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The Best Must-Haves for Getting Married Outside in Scotland
couple having a first kiss at an outdoor wedding ceremony at the Cruin in Scotland

Are you planning to get married outside in Scotland? Somewhere rural, or in the countryside? Maybe a converted barn or stables, or somewhere with extensive gardens? Maybe you’re planning on a small wedding in the Scottish hills? Or a celebration by the shore of a loch or a beach wedding? As it’s legal to get married outside in the Scotland, so you can get married anywhere you like! You’ll need to register your intention to marry at the local council registrar three months in advance – be prepared to present various documents including your full birth certificate (extracts are not enough). After the ceremony, you’ll need to hand in the marriage schedule within three days in person, to the local council registrar’s office. You’ll also need two witnesses. If you’re eloping, you can have your wedding photographer as a witness.

If so, then it’s always a good idea to be prepared for outdoor Scottish weddings. I’ve put together this must-have list of things to pack for getting married outside in Scotland. These are some brilliant little tips I’ve learned from having photographed plenty of outdoor wedding ceremonies in the Scottish countryside.

It’s also a good idea to remind guests to be prepared – either include a note with your invite or on your wedding website.

1. Smidge

Smidge really is a must have, particularly in late spring/ summer.

If you’re planning on getting married outside in Scotland, then Smidge will spare your wedding guests from being the main course for the Scottish midgies.  Avon Skin So Soft is also popular, but personally, I use Smidge while photographing an outside Scottish wedding. It’s relatively easy to find in most Scottish outdoor shops, or you can also buy it online.

It’s a great idea to buy a few bottles and pop them into your wedding toiletry hamper at your outdoor wedding. You can also remind guests to come prepared – particularly if they’re coming from overseas.

2. Sun Lotion

Having a few bottles of sun lotion in a bathroom hamper is a brilliant inclusion for any outdoor summer wedding in Scotland. Many people underestimate the intensity of the sun, so a few bottles of SPF can prevent them from turning red on the day. If you’re inviting children or babies, you could include some children or baby sun lotions, which usually have a higher SPF and are more suited to sensitive younger skin. Make sure this is high on your checklist for planning to get married outside in Scotland!

bride and groom having their first kiss while getting married outside in scotland

3. Umbrellas

Although I always take a few brollies with me to weddings, I don’t have enough for the entire wedding party! Since Scottish weather can be quite changeable even in summer, it’s a good idea to have some umbrellas to hand. Even a light drizzle can be enough to deter people from leaving a dry location and can cause significant timeline delays. Either remind guests to bring their own umbrella, or maybe buy some for your bridal party. You can’t always trust the weather at an outdoor Scottish wedding, so be prepared!

You could invest in white or ivory umbrellas, or opt for umbrellas in your signature wedding colour. Clear birdcage style brollies are popular for people who want to preserve their hairstyle from a fine mist of drizzle. Alternatively, you can hire umbrellas – either for your bridal party or for all your guests to borrow – from Brolly Bucket. This is a great way to avoid then having to sell loads of umbrellas online after your day. It also means you can avoid that “ X Company LTD” when everyone whips out a branded golf umbrella!

umbrellas set aside for getting married outside in scotland

4. Stormproof Matches/ Barbecue Lighter

If you’re planning on having sparklers, then this is a must-have! When couples forget then it means we have to find a smoker in the wedding party, and with the increased popularity of vaping, this is becoming increasingly rare.

If you fancy a sparkler photo, then don’t forget to buy a couple of boxes of stormproof matches or barbecue lighters. This will help your wedding party light those sparklers all at the same time. Otherwise you risk having half of your sparklers fizzling out before they’re all lit.

couple getting married outside in scotland on the beach

5. Heel Stoppers

If you’re planning on getting married somewhere with a lawn, it’s worth investing in some of these little magic inventions for your bridal party. They slip on over the bottom of high heels and stop heels from sinking into the grass. Even after a few dry days, pointy heels can still end up aerating the lawn, resulting in mucky shoes, or people losing their balance.

I think these are as much a must have for wedding shoes as gel blister protectors, but often end up forgotten about. They’re also excellent if you’re walking over gratings at older buildings (for example in some churches). They’re fairly cheap too, so would make an excellent little gift for those in your wedding party wearing heels.

6. Wellies/ Trainers/ Hiking Boots

While you may have found the perfect wedding shoes, they aren’t always the most practical choice for adventure photographs. A lot of couples want to enjoy those lovely adventure-seeking nature photographs. This might include going along little tracks or trails, walking for a while, or even going up a hillside to achieve spectacular results.

If you’re after photographs that involve adventuring off the beaten tarmac, then it’s worth packing some suitable footwear. Wellies, old trainers, or hiking boots are great for photos that might involve a bit of exploring! It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t match your elegant look in the photos, as it’s not the first thing you notice in those spectacular adventure photos! Some couples even customise their footwear or buy wellies in a colour that matches their wedding.

7. Blankets/ Shawls

couple in the evening at wedding at Altskeith House

I went to a wedding recently, in late June, where the couple provided guests with lots of blankets. While it was hot and sunny throughout the day, there was a cool breeze in the evening. The guests all reached for a blanket and were able to enjoy being outdoors in the evening.  Otherwise, you can expect them all to be huddled around inside while your venue change your room around for the evening activities.

Blankets are wonderful t encourage guests to go outside in the evening, for example for outdoor activities or a fire-pit. Blankets are also a must-have if you plan on having hay bales.  Again, you can hire blankets from Brolly Bucket if you don’t want to end up having to source and resell your own blanket stash.

Shawls or pashminas are a lovely bridal party accessory when teamed with a sleeveless dress. A cute pashmina set off with a brooch or buttonhole can keep the bridal party snug while having photographs taken.

I hope you find these tips useful and give you ideas for your amazing rural outdoor wedding.  Here are some further suggestions for outdoor wedding venues in Scotland. Alternatively, check out this list of fabulous Scottish barn wedding venues.

Planning an Outdoor Scottish Wedding?

Whether you are planning a big shindig or a wee wedding, I’ve got packages that you can tailor to suit your needs on the day. Have a look at my wedding approach . Drop me a line today to find out if I’m available for your wedding – I’d love to hear more from you about what you’ve got planned!

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