5 Reasons to Elope to Scotland in 2023

Filed in Elopement Guides — February 6, 2023

I am an elopement and wedding photographer who chose to elope to Scotland in 2022, and I feel therefore that I am in a good position to propose five key reasons to choose a Scottish Elopement in 2023. So whether it is Glencoe, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, the Isle of Skye or the Cairngorms that attracts you, read on to find five compelling reasons to elope to this beautiful country.


This sort of goes without saying, but Scottish elopements are by design more intimate than traditional weddings. Gone are the days where elopements were associated with couples running off to get married without approval! Today, elopements are an attractive option for those wishing to bring the intimacy back to their day.

That’s not to say that elopements are for couples only – elopements commonly include close family and friends to celebrate the occasion. My own elopement included our immediate family (and dog!) and we were able to find a beautiful country hotel in the Scottish Highlands in which to base ourselves for the weekend.

At the other end of the scale, a Scotland elopement can be designed to be completely intimate: a couple, a humanist celebrant, a secluded spot – what more could possibly be needed to declare your love for one another! In these instances I am able and willing (and incredibly honoured) to act as a witness for my couples.


I think it’s fair to say that traditional weddings typically follow the same timeline, regardless of venue. Sure, there are always differences with styling, music, entertainment, food, etc, but the day is usually planned out by the venue coordinator with very little scope for adjustment. Eloping to Scotland couldn’t be more different! From beginning to end, you have full control over your elopement.

With a traditional wedding, many of your planning choices are likely made to ensure the day is perfect for your guests, but with a Scottish elopement, every choice you make is about crafting a day that is perfect for you and your story. Do you want to find the perfect secluded log cabin in Glencoe in which to prepare for your ceremony and finish writing your vows? Do you want to wander down to the trees in Glen Etive to conduct your first look? How about a ceremony looking over the vast landscape of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs? Maybe you want to celebrate your elopement to Scotland with a portrait session at the Isle of Skye’s famous Quairang? Do you fancy rounding out your day with a blue-hour shoot with lanterns as you venture across the Cairngorms after your elopement? The day is all about you, and the possibilities really are endless when you have as much control as you do with a Scottish elopement.


This is my personal favourite reason to elope to Scotland! There are truly not many places in the world more breathtaking to elope with your loved one. Imagine framing and hanging photos from your Scottish elopement that tell your story with Glencoe’s famous Three Sisters mountains towering in the background, or on a cliff top in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, or beside the Isle of Skye’s magical Fairy Pools. These are photos that last a lifetime, featuring some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes.


In the current economic climate, the potential for money saving through choosing to elope to Scotland is potentially huge. According to Hitched, the average cost of a UK wedding in 2022 was £18,400 ($22,100 USD, €20,500). What if I told you that you can elope to Scotland for as little as £4,000 ($4,800 USD, €4,500)? The biggest expense with a traditional wedding is usually the venue, but since couples are legally able to marry outdoors in Scotland, the venue costs are negated. 

Instead, the key costs are accommodation, Humanist Celebrant, Photographer, Videographer, flowers and a dress. Some couples travel from overseas and so travel costs should be considered, and some want to include family and friends in the elopement and accommodation costs may be higher, but on the whole, a Scottish elopement is a marriage with incredible value. When all the other advantages are taken into account, it’s almost as if you are paying less for more! 


One of the key advantages of eloping to Scotland is the flexibility in planning lead times. Unlike traditional weddings which are typically planned more than a year in advance – with many venues booking up significantly earlier than this – elopements can technically be planned within six weeks for the more organised among us! With fewer vendors to book and control completely in your hands, the planning process can be a simple and stress-free process. With particularly short notice elopements (and even more so with my international couples), just as with all my elopements, I am more than happy to assist with the planning process, advise on the completion of your marriage paperwork and provide recommendations from my favourite suppliers in the area of your elopement. 

More information can be found in my Elopement Planning Guide 2023.

There we have it: five reasons to elope to Scotland in 2023. In truth I could have added more, but these are the most pertinent when deciding whether to plan a traditional wedding or an elopement. Please feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch if you have any questions!

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