals to attend and at the end of May you can anticipate spring flowers to emerge.
Summer in Scotland is from June to August, which also marks the peak tourism season because it is warmer and longer daylight hours.
Fall kicks off in September, the wettest month in Scotland. Tourism begins to slow come October and near the end of the month some hotels and sites begin to close as the busy season comes to an end. Towards the middle of November things slow down and become much colder!
Winter months although having the least hours of daylight and being quite the chilly, during the daylight the air is crisp and often sunny. December – February you can expect snow and frigid temps. (**Cheapest airfare November 1 to December 12 and December 26 to March 14.)
Overall I would recommend late October- early November to avoid the tourist season, take advantage of the lesser airfare, catch the breathtaking fall foliage, and enjoy the cool dry weather. For a more detailed weather report when planning your elopement I would recommend visiting this website!
As you may have gathered by now, the weather in Scotland is particularly mild and a bit drizzly depending on the season. With that being said, layers will be your best friend when traveling whether that be adventuring around scenic areas or exploring coastal villages. Regardless of the season I would recommend investing in a good rain jacket or trench coat, bringing a pair of waterproof boots + a pair of sneakers, cardigans, long sleeves, long pants, and cozy accessories. If your travel plans will be during a cooler time of year definitely bring some good wool socks, mittens, and a waterproof winter jacket!
This cooler weather doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice wearing your dream dress! A good way to stay warm is to wear tights or leggings underneath your dress, bring a shawl or jacket that fits your aesthetic, cozy up with your partner under a cute blanket, or pick an area where you don’t need to travel terribly far from a vehicle/shelter of some kind. If you’re traversing any kind of terrain, but want some killer shoes for your photos, carry them in a bag. You’ll want a reliable pair of boots to get you to your desired elopement destination safely!
Your search for the perfect wedding vendors should come after you nail down a location! Once you have that figured out a great place to start is by joining Facebook groups local to the area, searching local hashtags on Instagram, and Google to your heart’s content! After creating a list of possible vendors do you due diligence find reviews, regardless of where you elope reviews are going to give you a valuable peek into the quality, timeliness, and customer service they provide; this is more important than ever since you’ll be coming from another country! Make sure you have continued dialogue with your vendor and have a concrete timeline for them before you leave on your trip so they are prepared and you don’t have to stress about things not being ready!
Outside of the traditional vendors such as flowers, officiants, bakery, and venue, be sure to also look into things like a special meal for the two of you to share and activities you want to partake in during your visit!
Marriage Visa + Local Marriage License
If you are from outside European Economic Area and Switzerland then you will need to look into getting a marriage visa. This is different from a tourist visa so when purchasing this, ensure you are getting the right one. And be sure to use the official government website as there are lots of third party sites who will try to sell you a marriage visa for upwards of £200! On the official website, they are £87 and you can navigate the site in a language of your choice.
The earliest you can apply for a marriage visitor visa is 3 months prior to your travels and the latest you can apply is 3 weeks. It is £95 just to apply! After you’re approved you’ll need to submit an application to be married to a registry office local to your venue no later than 29 days before your ceremony. Both of you will submit paperwork with witness details and past marriages to the registry office. You will need to collect your marriage license in the days leading up to your wedding, it’ll be important to factor that into your travel dates and timeline. As well as factor in that you will need to submit your signed marriage license after your wedding to the registry office no more than 3 consecutive days after the ceremony otherwise it will not be considered legal.
Celebrants & Witnesses
You will also need to make sure that you have a registrar or approved celebrant for your ceremony as well as two witnesses over the age of 16. This will be a part of your registration process listed above and will need to do this paperwork. If you aren’t bringing someone with you that’s able to perform the ceremony then you can look at this online registry to find a celebrant in the area of your elopement.
Symbolic Ceremony Alternative
Wheew! If all of this seems like a little too much planning and moving pieces, I do not blame you! A simple alternative would be to obtain a marriage license like you traditionally would where you live and make it official there, before or after your trip. You can still have a symbolic ceremony where you exchange vows and even celebrate with loved ones; without all of the legal fuss that comes with getting legally married in another country. And if you’re looking to mix in some beautiful Scottish traditions into your elopement, here is a comprehensive list of things you can do during your symbolic ceremony! In my opinion this is the best way to go, due to it removing room for error in all the timing that comes with the applications above and it allows you to spend your entire trip completely focused on celebrating!
Let’s break down some of the coolest things to do in Scotland based off of some of the things they’re known for northern lights, castles, and whiskey; what a fun combination! The Northern Lights are referred to as the Mirrie Dancers and are seen during the winter and spring seasons, when there are no clouds in the sky, where there is little light pollution, and there’s increased solar activity. Visit here for a comprehensive list of the best locations and resources to spot these dancing lights. It’s hard to think of anything more magical!
Scotland is rich with history and with that history comes some incredible architecture! A well renowned historical sight is Stirling Castle, located in Stirling, Scotland, where Mary Queen of Scots resided during the medieval period. This expansive fortress is crucial to the history of the country and is open to the public, with tours available. Looking for something a little more mystical? Check out these mystical places and learn about the folklore behind them!
Lastly, you cannot leave Scotland without going on a Whiskey Tasting! The making of whiskey is a part of the Scottish identity This artform has a unique taste depending on the region you are visiting and going to a local distierally is an absolute treat! Even touring older distilleries is a fun way to learn about the culture and history of the area.
Okay so… are you convinced!? There is something particularly magical about this destination and is a country that looks straight out of a historical romance novel. Maybe we will visit a castle, whiskey distillery, and sheep farm while we’re there! Yes, I did say ‘we”. Not to be too forward, but if you’re looking for a destination photographer I’m your gal and am more than happy to help you plan things out! Words cannot describe how helpful it is to have someone knowledgeable on your team when planning your dream elopement to answer questions and find the perfect spot for you “I do’s”. It’ll be hard to pick a bad location in Scotland, so at least you’ll have that going for you!
So what do you think, would you elope in Scotland?
Please note that the images in this post are mine; however, I have the permission to use them for the informational purposes of this blog until I get photos in the summer of 2022.