Eloping to Scotland?
The definition of ‘elope’ is ‘to run away secretly to get married’. It conjures up very romantic images of our brave and rebellious ancestors risking all for love.
If you would like to get married in secret in Scotland you should know the following things.
Scotland is the perfect place! Full of romance and history, legends and stories, it makes for a wonderful destination.
You can hold your ceremony anywhere subject to obtaining any necessary permission.
You have only yourselves to please, so can get married any time of day or night.
Having a legal aspect to your ceremony is easy if you have the correct and necessary paperwork to hand and make your application in sufficient time - we can guide you.
How can we help?
We can create a beautiful and personal ceremony for you - the level of input you might like to have might depend how much notice we have.
We can advise on ancient Celtic ritual to make your ceremony memorable and meaningful for you. Perhaps a Celtic Handfasting? Perhaps sharing a drink from a Quaich? Perhaps jumping the besom or broom?
We can suggest places to hold your ceremony.
We can help provide legal witnesses if needed for you.
We can photograph or record your ceremony for you.
We can help with those little extras that make your day all the more enjoyable – perhaps a bottle of champagne on ice? Some Scottish smoked salmon canapés?
Perhaps you’d like a bouquet or buttonhole? Perhaps you’d like us to drive you?
Perhaps you’d like some musician, accommodation or restaurant recommendations?
Perhaps you’d like us to suggest ideas for and organize your whole day or stay for you?
‘Design Your Day’ might include a bespoke picnic or meal, a cake, massage, dinner in a special restaurant, photos out and about in local beauty spots?
‘Design Your Stay’ might include the creation of an itinerary for you depending on your interests – stone circles, ruined castles, whisky, golf, walking, shopping, theatre, history, highland games?
We have some fantastic places to hold a ceremony near us – perfect for an elopement – beaches, lochsides, ruined castles, hotels, gardens, mountain tops, woodland, waterfalls, boats, wee churches – what would you choose?
For where to stay we know of places to suit small budgets as well as 5* luxury. We can hold your ceremony anywhere and you might enjoy searching online yourselves. To give you some idea and get your creative ideas flowing, the following people and places are we know committed to hosting tiny wee weddings and look forward to offering you a friendly service and supporting you to have your dream ceremony and day - they're not the only people but they give you lots of ideas as to what's possible.
- Where To Hold Your Ceremony
Elope to Castle Leod?
Indulge your fascination with the Outlander series by running away to Castle Leod. Perhaps you’d like to have an Outlander ceremony at the castle which is the seat of Clan Mackenzie and famous for being the castle which inspired Diana Gabaldon’s Castle Leoch? Eve and John Mackenzie, the Earl and Countess of Cromartie, offer you a warm welcome, and can act as your legal witnesses.
You could stay close by in Strathpeffer or in Inverness.
- Hire A Wee Holiday Cottage
Christiane Morley at The Little Blue House near Gorthleck
You might like to find your own little cottage, or stay a week at the Little Blue House (or 3 night short break low season) and have your ceremony in the garden there with your hosts Robin and Chrissy as legal witnesses.
You then might like to have us take you for a picnic and photos at a remote loch a few miles drive away, or even have Robin and Chrissy take you on a hike to enjoy a spectacular view or some wild swimming - there's nothing quite like having knowledgeable locals show you around.
- Camp Or Glamp?
Libby Thomas-Wright at Smithfield of Ythanbank B&B and campsite near Ellon and Methlick, Aberdeenshire
There are lots of campsites but this hideaway retreat can offer so much it’s been awarded a Best Holiday Accommodate award. If just the two of you, and if having a two night stay, Libby can offer accommodation in B&B, camping, or a wee log cabin (though it’s single bunks!) – she can also oversee the hire of a bell tent or teepee if you prefer that idea to a tent. You could get married in the tranquility of the garden. Will could be one legal witness if needed, and Libby the other.
- Stay In A Cabin Or Lodge
The fabulous Burgie Arboretum with its mature trees and lochs is perfect for an outdoor ceremony and if you did bump into someone else whilst there is large enough to find a quiet secret spot just for you. It’s the perfect combination to then stay at Burgie Lodges – new cabins with hot tubs with the most phenomenal view overlooking Findhorn Village and Bay in the distance, as well as over to The Black Isle and further north.
We like that this lodge has a hot tub, but we also know of other fabulous lodges near Inverness, set up high with a spectacular view - it would depend on your budget.
- Fancy Eloping On A Private Wee Beach?
