This afternoon’s elopement style wedding is just breathtaking – I’ve always wanted to explore the Hebrides and these stunning images from We Heart Pictures are just fuelling my wanderlust!!
Brittany and David live in Houston, Texas, but the Isle of Skye has a special place in their hearts as it was the first place that they went away together – even before they had started dating. They loved the wilderness, scenery and bold weather so much that they decided to hold their humanist wedding ceremony there. Brittany wore hiking boots for the trek up to the loch, and the journey involved a boat trip as well as the walk, but oh my goodness wasn’t it worth it?!
The landscape is just incredible and actually, it looked like the weather was very kind to them! This is such a lovely, intimate wedding, full of heart and I’m so excited to share it with you all…
Brittany The Bride: We got married in September 2014 on the Isle of Skye, on the west coast of Scotland. It’s the first place we went on a weekend hiking trip together, before we were even dating, so it’s really special to us. We took a boat trip from Elgol, a little village on the south of the island, over to Loch Coruisk and were married by John Howieson, who is a wonderful Humanist celebrant on the Isle of Skye who helped us made our ceremony very personal and meaningful for us, and was also so much fun!
I’m not much of a fashion person, so I just had to go look in the tag to see the brand! It’s by Pronovias, but I bought it at a used wedding dress store in Houston, TX (that’s where we live!) called Marry Go Round. They have beautiful used wedding dresses and the girls that work there are so sweet and helpful! I tried on just 5 dresses and loved this one. I wanted something that was classic and didn’t look too modern or trendy, and I loved the lace.
No veil, no tiara, just some extra flowers that the florist put on wires so I could stick them in my hair! They became very floppy after a few hours hiking to the loch and getting rained on, but they stayed in! My brother and his partner (who are getting married this March!) were my stand-in bridesmaids and helped me do my hair and poke the flowers in.
I wore hiking boots for the boat trip over to Loch Coruisk and for the ceremony, and then changed into some nicer shoes before the dinner. My shoes for dinner were on the clearance rack at DSW – a huge shoe store in Houston that does discounted nice shoes. I thought they were really pretty, but I paid $35 for them and that was probably a good thing, as they somehow ended up muddy, along with the hiking boots and dress! My hiking boots, for the record, are Berghaus and are the most comfortable shoes of all time. Highly recommend wearing hiking boots for the wedding!
I did my makeup, and just put more than I normally would – that’s about it! I kept asking “is this too much??” but I am very pale and figured if I didn’t put enough lipstick I’d be a ghost in photos! Oh, and I’d definitely recommend waterproof mascara!
We had David Austin roses, some smaller roses, and a few thistles. We wanted pretty and relaxed flowers – enough to add some color but not distract from the scenery! We had such a tiny group that we just got corsages and buttonholes for everyone. Donald at Loch Duich Plants did an amazing job and it was so nice working with him. I gave him a few ideas and left it to him and it was just what we wanted – they were absolutely perfect. He worked with Fiona, who made our cakes, and they sorted out the flowers on the cake, which looked lovely. I never knew about David Austin roses until I started talking to Donald and on the morning of the wedding I was just staring at them – there is something about them that is just breathtaking.
The Wedding Party
Didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen! Our family just wore what they liked, but most wore hiking boots! We also got different flowered umbrellas from Cath Kidston for the girls and navy plaid ones for the boys at Next. Luckily the sun came out just in time for our vows though!
David wore a dark blue suit from Next, which he bought the day before we flew up to Scotland. He had stripey suspenders (also from Next), and a nice Hugo Boss shirt because it was the one that fit best! When I saw him, he was soooo dreamy, and I felt so lucky to be marrying him.
Hector from We Heart Pictures did our wedding photography, and we couldn’t be happier with our photos. We chose him because his photos from other weddings captured these beautiful tiny moments that told the story of the day, and that’s what we wanted. And his style was beautiful. Our photos are incredible, and we cry every time we look at them! We Heart Hector!
Our cakes were made by Fiona MacKinnon in Elgol. She is such a sweetheart, and our cakes were gorgeous. We had a two layer buttercream cake – one layer was vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream and the other layer was lemon cake. I love lemon and Fiona said the vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream was delicious, and it was! Fiona also made a little surprise fruitcake for David in the shape of his restored VW camper van, and it was adorable. We hated to cut into it, but still have some in his parents’ fridge for an anniversary (or more likely, when we cave and eat it before then).
The entertainment was just the beautiful scenery and the great company. My brothers sang Billy Joel’s For the Longest Time for us on the boat trip on the way back from the loch. Hearing them sing is one of my favorite things, and it made the day so much more special. We didn’t have a first dance, my brothers had another song ready and we were going to dance after dinner but it got late and we forgot!
We bought little brown paper boxes and put some leftover wool I had from making our handfasting cords in the bottom (I bought a bunch of wool the last time I was in Scotland with grand intentions and have crocheted exactly two things – our handfasting cords), and then added some tea bags from Tea Pigs. We first had Tea Pigs in the Cuillin View tea room in Elgol the first time we were there, and it reminded us of our previous trips to Skye. Plus I read an article in the Simple Things magazine I’m obsessed with about Tea Pigs and the lady who started it seems so cool and I am happy to support her tea!
The actual wedding venue (on the shore of Loch Coruisk) didn’t need any decorating, so we didn’t do any! For our wedding dinner at Duisdale House, they put us in the lovely conservatory with views of the garden. We had some small candles on the table, and the little cups of flowers from Donald at Loch Duich. It was simple and just perfect.
Our wedding felt perfect for us, and we keep commenting on that since the wedding. We had our closest family there, and got to spend the long weekend with them, we were on the Isle of Skye, which is magical and so special to us, and there was no pressure of hundreds of eyes on us like a typical wedding. We just spent a wonderful weekend with our families, got dressed up for a few hours and went out and got married, and then went hiking the next day with the people we love most. I remember that the whole weekend just felt like a wonderful adventure. I wouldn’t change a thing.
The advice I would give to other brides is to focus on what is important on you. Shoes mean nothing to me, I didn’t care about my hair or my makeup. We wanted our family to feel like they were a hugely important part of our wedding, and not just “guests”. We wanted our ceremony to reflect on our views on marriage and love, and not the things an audience expects to hear. Don’t worry about what others expect or what you think you’re supposed to do for a wedding – be yourselves and make your wedding about what is most important to you. And have fun!