Guide to Scottish Highland Elopement Dresses

Elopements are becoming incredibly popular and, for good reason, there is something incredibly romantic and peaceful about saying your vows just the two of you without pressure that can come with a big wedding stress money, family stress and deciding who to invite.

So why elope to Scotland?

Well, for one, you can get legally married anywhere outside, unlike the rest of the UK and with our stunning landscapes, rich history and the oh-so romantic outdoor places to escape to from the ever popular Highlands, hills of the borders and breathtaking beaches, it’s not surprising people are traveling from all over the world to solidify their love story in this beautiful country.

A woman wearing a bespoke  wedding dress holds a bouquet of
flowers on a cliff in Scotland's Highlands.
Credit – Raini Rowell Photography

Importance of Finding the Perfect Elopement Dress

Now, just because you may not be going to the conventional way of having a ‘wedding’ does not mean you have to sacrifice your dream gown if that is what you want (YOU CAN WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT)

Sometimes to still have those little things like the dress, the flowers and treating yourself to make-up and hair can help if you are feeling a bit torn about not having a conventional wedding.

Considering Traditional Scottish Highland Wedding Dress? 

Traditional Scottish attire, also known as Highland dress, has a rich history and cultural significance that has been passed down through generations. It is a symbol of Scottish pride and identity, and is still worn proudly by many Scots today on their wedding day or other special events such as the highland games.

The origins of Scottish attire can be traced back to the 16th century, when the Scottish Highlands were ruled by clan chiefs and their warriors. The traditional attire was not only practical for the harsh Scottish climate, but also served as a way to distinguish between different clans and show allegiance to a particular chief.

The most iconic piece of Scottish attire is the kilt, a knee-length skirt made of tartan fabric. Tartan, a pattern of stripes, is unique to each clan and is a source of great pride and identity. The kilt is traditionally worn with a sporran, a small pouch worn around the waist, and a sgian-dubh, a small knife tucked into the top of the kilt hose.

Another important element of Scottish attire is the tartan sash or shawl, which is worn over the shoulder and fastened with a brooch. This was originally worn by women, but is now also worn by men as a symbol of their heritage.

The cultural significance of Scottish attire goes beyond just fashion. It is a way for us Scots to connect with our roots and honour our ancestors. Each clan has its own unique tartan, and wearing it is a way to show pride in one’s heritage and lineage.

Today, Scottish attire is not just limited to Scotland, but is also worn by people all over the world who have Scottish ancestry or simply appreciate the beauty and history behind it. It has become a symbol of Scottish culture and is often seen as a way to honour and preserve our country’s traditions.

So you may ask how to incorporate this attire into your own outfit?

One more simple way is to have a beautiful tartan shawl (which can help with warmth when you are outside), a tartan sash fastened with a brooch or you could even consider going the iconic Vivienne Westwood Style with tartan silk fabric made into a glorious gown. 

Sourced from Pinterest

Dressing for ALL WEATHERS

Oh, in Scotland we have all kinds of weather, it can be blooming freezing, chucking it down in rain and then blazing sun the next minute…so if you are getting married outdoors you really need to prepare yourself for ‘every weather and just embrace it’. The most important thing is considering layers and a decent pair of footwear! 

With fabrics, you could consider the dreamy ethereal look of tulles, chiffon and flowing silks, but then, if you are getting married at a castle ruin, why not look at more decadent heavy silks for that historical feel. Or if you are by the water, perhaps consider sparkle-beaded fabrics and sequins that will be reflected beautifully by the shimmering loch or sea. The most important point is choosing what’s right for you and how comfortable you are going to feel.

Unique Dress Ideas for a Scottish Highlands Elopement

You could consider embroidery details with scottish elements or the use of colours from the Scottish landscape, such as the purple hues of heather, the different green shades of trees or the blue greens the from the lochs. 

These dress designs can reflect the charm and beauty of Scotland but in a more subtle way and can blend in beautifully together. 

 A woman wearing a bespoke wedding dress with embroidery details in Scotland's Highlands.
Credit – Holeyn Photography

The Importance of a Custom-Made Dress

If it is on your budget, I would highly recommend having a bespoke wedding dress made for your elopement as it allows for the creation of a one-of-a-kind dress tailored to your preferences and the elopement’s overall theme, considering the place you are getting married, how you want to feel and give you the option with fabrics etc.

Choosing a Scottish Designer

If a bespoke wedding dress does look like the route for you, then I highly recommend looking for a local Scottish designer to create this to support the local industry and add an authentic touch to the elopement.

The benefits of working with a designer who knows the Scottish culture and can provide valuable insights and recommendations

Understanding of Traditional Scottish Attire:

A designer who is familiar with the Scottish culture will have a deep understanding of traditional Scottish attire. They will be able to incorporate elements of traditional Scottish dress into your bespoke wedding dress, making it unique and reflective of your heritage.

Incorporation of Tartan:

Tartan is an iconic symbol of Scottish culture and is often incorporated into Scottish wedding attire. A designer who is knowledgeable about Scottish culture will be able to suggest different tartan patterns and ways to incorporate them into your dress, whether it be through a sash, trim, or even the entire dress.

Attention to Detail:

Scottish culture is rich in history and symbolism, and a designer who is familiar with it will pay attention to even the smallest details in your dress. This can include incorporating traditional Scottish symbols, such as thistles or Celtic knots, into the design, adding a special touch to your dress.

Personalised Recommendations:

A designer who knows the Scottish culture will be able to provide personalised recommendations for your dress based on your individual preferences and the style of your wedding. They can suggest specific details and elements that will make your dress stand out and reflect your Scottish heritage.

A woman wearing a bespoke wedding dress made out of chiffon fabric by a Scottish Loch
Credit – Matt Pocknell Photography

If this blog has not told you already but truly to fully embrace an elopement in Scotland, it is marrying who you love, wearing what you love and getting married wherever you want. Scotland is a spectacular place that can allow the freedom to do this. 

So, final tips on dress

Consider all options, sometimes the freedom of not getting married in front of others can really allow you to truly wear something that makes your heart sing and the yes, you do not need to wear white. I highly recommend embracing the Scottish charm and creating beautiful memories in the stunning Scottish Highlands.

  • If you would like to consider having a bespoke wedding dress credit, I recommend taking a look at my bespoke experience page, which can give you a bit of insight into how you can work with Cora Stitch. I would be honoured to handcraft a dress that represents your story.

Happy eloping!

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