Name a more scenic spot than Glencoe – we’ll wait!
Scotland truly is a mythical, mysterious land, and is brimming with Celtic culture, moody mountains, stunning scenery, lovely lochs, gorgeous glens, and wonderful whisky – and it can be the ultimate romantic place to tie the knot.
For happy couples thinking about a Scotland elopement – particularly somewhere rural and mystical – Glencoe may be the place for you.
Read More: Getting Married in Scotland: A 2023 Guide
Those intrigued by the heavenly Highlands for their ceremony will be mesmerised by all that Glencoe has to offer. So, without further ado, let’s find out everything you need to know about your Glencoe elopement.
For lovers of the Great Outdoors (not to mention, some seriously epic wedding photography), there really isn’t anywhere more incredible than the stunning village of Glencoe.
Situated within the deep valley of the jaw-dropping Lochaber Geopark, Glencoe is everything magical about the Scottish Highlands – and then some. The village gets its name from the volcanic mountains that surround it, which were formed from icy glaciers millions of years ago (420 million years, to be exact – but who’s counting?), forming a gaping glen (called Coe, funnily enough…), where this picturesque little village now lies.
Sparsely populated by a mere 374 residents, this rural gem lies between the banks of Loch Leven, and is a real treat for lovers of nature and geology alike. And yes – you can tie the knot there!
Although Glencoe is more than somewhat off the beaten track, the village features a number of quaint B&Bs (as well as lodges, cabins, and cottages), a folk museum, and several eateries, meaning couples looking to elope in Scotland can stay for a romantic few days, pre-or-post-ceremony.
Read More: Glencoe Wedding Venues: Our Top 6 Picks
Glencoe Elopement: Your Ultimate Guide
Ask any wedding photographer worth his or her salt and they will squeal with delight at the thought of photographing a micro-wedding or elopement in Glencoe!
It’s one of the very few locations/scenarios, where the moodier the weather – the more epic the photography. And the best thing about Glencoe is, unlike so many other scenic locations in the world, you’re perfectly able to legally have a wedding ceremony there.
Legal Requirements of a Glencoe Elopement
While the legal/paperwork side of getting married/eloping isn’t the most, ah, romantic part of planning your special day, it’s pretty non-negotiable and worth getting out of the way as soon as possible, so that you can then focus on the fun stuff.
The good news is that getting hitched in Scotland (irrespective of whether you’re a native or not) is actually more simple and straightforward than you might imagine. And as your special day is an elopement – it’s even simpler. All you need is:
- A set ceremony date and location.
- A celebrant/religious or humanist registrar (which can be assigned via the registry office closest to your chosen location).
- A marriage form and then a schedule (which you will need to collect from your approved celebrant/registrar prior to your elopement date).
- Two witnesses over the age of 16 (one of whom can be the photographer, if you want to keep the headcount to the minimum).
- (For non-UK natives: you will need a marriage visa, which will need to be applied for and approved at least three months prior to your chosen elopement date).
The paperwork itinerary:
- A marriage notice form (which must be submitted no later than 29 days before your elopement date in order to be issued with a marriage form).
- Both of your birth/adoption certificates.
- Proof of residence/s.
- (For non-UK natives) your marriage visa.
Once all of this is sorted, now it’s time to plan the fun stuff!
Glencoe Elopement Locations
There’s so much more to Glencoe than just its village and traditional viewpoints, and this means having to settle on one of the many stunning options available.
Some of our favourite spots include:
- Glencoe Valley (ideal for those who want some seriously moody but magical wedding photography).
- Glen Loy (ideal for those who want a woodland ceremony).
- St. Mary’s Space, Argyll (ideal for those who wish to get married inside an incredible former church right on the waterfront of the River Creran!)
- Glen Etive (ideal for those who wish to get married at the foot of an epic mountain!)
- Buachaille Etive Mór (ideal for those who want a stunning, but easily accessible, ceremony location).
Accommodation in Glencoe
While Glencoe is super rural, you’re more than provided for when it comes to finding a romantic place to spend a night or two.
