Your guide to elopements and small weddings in Edinburgh

On a stormy day, Bride and groom celebrating their marriage at the top of the hill in Holyrood Park. Bride is drinking Prosecco from the bottle.

Hi, I'm Aga.

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Whether you’re planning an elopement or a small wedding, I’m here to capture the magic of your special day!

View of arthurs seat from the Penthouse at Edinburgh Cheval Grand.

Why choose Edinburgh for your

elopement or small wedding?

I might be a bit biased, but as an Edinburgh elopement photographer, I can tell you, that this city’s charm won’t disappoint. Whether you prefer the cosy intimacy of indoor settings or the enchanting allure of outdoor locations, Edinburgh boasts a plethora of unique spots for your special day. From picturesque landscapes to historic landmarks, every corner of this city exudes romance and warmth.

Say “I do” in Edinburgh, and let’s create unforgettable memories together!

Selecting the perfect location sets the stage for unforgettable memories on your special day. Moreover, in Edinburgh, you’ll discover a variety of enchanting locations offering a blend of history, beauty, and romance. From historic landmarks to scenic gardens and breathtaking views, each spot provides a unique backdrop for your celebration.

Keep in mind, according to Scottish law, you can get married anywhere you want in Scotland, as long as a registered celebrant conducts the ceremony.

However, for ceremonies held in public spaces within the City of Edinburgh, such as Calton Hill or Arthur’s Seat / Holyrood Park, it’s important to note that you may need to obtain a permit from The City of Edinburgh or Historic Environment Scotland.

1. Cheval The Edinburgh Grand - Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh, Cheval The Edinburgh Grand offers a luxurious setting for your intimate indoor ceremony. Additionally, its exquisite penthouse boasts breathtaking views of the city’s skyline, providing a romantic backdrop for your wedding festivities. Moreover, the central location makes it easily accessible for you and your guests, with iconic photographic spots just moments away.

Small wedding inspiration:Small wedding in Edinburgh at Edinburgh Cheval Grand.

Bride and Groom in a wedding attelier standing at the round staircase at Edinburgh Cheval Grand
Bride and groom having a cuddle and a kiss in the city centre of Edinburgh. Small wedding in Cheval Edinburgh Grand

2. Timberyard - Situated in the heart of Edinburgh, Timberyard offers a unique blend of rustic charm and contemporary style. Making it an ideal setting for your intimate gathering. Housed in a converted warehouse, this venue exudes character and warmth with exposed brick walls, wooden beams, and industrial accents. Timberyard’s commitment to locally sourced ingredients and innovative culinary creations ensures a fantastic dining experience for you and your guests. Plus, with a charming courtyard, you can enjoy al fresco celebrations in the heart of the city. Given that, Timberyard offers a memorable setting for intimate ceremonies or lively receptions, with delicious food and charm.

3. The Royal College of Physicians -Nestled in Edinburgh’s New Town, The Royal College of Physicians provides a historic venue for your elopement or small wedding. Within its New Library dating back to the 1860s, enjoy a cosy ambience adorned with antique furnishings and literary treasures, crafting an inviting atmosphere for your Edinburgh elopement or a small wedding.

4. The Secret Herb Garden - Immerse yourself in tranquillity at the Secret Herb Garden, located on the outskirts of Edinburgh amidst lush greenery and blooming flowers. Additionally, this enchanting outdoor venue offers a serene setting for your wedding ceremony. Nearby, the Pentland Hills provide a picturesque backdrop for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering a beautiful option for capturing stunning photographs. After your ceremony, celebrate and dine inside the glasshouse surrounded by greenery, creating magical memories that will last a lifetime.

Bride and groom sitting on the chairs in the Glasshouse in classic pose
Couple in a wedding atelier having a quiet moment in glasshouse filled with greenery. The groom is gently kissing Bride's hand.
Handfasting ritual during outdoor ceremony
Bride few moments before the ceremony

5. City Chambers Experience the grandeur of Edinburgh’s historic centre at City Chambers. Moreover, this official and majestic venue offers a more traditional setting for your ceremony. Additionally, located in the heart of the city, it provides a great location and starting point for your post-ceremony photographs amidst enchanting Edinburgh’s old town.

Bride and groom walking up the hill in Holyrood Park on a stormy day.
Stormy day. Couple in a wedding atelier posing for photos after the ceremony. Arthur's seat in a background.

