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5 Things To Know Before Eloping to Scotland

If you love the thought of throwing spreadsheets to the wind and embarking on one big – or rather, small – wedding adventure, this is for you! Because what could be more romantic than running away and saying ‘I do!’ in secret, leaving the stress and strain (and cost!) of a traditional wedding in your wake?

1. The paperwork doesn't have to be daunting!

It may seem really overwhelming to get married in another country. You may not be sure who to go to, what the process is or what documents you need, let alone who to give them too. It doesn't need to be this daunting or overwhelming! I will be honest - there will be a wee bit of paperwork to do but taking it one step at a time, it will be simple! Here are a the main points:

* If you live outside the UK, EEA or Switzerland, you may need a marriage visa before eloping to Scotland (this is slightly different if one of you is a citizen of one of these countries). The earliest you can apply is 3 months prior to your visit and the visa is usually processed in 3 weeks. The easy part is that you can do most of it online!

* There will be documents that you will need to provide as proof but these, as well as the whole process of marrying in Scotland, are listed on the Scottish Government website ( to make it as simple as possible.

* Once that boring but necessary part is over, the next thing to do is to find a registrar/ celebrant to confirm the date of your wedding day! It all depends on what type of ceremony you want (civil or religious) and whereabouts in Scotland you want it to happen. Once you've chosen your location and the type of ceremony you are having, you will need to give notice to the local registrar, this can be done up until 29 days prior to your day. (A little different if you are having a religious ceremony but just as simple!).

2. The Weather

Ahh...Scottish weather! It's wild and unpredictable, but that's the beauty of it.

If you are planning on eloping to Scotland the thing to know is that you will never be able to plan around the weather, you just need to have a back up plan OR embrace it!

Don't get me wrong, we can get spectacular sunny days. The past summer was one of the hottest its been for a long time and it was amazing! But to say that it's summer doesn't always mean it will be warm - always pack a jacket (and maybe a scarf too!).

Having a cloudy, misty or even a drizzly day isn't anything to scoff about. The light that comes with it is incredible, I know photographers love it! You will always epic photos to treasure forever.

No matter the weather, you will have an unforgettable experience that is filled with romance and adventure that you can only find in Scotland.

3. Bring Your Hiking Boots!

Talking about those epic photos (you know the ones - the amazing views to die for?), a common misconception is that they are easily accessible and thats what you will get wherever you go in Scotland.

Yes and no.

You will see some great sights no matter where you find yourself in Scotland but to get that amazing scenery and the view, you need to walk. Sometimes, hike. You might not be able to get to those stunning locations by driving - so bring your hiking boots!

4. Your Elopement, You're Way!

One of the most special things to know about Scotland is that you can get legally married a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e! As long as you have a celebrant who is up for it and you have permission from the landowner, your world (or Scotland) is your oyster!

Before eloping to Scotland, consider where you see yourselves getting married. There are lots of stunning venues throughout the country but that may not suit you as a couple. Free spirited? Up for an adventure? On top of a mountain might be for you or perhaps a tiny cottage (or Bothy) in the middle of nowhere might be your thing. You can get married at the Zoo or a castle ruin - the options are endless but it means you can choose somewhere that is special to you both and no one will have a wedding day like yours.

5. Witnesses

Now you have everything sorted; where you are going to get married, your paperwork sorted and you're making sure you have everything packed, there is one more thing to consider. To make sure your marriage is legal, you will need two witnesses (not including your celebrant/registrar).

Not to worry! Anyone you choose can be your witness (as long as they are older than 18 years). If you have a photographer, they usually are more than happy to be your witness and as a wedding planner there is nothing more special than being asked to be a witness for my couples. If you have decided to get married at a venue, they will also be more than happy to provide people for you too. If you're not sure who to choose, never hesitate to ask a supplier.

There you go! 5 things to know before eloping to Scotland!

Planning a wedding from afar can be hard work so if you need more information or having any questions, I’m here to make it a totally effortless and enjoyable planning experience. I can help you find the perfect place for your Scottish elopement, help arrange the legal side of things, source suppliers who can make your Pinterest dreams a reality and share my secret tips to everything Scotland has to offer newlyweds.

Images - Hayley Palmquist Photography

Venue - Birkenhill Farm

Flowers - Kim Dalglish

Makeup - Makeup by Leanne

Planner/Stylist - Ella Mai Weddings

Dress - Ivory Grace

Suit - ASOS

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