Castle Tioram Elopement – Keenan and Kirsten
Very early in the morning on the day of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, I found myself driving on completely deserted roads through the misty glens and mountains of Glencoe to reach the remote solitude of Tioram Castle where I was to photograph the wedding of Americans Keenan and Kirsten. Despite being a largely unknown Scottish castle this was actually the second castle Tioram elopement I had photographed just this year; the first being the wonderful wedding of Becky and Leigh back on a very sunny in August. Just as for Becky and Leigh’s castle Tioram wedding I was met by the amazing Humanist celebrant Paula Wilkinson who seems to bring good cheer wherever she goes. She is also a font of knowledge about the area since she lives in Arisaig and it definitely worth contacting if you are planning a wedding at Castle Tioram or, for that matter, anywhere in this part of Scotland.
After a brief chat (it was too cold for standing around nattering) we set off for the short walk to Castle Tioram itself, leaving Kirsten behind temporarily because American Keenan loves all things Scottish – including Irn Bru apparently – and wanted to pipe his soon-to-be wife over from the mainland to the castle. I have to be honest, being in such a beautifully secluded spot at such a dramatic time of the year standing next to someone playing the pipes on a rocky outcrop in the sea was pretty darn awesome. Paula the humanist cried a bit and I was pretty close myself. Somehow being there on the shortest day of the year made everything even more romantic. Sure, it was a bit chilly but it wasn’t raining and the sun was there, just scooting over the hilltops. This was about 2pm in the afternoon by the way – that is as high as the sun gets here in the winter.
After the beautiful ceremony, featuring a bit of traditional hand fasting with a tartan ribbon, Keenan and Kirsten signed their marriage paperwork on a camping table borrowed from my campervan, marvelled at how everyone had managed to avoid stepping in the deer droppings that were everywhere and then went for a little walk for some photographs around the rocky outcrop surrounding the castle. When we had all finished we made our way back to the cars and a local chap drove past and reversed back, not to congratulate the happy couple but just to tell us that there were some otters just around the corner which we might like to go and see (which we did!). The West of Scotland is just that kind of place and I cannot wait to return soon for another Castle Tioram Elopement, although not too many I hope. Sometimes a place should retain its solitude.
Kirsten and Keenan were kind enough to leave me a very lovely review on Google!
For more adventurous Scottish elopement stories take a look at this wonderful Isle of Skye elopement from earlier in the year https://www.silverphotography.co.uk/isle-of-skye-adventure-elopement-catherine-and-dominic/
Update: I have been back to photograph another Castle Tioram Elopement since Kirsten and Keenan’s (well, a few actually). You can see the most recent one from March 2020, in wonderfully misty Scottish drizzle, here https://www.silverphotography.co.uk/castle-tioram-wedding-photographs/
I have also been working up in that area of Scotland so much that I have teamed up with Paula to form to form the mini-cooperative Bog Cotton Scottish Elopements – check it out!