Planning your prefect Scottish Elopement in Glencoe
Imagine exchanging your wedding vows amidst the breath taking landscapes of Glencoe, Scotland. The majestic mountains, vast moors, and serene lochs create a magical setting for your elopement wedding. This comprehensive guide will take you on a journey through the planning process, revealing the enchanting locations, seasonal considerations, and essential tips for your unforgettable Glencoe elopement.
- Experience the majestic romance of Scotland with a perfect Glencoe elopement.
- Create lasting memories and an unforgettable experience by embracing Scottish weather, packing essentials, and opting for an unplugged ceremony.
- Enhance your elopement with adventurous activities followed by traditional local cuisine to make it truly special.
Table of Contents
Why Elope in Glencoe, Scotland
Picture this: the vast and majestic mountainous landscapes of Glencoe, Scotland, offering untouched beauty as the backdrop for your elopement ceremony. The breath taking sceneries of the Scottish Highlands and the enchanting Glencoe Valley have mesmerized countless couples, making it one of our top Scottish elopement locations. Whether it's the awe-inspiring landscapes, intimate lochans, or beautiful seasonal colours, Glencoe truly is a dream come true for those seeking a unique and intimate wedding day experience.
Glencoe is remote and rugged but has plenty of descent well maintained roads, allowing you to explore this stunning region anytime of year. Flying into Edinburgh or Glasgow airports and taking a scenic drive to Glencoe is the perfect way to kick off your elopement adventure. Along your journey, you'll pass through quaint towns, marvel at giant Kelpies statues, and indulge in delicious treats from local eateries. With such a picturesque journey, you'll be even more excited to reach your destination.
Once you arrive in Glencoe, you'll be enchanted by the breath taking landscapes that surround you. From the stunning Glen Etive road futured in James Bonds Skyfall to the iconic Harry Potter filming locations, there is no shortage of awe-inspiring spots for your elopement photos. And with the expertise of your Glencoe elopement photographer, you'll have unforgettable memories capturing the beauty of your special day.
Embrace the unique charm of Scotland by incorporating delightful Scottish wedding traditions into your elopement ceremony. From hand-fasting to wearing a tartan shawl, these customs add a touch of authenticity and romance to your already magical day. Not only will these traditions make your wedding day even more special, but they will also create lasting memories that you and your partner will cherish forever.
As you're exploring the Glencoe area, you'll find a variety of charming villages and towns like Fort William, Kinlochleven and Glencoe Village. These locations offer a range of amenities, such as cozy accommodations, delicious dining options, and convenient parking facilities. With so much to discover and enjoy, your Glencoe elopement experience will be an adventure of a life time.
Top Glencoe Elopement Locations
Let me introduce you to some of the most stunning and romantic locations for your Glencoe elopement wedding. With options like The Three Sisters Mountains, Glencoe Lochan, and Glen Etive/Buachaille Etive Mòr, you'll find the perfect ceremony location to say "I do" surrounded by the breath taking beauty of the Scottish Highlands.
Glencoe Elopement Location 1 | The Three Sisters Mountains
The Three Sisters Mountains of Glencoe Valley, are made up of Aonach Dubh, Beinn Fhada, and Gearr Aonach, are truly a sight to behold, especially at sunset. These rugged mountains, with their awe-inspiring beauty, provide an incredible backdrop for your Scottish elopement ceremony. There are two large carparks overlooking the valley make carparking easy but can be busy in the summer months with tourists and hikers.
In addition to the stunning scenery and mountain views, the Three Sisters Mountains have a variety of different elements that can be used in your elopement photos like, waterfall, river, stoney beach and wooden bridges perfect for including in your elopement photos. With me as your Scotland elopement photographer I will give you guidance and we will be able to create stunning wedding photos that showcase the captivating beauty of your wedding day in this remarkable location.
Glencoe Elopement Location 2 | Glencoe Lochan
Imagine a serene and tranquil lochan walk, surrounded by the enchanting beauty of Glencoe Lochan. The tall, majestic pine trees and often mesmerizing mirror-like reflections of the mountains in the water create an prefect setting for your elopement ceremony. Glencoe Lochan offers a truly romantic and intimate atmosphere, making it a great choice for couples seeking a unique and unforgettable experience.
