Ami and Andrew’s Glencoe Elopement
Remember the bright sunny photographs from the engagement photoshoot I photographed in Glencoe earlier this year in the middle of winter? Well in July I was back at the exact same place for Ami and Andrew’s Glencoe Elopement. No, I haven’t got the dates mixed up, and yes we are in the northern hemisphere, but this is Scotland where the weather is fickle and summer and winter are interchangeable. Our midsummer Glencoe elopement might have been on a very dark, windy and wet afternoon on Rannoch Moor but it was oh-so-romantic!
Over the past year or so I have been working closely with humanist celebrant Paula Wilkinson and we found that we worked well as a team, especially for more adventurous weddings. We recently decided to go one step further and offer a complete service – planning, ceremony and photography – for couples who knew that they wanted to come to Scotland to get married but didn’t quite know where or how to go about it. You can find Bog Cotton Elopements on Facebook – a great place to start if you are planning your own Glencoe elopement. Ami and Andrew were a perfect example of what we can help with. They contacted us to say that the two of them wanted to get married in Scotland, somewhere not too far up in the Highlands (as they were coming from Wales) and had roughly a one month window to do it all in.
And that was literally the extent of their plan. I’m sure the mere idea of having no real wedding schedule is terrifying to most of my big (50+ guests) wedding clients but when it is just the two of you things can be very relaxed. For instance, you can get married on any day of the week because you don’t have guests to worry about. This means that suppliers like Paula and I are more likely to be available. Location? This is Scotland so just choose a spot wherever you fancy. All you have to do is inform the registrar at least 29 days before. Ceremony time? Pretty irrelevant really. Without the usual constraints you can just have your ceremony at a time of day that suits. In fact we changed the time of day from early in the morning to later in the afternoon just 24 hours before the ceremony because the unreliable Scottish weather was changing rapidly.
After the Glencoe engagement shoot I photographed earlier this year I already knew that I wanted to shoot a wedding in the same location so I suggested it to Ami and Andrew and they were up for it, regardless of the weather (their words, not mine). A quick message to Paula and we all settled on a date and that was that. Super-simple with all the focus now on the ceremony itself. The location, Lochan na h-Achlaise, chosen by me partly because I knew it would be a laugh hearing Paula try and pronounce it during the ceremony, is just meters from the busy A82 road but walk for 60 seconds and you are standing in the otherworldly wonders of Rannoch Moor. Surrounded by wild flowers with squishy wet moss underfoot with misty mountains as a backdrop it was utterly beautiful. Even more than I would have hoped for.
My starting point was the little group of lodges at Aos Sí in Glencoe itself. This was the first time I’d met with Ami and Andrew and I instantly admired their laid-back attitude to their wedding and in particular, the weather. We set off east through the mountain pass in our mini convoy, stopping at a couple of nice spots along the way for some photography. The rain was particularly bad at that point though so we didn’t linger too long. It’s funny but I drive that road so many times but the sense of wonder I feel each time I travel through the mountains never diminishes. We arrived at our meeting point, a little top-secret lay-by by the side of the road. Paula arrived a few minutes later and we were off! As a person who would always choose to be outside somewhere I am probably biased but it is hard to think of a more beautiful place for a wedding ceremony. Nothing but lochs and mountains as far as the eye could see.
The west of Scotland is full of these lesser known spots that would all make for amazing places for your little wedding. Help me visit more of them by letting us help you plan and photograph your own Scottish elopement.
Thank you Ami and Andrew for being such great clients and for letting me share your Glencoe elopement on my website – I really appreciate it! If you’d like to read about other elopements I’ve been working on recently the head over to the elopements section of my website and be sure to follow me on Instagram!