Are you thinking of eloping to The Isle of Skye in Scotland? Or are you in the process of planning your romantic Isle of Skye elopement wedding?
That’s awesome! We believe that an outdoor elopement wedding is one of the most unique and special ways to celebrate your love and to set the tone for the adventurous life that you plan to lead together! As award-winning Scottish elopement photographers, we have captured love stories throughout Scotland, Europe and America. So we can put on hands on our hearts when we say that you have chosen one of the most stunning places in the world to exchange your vows! The Isle of Skye has to be the best location for adventurous, nature-loving couples who love mountains and the great outdoors to choose for their elopement wedding.
We are a husband and wife adventure elopement photography team who know the Isle of Skye well—we’ve captured many elopements here, we’ve holidayed here, we’ve climbed the mountains here and sailed the waters. We would love to share that knowledge with you and give you all the support and guidance you need to plan an amazing Isle of Skye elopement adventure!
In this blog, we will give you the low-down on some of the best Skye elopement locations, practical advice on the logistics of planning a relaxed and fun elopement day on the Isle of Skye (including the legal elements) and some recommendations for celebrants, other suppliers and characterful accommodation options.
We’re here to make your life easy! So grab a cup of coffee, a notebook and pen…and read on!
Welcome to the Isle of Skye!
The landscape of the Isle of Skye is like nowhere else in Scotland. The moment that you cross the Skye Bridge, you feel like you are stepping into another world. Skye is a rugged and wildly romantic place; the weather here changes quickly, mists cling to the mountains and fogs roll in from the sea. This is the land of Gaelic epics.
Whilst the landscape makes Skye feel remote and wild, there is a thriving local community here and the restaurants are some of the best in Scotland. An Isle of Skye elopement has the benefit of feeling other-worldly away-from-it all, while also allowing you to enjoy incredible, award-winning restaurants, a lively cafe culture, cosy pubs where live Scottish folk music nights draw the locals in and you can get a genuine taste of Scottish culture (not to mention fine Scottish whisky—Talisker anyone?)
WHERE TO ELOPE ON THE ISLE OF SKYE?
The 5 Best Skye Elopement Locations
We’ve photographed many elopements and outdoor weddings on the Isle of Skye. Whatever the season and whatever the weather, Skye never fails to take our breath away!
Skye is popular with tourists, and with very good reason. So as Scotland elopement photographers, we want to give you a bit of insider-knowledge into a few of our favourite places to elope on Isle of Skye and some tips on how to avoid the crowds!
1. THE QUIRAING: The perfect location for a mountain elopement wedding in Scotland
The Quiraing is about 30 minutes drive from Portree (one of the central settlements on Skye, and one that’s well-served with amenities). Adventurous couples can embark on the hike up to the Quiraing (which takes roughly 2 hours for a full circuit – depending on your pace). If you are fit and energetic, it’s a spectacular walk! For couples who are a little less adventurous, or who want to include older parents or grandparents in their ceremony, you can drive up the single-tracked Uig road from near Staffin to a pass through the Trotternish. From here, it’s a short walk to the much-photographed ridge. It’s worth noting that it’s a steep road, and in winter (Dec–Feb) it can get icy and making access by road tricky.
In summer, the Quiraing is very popular with tourists, so you are unlikely to have the place to yourselves unless you are willing to get up there early (before about 7 am). If you don’t mind the early start, it’s well worth it! Alternatively, we have found a beautiful, secret, secluded spots with spectacular views about 15–20 mins walk from the car park where you are unlikely to be disturbed—even during busy periods. There are also alternative walking routes in from near Flodigarry that provide a more remote experience. The Quiraing is certainly one of the most epic backdrops that you could dream of for an outdoor elopement wedding ceremony!
The Quiraing is about 30 mins drive from The Fairy Glen (see No.3), so it’s totally do-able to capture some epic images at both locations if you would like to.
2. LOCH CORUISK: Best lake or loch Skye elopement wedding location.
Loch Coruisk is a stunning, secluded location: a loch surrounded by mountains. It feels both inspiring & majestic and peaceful & protected all at the same time. It’s either a 7 km (3–4 hour) walk along the coast from the village of Elgol, or considerably longer ones from Kirkibost on the Elgol road or from Sligachan. Alternatively, you can take one of the cute, wooden ferry boats that run several times a day from Elgol between April–October by Misty Isle Boats. It’s also possible to charter your own private boat for greater flexibility in timings, making it extra romantic and special. But either way the boat trip offers great camaraderie, with excellent stories from the skipper.
