After struggling to find the perfect setting for their big day at home in Melbourne, Keely & Jason decided to combine their honeymoon and wedding in one trip. Their rugged and romantic Cairngorms elopement made our hearts skip a beat the minute we set eyes on it. And the way they talk about Scotland makes us feel so very proud to call this place home. Prepare to all in love…
We love your ceremony setting! What inspired you and were you worried about the Scottish weather?
We considered a few different locations at first (Isle of Skye, Gretna Green, etc.). When we finally narrowed our search down, it was either Wild Farm Cottage or another location in Aviemore. Looking at numerous photos online and speaking with our host, Tilly from Wild Farm, we knew it was the location we would fall in love with once we finally arrived. I have always loved the misty, rolling hills of Scotland and to me (an old romantic) it seemed a fitting place to marry my high-school sweetheart and love of my life.
Tilly was helpful every step of the way and very open to weddings on her property. If you are looking for a location off the beaten track, with absolutely stunning scenery for your wedding, I highly recommend having a chat to her.
We were a little apprehensive of the weather at first, worried it would force us into a plan B. A lot of people were telling us that you can’t predict the weather in Scotland. However to us that sounded just like Melbourne, and at the end of the day we’re not afraid of a little bit of water. It started to shower very lightly before the ceremony but Jason and I decided to go ahead anyway, no rain was going to stop us from becoming husband and wife. In the middle of the ceremony during our vows, the heavens opened and it just started pouring. Jason and I looked at each other in the middle of declaring our love to the world and we knew that we did not want to halt the ceremony, the moment we were in was too perfect. Looking back now two months in and I wouldn’t change anything about our ceremony and I am glad we kept going. It was the perfect atmosphere. You can see the rain in our photos and, to be honest, I believe it has made them more beautiful.
Did you DIY any elements of the day?
Our beautiful photographer, Stacey did. I hadn’t thought of carrying a bouquet and Stacey offered to make me one from the beautiful flowers our host from Wild Farm Cottage gave us on arrival. I also did my own make-up on the day as the location left me with little options in that department.
Your photos are incredible! How was the experience?
Stacey and Bryan are the epitome of professionalism and their photography is stunning and beautiful in all the right places. They were lovely people and we had a great laugh with them too! If you are looking for photography for your wedding that goes above and beyond, I highly recommend this beautiful husband and wife team.
I can honestly say they went above and beyond on the day, and the photos they have given us are exceptional and capture the true Scottish Highlands in all their splendour.
Your dress is so beautiful and suits the location perfectly! Tell us more…
I purchased my wedding dress from the online store Modcloth and it only cost me $250.00 (AUD). As we were travelling through Scandinavia, Netherlands and then the UK before we got married, I didn’t want to be carrying a dress that was huge the whole time.
Jason’s suit is a story, we purchased half the suit from Shepherd & Woodward in Oxford, and upon realising we were fast running out of time to get it tailored, we decided to just pick-up another suit jacket and were lucky enough to find one that fit perfectly and matched his pants at Moss in Glasgow.
Tell us something surprising about your day…
Halde, our celebrant surprised us with a quaich after we had signed our documents and made it official. We did not know anything about this Scottish tradition and it really added that little bit extra to our day.
Halde is an absolute legend – if you want your day to be extra special with a wee bit of fun rolled into one, I recommend Halde to you. We had absolutely no idea what we wanted in our ceremony and Halde was there when we needed him with advice.
How did your families react?
Our families were in the loop every step of the way as we looked for a location near Melbourne, and then as we decided to do it overseas. Both of our families seemed to support our decision without any dramas and were surprisingly very encouraging of the idea. At the end of the day they told us “Your wedding day is about the two of you and nobody else”.
I think that’s where some couples go wrong with weddings, a lot of people are only thinking about their families and friends. We wanted a simple modern wedding that reflected our values. To us marriage is less about the joining of two families and more about the joining of two individuals.
It’s a bit of a long story, but after searching and searching around our home city of Melbourne, nothing felt right. We originally wanted to get married among the rainforest Dandenong Ranges, about an hour east of Melbourne. We finally thought, why not do something different and combine our wedding and honeymoon into one trip. The wedding ended up towards the end of the trip rather than the start, which gave us something to look forward to the whole time.
This ‘Reverse Honeymoon’ ended up being a great idea and totally worked for us. Visiting Scotland has always been a dream of mine since I was a little girl, my ancestors were originally from Inverness and my family have always talked about Scotland with such love that I knew I needed to see it for myself, and boy did we fall in love with Scotland!
We also believe that everyone has a right to marry whoever they choose and our own country still has not made this legal, so it felt right being married in a country where everyone is accepted for who they are and also who they love.
Any advice for brides & grooms thinking of eloping to Scotland?
Do it! No seriously, Scotland is a place of magic, beauty and love. The beautiful surroundings will complement your day and who doesn’t love a bit of travel. Everyone is friendly and applying for the marriage certificate is not as hard as you may think (depending on your country).
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
The moment Halde pronounced us Husband and Wife. I didn’t know how much the ceremony would mean changing our relationship to husband and wife, but when it happened we all felt it. It was definitely the most unforgettable moment and that’s captured in our photos as well.
Such a beautiful setting! And I love Keely & Jason’s reasons for choosing Scotland, don’t you?! Christina x
Venue – Wild Farm Cottage, Tomintoul, Cairngorms National Park
Photographer – Picturesque by Mr and Mrs M
Wedding dress – Modcloth
Groom’s outfit – Shepherd & Woodward in Oxford and Moss Bros in Glasgow
Hair stylist – LCTG Hairdressing (who made me feel like a goddess on the day!)
Humanist Celebrant – Halde Pottinger