Glencoe Lochan is easily accessible, with signs directing you to the carpark as you drive through Glencoe Village. The car park is quite large so this location would be ideal for couples who are having a number of guests at their ceremony. Once you arrive, you'll be captivated by the breath taking landscape, reminiscent of the Canadian Rockies. The lush greens in the summer surroundings and the dark water create a perfect harmony, providing a stunning backdrop for your elopement photos especially in the autumn/fall colours.
One of the most romantic spots for an elopement ceremony at Glencoe Lochan is the floating deck on the west bank of the lochan, with the majestic mountain backdrop across from it. Another enchanting option is the pine forest with its lush mossy ground, surrounding the Glencoe Lochan. No matter which ceremony location you choose, your Glencoe Lochan elopement will be a magical and unforgettable experience.
Glencoe Elopement Location 3 | Buachaille Etive Mòr
Buachaille Etive Mòr, an awe-inspiring Munro peak, stands tall at 1022m between two stunning glens. This beautiful location offers a wide range of ceremony locations that can include Buachaille Etive Mòr in the backdrop with incredible photo opportunities. Whether you choose to exchange your vows at the foot of the mountain or conquer the summit together, Buachaille Etive Mòr provides a truly unforgettable experience for your elopement.
The base of this stunning mountain is home to the delightful Lagangarbh Hut, a little white house that adds a touch of charm to the breathtaking landscape.
The River Coupall runs past the wee white house at the foot of the Buachaille Etive Mòr it offers a picturesque setting for your elopement ceremony along its bank or on its rocky beach. With the awe-inspiring mountain as your backdrop. You will be able to capture stunning wedding photos that will be cherished for a lifetime, you'll have unforgettable memories of your special day in this extraordinary location.
Glencoe Elopement Location 4 | The Study/Ralston Cairn
The study is a epic view point that over looks the Three Sisters and the rest of the mountain range along the Glencoe Valley . To get to this location it is a 10-15 walk from the nearest carpark but its more than worth it to have outstanding mountain views at your elopement ceremony. The walk offers a great chance to capture some very adventurous looking photos of your hike into the wild that really adds to the experience of eloping in Glencoe. Once you get to the vast rocky slabs you will be over looking the three Sisters and the valley below. This Glencoe elopement location is amazing at golden hour just before sunset.
Glencoe Elopement Location 5 | Glen Etive/Loch Etive (James Bond Skyfall Location)
Glen Etive is a haven for nature lovers and adventurers alike. The rugged mountains that surround the glen create a dramatic panorama. Imagine saying your vows against the backdrop of towering peaks.
Glen Etive has appeared in several movies including several Harry Potter, Braveheart, and gained worldwide recognition as the location for James Bond's ancestral home in the Bond film "Skyfall". During your stay don't forget to check out some of the famous spots or try to spot them as you drive down the glen.
The Glenetive Road is single track with passing places, its about 10miles long and winds its way down Glen Etive valley following the river to the beautiful Loch Etive, another amazing elopement location and well worth the scenic drive!
Eloping to Glen Etive is great if you are after a secluded and intimate atmosphere. With its vast expanses of untouched wilderness, you'll easily find a private spot that allows you to focus solely on each other.
Glencoe Elopement Location 6 | Rannoch Moor
One of the most alluring aspects of Rannoch Moor is its vast scale and secluded untouched nature especially the the areas around Loch Ba. This remote location offers couples the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle and immerse themselves in a world of tranquility in its vast expanses of wilderness. With Rannoch Moor being so large it allows you to focus solely on each other, creating an intimate and sacred space to exchange vows and create lasting memories.
Rannoch Moor is adorned with an array of serene lochs that add an extra layer of enchantment to the landscape. The still waters reflect the surrounding beauty, often creating a mirror-like effect that enhances the sense of calm and serenity. Imagine standing on the shores of a remote loch, surrounded by majestic mountains, as your glencoe elopement photographer captures the romance of the moment.
The ever-changing weather conditions add to the moor's mystical charm, creating a sense of drama and intrigue. Whether it's the soft light filtering through the mist or the vibrant hues of a golden sunset, Rannoch Moor is a great location ether for your elopement ceremony or a fantastic location to explore as a newly married couple for your elopement photos.