The scenic boat journey to Loch Coruisk adds to the fun and the sense of adventure. In addition to spectacular views of the Cuillin, you are likely to catch glimpses of a great variety of seabirds—oyster catchers, golden eagles, puffins and occasional sea eagles. You might also spot basking sharks, minky whales, dolphins and porpoises sometimes following playfully along by the boat.
It’s worth noting that the ferry boat to Loch Coruisk is weather dependent. If the wind is particularly strong, and coming from a specific direction, the boats are unable to sail. Should this be the case we have some pretty stunning Plan B options in and around Elgol, a wee walk along the headland, up our sleeve. You will always be able to get married in a spectacular setting, we promise you won’t be disappointed!
3. THE FAIRY GLEN: The best Skye elopement location for lovers folklore and mysticism.
The Fairy Glen, just above the village of Uig, is as enchanting and otherworldly as its name suggests. It’s luscious, green and verdant with softly rolling hills and quiet pools. Compared to the rugged drama of the rest of the island, the Fairy Glen feels altogether softer and more gentle. Like the Quiraing, it’s popular with tourists, so we would recommend arriving early around 7–8am, if you want to have the place to yourselves. Alternatively, we have recced a few spots where you are less likely to be disturbed.
The Fairy Glen is about 30 mins drive from the Quiraing (see No.1), so it’s totally do-able to capture some epic images at both locations, if you would like.
4. THE CUILLIN & THE OLD MAN OF STORR
Best Isle of Skye elopement locations for mountaineers or couples who want an adventurous wedding. These offer easier approaches as well as more committed adventures. For the adventurous there are the bealach—passes between hills—that offer unique locations for elopements with stunning backdrops.
5. Hidden Places and Secret Spots
We are always happy to recce a super-romantic Isle of Skye wedding ceremony location just for you! We’ve found many out of the way stops that avoid the crowds. Get in touch if you would like to discuss some alternative locations for your Skye Elopement!
Best Isle of Skye elopement wedding accommodation & venues
One of the things that we love about Skye is that while it’s wild and remote, it also has some really amazing hotels and restaurants. It’s your wedding day, so you’re going to want to make it really special, right?!
There are so many amazing places to stay on Skye. However, finding the right place to fit in with your wedding plans can be challenging if you are not familiar with the island and how long it takes to get from one place to the next. We’re here to help you with that! We’d like to share our local knowledge and recommend some hotels that we think are really stunning – and will make really romantic accommodation options for your Isle of Skye elopement adventure!
Do keep in mind that Skye is a large island, and that a lot of the roads to the wild places are single-track, so it takes a while to get around. Make sure that the accommodation you are booking is well-placed—less than 60 mins drive—from your elopement ceremony location.
Kinloch Lodge (good for Loch Coruisk elopements)
Classy, characterful and situated in a stunning loch-side on the Sleat Peninsula, Kinloch Lodge offers complete luxury, tranquility and amazing locally sourced food! Absolutely perfect for a couple planning their intimate wedding or elopement on Skye. It’s 40mins drive to Elgol (where the boat for Loch Coruisk departs) so it’s a good accommodation if you have chosen Loch Coruisk as your elopement ceremony location.
Coruisk House (good for Loch Coruisk elopements)
Boutique hotel (only 4 rooms, sleeps 8) in the tiny, remote hamlet of Elgol. It’s perfect for couples wanting to get away from it all. It’s quiet and cosy, with amazing locally sourced food. It’s just a 5min drive down to Elgol Pier, where the boat for Loch Coruisk departs. So super-convenient for a Loch Coruisk wedding.
Bosville Hotel, Portree (good for Quiraing, Fairy Glen and Fairy Pools elopements)
In a central location in the small town of Portree, the Bosville Hotel is cool and classy, with super-friendly staff and delicious food. We’ve eaten there on many occasions now, and it’s been excellent every time! Some of the rooms are quite small (and would make getting ready together a bit cramped) so it’s worth booking one of the larger rooms with a sea view.
