Are you dreaming of eloping on the Isle of Skye? Does an Isle of Skye elopement wedding feel like the perfect way for you and your partner to celebrate your love, perhaps as part of an adventurous road trip around Scotland? Well, Steph and Matt’s atmospheric, autumnal Isle of Skye elopement is going to give you some serious wanderlust! These two travelled from Arizona in the USA to exchange their vows amidst the mountains on the ever-stunning Isle of Skye. They lucked-out with the most beautiful September day, where the mist clung to the hills and the light was insane. We even got rainbows! Could there be a more beautiful natural blessing on your wedding day? Read on to see how Steph and Matt’s beautifully peaceful and intimate Scottish elopement wedding day unfolded.
So many of our couples meet online these days, but we loved the fact that Steph and Matt have a good, old-fashioned ‘meet cute’ story. Their paths first crossed at a bonfire party while they were both at university (insert obligatory puns about ‘sparks flying’ here!) and things moved on from there, with a relaxed first date over a movie and Chinese takeaway in Matt’s dorm room. Before long they had moved across the country together and become ‘dog parents’ to their cute pup, Wyatt. When we asked Steph and Matt whether there was one moment when they realised that the other person was ‘the one’ for them, Matt had the most beautiful answer, “It’s not just one moment — we could have been married ten years ago — there have been a million moments where I’ve known she’s the one”. While Steph recalled one day “when Matthew put on Christmas music (in March) and danced with me in my dorm room to cheer me up after a rough veterinary exam when I was upset. I remember telling my best friends about it and saying, ‘I think I’m going to marry this guy!’” We love hearing our couples’ love stories. It makes being invited into their lives to capture their wedding day feel even more special.
Steph and Matt had loved the idea of beginning their Isle of Skye elopement wedding day in a peaceful cottage with great views. They wanted a relaxed morning, getting ready with a fire crackling in the background and a pot of coffee on the stove. When they shared this with us, we knew the perfect cottage to recommend to them, and their morning unfolded just as they had pictured! Choosing the right setting to start your elopement wedding day is so important. The view that you see when you draw the curtains on your elopement day, and the space that you get ready in, sets the tone for your wedding day itself. It also makes a big difference to the atmosphere of your ‘getting ready’ photos, so it pays to choose your accommodation well! We’re always happy to share our ‘little black book’ of cute accommodation with our elopement couples — places that we know will make for a romantic stay, but will also work great for photography!
As Steph quietly began to get ready for the wedding ceremony, she opened some cards and gifts from her family. They included some beautiful and heartfelt messages of love and support. Moments like these always have us shedding a tear behind our cameras. But it’s always so beautiful to see couples finding ways to incorporate loved ones into their elopement wedding day — in spirit, if not in person.
Steph and Matt loved the idea of getting ready for their elopement wedding ceremony separately, then having a ‘first look’ on the beach before they headed off to their ceremony location. A ‘first look’ is always a super-fun moment to capture. As we typically photograph together as a husband-and-wife team, we can literally be in two places at once, documenting your ‘first look’ from both perspectives!
Steph had recently qualified as a vet, so it goes without saying that she LOVES animals! In addition to eloping on Skye amidst the mountains, she and Matt had just one hope for their elopement wedding day — to see some Highland Cows! As luck would have it, there was a herd of them grazing on the beach right outside their cottage! In spite of their rather fearsome-looking horns, Highland Cows are typically very relaxed and gentle creatures. So we strolled over to say hello before travelling into the mountains for Steph and Matt’s elopement ceremony.
One of the things that we really enjoy about photographing elopement weddings is that they are always so relaxed, with no rigid timeline or sense of time pressure. The morning of Steph and Matt’s elopement had been a little wet (as autumn days on the Isle of Skye often are!) We waited for a weather window, and when the rain eased-off, we hiked up to their ceremony spot. We timed it just right! The mist lifted just as we arrived at their ceremony spot to reveal the most breath-taking view. Although we photograph elopements on the Isle of Skye regularly, the island never fails to take our breath away. We especially enjoy seeing it vicariously, through the eyes of our couples experiencing it for the first time. It reminds us what a beautiful place the Isle of Skye is, and how lucky we are to call it one of our ‘offices’.
Steph and Matt’s ceremony was simple, heartfelt and beautiful. They had really personalised it to reflect them, their relationship, their ideas and values. We love the fact that no two elopement wedding ceremonies are the same! They had chosen to include a traditional Scottish handfasting ceremony, where two pieces of ribbon are intertwined and then pulled apart to form a knot, which where the phrase ‘tie the knot’ (meaning ‘to get married’) comes from.
After a brief pause to toast Steph and Matt’s elopement with a dram of Talisker whisky (always welcome on a chilly day), we headed off to explore some more of the isle. Talisker whisky is made on the Isle of Skye, and whisky-enthusiasts may be interested to know that you can take a tour of the Talisker Distillery and learn more about the whisky-making process. It’s a fun thing to do if you are spending a few days on Skye as part of your honeymoon.
The one thing that we would say about being Isle of Skye elopement photographers is that, no matter how many elopements on Skye we shoot, the island never fails to surprise and inspire us! This wedding day was a classic example of this. We had been having fun with Steph and Matt exploring in the mountains, and taking some fun photos along the way, but as the afternoon drew to a close, the rain set-in quite heavily. We’d decided that it was time to head back to Kinloch Lodge, where they were due to meet their families for a celebratory dinner. But as we drove there, thinking that we had finished taking outdoor photos for the day, the rain stopped, the clouds lifted and the most amazing light broke through. We rounded a corner and there was the most enormous rainbow! Super-excited, we all jumped out of the car, and Steph and Matt gamely ran across a bog and tussocky grass with us, allowing us to capture these few frames before the glory of the rainbow faded.
The final shots of Steph and Matt’s elopement were taken at blue hour, which is just after the sun has set. Blue hour is actually one of our favourite times of the day to shoot, as it’s when the light is at its softest and most filmic. We always really encourage couples to factor-in some time for couples photos around this time of the day, and couples often tell us that the images that we take during blue hour are their favourite images from thee entire wedding day.
Steph and Matt ended their evening at Kinloch Lodge, a characterful traditional hotel with an excellent restaurant in a quiet corner of Skye. The fires were roaring and the champagne was on ice when we arrived, and Steph and Matt’s family were ready to welcome them for a celebratory dinner.
For couples wanting a quiet and stress-free elopement wedding day, but also wanting to invite close family to celebrate with them, having the day to yourselves, but inviting family to celebrate with you in the evening can be the perfect ‘best-of-both-worlds’ solution.
Steph and Matt’s Isle of Skye elopement wedding day ended with funny and moving speeches, hilarious toasts and happy tears. We left them as the darkness closed-in around Kinloch Lodge and the soft call of owls floated out from amidst the pine trees.
If you are thinking of eloping on the Isle of Skye or elsewhere in the Scottish highlands, or are starting to plan your elopement wedding, do feel free to get in touch! We love helping our couples to plan their elopement wedding on Skye. We can help you with recommendations for everything from ceremony locations and accommodation, to connecting you with lovely celebrants and other fantastic elopement suppliers!