Are you considering eloping in Scotland? Are you currently researching Scotland elopement packages? Perhaps you are confused by the sheer number of Scotland elopement packages on offer, and are struggling to know which one is going to be right for you? Good news! We’re here to help you with that… As Scotland elopement photographers, we’ve captured 200+ Scotland elopement weddings. We’ve also helped all of our couples with their Scotland elopement planning. So we know a thing or two about what works well and what works less well! We would love to share this knowledge and experience with you, so that you can plan the Scotland elopement wedding day of your dreams!
Scotland Elopement Packages: Is an elopement package going to be right for you?
If you are currently exploring Scotland elopement packages, the first thing that we would suggest that you consider is whether you actually want or need an elopement package? A good question to ask yourself is: when you go on holiday, do you typically book an all-inclusive package deal? Do you like buying ‘off the shelf’ so that you know exactly what you are getting? If the answer is ‘yes’, then a Scotland elopement package could be exactly what you’re after!
If you are interested in hearing about our Scotland elopement planning and photography packages, get in touch here to find out more!
Alternatively, when you go on holiday, do you prefer to stay away from the crowds, to go off-the-beaten track, do your own thing and create a unique experience? If this sounds more like your vibe, then maybe you don’t actually want a Scotland elopement package at all? Maybe you don’t want a wedding day that’s going to be exactly like lots of other couples’ days – maybe you want a day that’s completely one-of-a-kind and unique to you?
It’s worth noting that many experienced Scotland elopement photographers will help couples who book them to capture their day with elopement planning as well as elopement photography. We have experienced hundreds of elopements here in Scotland. Each one has been different and incredibly special in its own way. We know how to create a recipe for success, and also the potential pitfalls to avoid…
Scotland Elopement Packages: How much time do you need?
If you are exploring a variety of Scotland elopement packages, one of the things that comes-up a lot is timings: 4 hour packages, 6 hour packages, 8 hour packages etc. How do you know how much time you will need?
Again, a good question to ask yourself is: how long, complex and nuanced is your love story? Is it a 4 hour ‘quickie’ or is it a beautiful and nuanced story, with many twists and turns, that will take a day to unfold in its full complexity?
Most people have experienced a traditional wedding day before. But not many people have experienced an elopement wedding before. So it can be hard to visualise how you will spend your day if it’s just the two of you and there isn’t all of the traditions and trappings of a big, traditional, venue wedding around which to structure your day. This is something that we love to talk-through with our couples…
Initially, it may feel like you only need 4 hours to have your ceremony, take a few quick photos…and ‘job done’! But, truly, if your wedding day was just 4 hours long, we promise you that a) it will feel really rushed and pressured, and b) you will be missing-out on having an amazing wedding day experience and creating amazing memories (and amazing photos!) on one of the most romantic and significant days of your lives. Don’t sell yourselves short, guys – dream big! Create an elopement wedding day experience that reflects who you are as a couple…
You want to start married life as you mean to go on, right?! Having an elopement wedding is about so much more than the simple act of exchanging your rings and vows. Make it an adventure and a day to remember! Fill it with things that bring you joy. This could be a lazy breakfast in bed, a couple’s massage, an early morning dip in the sea or a neighbouring loch to invigorate you for the day, a post-ceremony pub lunch, a picnic by the sea… a boat ride, horse riding, a hike, a whisky tour, a hot-air balloon ride, a helicopter safari, playing music or board games together back at your accommodation, a first dance in the woods or by the fire, ending your day in a hot-tub under the stars – perhaps with some champagne.
Dream-up your best day ever! Make it a day that you will want to savour and look-back on with great pleasure each time that your wedding anniversary comes around in the years to come… Yours is so much more than a 4-hour love story!
Why it pays to book your elopement photographer for a full day?
Mainly because….it’s your *Wedding Day*: it deserves to be fully and beautifully documented (even…and in fact, especially, if it’s just the two of you)!
If you are making the very intentional choice to elope alone, your elopement day is still your *wedding day*! It’s an incredibly special day that you will look back on with joy and celebrate in years to come. If you think about it, your wedding day is about so much more than your ceremony, it’s about your whole experience of the entire day! We feel that it’s so valuable for all of these memories to be documented for you to look back on in future years.
1. It allows friends & family to experience your wedding day too (without being present on your day itself!)
If you are eloping alone, just the two of you, then that’s even more reason to book an awesome photographer to capture your whole day (as there will be no guests with iphones at the ready to document all the special moments for you!) Having your photographer capture the full experience and the full story of your day (from the quiet ‘morning preparations’, to your heartfelt ceremony, through to your evening celebrations – perhaps a romantic dinner or watching sunset by the sea) means that you can share your elopement wedding day experience with family and friends who were not present so that they can experience it vicariously!
2. Booking a full day elopement package allows you to work around the weather (especially torrential rain!)
Booking your photographer for a full day allows for much more flexibility with the weather (which, as everyone knows, can be very unpredictable in Scotland!) We usually liaise with the celebrant and the couple in the days leading up to their elopement, moving plans forwards or backwards as necessary, depending on what the weather forecast is predicting, to make sure that the couple have the best experience on the day (and the best photos!).
We feel that it’s important for couples to understand that if you’re locked into a 4 hour/ ‘half day’ package with your photographer, then you will not have the flexibility to do this. Just on a logistical level, it’s worth being aware that if photographers are booking 4 hour elopement packages (as opposed to full day elopements) then they need to book these in at a much higher volume to make them cost effective. This means that your photographer may well book-in another couple further down the line for the other half of your day. Or they may need to travel to get to and from another booking in another part of Scotland during the rest of your day, making them unable to be flexible with timings on your day.
