Glencoe is one of the most popular locations to elope in Scotland, and for good reason! It is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places in the world, and tying the knot there is a truly magical experience. This guide is written to help you with planning your Glencoe Elopement, with information on locations, seasons and costs. Read on to find out more…
Why Choose Glencoe For Your Scottish Elopement?
- Stunning landscape. There really are few places more breathtaking to elope in Scotland, if not the world, than Glencoe. The glen is the remains of an ancient super volcano that last erupted around 420 million years ago, and what is left is a landscape that is truly spectacular. Glencoe boasts a unique blend of ruggedness and beauty, and of drama and calmness, and this is why it is such a popular destination for a Scotland elopement. Some examples of its beauty in the next section!
- Accessibility. Although some couples choose to include a small hike within their elopement to seek out a hidden, secluded spot for their ceremony, one of the big advantages of eloping in Scotland’s stunning Glencoe is that fact that many spots are within easy reach of the main road running through the glen. This is most advantageous during adverse weather, because although couples who choose to elope are usually prepared for whatever weather Scotland throws at them, sometimes it’s preferable to remain close to the car to warm back up quickly! Fortunately, a varied and stunning gallery of photos from your elopement are possible within just a couple of hundred metres from various lay-bys.
- Proximity to Glasgow and the Highlands. Many of the couples who choose to elope in Glencoe come from overseas, and therefore spend a few days in Scotland either side of their ceremony to explore the country and potentially include a minimoon within the trip (which I highly recommend!). Glencoe is situated almost equidistant from the urban convenience of Glasgow – Scotland’s largest city – and the secluded beauty of the Isle of Skye. This means that you can celebrate your marriage with a variety of activities while you’re in Scotland!
- Wide choice of accommodation. Eloping to Scotland is all about bringing the intimacy back to your wedding – making the day about your love for each other in a spectacular setting rather than following convention and being restricted by the timelines and expected conventions of a traditional wedding. And one of the elements of the day that most of my couples want to have captured is the morning preparation time. In an elopement this is an intimate and calm part of the day which can provide some of the most beautiful photos together while you help each other get ready. The advantage of doing this in Glencoe is that there is huge selection of quaint, secluded accommodation nearby that will provide you with the intimate space you require for your Scottish elopement.
- Privacy. It’s true that Glencoe can get busy during summer months with tourists travelling from afar to soak up Glencoe’s incredible landscape. But there are always secluded spots away from prying eyes, and as a Scottish elopement photographer I am always seeking out intimate new spots to ensure you enjoy the privacy you crave from your elopement. Some of these spots remain close to the road, but if total seclusion is what you seek, a short but stunning hike can lead you to some of Scotland’s most beautiful and yet quiet spots for your elopement ceremony.
The Best Places to Elope in Glencoe
- Buachaille Etive Mòr. One of Scotland’s most photographed mountains for two reasons: first, it marks the entrance to the pass of Glencoe and is very prominent from the road; and second, it is simply stunning. There are a number of spots nearby in which to elope while having this beautiful mountain the background, and it is also close to other famous features in Glencoe for your post-ceremony portrait session.
- Glencoe Lochan. Situated on the outskirts of Glencoe Village, Glencoe Lochan is a small park with many hidden areas for an elopement. The banks of the loch itself offer stunning views of Glencoe’s distant mountains, but there are also a number of wooded areas surrounding the loch where it is possible to find complete privacy and serenity for your elopement ceremony. This spot also has plenty of nearby parking should you wish to bring guests to your elopement.
- Lagangarbh Hut. The famous white hut of Glencoe featured in movies, publications and postcards all over the world, Lagangarbh Hut is found close to Buachaille Etive Mòr and on the banks of the River Coupall near Glencoe’s famous Three Sisters mountains. The hut is also situated on a path that makes for an easy walk with stunning views should you wish to explore a little during your post-ceremony portrait session.
Which is the Best Season to Elope in Glencoe?
One of the main advantages of eloping to Scotland is the guarantee of epic scenery – and few places are more epic than Glencoe. There are however some differences between season, and the season in which you choose to elope depends on your priorities.
Winter in Glencoe is incredibly moody, with a mix of white-capped mountains and the oranges and browns associated with autumn. It is my favourite season in Glencoe due to these colour combinations, and if you are after a dark and moody feel to your elopement photos, this is the season to do it. However, winter in Glencoe can obviously be very cold – below freezing at times – but the advantage of this is the lack of tourists in the area and the ease with which intimacy can be found for your ceremony.
Spring starts to see a new wave of colours appear, with the appearance of wildflower and the return of green to the mountainside. The weather also begins to settle in the spring, with less chance of rain. The tourist season begins to gain traction at this point though, with visibly more tourists in the area from April onwards.
Summer brings in those strong greens and yellows, and with it extended hours of daylight. While this may seem like an advantage, it does mean that any wish for golden hour or blue hour activities, such as evening lantern shots, would require a longer day of coverage. The area is also extremely busy during summer, but in return you will experience more comfortable temperatures and stable weather.
Autumn is a magical time in Glencoe for an elopement. Autumnal colours of red and orange settle in quickly from the end of September, the weather becomes moodier, tourism begins to decline and the days shorten, making coverage of any evening actives more accessible. It really is the best season to elope in Glencoe and is by far the most popular season for elopements in Scotland as a whole.
The Legal Requirements of Eloping in Glencoe
Eloping in Glencoe is a relatively simple process. The beauty of choosing to elope to Scotland is that it is legal to tie the knot anywhere, including outside! So whether you want to say your vows on a mountaintop, have a first look by one of Glencoe’s beautiful rivers or fancy strolling through a moody forrest during your portrait session, all of it is above board and helps to make your wedding totally unique to you as a couple.
I have written an elopement guide on the legal and organisational side of eloping to Scotland, which will hopefully answer any questions and concerns, and lay out the process for organising your Glencoe elopement in an easy-to-read format.
Of course, if you’re choosing to renew vows, celebrate your engagement or simply declare your love for each other, there are no legal requirements!
How Much Does a Glencoe Elopement Cost?
With much of the world in a cost of living crisis, there is no better time to elope to Scotland. It is considerably cheaper to elope in Glencoe than to plan a traditional wedding, and a full breakdown of the costs can be found in my guide here.