The Three Chimneys (good for Neist Point, Fairy Pools and Dunvegan elopements)
Award-winning restaurant with rooms renowned for it’s excellent Scottish food, situated in a quiet corner of Skye overlooking Dunvegan Castle.
Best Self-Catering & Airbnb accommodation on the Isle of Skye for an elopement wedding
1) Mint Croft Cottages (Good for The Fairy Glen, Neist Point, Fairy Pools elopements)
Mint Croft is a rare find, a luxurious gourmet b&b in three old crofters’ cottages perched above the sea. It’s a labour of love created by a couple of designers turned modern-day crofters. You’ll want to hole up here and never leave. Set in the stunning and remote coastal village of Geary, yet only ten minutes drive from Skye’s only Michelin star restaurant and the island’s oldest pub.
2) The Crofter’s House (Good for The Quiraing, Fairy Glen, The Old Man of Storr and Fairy Pools elopements)
An original 1830’s crofter’s cottage that has been completely renovated to provide a calm and peaceful retreat in the surrounding rugged landscape of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Situated beside Camustianavaig Bay on the Isle of Skye, the house enjoys a rural location, yet is only five miles from Portree. The space is decorated in a soft minimal style and offers a tranquil Highland hideaway for up to two people.
3) The Spoons (Good for The Fairy Glen, Fairy Pools, The Old Man of Storr and Quiraing elopements)
The Spoons feels like a home-from-home. Set in a peaceful location near Portree, it’s the perfect romantic retreat for two. The Spoons is centrally located making it the ideal place from which to explore the island. We have stayed here several times ourselves, and we love it!
4) Harlosh Black H (Good for Neist Point, Coral Beach elopements)
Two architecturally designed self-catering holiday cottages on the west coast of Isle of Skye with amazing views, offering stylish and contemporary holiday hideaways for two.
We know a wealth of other wee places across Skye, which we can recommend to our couples. If you’d like to chat to us about your Isle of Skye elopement plans get in touch!
THE LEGAL ESSENTIALS
Did you know that you can legally get married anywhere you like on the Isle of Skye, as long as your ceremony is conducted by a registered celebrant?
Choosing the right celebrant is really important because their personality and approach will inform the atmosphere of your elopement wedding ceremony. So you will want to find a celebrant that you connect with on a personal level. Most celebrants appreciate that you will probably want to speak to a couple of different celebrants before making your decision, to see who you click with.
The Humanist Association of Scotland has a list of approved celebrants. But if you would like some personal recommendations, we can connect you with celebrants who we’ve worked with often, and know bring a lovely warmth and wisdom to the ceremonies they conduct.
In terms of logistics, you and your partner will each need to give notice to the district registrar for the area where you intend to marry.
- If your ceremony location is in the South of Skye (Elgol and Loch Coruisk) then you should contact the Broadford office.
- If you are planning to elope in the North of Skye (Fairy Pools, Fairy Glen, Quiraing, Old Man of Storr) then you should get in touch with the Portree & Raasay office.
UPDATE: since the pandemic, only the Portree & Raasay office has been open.
**It’s important to note that you must give the notices to the district registrar no earlier than 3 months and no later than 29 days before the date of the marriage.**
There is more detailed information on the paperwork required on the National Records of Scotland website.
For more information about our Isle of Skye elopement photography packages:
ISLE OF SKYE ELOPEMENT: SUPPLIER RECOMMENDATIONS
We can connect you with some of the best florists—true artists who have worked with many of the couples who you see in our images. We can also connect you with talented and friendly make-up teams, who do a wonderful job of creating that fresh-faced look.
A few favourites, from north to south Skye:
- The Ferry Inn, Uig – intimate fine dining in a family-run restaurant (book well before visiting)
- Dulce & Brose at the Bosville Hotel, Portree – cool, cosy well-stocked bar and excellent contemporary Scottish menu
- Scorrybreac, Portree – amazing and unique tasting menus
- The Three Chimneys – world renowned Scottish restaurant-with-rooms in a beautiful location.
