Elopements and micro weddings in Scotland

Do you dream of a small and intimate wedding, where you can focus on each other, instead of having a big extravagant “do”? Then eloping to Scotland might be for you! Elopement means running away to get married in secret. However, some couples choose to tell a trusted few friends and family. You might instead opt for a micro wedding, where you bring a small number of guests along with you to celebrate.

Bride and groom running on a beach
Run away together for a romantic elopement!

Eloping to Scotland

Eloping to Scotland has been a tradition since the 18th century. At this time, couples under the age of 21 in England and Wales needed their parent’s consent to legally get married. So young couples would hop across the border to Scotland, where the rules were more relaxed, and secretly wed. But modern elopements have evolved. Today, they are all about escaping with the one you love to somewhere beautiful and romantic. Avoiding a large, lavish wedding and keeping things simple and special.

There are many reasons why couples choose to elope nowadays. You may simply feel that a large wedding isn’t for you, and you want a more intimate, meaningful day for just the two of you. It may be to save money, or to use the budget differently. Instead of spending it on a large catering bill, you can splash out on the outfits and photographs, discover somewhere new and far away, and combine it all with an epic honeymoon.

Scotland is the perfect destination for an elopement or micro wedding. With some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, our country provides an awesome backdrop for your special day. And your photos will be stunning! We have some wonderful Scottish wedding traditions too, which you might choose to include. For example, handfasting, which is a Celtic marriage ritual where your hands are bound together with a special ribbon or chord. It’s where the expression “tying the knot” comes from. There’s also the quaich, a ceremonial cup, usually filled with whisky, which the wedding couple both drink from, to signify friendship and trust.

Traditional Scottish quaich and bottle of whisky
A Scottish quaich can be used as part of the wedding celebrations.

Elopement and micro weddings at Mackays

If you’re looking for a small wedding venue in the Scottish Highlands, look no further than Mackays Hotel. We are a welcoming, family-run hotel in Wick. We can provide bridal suite accommodation, a small function room or outdoor space for the ceremony itself, and we can customise a wedding package based on your individual needs. There are lots of fantastic local wedding suppliers that we work with, such as florists, outfitters, cake-makers and crafters. We’ve put this list together to make planning the details even easier! And we have many magnificent locations nearby that would be perfect for your wedding photos. From the gorgeous Keiss beach to the rugged ruins of Castle Sinclair Girnigoe.

Ruins of Castle Sinclair Girnigoe near Wick
The ruins of Castle Sinclair Girnigoe could be a stunning backdrop for your wedding photos.

How to get started

Take a look on the Scottish Government website for the rules and guidelines regarding getting married in Scotland. Choose which type of ceremony you would like, whether civil or religious. And make sure you have plenty of time to complete all the forms and legalities. Please note, there are different rules depending on which country you are coming from, whether it’s within the EU, another part of the UK, or elsewhere. Then contact us at Mackays to find out more about our venue. Speak to our dedicated Wedding Co-ordinator, who will be able to guide you through the process.

Find out more about weddings at Mackays Hotel and start planning your dream wedding today!

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