Elopements have had romantic associations for centuries and are as popular as ever across Scotland for modern couples of all ages. If you are thinking to elope or get married at short notice, as quickly as possible, it’s good for you to know that you can be married no sooner than 29 days after your legal application to be married is received. There is no period of residency required, though you do have to make a plan to collect the legal paperwork in person so need to factor that into your plans – if you drop us a line we can give you a full overview of what you need to do when.
You also need to know that you must have two legal witnesses present aged at least 16, and someone who is authorized by the Registrar General of Scotland to conduct legal marriage, so you are always going to be a group of five people minimum to be legally married. We are often a group of five. Bride, Groom, Angie holding the ceremony, Will taking photos and acting as first legal witness, then we bring along a friend to act as your second legal witness. Other than these requirements you have choice for the style of ceremony, the location of the ceremony, the day of the week and time of day, and every other detail for the set up and style that suits you, whether rustic, Celtic, green, personal, vintage, or something else.
Elopements became so popular a few centuries ago because the age you were allowed to marry without parental consent used to be 16 in Scotland, but 18 in other parts of the UK – this is still the case, but even so, there are certain factors that have to be adhered to in order to get married legally in Scotland. There are no short cuts to providing the necessary paperwork, however if you have the required documents to hand, you can move swiftly, and have a plan in place to marry around a calendar month later. Again, if you get in touch, we can talk you through what is needed, or email you an overview.
These days, the motivation for couples to get married quickly and quietly is still around, but perhaps the motivating factors are different. “If not now, then when?” “Let’s just do it!” “It’s second time around. We’ve been married before and each done the big wedding, so we just want to have something nice, just for ourselves!” “It’s going to be just us, with our dogs, as they are our family!” “We feel quite shy about being in front of a group of people, but feel excited about it being just the two of us!” Whatever your reasons for wanting a quick and quiet wedding or elopement we can help.
Some couples make up their mind to get married, and then just want to get on with things in a low key, low cost way, with minimum fuss. They love the idea of having a very relaxed day, with an outdoor location away from crowds of people and then they add to that all the things that feel necessary for them to celebrate, which differs for each couple.
Lots of couples choose to have photos during the ceremony and after in a relaxed fashion rather than taking all day, and they enjoy having an online gallery to share with family and friends after. They often ask for us to take a couple of photos on their phone so they can post an announcement on social media – but of course that is by choice, some couples enjoy keeping everything secret until honeymoon is over, or they share pictures during the celebrations if having a family gathering on their return home.
As well as wedding photos, couples might choose to have a seasonal bridal bouquet and buttonhole if dressing traditionally, maybe someone to do hair and make up, maybe a piper, a car, a cake? And some couples like to stay in a hotel and have people around them, and book a celebration meal in the hotel restaurant or a restaurant in town, and other couples like to retreat into a holiday cottage or Air B&B and stock up with their favourite foods, or have a caterer prepare a delicious wedding meal. Each couple is unique with their vision.
It’s the same with the location. The majority of couples who choose to marry quietly without fuss, do so in an outdoor location, and during the pandemic as many more people flock to Scotland for a holiday break, some of the usual less visited places have become quite busy, especially with the popularity of the NC500 route. However, if you hook up with someone in the know (like us!), there are still quiet out of the way places, perfect for an elopement or tiny wedding for two. We have gorgeous beaches, lovely lochsides, enchanted woods, romantic ruined castles and churches, ancient stone circles, and pretty waterfalls near us.
In recent times many couples have had to face disappointment as their plans for a big wedding have been thwarted, but some couples have found this to be a welcome factor in realizing that for them, they had been carried along with other people’s ideas and expectations for a big gathering and party, and they have used the restrictions in numbers allowed, as a welcome excuse to have the tiny, intimate wedding they really wanted. If this is you, please get in touch.
Or if you have just got engaged, or been engaged for years and don’t want to wait any longer, we would be delighted to help you elope or have a wedding for two, or a small gathering of family and friends, and hope we can tempt you to The Highlands or Moray – lesser known jewels in Scotland’s crown!