Anna and Mark’s Glencoe Wilderness Elopement
In recent years I have had SO many tiny elopements to photograph and, to be completely honest, I have loved them all. They have all been very relaxed and stress free with the focus being on the joy of getting married and simply being together in a nice place. Sometimes there are a few friends there, often it is only the couple themselves. Each of the elopements I have photographed have been subtly different apart from the obvious necessities such as a witness (of which I am often one of the required pair) and a celebrant. A surprising amount have also featured the sharing of cake which can only be a good thing. Before Anna and Mark’s Glencoe wilderness elopement, however, none of my elopements, nor weddings for that matter, have ever featured:
A) Such an uncontrollable amount of windblown hair.
C) Highland Cow cupcakes.
In wedding photography circles today there is a definite trend towards very dark, sombre and dramatic moody images. Everyone has to be serious, all the men need a beard and it has to be pouring with rain. Oh, and you have to be in Glencoe or on the Isle of Skye. Don’t get me wrong, these images are striking and I am constantly impressed by the quality of the work out there on the internet these days but, are those images actually about you and your wedding, or is the melodramatic style of them a byproduct of the social media age? What do they actually say about your wedding?
Now, I’ve never been one to follow trends unnecessarily, as anyone who has seen the way I dress will testify, and after 20 years I have seen them all come and go. Remember sepia? I could go all dark and moody too but that’s never been what my style of photography is about. If the weather was stormy then your photographs will look stormy but only because that is how it was on your wedding day. My clients most certainly want great photographs, but they want them to reflect their day. They want me to capture the happiness, the tears, the landscapes, the details and the general atmosphere of the day that they married their best friend. And they usually want those photographs without having to spend an overly long time on a bitterly cold mountainside.
Anna and Mark were my perfect clients. All they wanted was to get married in a nice place that meant something to them. They wanted their campervan there and they wanted cakes, obviously. My job that day, as at all the weddings I shoot, was to use my skills not to spend a long time posing them to look like windswept models in an expensive aftershave advert, but to work around them and record their day without any interference. They wanted nice photographs (they hired me after all), they definitely didn’t want any drama or stress.
They had chosen a spot that was literally on a rock in the river Coupall which flows down thorough the iconic Glencoe itself. Behind them was the imposing mountain that every visitor to the west of Scotland will have been awestruck by, Buachaille Etive Mòr. It was only earlier this year that I photographed Rachael and Malcolm’s elopement a mile or two down the valley on the other side of the mountain. After the ceremony we went back to the hotel where there was a traditional quaich ceremony outside their beloved VW campervan, a quick signing of the marriage register, some cake, a bit of dragonfly spotting and a very short photoshoot in the nearby surroundings of the hotel.
This Glencoe elopement was only a week after I worked alongside my humanist colleague Paula at Mingary Castle as part of our Bog Cotton Elopements gang. Their good friend Kath was there, partly as a witness but also as the baker of super-tasty shortbread. Anna’s absolutely gorgeous dress was from Needle and Thread (I am loving that a few of my brides this year have had similar nature-inspired embroidered dresses – so beautiful). The amazing Bonnie from Bonny’s Wonderland was there for the hair and makeup. My new regular, the Kingshouse Hotel, was the start and end point for the day. The dried flower bouquet was from Florence and Flowers and, last but certainly not least, those Highland cow cupcakes were from local bakery the Little Highland Cupcake Company (I was forced to try one and they were as delicious as they looked).
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and thanks also to Anna and Mark for allowing me to share their Glencoe Wilderness Elopement story. You can see all of the recent elopements I’ve photographed and written about on my site here. If you are planning your wedding or elopement anywhere in Scotland and are looking for photography that will tell the story of your day please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’d genuinely love to hear about your plans and help you plan your day for you.