Autumn Weddings in Scotland

January 15, 2024

There is something undeniably romantic about a Scottish autumn wedding. The season, with its rich palette of reds, oranges and golds, already paints a beautiful backdrop for any celebration of love. As the leaves turn and the air begins to cool, Scotland's breathtaking landscapes become more enchanting, providing a unique setting for an unforgettable wedding day.

Imagine the majestic Scottish Highlands, nestled under a canopy of autumn leaves, their fiery hues reflecting off the mirrored surfaces of the lochs. Or the historic castles, their stone walls echoing with centuries of folklore, standing tall against the vibrant autumn foliage. This is the backdrop for a Scottish autumn wedding, a setting so rich in beauty and tradition that it feels like a fairy tale.


There's a reason it's my favourite season for weddings, with the golden light that comes from the equinox and the darker nights setting in, it combines the best of the summer months where you can expect outdoor drinks receptions in walled gardens & courtyards, and the warm & cosy atmosphere of firepits, sparklers & candlelit dinners. Scotland is truly at its finest in the autumn months, and it's becoming more popular for engaged couples are choosing to celebrate at this time of year.

The weather during autumn in Scotland may be a bit fickle, but this simply adds to the charm. There's a certain beauty in the uncertainty, a thrill in the possibility of a sudden rainshower, followed by the emergence of a rainbow. Brides often opt for luxurious wraps or elegant tartan shawls to keep the chill at bay, adding a touch of Scottish heritage to their wedding attire.

The wedding venues in Scotland are as varied as the mesmerizing landscapes. Couples can choose from a plethora of stunning locations; from grand castles and elegant manor houses to rustic barns and charming country inns. Many of these venues offer breathtaking views of the autumn scenery, creating a perfect setting for wedding photographs that will be treasured for a lifetime.

When you're planning your autumn wedding in Scotland, there are a few things you'll want to be aware of when choosing your wedding date.


1. Sunsets


If you're choosing a September wedding, it's useful to know the sunset times as they vary substantially from the 1st to the 30th owing to the Equinox and the change in the position the sun sets at as it approaches and moves away from this point. At the beginning of September we lose roughly 2 mins of daylight a day, but as we approach the Equinox it's 3. That's a pattern that applies to the Vernal Equinoxes and both Solstices too (if you thought Calculus was a waste of your time in Maths Class, think again!)


All of this means between the 1st and 30th September we lose about 1hr 16 minutes of daylight, compared with around 40 minutes from the 1st to the 31st July. It's similar between 1st and 31st October, at around 1hr 15 minutes. That might not be a deal breaker, but if you have your heart set on golden hour sunset couples portraits you may find it lands right in the middle of your wedding meal. As your photographer, I'm more than happy to dash out between the main & dessert to get some of these gorgeous photos for you - we only need a few minutes to capture magic. Though it does have it's drawbacks - and can mean interrupting a conversation you're having at your top table, or even just taking you away from the atmosphere of your dining setup. I'll always check with your venue's staff how far through your meal you are, and I'll never interrupt you mid-meal unless you've specifically requested I do so for photos.


If you're booking me as your wedding photography, the sunset times for your wedding date is one of the first things that I research as to me this is a critical part of my planning process and can influence whether or not we do things like sparklers or backlit portraits in the time you've hired me for.

Colour Changes


Every year nature puts on quite a show with its vibrant colour transformation as the leaves change from deepest forest greens to crimson, burnt orange & mustard yellows. No doubt if you're booking an autumn wedding, then that's the vibe you are looking for in your wedding photography. However, when autumn arrives can vary from year to year. If we've had a particularly dry summer or even droughts, we can have an early Autumn - with the leaves changing as soon as late August. On the contrary, if we get a super wet summer with lots of torrential rain, it can delay Autumn often well into October. It can be really heartbreaking if your date falls too early or too late for the glorious colours, and while there are no guarantees in nature, if your heart is set on those autumn colours you may want to opt for a date around early to mid October.


My editing style is based on a warm colour profile, which means we can still capture the atmosphere of an autumn wedding while keeping your edited images realistic & true to life. Wedding photographers who have a colder edit, centred around blue & green tones, may not deliver the kind of cosy-vibes you are hoping for - so that's worth bearing in mind when you are choosing your photographer.

Weather & Temperature Changes


Whilst it doesn't occur every year, September frequently enjoys a period of warmth and is often one of the driest months (especially in Edinburgh) of the year. So if you're after an outdoor wedding or even just taking advantage of the gorgeous grounds in your wedding venue for couples photos, then you'll most likely be lucky with the weather. However, as we head into October and November you can expect the weather to get a little stormy and it's possible to have Yellow or Amber weather warnings on or before your wedding day. These may impact your guests getting to the wedding venue - such as trains being cancelled or delayed, or even road closures due to falling trees. While storms are wonderful additions to that cosy, Autumnal vibe, they can greatly affect your wedding day - from not having an outdoor ceremony to whether or not it's safe to step out for couples photos. If it's a bit of rain or a tad windy, then I'm all for heading out and getting a little wet - but if you're not too adventurous or would prefer your hairstyle wasn't completely blown out by the wind, you may prefer to keep things indoors or to stick with a month that has calmer weather.


Despite everything, Autumn will remain my favourite time of year for weddings & photography in general. Whether it's the gorgeous display of colours, the beautiful soft day lighting or the amazing sunsets we get and those darker evenings, it all adds up to a cosy, warming vibe that you really can't get at any other time of year.

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