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How to have a sustainable elopement in Scotland

September 13, 2023

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Lots of couples are choosing to elope to Scotland these days. In fact, just last week, it emerged that Scotland was the number 2 location for destination elopements for couples from the USA.

To be honest, that didn’t surprise us. Most of our couples over the past few years (post-Covid) have been from The US, Canada or Australia with several other countries thrown in for good measure (at the last count…. France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, US, Canada, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia and England)

But with the pressures on the Earth and issues such as climate change at the forefront of people’s minds, sustainability and eco-travel is something that a lot of people are, rightly, more concerned about.

So we’ve put together a blog post about how you can elope to Scotland and feel good about it too.

Choose the right supplier

We are not saying we are the only ones, but, apart from our friends The Snashfolds, we are the only elopement photography team that we know of that have a sustainability plan in place. We only use an electric car (charged using renewable energy most of the time) for every single elopement we do. Furthermore, we plant trees for every elopement that is booked with us – as of the time of writing (September 2023) we have planted over 2000 trees alone this year. We do this through our partners over at Ecologi and you can check out our “forest” just here. But we are not stopping there – we want to plant 5000 trees offset 50 tonnes of Carbon by the end of 2026.

Some airlines will also allow you to pay a small surcharge to offset your flight’s carbon emissions. If your airline doesn’t allow this we can do it for you or you can use these guys.

Choose the right clothing

We’ve done a blog article recently about what footwear to wear when eloping and what clothing to wear when eloping so we won’t cover all that again here.

However, we will talk about environmentally friendly options for your wedding attire.

For the chaps who are looking to wear a kilt, why not hire one? Most kilt hire places within Scotland are extremely good at what they do and understand that your kilt may get a wee bit dirty. Also, if you are not going to wear the kilt again, it may be more cost-effective. Win win.

Now for the lasses, hiring a dress may not be an option as the dresses for Scottish Elopements do tend to get somewhat dirty. As such, we would recommend buying second hand (eBay, Vinted, Facebook Marketplace etc) or by using a dress designer that has an environmental awareness policy in place. There are several designers such as Luna who have been set up as a sustainable bridal-wear business.

And after you’re done with the dress, why not gift it, sell it or repurpose it? The Knot has a great article on just how to do this.

Ask your florist to go local

Scotland is full of beautiful flowers, plants and trees (the heather in Summer… Oh. My. God!) Not all brides opt for wedding flowers and instead use what is surrounding them but if you do opt for a wedding bouquet, then why not ask your florist to use only local and seasonal flowers (if possible) for your arrangement? And, if you do go fresh and you can’t take them home with you, ask you photographers if they can put them in their compost bin when they get home.

Use Local Suppliers

We are very clear that we will only photograph elopement weddings within the UK (and usually only Scotland) and part of the reason for that is the environmental impact it would have for us to travel elsewhere. We recommend that you use (where possible) only local suppliers for your elopement. We are always happy to recommend good quality, local suppliers for your elopement.

Think about transport

Once you are in Scotland, getting around is realtively easy for the majority of the country. Most of our clients do choose to drive and some car hire companies will offset your carbon impact – Avis are a good example of one who does this.

Scotland also has a pretty decent rail network which opens up most of the mainland if you are travelling light. For those flying in to Edinburgh or Glasgow and wanting a Glencoe Elopement, you could also consider taking a coach directly to Glencoe village.

If you are coming with guests, consider car-pooling or renting a mini-bus if the numbers require.

Go Green for your Gift List

If you and your partner already live together, chances are you don’t really need ‘another’ dinner service or set of linen. Instead, why not think about supporting a charity as part of your big day. Several organisations are set up to allow you and your guests to donate to causes close to your heart. Sponsoring wildlife, planting trees and hedgerows, or simply making a donation to the charity means that the magic of your special day can keep supporting nature long into the future.

Know that by eloping you are already making a difference

Did you know that traditional weddings produce the same amount of waste in ONE day, as FOUR people produce in a YEAR! Not only is a traditional wedding wasteful (and bloody expensive!) it is an unsustainable trend. More and more people are having big, lavish weddings which can produce. The average UK wedding generates 14.5 tons of CO2 and half a ton of SOLID WASTE. That is quite a lot of impact!

So there you have it! 6 ways to help make you elopement to Scotland more sustainable. Want to know more abot eloping to Scotland? Read the blog or go and download our ultimate guide.

Thanks for reading

Matt and Jodie

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