Let this winter elopement in Scotland sweep you off your feet

Updated Oct 3 2016
 
Photos by: The Kitcheners
Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian
Photos by The Kitcheners

The Offbeat Bride: Jordan, Costume Designer/Textile Artist

Her offbeat partner: Trevor, Scenic & Props Designer/Student

Date and location of wedding: Secret Forest in Balquhidder, Scotland — March 11, 2015

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

Trevor and I are theatrical designers, and I'm very into textile art. We are both makers by nature and very much appreciate craftspeople and artisans. This whole idea of a "maker culture" influenced our wedding. Instead of opting for traditional vendors, we sought our attire and other wedding necessities from non-traditional companies and makers.

Winter elopement in Scotland as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Winter elopement in Scotland as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

We wanted our ceremony to be intimate, quiet, peaceful, and focused on the reason for the day: our marriage. As hard as it was for us to make our vows without our family present, we wanted to commit ourselves fully and wholeheartedly on such a vulnerable day.

Winter elopement in Scotland as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Winter elopement in Scotland as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Winter elopement in Scotland as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Winter elopement in Scotland as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Winter elopement in Scotland as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Trevor found a tiny farm-to-table bed and breakfast nestled in the Scottish Highlands — the Monachyle Mhor. When he reached out to them, they were extremely eager to be welcoming and accommodating. They provided us a beautiful suite in the Coach House, which is modern and warm all at the same time.

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Tell us about the ceremony:

With our Humanist Celebrant, Iain Whitelaw, and his wife, June, we ventured out the afternoon before the ceremony to scout the perfect location. After a 25-30 minute hike, we found ourselves atop a mountain overlooking the lochs below. The next day, sometime between 8am and 9am, surrounded by the chilly Scottish forest and pastures of wooly sheep, we shared our vows.

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Tell us about your reception:

Our reception was rather small. It involved our photographers, our celebrant, and his wife, and the two of us enjoying a quiet private breakfast in the Monachyle Mhor's dining room.

I had Scottish berry compote with fresh cream, orange juice, and porridge with a nip of whiskey. Trevor opted for the traditional Irish breakfast, including haggis, which he seemed to take a liking to during our time abroad. After eating, we ventured out into a hail storm to capture some of my favorite photos from the day.

That evening, we were treated to complimentary champagne before enjoying our five-course dinner at the Monachyle Mhor. They were extremely accommodating to my vegetarian lifestyle. They gave us an intimate, private room off of the main dining room where we were able to enjoy an incredible meal together as husband and wife.

Highlights included a cheese plate with unpasteurized cheeses from all over the United Kingdom, our custom cake that came out with shooting sparks, and Jerusalem artichokes.

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

What was your most important lesson learned?

Our biggest wedding planning challenge was the legal loopholes we had to jump through to get married abroad. Trevor and I are both citizens of the United States, so we had to deal with a decent amount of paperwork to legally get married in Scotland.

Luckily, Scotland is one of the easiest countries to marry in if one is not a citizen. We had to acquire a visa for the United Kingdom that allowed us to marry in the country. It allows the couple to remain abroad for up to six months. We had to fill out paperwork, have fingerprints processed at the Immigration Services in Atlanta, and send our passports to New York. We waited a bit too long to start the process, so it caused some unnecessary anxiety waiting to see if our passports would arrive in time for our leaving.

One of the greatest lessons we learned was to trust our vendors. As artists, we didn't want to take too much creative control away from the people that we were trusting to craft different portions of our wedding. We sent inspiration photos to many of them, but often let them make final decisions in the end. It turned out better than we could have ever expected.

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Scottish elopement as seen on @offbeatbride #weddings #scotland #bohemian

Vendors

Gallery

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  1. Thank you for sharing the lovely, tender, genuine, and beautiful start to your marriage. I really appreciated your acknowledgement (and respect of) the vulnerability the day can have and I admire greatly how you both embraced it your own way.

  2. Elopement isn't for me, but if I did, I would want it to be as beautiful, touching, and breath-taking as this!

  3. Hi thank you for sharing this. Would you mind letting me know a bit about price? I am also from US and am planning an elopement/small wedding in Scotland. Your pics are beautiful! If you don't want to share publicly, but would be willing to share prices privately… kmt0812@hotmail.com. Thanks!!

    • Hi there!

      All in all, the process was far less expensive than most conventional weddings.

      Accomodations/food–$1000
      Flights/Other Transportation–$1400
      Photography–$1200
      Attire–$850
      Celebrant–$200
      Flowers–$150
      Cake–$35
      Wedding bands–$200
      Marriage Visas/License–$200 (please email me at jejaked @ gmail . com if you need assistance/have questions about this. I'd love to help. It's quite an overwhelming process if you haven't experienced it before.)

      It was just over $5000, I believe. We added a stop in Dublin on our way home. We were only abroad for a week (on Spring Break from graduate school.) We looked at the whole experience as our honeymoon and wedding. I wouldn't change a thing. It was absolutely worth it in every way. I have so many recommendations if you decide on a Scottish elopement. All of our vendors were INCREDIBLE. I cannot recommend Iain Whitelaw enough. He and his wife not only made our day extraordinary and special, they took us exploring the Highlands the afternoon before our ceremony. He was the Head of Tourism in Sterling prior to becoming a Humanist celebrant, and he knows the Highlands incredibly well. I can't say enough nice things about the Kitcheners either. Their photojournalistic approach to our photographs was exactly what we wanted. They perfectly captured our day from afar.

      Reach out if you'd like more info. I'd love to share more!

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