Kate and Conall’s atmospheric Scottish island elopement wedding was full of midsummer romance. These two wanted to have a summer elopement in Scotland, but we knew that popular places like the Isle of Skye and Glencoe can be super-busy at this time of year. So we suggested that they might like to elope on a stunning private island that’s steeped in history and accessible only by boat. What better way to avoid the crowds? Eilean Shona is a small island nestled in the inner shores of Loch Moidart, a sea loch on the west coast of Scotland. Curiously famous to some, yet not well known to most, the island was an inspiration for J.M Barrie’s Neverland in his novel Peter Pan. The short boat journey from the mainland carries you past the stunning ruin of Castle Tioram to the welcoming shores of Eilean Shona.
The plan came together beautifully and Kate and Conall were able to spend a week in a super-cute cottage, winding-down after a busy period at work and easing into a slower pace of things (one of the beauties of Scottish island life!) Read on to see the full story of their Scottish island elopement wedding day…
Kate and Conall wanted a relaxed and informal atmosphere for their elopement wedding day. So they chose to get ready together, with no pomp and ceremony, just a peaceful and intimate dynamic that set the tone for their day. We really enjoy capturing couples who get ready together in the mornings, it makes for some beautiful images as they help one another with their clothes and accessories. The space that you choose to get ready on the morning of your elopement makes a really big difference to your photos. We loved the morning light in their characterful cottage, one of just nine cottages on Eilean Shona. This was just perfect for photography, and the way that Kate was framed by the curtains across the doorway which created the perfect composition for these morning images.
Scotland is famous for its ‘sea haars’ (sea fog), and you get these rolling in on Scottish islands from time to time. Even in summer, they can literally appear out of nowhere and shroud you in mist. We were very excited to turn the corner and discover one rolling-in across the water as we walked to Kate and Conall’s elopement wedding ceremony location! It definitely added to the drama and atmosphere of the day! One of the things that we enjoy most about being elopement photographers in Scotland is the ever-changing weather and light. It means that, however many times you shoot at a particular location, it’s never the same twice!
Kate and Conall chose to include a traditional Scottish hand-fasting as part of their humanist wedding ceremony. It symbolises the joining of two families and its where the phrase ‘tie the knot’ originates from! There are so many beautiful, symbolic ways that you can personalise your elopement ceremony and make it truly reflect who you are as a couple. We have seen so many unique additions to wedding ceremonies over the years. If you would like some ideas, just ask!
After their ceremony, we returned to Kate and Conall’s cottage to pick-up a picnic lunch and head down to a quiet spot by the sea with a beautiful view. It was so nice to have nowhere to rush to, to be able to kick-off our boots, sit back and enjoy watching the boats sail by… One of the things that we really notice when we photograph elopement wedding days is that there is so much time and space within the day for couples to really be in the moment. When you don’t have a hundred guests to speak to, the whole day opens-up for just the two of you to enjoy together and to celebrate your love: whether that’s with a cup or tea or a glass of champagne!
After lunch, we explored some more of the island before heading back to the cottage as the heavens opened! (Even midsummer elopements in Scotland can be wet, but that’s all part of the fun!) Conall got the fire going while Kate cosied-up on the sofa. Then they opened cards and letters from family and friends. It’s so awesome to have these messages of love and support from the people that you are closest to—it’s a way for them to be part of your elopement wedding in spirit, even if they are not there in person, and it’s so special to have these messages to keep and re-read afterwards.
We left Kate and Conall to enjoy their evening with the fire roaring, a glass of Eilean Shona’s own blend of whisky, and a chef-prepared dinner on its way. Their Scottish island elopement wedding on Eilean Shona was simple, rustic, romantic and beautiful—everything an elopement in Scotland should be!
Kind words from Kate & Conall:
“Last night we got cosied-up and spent our time going over our wedding photos. They are absolutely stunning! You have really captured our day so beautifully. We are so taken with how you have used the natural light in our photos to make us really shine. The colours and the details are so lovely. We can’t thank you enough for capturing such brilliant and beautiful memories for us!”
If you are planning an elopement or an intimate Scottish island wedding, we would love to hear more about your plans!