Scotland boasts an abundance of beautiful hiking trails and mountain hotspots that those with a love of the Great Outdoors are welcome to tie the knot in.
Although hiking weddings aren’t for everyone, they can be a great way for happy couples to unite the love they have for each other with that of Mother Nature.
So, for those umming and ahhing about a hiking wedding in Scotland, here’s everything you need to know before you say “I do”.
Why Scotland is Great for Hiking Weddings
As well as there being no shortage of incredible rural locations that outdoorsy couples can explore, Scotland is one of the few countries that allows people (both nationals and internationals) to hold their wedding almost anywhere outdoors.
Providing you have the landowner’s permission, you can tie the knot in any number of stunning outdoor areas – including many of the country’s beloved hiking trails.
Hiking comes with its perils, and hiking weddings are no exception, so we hope this detailed guide will help you on your wedding path (so to speak!).
First things first, let’s look at some of the incredible hiking trails in Scotland to have your wedding or elopement on.
Hiking Trails in Scotland
Luckily for you, there’s no shortage of incredible hiking trails to choose from. Some of our favourites include:
● Cairngorm National Park
● Rope Bridge Hike, Ben Nevis
● Fife Coastal Path
● West Highland Way
● John Muir Way
● The Whithorn Way
● Loch Ness 360 Trail
● Southern Upland Way
● The Great Glen Way
● The Cateran Trail
● Borders Abbey Way
● Kintyre Way
These are just some of the incredible hiking areas in Scotland to conduct your hiking wedding or elopement.
Things to Consider Before Embarking on Your Hiking Wedding
Hiking Wedding Dress
A hiking wedding shouldn’t compromise your dream wedding dress ideas, but in order to keep it safe from dirt or damage, it’s best to pack it and take it with you instead of hiking the whole shebang in your gown!
Here are your options:
● Hang it from your backpack using straps to keep it from fluttering about.
● Pack it into your backpack (being mindful, of course, that, depending on the fabric, it
● Wear it for the duration of the hike (it’s your wedding, your rules!).
How to get the BEST wedding photos – tell me where to send these tips!
Hiking elopements are a popular choice for nature lovers who don’t wish to have a big traditional wedding and it can mean huge flexibility over the ceremony location without Great-Aunt Mildred complaining that her bad hip won’t cope with “all that walking!”.
Just make sure your celebrant is willing/able to get to the location (along with the witnesses) and that you be sure to bring your marriage licence with you.
What to Pack for a Hiking Wedding/ Elopement
So, depending on how long you plan on hiking for (it can be a one-day affair, or couples can make a holiday of it and go nature camping for a week), your hiking itinerary should look a little like this:
● Enough water/options for safely filtering spring water.
● Hiking snacks (aim for slow-release energy-givers like bananas, granola, trail mix,
● Your marriage licence/any Visa documentation (for non-native couples).
● Layers/waterproofs (be prepared for any and all weather types!) and, of course, a
good, broken-in pair of hiking boots.
● First aid kit.
● Bug spray. Scotland can be susceptible to Midges during certain times of the year.
● Trekking poles (depending on the steepness and the terrain).
● Wedding accessories (veil, bouquet, rings, etc.).
Adventure Elopement Photographer
When it comes to adventure or hiking ceremonies, your best bet is to invest in an adventure elopement photographer over a generic wedding photographer, who may not be best equipped for such an event.
And when it comes to a hiking wedding in Scotland, what better option is there than an Edinburgh-based adventure elopement photographer who knows (and loves) all of the best off-the-beaten-track spots?!
Having an adventure elopement photographer (who can also double as a witness, for those looking to keep their ceremonies super small) will mean having someone snap your big day who is prepared for anything the Great Outdoors throws at them, how to capture the most beautiful outdoorsy photos, and how to make the best of the moody and sometimes murky Scottish Highland light.
I can help you capture your unique and beautiful wedding in exactly the way you desire – and not only that, I also offer wedding planning services too – just to make the planning phase all the more smooth!
Naturally, hiking weddings are a little different from your average chapel or humanist wedding and there are certain things to take into consideration, such as guests who may not be compatible.
Alternatively, enlisting the help of a professional Scotland-based wedding planner will help you get your dream hiking wedding on point.
So, impractical clothing and footwear probably aren’t your best bet – but that doesn’t mean you can’t look elegant and chic – just make sure you pack a decent pair of hiking boots and some waterproofs!
Mountain weddings in Scotland may be cooler and more unpredictable, weather-wise, than lower-elevation weddings, so packing a few essentials that prioritise warmth and dryness is key.
While an outdoor wedding shouldn’t compromise that killer outfit you’ve got in mind, coming prepared with waterproofs and a warm jacket may stop those teeth from chattering all through the vows!
This is often the first question that springs to mind when planning a hiking wedding or elopement, as the idea of traipsing up hills, mountains, and muddy terrain in a beautiful white gown isn’t, well, overly appealing.
The broad answer is it’s up to you. However, for the sake of comfort, practicality, and keeping your dress in optimal condition, your best bet is to take it with you wrapped carefully, and then when you reach the location where you wish to perform the ceremony, change into it there/nearby.