Getting to Glencoe
Approximate travel times: Glencoe – from Edinburgh: 2.5 hour drive, from Glasgow: 2 hour drive
Getting to Glencoe is relatively straightforward, and there are several transportation options available. If you're flying into Scotland, the nearest airports are Glasgow and Edinburgh, both of which offer international flights. From there, you can hire a car and drive to Glencoe. Alternatively, you can take a train to Fort William, which is the nearest main town to Glencoe, and then hire a car or take a taxi for the remaining journey, but having your own car/hire car is defiantly the best option.
Seasonal Considerations for Your Glencoe Elopement
The beauty of Glencoe can be enjoyed year-round, but there are certain seasonal factors to consider when planning your elopement. From the lush greenery of summer to the enchanting colours of autumn and the magical snows capes of winter, each season offers its own unique charm and challenges.
Spring | March - May:
The weather starts to warm up during Spring, with average temperatures ranging from 7-13°C (45-55°F) and near the end of Spring can be hitting 20°C+. The days start to get longer, and you can expect to see some blooming flowers and plants as the landscape start to wake up from winter.
Highlights include pockets of colours including daffodils, bluebells and the beginning of heather bloom.
Summer | June - August:
Summer is the warmest season in Scotland, with average temperatures ranging from 15-18°C (59-64°F) however it can get much hotter at times. The days are long and sunny, which gives a lot of options for photos. However be aware that “Golden Hours” at sunset and sunrise can be very early and very late at the height of summer.
Landscapes are alive and blooming, expect to see a lot of green and life. Be warned, some locations can be prone to midges so be prepared if required.
Autumn | September - November:
The weather starts to cool down in autumn, with average temperatures ranging from 8-14°C (46-57°F). Although we have had some very warm weeks in September in recent years. The leaves on the trees start to change colour, creating a beautiful autumnal landscape, colours usually peaking mid-November. Autumn is my favourite time to shoot due to the depth and variety of golden and brown colours.
With temperatures still comfortable and the sunset times gradually becoming earlier, this season provides a truly romantic atmosphere for your special day.
Winter | December - February:
Winter is the coldest season in Scotland, with average maximum temperature usually around 5°C (41°F). The days are shorter and the weather can be quite wet and windy. There is a good chance of being some snow in the more highlands of Scotland so expect to see some snow capped mountains.
Although there are fewer hours of daylight, it’s still great to shoot in with both crisp Winter light and softer golden light making for some beautiful photos if you elope in Scotland in the Winter.
What if it rains on your Glencoe elopement day?
With it being Scotland there is always a chance it might rain or some days you might get wild, rain, sun and snow all in the same day! Be prepared for the possibility of wild weather, but remember that it's often said that rain on your wedding day is a sign of good luck and a blessing for a long-lasting marriage.
Embrace the unpredictable Scottish weather and remember plan ahead, pack essentials like umbrellas, a rain poncho/coats or a windbreaker to ensure you stay comfortable and dry during your ceremony and photo session.
It’s worth letting any guests know about the variability of the Scottish weather and to plan all four seasons in one day! Particularly if you are planning an outdoor elopement ceremony! It’s best not to worry about the weather on your day- just embrace it! Whether it is sunny, rainy or snowy this is all part of the beauty of eloping in the wild.
Useful Items to Pack for Your Glencoe Elopement
Depending on the time of year you plan to elope, here is a list of a few items that could be useful:
- Walking boots/Chelsea boots/Wellies
- Woollen shawl/Blanket
- Bug Spray/Midge Repellent
- Snacks and drinks
- Flask of coffee
- Vow books
- Towels to keep in car to dry off if it rains
Choosing the Right Vendors for Your Glencoe Elopement
Selecting the right vendors for your Glencoe elopement is crucial to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience. From the photographer who will capture the beauty of your day to the celebrant who will officiate your ceremony, each vendor plays a vital role in making your elopement unforgettable.
Choose a Celebrant & Witnesses to elope in Scotland
Find a celebrant to officiate your ceremony. There are lots of celebrants to pick from so you can be sure to find one that suits your style. Consider choosing a celebrant who is experienced in conducting elopement ceremonies in Glencoe and is familiar with the area. Make sure to book your celebrant well in advance to ensure they're available on your desired date.
Once you have booked your celebrant they will usually be keen to meet or have a call with you both to go over your plans for the day, this would be a great time to ask them any questions about your ceremony.
