Joel and Kate’s Mingary Castle Wedding
Often in life you have to work a little bit harder to discover some of the best things and, I think, Mingary Castle is a perfect example. After driving to Fort William in the Highlands you cross Loch Linnhe on the little Corran Ferry (my favourite ferry of all time because I get really seasick and this beauty only takes about 5 minutes) and onto the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, home of the most westerly point of the British mainland (apparently). The road then becomes a mere sliver of tarmac that is used more by sheep than by people. About 2 hours later you arrive at the robust looking 14th century Mingary Castle, seat of Clan Maclain and now home of Hamish the Dachshund, epic misty mountain views, some amazing meat pies and the location of Joel and Kate’s Mingary Castle wedding adventure.
I arrived just as hair stylist Jakkie Jemson was putting the finishing touches to Kate’s hair which included beautiful hair pins by Clare Lloyd that she had won in a competition. My good friend, Humanist celebrant and colleague Paula Wilkinson timed her arrival perfectly to coincide with the lunch service. Having a little bite to eat together was such a great thing to be able to do before the wedding ceremony as it really gave everyone a chance to relax a little and made sure that nobody starved to death when we were out in the wilds. This is one of the many benefits of having a very small wedding or elopement – you can plan your day exactly the way you want it without having to conform to all the traditions, customs and inevitable stress of a much larger wedding day.
Joel had recently dislocated his knee in a surfing accident that didn’t involve any sharks and had to walk with the aid of an umbrella. As a sign of true love he still agreed to navigate the steep steps down to the beach and walk across the pebbles to the ceremony spot right by the edge of the gently lapping sea. Kate was there to help, of course, but she was more focussed on collecting shells and pieces of string only so that she could make use of the pockets in her dress. Kate and Joel’s love of beachcombing did actually lead to them finding a lego Batman figure which not only removed a little bit of plastic from the environment but also made a great cake topper!
After a very romantic ceremony on the beach, punctuated with short breaks to try and spot oyster catchers and sea otters (none were seen), that also included a poem wonderfully turned into a piece of art by Elspeth Edmonds, we made our way back up to the castle for the signing of the paperwork and a traditional quaich ceremony. Incidentally, my spell checker keeps trying to change that to quiche ceremony which would be very different but still quite interesting. Joel, Kate and I then wandered around the castle parapets and the nearby surroundings for a short photoshoot to try and capture some of the incredible views that attracted them to the castle in the first instance and, of course, have a look for those elusive birds and otters….
Both Paula and I really enjoyed working with Kate, Joel and their parents and the staff at Mingary Castle too. I am very excited at the prospect of returning as soon as I can, not least of all so that I can see Hamish again and try one of the pies. If you are interested in more wild Scottish elopements please take a look at this page and, as ever, please don’t hesitate to send me a message if you are planning your own wedding anywhere in Scotland.
Update: Kate and Joel were kind enough to leave me a really lovely review. You can read it here.
Location – Mingary Castle, Kilchoan
Celebrant – Paula Wilkinson of Fuze Ceremonies / Bog Cotton Scottish Elopements
Dress – Lovely Bridal
Hair – Jakkie Jemson
Hair Accessories – Clare Lloyd
Flowers – Horseshoe Flowers
Lego Batman Cake Topper – Found whilst beachcombing