2. Calton Hill - Experience the breathtaking views and historic charm of Calton Hill, a stunning location in the heart of Edinburgh. As you exchange vows against the backdrop of Edinburgh’s skyline, you’ll be surrounded by panoramic vistas and iconic landmarks. If you want to make your celebration even more special you can book your stay at Observatory House, situated nearby. Choose from three apartments accommodating up to 14 guests, providing convenient proximity to your ceremony location. Before arranging your ceremony on Calton Hill, it’s important to keep in mind that permission from Edinburgh Council is necessary for weddings held here. With its unparalleled views and historic significance, Calton Hill offers a truly unforgettable setting for your wedding day

3. Blackford Hill - Embrace nature’s beauty at Blackford Hill, with meadows and stunning vistas providing an idyllic backdrop for your love story. Away from the city centre, enjoy tranquil surroundings and breathtaking views of Edinburgh’s skyline Imagine exchanging vows amidst the peaceful surroundings, with panoramic vistas stretching out before you. Whether you’re captivated by the lush greenery or enchanted by the breathtaking cityscape, Blackford Hill provides a picturesque setting for your intimate celebration of love.

Intimate elopement inspiration: Edinburgh Elopement on Blackford Hill

After the elopement ceremony. Couple in a wedding atellier holding hands and walking down the hill. Panoramic view of Edinburgh in the background.
Emotional vow exchange during intimate elopement ceremony at the top of Blackford Hill

4. Royal Botanic Garden - Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Royal Botanic Garden, where lush greenery and vibrant blooms set the stage for your wedding day. Located just a short distance from the city centre, this botanical oasis offers a tranquil escape for you and your guests after your ceremony. With its charming and unforgettable backdrop, the Royal Botanic Garden is the perfect setting for your wedding day.

Selecting the right accommodation is crucial, particularly if you plan to capture morning preparations in your photos. Opt for spacious and well-lit accommodation to ensure beautiful getting-ready shots.

When booking your accommodation, consider its proximity to your ceremony and reception venues.

In Edinburgh you’ll have many options to choose from a long list of hotels and private lets on Airbnb.

  1. Cheval the Edinburgh Grand - Located in the heart of Edinburgh, Cheval The Edinburgh Grand offers luxurious accommodation, including a stunning three-bedroom penthouse with panoramic views of the city. With impeccable service and elegant interiors, it’s the perfect choice for a memorable stay during your elopement or small wedding.
  2. The Witchery by the Castle - Situated just steps away from Edinburgh Castle, The Witchery indeed offers a truly magical experience with its historic charm and romantic ambience. Each room is uniquely decorated, featuring luxurious furnishings and decadent amenities. Treat yourself to a fine dining experience at the renowned Witchery restaurant, making your stay truly unforgettable.
  3. The Pavilion of Lambs House – a historic retreat designed by renowned architect Nicholas Groves-Raines and painter Kristin Hannesdottir. This charming house accommodates up to six guests and exudes a romantic ambiance, making it the perfect hideaway for eloping couples seeking enchantment in Edinburgh.
  4. Airbnbs – When it comes to private lets in Edinburgh, you’ll have a wide range of options to choose from, catering to various budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a cozy apartment in the city centre or a charming cottage in the countryside, Airbnb offers plenty of unique accommodations to suit your needs.

Chauffeur Service:

Butler’s Chauffeur Drive

Your wedding day is a reflection of your unique vision and style, and selecting the right suppliers is key to bringing that vision to life. With so many talented professionals to choose from, it’s essential to find those who understand and resonate with your preferences.

Below, I’ve curated a list of trusted suppliers whom I highly recommend for your Edinburgh elopement or small wedding. From celebrants to florists and beyond, you can rest assured that these dedicated professionals are committed to making your day truly unforgettable.

Moreover, take the time to explore their services and portfolios. With the right team by your side, you can relax knowing that every detail of your wedding day is in capable hands.

Here’s to creating magical memories that will last a lifetime!

Your wedding ceremony is a deeply personal and meaningful moment, and choosing the right celebrant is key to crafting a ceremony that reflects your unique love story. It’s essential to find someone who not only understands your vision but also resonates with your values and beliefs.

At Humanist Society Scotland, you’ll find a wealth of experienced celebrants who are dedicated to creating heartfelt and personalised ceremonies. Each celebrant is registered and committed to ensuring that your ceremony is a true reflection of your love and commitment.

Having had the pleasure of working with some exceptional celebrants, I highly recommend a few names below. Additionally, their warmth, professionalism, and ability to craft beautiful ceremonies tailored to each couple’s story make them standout choices for your special day.

For a flawless look that lasts all day, rain or shine, consider booking a professional stylist and artist. Moreover, their expertise ensures that your makeup stays perfect throughout the day, leaving you feeling confident and beautiful on your special day. Each artist recommended below has a wealth of experience in creating stunning bridal looks.

Flowers enhance the beauty and elegance of any wedding, reflecting the couple’s vision and style. Whether you prefer minimalist arrangements, lush garlands, or elaborate decorations, selecting the right florist and stylist is essential.

Below, discover a curated list of talented suppliers I recommend for your Edinburgh elopement. With a focus on detail and a passion for creating stunning arrangements, these professionals will bring your vision to life. Significantly enhancing the beauty of your special day.