- Edinbane Lodge, Edinbane – wonderful Scottish casual fine dining
- The Dunvegan, Dunvegan – great food and views, also good for lunches
- The Old Inn, Carbost – characterful traditional Scottish pub with live Scottish music
- Kinloch Lodge – cosy, classy Scottish shooting lodge with incredible food.
WHAT TO WEAR FOR YOUR ISLE OF SKYE ELOPEMENT WEDDING
Whatever the season, whatever the month, the weather on Skye is very changeable. You may, as the saying goes, get ‘four seasons in one day’. So come prepared! Layers, waterproofs and sensible, sturdy shoes are essential.
Whatever you choose to wear for your Isle of Skye elopement wedding will, of course, be a very personal decision. However, for your own comfort and enjoyment of your elopement adventure, we would offer the following pieces of advice:
DO: If you are planning to wear a dress, choose a skirt with plenty of movement.
Opt for something that will not restrict your movement and will allow you to have fun while you are exploring your beautiful elopement location without having to worry about your dress the whole day. Remember that you are likely to be walking up the odd hill or stepping over a stream or two. Make sure that your dress will allow you do to this. Plus, floaty dresses look amazing when caught by the wind!
WE WOULD ADVISE AGAINST: A really, big, heavy, bulky cotton dress or a dress with a very tightly fitting skirt
In our experience, a tightly fitting dress will be restrictive to your movement and will probably prevent you from being able to fully relax and enjoy your day. Likewise, a big, bulky, heavy dress is likely to weigh you down and feel a bit cumbersome after an hour or so, especially if it gets wet. Opting for something light and floaty is a great idea. It will not restrict your movement and will allow you to relax and have fun while you are exploring your beautiful elopement location. Who wants to be wrestling with their dress the entire elopement day?!
Layers will make a big difference to your general warmth, comfort and enjoyment of your day. Depending on the colour of your dress, cream or white merino wool tights or leggings are a great idea. Fingerless gloves work great. Depending on the cut of your dress, a thermal vest or merino camisole would be a great idea, too.
In terms of footwear, some sort of lace-up brogue boot or even walking boots are ideal. The ground is often quite damp and boggy in places, so waterproof footwear will prevent you from getting wet feet.
Woollen shawls are an excellent way to add an extra layer, while also fitting into the Scottish surroundings. We love the Recycled Wool Shawls at the Tartan Blanket Company. They’re so beautifully made, and incredibly warm and wind-proof.
Every guy has a sense of what he looks and feels good in. Again, if we were to offer one piece of advice, it would be to consider the backdrop of your Scottish elopement wedding, and what will feel in-keeping with it with your surroundings.
A tux or a sharp suit might totally rock for a city elopement. However, you might want to consider something a little more rustic for your elopement on Skye A hip tweed suit looks great amidst the mountains, plus they’re really warm, which is a definite bonus! For anyone of Scottish descent, or anyone just keen to get into the Outlander atmosphere of the place, there is obviously the kilt option, too!
You also don’t need to stick to bright white shirts; off-white, cream, blues and other pastel tones work well, and have less glare should the sun show its face and you need to remove some layers.
ISLE OF SKYE ELOPEMENT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photography is perhaps the most important investment that you will make in your elopement wedding. Your photographer has the responsibility of capturing the story of your day beautifully; to preserve these special memories forever and allow you to share them with your family and friends. They will also be perhaps the only guest(s) at this incredibly momentous and personal day of your lives, and their personality will influence the atmosphere of your day. Make sure that you choose a photographer whose style you love, but also that you connect with on a personal level, too.
Most photographers are only too happy to speak with couples who are interested in inviting them to be a part of their elopement adventure. It’s a great way for them to get to know more about you and your ideas and plans for your day. It’s also a chance for you to get a sense of them and how they would fit into it!
It goes without saying that if you are looking for two friendly and fun Scotland based wedding photographers to capture your elopement, we would love to hear more about your plans! Skye is one of our absolutely favourite places to shoot elopements: it takes our breath away every time. We feel so honoured and privileged to be part of our couples unique and special elopement weddings – and we do everything that we can to ensure that they have the most amazing time! In addition to photographing their day, we have acted as witnesses to many of our couples, and we would be more than happy to do the same for you.
If you would like to get a sense of what it’s like to work with us, here are some testimonials from some couples who have worked with us in the past: