Planning your Scottish Elopement or Micro-Wedding
Updated: Aug 16
Beginning to plan a Wedding can be utterly overwhelming. When you're having a BIG wedding I highly recommend hiring a planner to work with. They can help things flow seamlessly and take a lot of the stress off your mind. But what if you're having a small wedding? In some cases it can be worth it to DIY. But small doesn't have to mean you skim over the details, and I'm here to help you a little along the way.
1. How do you want to do this? One of the single best things about getting married in Scotland is the freedom to choose where you want to go! If you want to hike to the top of a Munro and say your vows there? Go for it. Beach or cliff-top wedding? Yep. Family home? Why not!? Even just the local registry office with your couples portraits within the surrounding town is a popular option! If you're having an off-season or mid-week wedding, a lot of venues and landowners will let you use their grounds for portraits (for a fee) if you're getting hitched at the registrars but still want somewhere to go for portraits afterwards. For my Micro-Wedding photography packages I am happy to travel anywhere within Moray and Aberdeenshire, and some parts of the Highlands. Further afield and it's the Whole Story package you'll be after (: You'll have to decide what you're including, many couples will opt for a picnic and cupcakes for a smaller wedding party, in lieu of a wedding cake and catering. Dried flowers instead of a fresh bouquet, and my personal favourite, boots instead of heels, for hiking to the spot where you'll say your vows!
2. Order of importance We all have things that we can absolutely not compromise on, and you need to decide the number one element of your wedding that everything else will have to work around. Maybe it's your photographer (me!), the venue, the florist. You need to get in touch ASAP to check your favourite vendors will be available, especially if you're having a weekend, summer wedding.
3. Set your date
Once you have established that your favourite vendors are available, you will need to pay a deposit to secure the date. Then you can get to work on everything else. There are many wonderful wedding vendors in Moray, Aberdeenshire and the Highlands so once you've secured your must haves for your date you need to work on finding others that have availability for your date.
4. Work out what else you need
It's easy to overlook some of the details if you're going micro on your wedding day; here are some of them,
Confetti - Get some dried flower petals (florists will sell packs of these) or biodegradable confetti, avoid plastic! Confetti exits make for some of the most treasured photographs, ensure you've given these to your guests before the wedding! Décor - if you're getting married in the great outdoors, consider some easy to transport decor, line the isle with jars of flowers and candles Somewhere for your guests to go- Micro-wedding typically have around >20 guests, and you may not have rented a venue for the day but they will still need somewhere to go while you're off alone with your photographer after the groups shots! A popular option is booking a private dining room in a hotel/restaurant for after the ceremony, or hiring a bartending service at one of the bride/grooms parents/guests house. Attire - A lot of people will go for smaller weddings because they need to get married quickly (baby on the way, moving countries, legal reasons, just can't wait!) but a lot of wedding dresses/kilts/suits need to either be made to order or tailored. So make sure you book your hire well in advance (or source a realllly good pre-produced dress)
5. Get Hitched! Once you have everything in place, it's important that you check in with your vendor bookings in the few weeks before your wedding. I've been a victim of a venue's diary mix up before (for my own wedding!) but luckily because I checked in we were able to make sure everything was in order. The only thing left to do now is get married! Enjoy your day, and create some memories that will be cherished for decades to come.