Helen Acreman at Split Rock Croft near Lochinver
Helen and husband Graeme were married on their spectacular piece of land which has a private beach. Since then they have built a beautiful eco house – sometime B&B, sometime self catering accommodation.
You could choose the private clifftop or private beach for your ceremony and Will could be one legal witness if needed, and Helen or Graeme could be the other.
- A Loch Ness Wedding
The Loch Ness B&B near Dores on the south side of Loch Ness
Your hosts Fiona and John ask for a minimum two night stay for weddings for two, and offer you the option of getting married on their private beach on the shores of Loch Ness, with a great Plan B in in case of unkind weather is their first floor lounge overlooking the loch. Will could be one legal witness if needed, and Fiona or John the other.
This location is particularly good for families as Fiona and John have a young family, and you can choose from two double rooms, a family room or twin.
- The Splendour Of A Castle!
Brodie Castle near Nairn/Forres
If just the two of you, we can negotiate a very attractive cost for having your ceremony in the castle or gardens. You might like the idea of the Laird's Wing and choose to stay actually in a modernised apartment within the castle. Or there are holiday cottages, as well as a gift shop and café. Will could be one legal witness if needed, and we could hire in the other.
Crathes Castle near Aboyne
Crashes can offer similar options of having your ceremony in the castle or gardens. You can't stay in the castle but there are also holiday cottages, a gift shop and café. Will could be one legal witness if needed, and we could hire in the other.
- The Mystery Of A Castle
We stumbled upon two iconic hilltop fortress castles by accident. With 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside either are amazing.
Duffus Castle is a few miles from Elgin and the coast at Lossiemouth, and Auchindoun Castle is inland near Dufftown.
There is a farmhouse to rent with a view of Duffus Castle, or you could stay around Moray; or Auchindoun is just 200m from two luxury apartments which have been created out of former barns.
- Eco And Unusual Holiday Houses
Reiner and Sheileagh Luyken at The Brochs of Coigach
Situated within four acres of their own ground, the two Brochs are quite extraordinary hideaway retreats each with a sauna. A Broch is an Iron Age roundhouse built in a hilly landscape, and these Brochs have been modelled around this ancient concept.
The surrounding countryside would provide a beautiful backdrop, or you could hold your ceremony on the beach.
Your hosts Sheileagh and Reiner are open to you holding your ceremony at The Brochs, and to being your legal witnesses.
- Ancient Stone Circles
Aberdeenshire is rich in stone circles, and there are three in particular that we love to visit. Each have their own unique settings.
Sunhoney is at the back of a farm and surrounded by fields. Long grass surround the stones, and mature trees protect the site.
The circle at Tarland is set up high with a 360 degree view of the countryside, as is the circle at Easter Aquthorthies.
It would be hard to choose between them as they each offer a very special setting.
- Luxury Escapism
Owners Mike and Pawana have created the ultimate self-catering holiday experience at Eagle Brae in the Scottish Highlands. Each of the chalets offers privacy, luxury, comfort and a unique charm, and the perfect place to get married and honeymoon!
You can enjoy the beauty and tranquility and just relax and get away from it all, or you can have adventures - deer stalking, sled dog rides, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, cycling, pony trekking, clay pigeon shooting, walking, fishing and golf are all on offer.
Steve and Claire booked a week and eloped without telling family until the day - they posted their happy news on Facebook then the congratulations started to come in. They got married and then honeymooned.
- A Private Loch
Follow in the footsteps of Mike and Marie who stumbled across luxury self catering accommodation Willowbarn and ended up getting married between the two private wee lochs in the idyllic twelve acre garden.
Situated on the outskirts of the quiet and tranquil village of Rafford the barn is a spacious first floor haven, and your hosts Carlo and Fiona would be delighted for you to have your wedding and honeymoon in the garden or barn, and if needed could act as your legal witnesses.
- A Tiny Wee Church
If you harbour a dream to get married in church, yet the idea of a usual church service doesn't appeal, why not get married in a privately owned church and have a personal ceremony.
We know of several small churches which lend themselves beautifully to an intimate ceremony for two people.
- On The Beach
If the sea and the beach are absolute musts for your ceremony and stay, there are some amazing settings and properties available for you, and one of our favourites is the beautifully restored Mill of Nethermill set overlooking the secluded Nethermill Bay, just up the road from the village of Pennan, well known from being featured in the classic 1980's film Local Hero.
There are four luxury self-catering holiday apartments to choose from and your hosts Bill and Lyn are happy to help in any way to ensure you have the perfect stay.