Intimate weddings offer endless opportunities to infuse your day with meaningful touches. Furthermore, follow your inner voice and let your love story shine through on this special day dedicated to you and your partner.

Allow me to share some ideas with you!

Adding a touch of Celtic charm to your elopement ceremony can make it even more special. Here are some timeless Celtic customs you might like.

Quaich Ceremony: The Quaich, a traditional Scottish cup symbolising unity and trust, offers a poignant moment for couples to share a drink, solidifying their commitment to each other.

Handfasting Ceremony: This Celtic ritual involves the binding of the couple’s hands with ribbons or cords, symbolising your union and everlasting love.

Oathing Stone Ceremony: Make your vows while touching a stone, connecting with Scotland’s history and natural beauty.

Celtic Blessing: Include a traditional Celtic blessing in your vows, like “May the road rise up to meet you,” bringing ancient wisdom and blessings to your journey together.

Lastly, don’t forget to work with a celebrant or officiant who knows these traditions well. They’ll help make your ceremony unforgettable!

Take the opportunity to craft your own vows, weaving in your unique love story, shared values, and promises to one another. This heartfelt gesture adds an intimate and meaningful touch to your ceremony, creating a moment you’ll cherish forever.

Consider creating vows books where you and your partner can write down your heartfelt promises to each other. This special keepsake will not only capture the magic of your wedding day but also serve as a beautiful reminder of the love and commitment you share. It can be revisited time and time again, allowing you to relive the emotions and sentiments exchanged on this momentous occasion.

Why not consider partnering with an elopement planner? These professionals specialize in crafting intimate and personalised celebrations, handling all the details so you can focus on each other and the moment. From finding the perfect location to coordinating vendors, they ensure your day is seamless and stress-free. Here are a few names that excel in creating unforgettable elopements and small weddings in Edinburgh and beyond.

Bride and groom having a quite moment and cuddle in the glasshouse at Secret Herb Garden Groom is kissing bride's forehead

— Zuzana & Adam

Zuzana & Adam

Edinburgh

Aga is the absolute sweetest most creative soul who captured our day in the most beautiful way possible. We barely noticed her taking pictures during our ceremony and afterwards she gave us subtle suggestions for the pictures we took at our venue. She was also more than happy to listen to our ideas and always came up with the best way to make our vision come to life. She is also pure sunshine in a human form and will make anyone’s day exactly what they want it to be and more!

Embark on a journey to capture the essence of your love story with my Edinburgh elopement and small wedding photography packages. Whether you envision an intimate ceremony followed by a cosy dinner or a lively celebration surrounded by loved ones, my packages are crafted to ensure every moment of your special day is beautifully preserved. Explore a range of tailored options designed to suit your unique vision and create timeless memories that will last a lifetime.

Each package includes personalised support to plan your special day, covering all expenses including travel within Edinburgh and surrounding areas. You'll also receive an online gallery with fully edited images, capturing every moment beautifully.

With an average of 40+ images per hour of shooting.

10-Hour Coverage Package

Enjoy full-day coverage, including morning preparations, ceremony, group shots, couple portraits, and a small reception. This package caters to couples who desire a complete representation of their wedding festivities, from start to finish.

Ideal for capturing the essence of your ceremony and couple portraits in a few different locations. This package is perfect for couples who want to focus on the intimate moments of their special day.

Embrace every moment of your wedding day with extensive coverage, from morning preparations to evening celebrations. This package includes everything from the ceremony and drinks reception to group shots and couple portraits, ensuring that no precious moment goes undocumented.

Book your Package

The options vary based on your party size and vision for the day. For a relaxed outdoor or at-home dining experience, consider caterers like Platter and Pop, who can prepare grazing food. Alternatively, if you prefer a restaurant meal, here are a few suggestions:

The Witchery, The Lookout, Timberyard.

Yes, in Scotland, you have the flexibility to legally marry in almost any location, provided your ceremony is conducted by a registered celebrant. However, for ceremonies held in public spaces within the City of Edinburgh, such as Calton Hill or Arthur’s Seat/Holyrood Park, you may need to obtain a permit from the City of Edinburgh or Historic Environment Scotland.

Planning timelines can vary from a few weeks to a few months depending on the type of ceremony, wedding size, and venue availability. Key steps include booking a venue, securing vendors, obtaining permits, and finalising details leading up to the wedding day.

Consider the size of your wedding and the atmosphere you desire. Look for a place with personal significance or captivating beauty. Remember to check for permits, especially for outdoor locations. Plan ahead to ensure everything runs smoothly on your special day. Trust your instincts and select a location that feels right for you both.

If you have any other questions or inquiries, feel free to reach out to me. I'm here to help and ensure your Edinburgh elopement or small wedding is everything you've dreamed of!

Bride and Groom walking down the hill at Holyrood park, Edinburgh elopement

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