For a legal ceremony, you will need two witnesses that will be present during your ceremony (not including your celebrant). If you do not have any guests attending your ceremony I would happy to be your photographer and also your witness! I can also arrange for another if needed. Both of your witnesses will sign your marriage license shortly after your ceremony.
Find your celebrant: www.humanism.scot
Elopement & Wedding Photographers
When choosing your wedding photographer, consider their unique visual style and the potential for a strong personal connection. A skilled photographer who is familiar with the Glencoe area will know the best locations for stunning photographs and will be able to capture the essence of your special day. I offer a range of photography packages to suit your individual needs and budget. From full-day coverage to a few key moments, there is a Glencoe elopement package that will suit you as a couple.
Other Local vendors
Other vendors to consider for your Glencoe elopement include florists, hair and makeup artists, pipers, and any other services that will make your day truly special. By selecting vendors who are familiar with the area and can provide personalized services, you'll be able to create a memorable and stress-free Glencoe elopement experience.
The best time of day for Elopement Photographs
For the chances of getting the best light during your Glencoe elopement, consider the following tips. First, choose the right time of day for your elopement ceremony and photos. The golden hour, just before sunset or after sunrise, provides beautiful, soft light that will enhance the beauty of your images. If you prefer a more intimate atmosphere, consider a sunrise or sunset ceremony, when there are fewer people around. Try to avoid the high mid day sun as it is the hardest and most unflattering light to be photographed in.
Legal Requirements for Eloping in Scotland
Eloping in Scotland is pretty straightforward, with just a few legal requirements to fulfil, you will need to provide proof of your identity, nationality, and residence. Start by submitting the Marriage Notice M10 paperwork to the local registry office. For a marriage in Glencoe, Fort William will be the local registry office. You'll need to do this at least 29 days before your intended elopement date, but it's best to submit the paperwork as early as possible to ensure everything is in order.
Once your paperwork has been processed, your Marriage Schedule needs to be collected in person by either you or your partner from 7 days before your wedding from the registry office. This document is required for your elopement ceremony and must be signed by both you and your partner, as well as two adult witnesses, during the ceremony.
Due to the added paperwork, some people choose not to have their Scottish ceremony as their legal ceremony. This option is easier for a number of reasons and doesn’t make the day any less special.
Lastly, you'll need to find a registered celebrant to officiate your elopement ceremony. In Scotland, you have the choice of a civil ceremony with a local registrar or a humanist celebrant. Whichever option you choose, make sure your celebrant is familiar with the Glencoe area and can create a personalized and meaningful ceremony that reflects your unique relationship and values.
Remember to return your marriage schedule!
Within 3 days after your wedding ceremony your marriage schedule must be submitted to the local registrar to be legally registered. So don't forget when you elope in Scotland!
Get Married in Scotland & Marriage notice form M10: www.nrscotland.gov.uk
Check if you need a Marriage Visitor Visa: www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
Scottish government website: www.mygov.scot/getting-married
Maybe an unplugged elopement ceremony is for you?
Consider having an unplugged elopement ceremony, where guests are kindly asked not to use their phones for photos/videos during the ceremony or on the day. This creates a truly intimate and magical atmosphere, allowing you and your partner to fully immerse yourselves in the experience and create lasting memories together and it avoids the chance of having phones being held up in your beautiful elopement photos.
Things to do in Glencoe:
Your Glencoe elopement can be more than just an intimate ceremony – it can also be an unforgettable adventure. Embrace the spirit of exploration and enhance your elopement experience with thrilling activities that showcase the beauty and excitement of the Scottish Highlands. Hiking is a popular activity in Glencoe, with stunning trails that lead you through the epic mountains and valleys. Whether you choose a challenging hike to the summit of Buachaille Etive Mr or a leisurely stroll around the tranquil Glencoe Lochan, the breathtaking scenery will make your elopement trip even more memorable.
For a truly unique and exhilarating experience, consider incorporating a chairlift ride at Glencoe Mountain Resort. As you ascend the mountain, you'll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding landscape, making this a once-in-a-lifetime experience. (maybe even have your elopement ceremony at the top!)
Don't forget to explore the local pubs and restaurants in Glencoe, such as Clachaig Inn, Kingshouse Hotel Restaurant, and Glencoe Café. These cozy establishments offer a taste of authentic Scottish cuisine and provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere for you and your partner to unwind and celebrate your elopement.
