verb (used without object), e·loped, e·lop·ing.
'to run off secretly to be married’
Scotland has traditionally been the place to run away together to get married to escape the stricter rules of other countries. This custom was particularly popular in Scottish Border Towns and Villages like Gretna Green for example, where couples would seek out a fisherman, joiner or blacksmith who would marry the couple for two guineas or a dram of whisky. Edinburgh too was a popular destination in the 19th century. Eloping is one of the most romantic and magical ways to get married and allows the couple complete freedom of organising their own special day.
And what could be more romantic and magical than getting married at Roulotte Retreat, in the heart of the Scottish Borders, just below the legendary Eildon Hills where poet Thomas the Rhymer ran off with the Queen of the Fairies. In the land of Walter Scott, James Hogg and Will Ogilvie amongst other writers and poets, our meadow enjoys the sounds of the water which flows through on its way to the River Tweed. Indeed we sit between two small waterfalls, hidden from view, where waters meet just below an ancient Roman encampment - truly magical. Add a sprinkling of wildflowers, a small lochan encircled by hand-carved French Romany Roulottes et voila .... the most romantic escape!
At Roulotte Retreat in February 2014 we were honoured to be the destination of choice for a wonderful couple, Greta and Zulfi who wished to elope and have the wedding of their dreams, in secret. They boarded the train in London and arrived in Berwick-upon-Tweed a few hours later to be whisked off by car to Horseshoe Cottage and Ruby Bowtop with their special guest, Zeppelin their beautiful little dog.
Everything had been organised with us, our Wedding Planner and the local Registrar in advance so all the paperwork was in order. Alan and I were asked to be witnesses and of course we were delighted to be part of this secret , magical, romantic wedding. The next few days Greta, Zulfi and Zeppelin delighted in walking the local hills, strolling along the river banks, going out for meals and enjoying peaceful time and space away, and on their own.
The Wedding Day was an absolute dream – imagine this ... a beautiful morning standing below the Scots pine trees, in front of Ruby Bowtop in the Spring sunshine. A small gathering stood in horseshoe style around the couple as the Registrar performed the ceremony which was so personal with their words and vows. The essence of beautiful simplicity – a happy couple, ceremony full of laughter and smiles in abundance – pure joy! After Aikman Smith Photography captured the moments on film, we all toasted the newly weds with glasses of fizz on the deck before they went off for their wedding lunch together – everything exactly as they wished. They then honeymooned in our 90 year old authentic Ruby Bowtop ... just perfect!
So if you would like to Elope get in touch with us and we shall help you organise your Special Day together, in secret .... sssshhhh
To get you in the mood, watch this beautiful film, ‘The Elopement’ created by Eileen O’Rourke of Sugar8 – vintage style wedding films. We also have some beautiful images created by Caro Weiss when she photographed ‘The Elopement’ on site - “I came across Roulotte Retreat, our location for the shoot, looking at quirky places to stay in Scotland. I instantly fell in love with the location – such a perfect setting for an elopement.”
Each and every Elopement is unique and so each Elopement Escape is created especially for you. Some couples may wish to get married, renew their vows and enjoy time away on their own or bring a couple of friends to share the experience and be witnesses, the choice is yours.
We have many more 'wedding stories' about to be launched on our site, here's a preview to Sally and Christian's Elopement recently in June (2018) - its just absolutely magical!
Here’s a few ideas you may like to add to your wish list.
Wedding breakfast hamper; Photographs of your Special Day; Gourmet Dinner Hamper so you can hide away in your Roulotte in front of the wood burning stove; Champagne on Ice Roulotte Retreat style with Chocs; Massage; Massage lesson where you learn to massage back, neck and shoulders; Yoga and Relaxation.
We can be witnesses or perhaps you would like to invite friends to be your witnesses and stay at Roulotte Retreat too.
The Wedding Ceremony can be on site at Roulotte Retreat, in your Roulotte, in the Meadow, on the jetty by the lochan or perhaps you would rather have the ceremony on the covered deck of the Studio amidst Scots pine trees.
You could enjoy a twilight or evening ceremony complete with candles and lanterns to create a magical setting for your special evening with dinner afterwards in your roulotte or dine al fresco under the stars by the campfire in the meadow.
We help you with all the paperwork and help you to organise the Registrar, Humanist Celebrant, Interfaith Minister or person of your choice to conduct the ceremony. Perhaps you would rather be married in a local Church, Border Abbey or Registrar’s Office, the choice is yours.
We can also advise on local places to visit, to eat and activities, just ask!
Sound like bliss? Get in touch for more information.
Enjoy a glimpse of the meadow and a peek inside the roulottes in this short film.
If you'd like to soar around the meadow for longer and see inside all of our roulottes, then check out this 5 min film.