Claire and Harry’s misty and atmospheric Scottish elopement in Glencoe was full of the rugged romance of the Scottish Highlands. These lovers travelled from France to elope in Scotland and celebrate their love with an outdoor humanist wedding ceremony amidst the mountains. Claire and Harry met at art college, and being extremely visual people the backdrop for their wedding day was very important to them. They loved the wild drama of Glencoe and were totally down to embrace whatever the Scottish weather threw at them.
The dawn of their elopement day was still and overcast, as though the whole landscape was holding its breath for the events that would unfold that day. We love days like this — it’s when Scotland is at its most dramatic and mysterious. Read on to see their full story of their incredible Glencoe elopement adventure…
After a leisurely breakfast at Ardrhu House, Claire and Harry quietly began to get ready for their wedding day. Claire had chosen a custom designed dress created by a French tailor, with a vintage white jumper, dried flower crown and crochet fingerless gloves — a present from her sister. Harry opted for a Walker Slater Donegal tweed suit and a trusty tweed overcoat.
They had decided to get ready separately and then have a ‘first look’ in their wedding finery before heading out into Glencoe and their loch-side elopement ceremony location.
We knew that the weather forecast was predicting rain, torrential rain! And that’s exactly what we got. As a Scotland elopement photographer team we are used to shooting in all sorts of conditions, but rarely have we ever photographed such a wet wedding ceremony! But Claire and Harry embraced the weather with laughter and joy — the rain running down their faces as they exchanged their vows and swapped the handmade ‘marriage bands’ that Claire had created for them both.
Retreating to a glade in the woods nearby they held a traditional Scottish quaich ceremony, mixing Welsh wine (to symbolise Harry’s roots) with French wine (to reflect Claire’s). No prizes for guessing which wine was the more flavoursome…
Claire’s sisters created a beautiful surprise addition to their elopement wedding ceremony — they each secretly wrote her a letter, expressing their love and support for Claire and Harry in the future life together, which they sent to their celebrant Neil Lynch to read as part of the ceremony. Claire was completely taken aback. It was such a heartfelt and moving moment.
After the ceremony, we headed to the ever-cosy Clachaig Inn to dry out by the fire and toast Claire & Harry’s elopement, and then enjoy plates of hearty locally sourced food. By the time we had finished eating, the rain had passed over and the mists on the hills had lifted. This is so often the case with a Glencoe elopement — it can be pouring with rain one moment, but if you give it an hour or so it usually passes over. This is why we always highly recommend allowing a full day for elopement photography. It gives you the flexibility to work around whatever the Scottish weather throws and you, and removes any sense of time pressure.
We spent the afternoon exploring the hills and valleys of Glencoe together. We always love showing couples our favourite hidden places and experiencing familiar views afresh through their eyes. Glencoe has to be one of our favourite locations in the Scottish Highlands for an elopement wedding — not only is it breathtakingly spectacular, but between Glencoe Valley and Glen Etive there are a large variety of beautiful spots within 20–30 mins drive, which makes for a fantastic variety of locations to explore.
We had the absolute best time with Claire and Harry, and it was such a privilege to be a part of their elopement adventure. We left them as they headed off to enjoy a romantic evening meal before returning to Ardhu House for a nightcap by the fire.
If this story has inspired you to plan your own Scottish elopement wedding, do get in touch! We would love to help you to plan a unique and special Scotland elopement day all of your own.