ELOPING TO SCOTLAND. HOME OF HOGWARTS, A FEW BAGPIPES AND THE MOST ROMANTIC LANDSCAPES IN THE WORLD.
written by 2 very scottish wedding & elopement photographers.
Okay, so you are most likely engaged? CHECK. The thought of planning a bigger wedding make you nervous and quite honestly a little nauseous. Heck, maybe you have already planned the big hoo-ha and just CAN’T anymore. What if we told you… psssst… you don’t have to do any of that. You can get your butts to our lovely country that is Scotland. It just so happens to be one of the most romantic places in the world. FACT.
You can giddily gallop in the mountains of Glencoe, cosy up under the winding branches of the forests of the Cairngorms, skip stones on the Firth of Clyde at Culzean Castle, stroll through the urban landscape of Glasgow’s West end. Yes, you can do whatever your lil hearts are telling you to do. Just elope in Scotland. With us, of course.
Let us toot our Scottish horn here an tell you Scotland is currently the only country in the UK that allows you to get legally married anywhere with a registered celebrant. That is exactly the reason you have free reign to pick mountains/forests/beaches!
Okay but where the heck do you even start this magical muggle elopement?
Controversially we suggest thinking about it this way first rather than location first; think about a season, work down to the month and the narrow in a few dates you think would work. Going back to those stunning backdrops again, think of how your ideal location will look, feel and how accessible it will be during certain seasons. Want your mountains snowy? Go for a cold wintery season. Wanna strut in the town instead? A nice summer evening followed by some great food & beverages. Forests are your jam? Hey what about a super poppin autumn elopement?
You’ve got the season you want, the date is coming together and you’ve picked the season based on what type of backdrop is your absolute ideal. Now we dig deep on google and find all of the potential “Scottish mountains” that you could elope to. You are gonna wanna think of google maps as the 3rd person in your relationship. You can really uncover some hidden gems this way. Drop that lil yellow sucker dude on the streets on google maps and take yourselves for an adventure. Scotland does have the “right to roam” but sometimes there are tricky fences and rivers that might stop you getting into bits of the land that you really had your eye on, so our next tip is to be flexible! So if it is a bit of a wildcard elopement spot, check out spots a day or two before the ceremony to be 100% sure it’s going to work logistically.
Okay that all sounds exciting and we want to make things official, how?
Get yourself a great celebrant. We cannot recommend humanist weddings enough – having had one ourselves – it’s the perfect match for the elopement vibes and really gives that personal touch that elopements are so well loved for. Check out the Humanist Society Scotland for a juicy list of loads of excellent celebrants.
This is so much fun, what else is there to do? Paperwork ohhhh no…
It’s actually not that bad, don’t worry. Communicate with your celebrant before you finish your paperwork as they’ll have been through this many a time and will be able to help you out. You can consult this – pdf – to really help you out.
So now you are gonna wanna give the local registrar a buzz on ye olde telephone to see how that particular registrar likes things done – not a necessity but could save you any ballache later on. You will then each (I’s one form per person) that M-10 (marriage notice) sent by post to the registrar of the district of where your elopement ceremony is actually happening and cough up that fee money. On top of this you will need some additional documentation (passport/birth certificate/residence confirmation). There may be other paperwork required so consult your celebrant for more in depth info, also pay particular attention to any visas you may require.
Right, we’ve got 3 months left to go, it’s all good, right?
Yes! It’s time to get that marriage notice submitted! Make sure you do this AT LEAST 29 days before the ceremony. If you don’t… the dementors will gobble up your elopement plans if they can’t process your paperwork in time.
CAN I GET A WITNESS. Legally you need 2 witnesses to witness the ceremony. Family and friends can 100% be those witnesses. If it’s just the two of you can have us be your witnesses which we have done many a time in our 6+ years of photographing elopements in Scotland. If you have us down for a solo photographer/videographer package we recommend asking your celebrant if there’s anyone they can bring along with them to sign as the 2nd witness.
Now you better believe you just eloped your asses.
Get that marriage schedule returned within 3 days of your elopement to seal the deal. Now you can bask in that the real newlywed glow.