Local Attractions and Day Trips:
- Glencoe Folk Museum
- Glencoe Mountain - Chair Lift/Summit Hiking/Tubing/Skiing/Sightseeing
- Glencoe Visitor Centre
- Glenfinnan Viaduct (from Harry Potter movies)
- Kilchurn Castle
There are lots of hiking trails to choose from that will suits all fitness levels, here are some of the easier hikes.
- The Lost Valley - Route info & Map: here
- Signal Rock - Route info & Map: here
- Pap of Glencoe - Route info & Map: here
- Glencoe Lochan - Route info & Map: here
- Brecklet Trail - Route info & Map: here
- Steallfalls, Glen Nevis - Route info & Map: here
Accommodations and Dining Options in Glencoe
When it comes to accommodations and dining options in Glencoe, you'll find a variety of choices to suit your needs and preferences. From cozy inns and hotels to self-catering accommodations, there are options for every taste and budget. Many of them also offer wedding venue packages if you prefer to have your ceremony in a wedding venue and then head out into the wild for the more adventures location photos.
When selecting your accommodation, consider whether you prefer a catered experience or a more intimate self-catering option. Additionally, look for spaces with natural light and big windows to create beautiful, soft images on for the getting ready photographs on your elopement day.
Some of my recommendations in Glencoe include:
Guesthouses and B&Bs
- Dalness Estate
- Glenceitlein Cottage
- Glen Etive Schoolhouse
- Loch Awe Eco Cabins
- Strathassynt Guest House
- Ardno House B&B
- The Old Stables
Campsites & Hostels
Food & Restaurants
- Lochleven Seafood Cafe
- Crafts and things Cafe
- Gathering Bar & Grill
- Kings House Hotel - fine dining experience
- Clachaig Inn - cozy pub atmosphere
In conclusion, a Glencoe elopement offers a truly magical and unforgettable experience for couples seeking an intimate and unique wedding day. From the breath taking landscapes and enchanting ceremony locations to the comprehensive planning guide and essential tips, this blog post has provided everything you need to embark on your own Glencoe elopement adventure. So, let the enchanting beauty of the Scottish Highlands inspire your love story and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get married in Glencoe Scotland?
Yes, you can get married in Glencoe Scotland! This stunning location is home to breath taking views and offers an unforgettable experience for your big day. Whether you’re dreaming of a small outdoor elopement ceremony with your closest friends or a big celebration with the whole family at one of the main hotels.
How much is it to elope in Scotland?
Eloping to Scotland is an incredibly romantic and cost-effective option. With average total costs in the of £4,000 - £7,000 eloping to the Scottish Highlands can be a cost-efficient way to get married.
Enjoy a day filled with romance and beautiful scenery!
What place in Scotland do people elope?
People who are looking to elope in Scotland will find the perfect romantic backdrop at the in Glencoe, The Cairngorms National park and the Isle of Skye, but there are many other amazing locations or maybe an area that is special to you both?. These stunning locations offer breath taking views, serene nature, and picturesque settings for your special day.
Whether you're looking for a dramatic mountain backdrop or a rustic beachfront ceremony, these iconic places provide the perfect setting for your unique elopement.
What if it rains during our elopement?
Embrace the unpredictable Scottish weather and remember that rain on your wedding day is considered a sign of good luck and a blessing for a long-lasting marriage. Pack essentials like umbrellas, a rain poncho, or a windbreaker to ensure you stay comfortable and dry during your ceremony and photo session.
Discover Glencoe Elopement Packages
I offer a range of Glencoe elopement photography packages to suit your individual needs and budget. From full-day coverage to a few key moments, there is a Hall Photography package that will suit you as a couple.
Hi, I’m Matt
For over ten years, I have been a photographer with a keen interest in portraits and capturing authentic moments. As an elopement photographer I love travelling off the beaten path throughout Scotland and photographing couples on their wedding or elopement day.
In terms of style, I would describe my photography as couple and “moment” led. Pictures are the most authentic to you as a couple when you are natural and not overly posed, and that’s how I like to capture them.
My editing style is fine-art, which means a timeless and classic style, which isn’t going to age or look dated. I ensure my edits are also optimised for both print and digital so you can be assured that your photos will look just as good on your wall as on a screen!
If you would like to read more about me click below.
Glencoe Elopement Photographer
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