We’re headed to an island off of the West Coast of Scotland this morning, Eilean Shona in fact, which is near the near the Ardnamurchan Peninsula. It as you can only imagine, is a truly idyllic and picture perfect setting. No better place for an outdoor wedding then…
WWW readers Emma and Russell were married on Wednesday July 13th 2016. At first the couple were planning a big wedding, until they realised it wasn’t for them. They considered eloping but instead brought along 12 of their nearest and dearest to the pretty isle. They stayed for the week before saying their vows beneath blue skies in a humanist ceremony, perfectly tailored to them. Keeping everything really low key, there were no details or additional decorations, it was all about their love for one another and their future marriage.
Emma’s gorgeous frock was a real find from Warehouse, I love the detailing on the long sleeves especially. She also wore a dried flower crown and clutched a dried flower bouquet, which looked very pretty indeed. Russell’s check brown suit was very dapper, teamed with vibrant orange tie and dried flower buttonhole.
Thanks so much to Caro Weiss for sharing these wonderfully romantic images.
THE PROPOSAL | Hogmanay 2014-2015. We were at home, getting ready to go out and meet our friends at the local pub for dinner and a dance and Russell put on some music, opened a bottle of wine and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He had a ring which he had gone shopping for in secret, with my best pal, and I love it. I was so surprised. It was a lovely moment. We then told all of our mates at the pub that night when we arrived so it was like a double celebration. I was very happy.
THE VISION | In all honesty we realised after the wedding planning began that all we actually wanted was something very simple, minimum fuss and inexpensive.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We first started by making a list of all of our friends and family members so we had an idea of how many people we would like to invite and then we spent a lot of time doing an extensive internet search for venues that were reasonably priced and could cater for our numbers. This was a lot harder than we thought it would be. After lots of emails back and forth we arranged some viewings for a few different venues over a couple of days that Russell had taken off work. The week before, we had both been out and had a few drinks and had one of those drunken conversations where you are completely honest and we both admitted that we weren’t really enjoying the planning process one bit, it was time consuming and a bit stressful. We decided to cancel our viewings and spend the time going up north for a couple of nights away together instead. While we were away we realised that is exactly what we wanted our wedding to be like. A trip away somewhere beautiful in Scotland, just the two of us and our wee dog Eric, who we knew we would be adopting a few months before the wedding. After booking our trip/venue we realised we couldn’t quite go through with our elopement without our immediate family there so we had 12 guests and we are both so delighted that we made that decision.
BUDGET | Budget was a big factor for us. Russell proposed in Jan 2015 and in the Feb we went off travelling together for 3 months. We visited many different places and had the most amazing experience, our budget for that trip was similar to what an average wedding costs these days. We were very adamant that we just couldn’t spend the same amount on our wedding, we would rather go on more holidays?!
THE VENUE | We got married on a wee island off the West Coast of Scotland called Eilean Shona. It is a private tidal island near the Ardnamurchan Peninsula. The two of us and our dog Eric stayed for a week on the island in a wee cottage called SawMill Cottage and we got married at the bottom of the garden. Our families joined us on the island the day of our wedding.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I really am not a big fan of shopping for clothes for myself. It usually ends in misery with me feeling unattractive in everything I try on. With this in mind along with keeping costs down I really didn’t want to go in to any bridal shops. So I began my search online. I actually had in my mind that I would like to get married in a long floaty floral dress but couldn’t find anything I liked. I finally found my dress online from Warehouse the high street shop. I asked my mum to come round to my house and tell me what she thought. She really loved it so that was the decision made. I had also thought I would wear a flat shoe/sandal but my mum convinced me to wear a heel, so again I had a little look online and got my gold glittery heels from Office. They have already been worn again a few times. My only accessory was my flower crown.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Russell went shopping for his suit with his mum and 8 year old nephew Toby. He bought his entire outfit from Walker Slater in Edinburgh. Toby and Russell also went shopping together another day and picked a bow tie for our dog Eric to wear on the day.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had a humanist service and our celebrant Janet was so helpful and patient with us. We wrote our own vows and Janet helped us put the ceremony together just the way we wanted it. It was very personal. Russell’s mum helped us pick out a reading and we quoted from Peter Pan as the island is famed for being the setting where J.M.Barrie wrote the play. Apparently the island was his inspiration for Neverland.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Just before we went travelling I posted “will you be my bridesmaid?” cards to my two best friends so they received them while I was away. Of course when we got home and started wedding planning our plans changed from what we had first thought. I asked my friends what they thought about us eloping instead and they were so supportive. Like the true best friends that they are they both agreed that it suited us perfectly and were only happy for us. Russell and I are fortunate that we have so many good friends that we care about, so in order to keep the wedding the small affair that we wanted we chose to only have immediate family there on the day and had a party with all of our friends and the rest of our families when we got home.
THE FLOWERS | Because we were on the island a few days before our wedding, fresh flowers were not an option. I thought at first that I could either pick some wild flowers on the island or just do without but then in a bit of a last minute panic I realised I should really have a plan B. Thankfully I found online the very lovely Carly from Florence and Flowers who with quite short notice and for a very reasonable price arranged a bouquet, flower crown, button hole for Russell and corsages for both our mums, all from dried flowers. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but when they arrived I was so pleasantly surprised. They looked amazing and smelled lovely. I was able to wear the flower crown again a couple of weeks later at our party and my bouquet currently sits on our fireplace. I love that they are pieces that I can keep forever.
THE CAKE | Jill Gosney, from a nearby hotel on the mainland, provided our catering and cake. We opted for a cold buffet so there was minimum preparation involved for us on the day and Jill also kindly made us a lovely Victoria sponge cake for our wedding cake. The food came over on the boat with our family. We just had to lay it all out on the table and pop a cake topper on the cake, which I had bought online from Etsy, and that was that. Everyone just helped themselves, it was all home made and delicious.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Before we even knew what kind of wedding we wanted to have, I already knew who I wanted to be our photographer. It was the one thing I was sure of from the start. I had admired the work of Caro Weiss for some time. I am a huge fan of photography and enjoy it as a hobby myself. Caro’s work speaks for itself. She captures special moments, little details and the Scottish landscape so beautifully. We also really wanted photos that were natural, neither of us wanted to stand around awkwardly posing for long. I was so excited when Caro agreed to be our photographer for the day. I knew I would be able to completely relax knowing that Caro would capture all the special moments that we could look back on.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The beautiful scenery on Eilean Shona was the only detail that we needed. We did have to think practically and be prepared for all potential weather conditions though so we had wellies, camping chairs, umbrellas oh and confetti and lots of prosecco of course!
THE HONEYMOON | After our week on the island we had another week together, the two of us and Eric, road tripping around the North East of Scotland.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | We both agree that when we think back to the day what we remember most is just how happy we were. We were both a bit worried that we would be a bit too stressed or nervous to actually enjoy our day, Russell in particular is not the biggest fan of being centre of attention, but I can honestly say that we enjoyed every minute of our wedding day. Surprisingly we both felt so relaxed, there was no set schedule to the day and it had the laid back vibe that we wanted.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Mmm? I would say to include your partner in all the planning, it is a day for both of you so it is important that you are both comfortable. Also to invest in a fantastic photographer. It is worth every penny to have beautiful photographs to look back on that last a life time. Having those memories captured is priceless.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Caro Weiss
Location | Eilean Shona
Flowers | Florence and Flowers
Suit | Walker and Slater
Catering & Cake | Jill Gosney – Ardshealach Hotel
How very perfect.
Thanks so much to Emma and Russell for sharing their super special story with us xo Lou