Whether you want a lavish hotel, quirky cottage, fancy farmhouse, chic chalet, or cosy cabin, Glencoe has it all.
Some of our favourite accommodation options include:
- Outlander Glencoe at Creag an-t Sionnaich
- Beechwood Cottage B&B
- Riverbeds Luxury Wee Lodges (with hot tubs)
- Oakview Chalet
- Little Lodge Hideaway (5 star resort with hot tubs)
- Hawthorn Cottage
- Inverlochy Castle Hotel (which features a Michelin star restaurant).
Making Your Glencoe Elopement Magical
Eloping takes much of the hassle and faff out of organising a traditional big white wedding, but that doesn’t mean by any stretch of the imagination that it can’t be romantic, unique, and truly full of magic.
Many non-natives opt to tie the knot in Scotland, not only for its incredible scenery, but because the Scots have numerous weird and wonderful wedding traditions that many couples like to incorporate into their special day – especially those with Celtic or Gaelic ancestry.
Here at Wildling Wedding, we love nothing more than adding some special touches to your wedding ceremony – and that includes one or more of the many Scottish wedding traditions.
Glencoe Through the Seasons
So, no matter which season you opt for your Glencoe elopement, you’re guaranteed to have some seriously beautiful surroundings and phenomenal wedding photography.
However, there are things to bear in mind:
Even in the height of the summer, Scottish weather is unpredictable – at best. Couple that with the fact that Glencoe stands at around 1011 feet above sea level, so you’re likely guaranteed snow-peaked mountains much of the year, and of course, those bitter north winds the country is known for!
Also, if you’re a couple who are devout hikers, and wish to incorporate this factor into your Glencoe elopement – as many do – you will need to plan your attire for this (hiking boots and a warm jacket are a must).
We’ve put together a Glencoe elopement mini-guide for each season:
Spring weather in Glencoe can be somewhat unpredictable, as oftentimes, winter likes to stick around.
However, opting for a micro-wedding or elopement between the months of April and June will allow for slightly milder/warmer weather, later sunsets, cherry blossom trees, and the first peakings of the mountain wildflowers.
Spring elopements in Scotland will allow for the dramatic, moody skies and scenery that sprinkles that Highland magic on your wedding photos, but sans the potential for frostbite!
Summer in Glencoe is a truly lush and magical time, where many of the Scottish Highlands’ animal residents are in abundance in the mountains and meadows, and the scenery is vivid with greenery and florals.
Naturally, the weather is most pleasant this time of year, but it is still unpredictable! A trip to the Highlands in the summer months usually requires an itinerary of sunscreen, wellies, a fleecy jacket, sunglasses, and a waterproof windbreaker!
Also – owing to its stunning beauty, Glencoe is known to rake in the tourists during the summer, which may need to be factored in if a private and intimate ceremony is preferred.
Okay, so we’re suckers for autumn at the best of times, but it has a particularly enchanting effect on the Scottish Highlands.
If the hazy golden brown hues of autumn are essential for your special day, then Glencoe will more than cater to that! Autumn in Glencoe is seriously atmospheric, with its foggy moors, early sunsets, and warm reds, golds, and browns.
For those who want a winter wonderland elopement, Glencoe is at your service!
Snow in Glencoe is almost a given during the winter months, so for those who long for a literal white wedding (not to mention a few cosy nights snuggled up in front of a log fire) will love Glencoe in the wintertime.
Naturally, it will be cold – so do prepare for that. And make sure you get your photography all boxed off before you lose the light, as it can get dark as early as 4pm.
Choosing Your Glencoe Elopement Photographer
So, if you’re now fully convinced that a Glencoe elopement is a must and you’re already fantasising about the incredible wedding photography that awaits – why not get that booked today?!
Better yet, why not sit back and let a professional Scotland-based micro-wedding and elopement photographer and planner take care of the entire affair?!
My name is Alysa and I am an Edinburgh-based wedding photographer and planner, and I am here to make your Glencoe elopement as magical, stunning, and unique as you and your special someone are.
For more information, or a friendly chat, get in touch today or fill out the form below.