The concept of eloping has changed over the years, it used to be a way of escaping religious or class related beliefs but now it is seen as a romantic, adventurous way of spending your wedding day between the two people it matters the most to (and a couple of witnesses). And what better way to being your life together in stunning, romantic Scotland.
Scotland is one of the world’s most popular destinations to elope to as you can legally be married anywhere, without the need for one off licences. Whether your vision for your Scottish wedding ceremony is in a luxury castle, in the depths of a forest, on top of a mountain or within a relative’s living room – you can be married anywhere. In this blog post we will share tips and advice on how to elope to Scotland with your one true love.
Are you eligible?
To be legally married in Scotland, you must fulfil the following criteria:
You and your partner must both be single, divorced, widowed or have dissolved a previously legally recognised partnership.
You must be over the age of sixteen.
You must not be closely related to each other.
You must be capable of understanding the commitment of marriage.
Types of Ceremony
All Civil, Religious, Humanist and Same-Sex marriages conducted in Scotland by a person recognised as a legal officiant are legally recognised throughout the world, therefore making Scotland one of the most attractive locations for amazing destination and elopement weddings.
As long as this criteria is met and you and your partner are prepared and committed, you can begin the legal paperwork process to obtain a marriage visitors visa (If you live outwith the EU economic zone) and get your marriage schedule to sign on the day.
Steps to elope to Scotland
Making your captivating Scottish elopement a reality is only a few steps away, with some planning and preparation it is feasible that you can arrange a legal destination or elopement marriage in Scotland within three months.
Where and when - Firstly you need to look into where in Scotland you want to get married. If the abundance of gorgeous scenery and castles is making this decision too difficult, our sister company Destination Weddings Scotland can help match you with the perfect hotel or castle, free of charge! Once you have named the date you will also need to book your suppliers such as flowers, a photographer, someone to officiate the marriage etc
Obtain your Visa – Good news, you can skip this part if you live in the UK or EU economic area! For all other international couples, three months before your wedding day (and no earlier) you can apply for a marriage visitors visa. These cost £85 per person and you need 1 each. Documents you will need to make this application include a passport, proof of identification, bank statements and pay cheques. It is also worth reminding friends and family that are joining you to apply for their visas to ensure everyone can make it.
Tell the local Registry - Once have you have applied for your visa you should get in touch with the registry office local to your chosen venue and submit a marriage notice form, also known as an M10 form. This includes visa confirmation, witness details and any information about past marriages and you must ensure you submit this no later than 29 days before your wedding. The cost to submit the notice forms is £70 per couple, however you will need to fill out 1 form each.
Collect the Schedule – This is the certificate that you sign on your Wedding day to make it completely legal. The week of your Wedding, your marriage schedule will become available for you to collect – note it must be one of you who collects it and if you have not provided original documents to the registry office before then, they will need to see your physical passport and birth certificate. This must be returned to your local registry office either by your Registrar (in the case of a Civil ceremony) or by you no later than 7 days after your wedding (in the case of a Religious-Belief or Humanist ceremony).
As long as you are prepared with your supplier bookings and personal documents, this process should go very smoothly. If you feel you might need a helping hand, Timeless White Wedding Planning specialise in the planning and arrangement of fiercely beautiful elopement weddings in Scotland and will help guide you through the marriage application process.