We often hear from celebrants of instances where a couple’s elopement has been compromised because they’d only booked their photographer for a 4-hour package, so they had to go ahead with their ceremony at a set time (even though the weather was atrocious). The celebrants reported that waiting until later in the day would have allowed the weather to clear, and made for a much more enjoyable ceremony experience.
We’re always up for embracing the weather. But ideally, you don’t want to be exchanging your vows in monsoon conditions if you want to feel fully present and able to concentrate on each other in this really important moment.
Imagine how disappointing it would be if another couple booked your photographer for the other half of your day. Imagine that your half of the day was terrible weather, torrentially wet and with zero visibility to see those epic mountain views that you have come to Scotland for. However, the weather then clears-up in the afternoon/evening, and there’s the most amazing sunset light (which is often the case in Scotland after a wet day) that would have made for insanely beautiful photos, but your photographer is off shooting photos and making amazing memories with the other couple. How tantalising and sad would that feel?!
When we commit to working with our couples, it’s always, always for a full day for this precise reason. We really want to be able to commit to you, and to telling your love story. We don’t want you to have the stress and the time pressure and the compromise of sharing your special day with anyone else. You will be our complete and only focus for the whole of your day. We know from experience that this is the best way to give you an amazing experience… and incredible photos.
3. Booking a full day elopement package gives you time and space to feel relaxed and natural in front of the camera
If your photographer is with you from the start of your day, this allows you time to relax and feel natural in front of the camera during the ‘morning preparation’/ getting ready part of the day. Lots of couples tell us that they don’t really like being in front of the lens, and feel awkward about having their photos taken. So we typically spend about 2 hours with our couples as they get ready in the morning, easing into the atmosphere of their day and very gently taking our cameras out and gradually starting to take photos… (rather than arriving with our cameras blazing, paparazzi-style!) It’s a really beautiful and evocative part of the day to capture. It also means that, by the time you arrive at your ceremony, you’ll have forgotten that we’re taking photos and will be able to be fully present in the act of saying your vows.
4. Having your photographer there during your morning preparations makes for beautiful portraits
On a practical note, if you are going to spend time, money and effort making yourselves look really beautiful and wedding-ceremony-ready, it’s great to capture some artistic portraits of you looking all pristine and picture-perfect before heading-out to embrace the whatever the elements are doing on your day. That flawless make-up and perfectly waved hair may not remain flawless for that long once you step-out onto a misty (potentially wet and windswept) mountainside!
5. Going straight into your ceremony with your photographer (with no preamble) can feel super-awkward!
If you think about it, meeting your photographer directly before your ceremony (probably in a car park or roadside lay-by) could feel super-awkward if you head straight out to your ceremony spot, without any photography or opportunity to chat beforehand or to feel at ease in front of the camera.
Your ceremony is a very intimate, heartfelt, personal and emotionally-open moment. It’s the real emotional heart of your day. If you launch straight into your ceremony with your photographer (with no time to relax into each other’s company beforehand) it can end-up feeling very strange; it’s a bit like going on a first date with someone you’ve never met in person before and having them declare their undying love for you on the spot. So, yeah, kinda strange and awkward.
6. Booking your photographer for a full day allows for travel time between a variety of epic locations (making for wall-art-worthy photos!)
Spending the day with your photographer allows for travel time to and from the ceremony location. In our experience, if you want to stay in the nicest accommodation AND have the most scenic ceremony spot there is usually 30–60 mins travel time involved. This is particularly true in the Scottish Highlands where the roads are often narrow & single-track (and there’s often a herd of sheep in the way!). It takes longer than Google maps would suggest to get around! Also, Scotland is such a stunning place and there are so many beautiful places to explore with your photographer (and capture epic, wall-art-worthy photos!)
7. Booking your elopement photographer for a full day makes for a completely stress-free wedding day (which is one of the main reasons that you’re eloping, right?)
Having a full day elopement package with your photographer allows you to relax into your day with no stress or time pressure or needing to watch the clock. (e find that one of the main things that elopement couples want to avoid is any sense of pressure or stress on their day. It also allows your photographer to capture you two as a couple as you really are — your personalities, your dynamic, your love. A quick post ceremony ‘photo shoot’ tends to end-up looking more like the slightly stiff, awkward, posed photos that you often get at traditional weddings, rather than relaxed and natural images of you both exploring and having fun in an epic location together.
8. Booking a full day elopement package allows you to make the most of sunset & ‘blue hour’ light
The hour before sunset and the 30 minutes or so directly after sunset is often the softest and most interesting light for portrait photography, especially if it’s been a very bright and sunny day. This is our absolute favourite time to shoot, because it’s often the part of the day that makes for the most evocative and filmic images.
It’s worth noting that sunset times in Scotland vary greatly throughout the year, from 22.30 in midsummer (21st June) to around 15.30 in midwinter (21st December). So it’s worth keeping this in mind when deciding what time of year you want to get married. We’d also mention that just because it’s dark outside, it doesn’t mean your photography coverage need to stop! As you will have seen from this blog post, there are lots of fun ways to shoot with couples inside their accommodation, or making creative use of various forms of artificial light.
We hope that you have found this blog post on Scotland elopement packages and Scotland elopement planning useful! If you are curious to see what some real-life Scotland elopement wedding days look like, you can check-out some elopements that we have captured in the past.
If you are intrigued by the idea of eloping in Scotland and would like some more information about our Scotland Elopement Photography & Planning Package, do drop us a message via our contact form.