Louise and Jack eloped to the incredible Loch Coruisk on the Isle of Skye in April this year. It was a bit of a windy day with a threat of rain but luckily just a few drops fell but it was possibly one of the most dramatic light situations I’ve ever photographed in. One minute there were clouds giving of a soft diffused light and then the next minute the sun peeped out for a minute or two acting like a spotlight on the couple. Immediately before the ceremony began when Louise was walking towards Jack we had the most dramatic light in which she literally glowed while the towering Cuillin mountains were in shadow and brooding in the backround – totally incredible! Here’s their story….
Jack and I had been together for six years when he asked me to marry him on 9thMay 2017. We were a few days into a road trip around the west coast of the United States and had just arrived at a very snowy and misty Mather’s Point, at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. We could not see past the ends of our noses, never mind the breathtaking scenery of the canyon just metres in front of us!
Unperturbed by the lack of a backdrop and with not a sole nearby, Jack dropped to one knee and proposed and I immediately agreed. Fortunately, the mist lifted and we did a wonderful hike into the canyon later in the day and enjoyed the overwhelming beauty of the place.
We chose and engagement ring together, a beautiful diamond solitaire, on our next stop on the road trip…Las Vegas but we decided not to join Elvis in his little white chapel.
Back home in Edinburgh, when we first started wedding planning we initially were looking at the traditional wedding recipe, church, top table, speeches etc. but we weren’t enjoying the planning and realised it was because this was not us and not what we wanted.
I had always spoken to friends about loving the idea of “running away” just the two of you and was delighted when Jack admitted he shared this view.
After we made the decision to elope, everything came together very quickly. We had holidayed on the Isle of Skye several times so the decision to marry there was easy.
Pinned to our fridge was a ticket from Misty Isles Boat Trips from a trip to Loch Coruisk in 2012 – I knew there must have been a subconscious reason why I’d held onto it – we had found our wedding venue!
I found Lynne through an internet search and was blown away by her photographs, I knew instantly that she was the person I wanted to capture our day.
Lynne was so helpful in recommending our celebrant and other suppliers – it was invaluable to have someone with local knowledge to help with this.
We had decided not to have any guests so Lynne along with our fab piper, Martin, very kindly agreed to be our witnesses.
The next job was to find a wedding dress – I have always loved 1920s and art deco fashion so knew this was the look I was going for. My gorgeous Jenny Packham dress was the first one that I tried on – the lovely assistant looked surprised when I said my only other criterion was the ability to easily get on and off a small boat in it. I accessorised my dress with the pearls my late grandmother gave me as a graduation gift.
When we went to sleep the night before it was extremely wet and misty and I was worried the boat wouldn’t sail, but by morning it had cleared. Without sounding clichéd, our wedding day was genuinely the best day of our lives. We had an incredibly early start in order the get the first boat over to Loch Coruisk. The morning was very relaxed, Jack and I both woke early and took turns going for breakfast, Heather from Bee Bonnie arrived, shortly followed by Lynne and we had a good laugh while my hair and make-up were done and Jack was pottering about getting ready. Our first look photograph was almost hijacked by a passing bin lorry but you’d never know looking at Lynne’s amazing shots.
We met Penelope and Martin at the jetty and sailed to Loch Coruisk. As I started to “walk down the aisle” to the bagpipes, the sun broke through the clouds and it felt as if we being watched over by someone, just amazing. I find it hard to describe just how incredible a day it was, it was full of love, joy and laughter.
My favourite part of the day was the ceremony itself, we had chosen to handfast and drink from the Quaich. The only tears came when Penelope read our chosen poem, The Colour of My Love. We borrowed my dad’s scarf for the handfasting – it’s the Shaw tartan – my maiden name. We loved how personal we were able to make the ceremony, and were delighted that the law in Scotland allowed us to marry outside in the open.
We are generally not great at getting our photos taken, Jack especially, and we were worried we might look stiff and awkward.
However, we had no need to worry, Lynne had this amazing ability to put us at ease and we pretty much forgot that she was there for a lot of the time.
I love the natural quality of the photographs, we feel that she completely captured our emotions and love for each other.
We had lots of photos taken at the Loch, one of my favourites is of us standing right on the shore, looking out.
After the ceremony we got the boat back to Elgol and spent the rest of day driving around being photographed in increasingly stunning locations.
We only had one heavy shower of rain while we were at the waterfalls near Sligachan, but this only added to the ambience and is one of our favourite photos.
We ended the day back where we started and I wished we could do it all over again. Amazingly my hair and make-up had stayed put all day thanks to Heather’s talent. We spent the next few days at the wonderful Kinloch Lodge Hotel on a “mini-moon” before returning home to Edinburgh where we had a party to celebrate with our friends and families.
We are both so glad we decided to elope just the two of us, it was absolutely the right wedding for us and there was not a single thing about the day we would change. Our advice to other couples would be make sure you “do you”, whether that be a true just the two of you elopement, a small ceremony with a few guests or a big white wedding with hundreds. It has to be your day and what you want. If you chose to elope, make good use of the local knowledge and connections between suppliers. And even if you chose a different location make sure you take a boat trip to Loch Coruisk, it truly is one of the most magical places on earth.