Today we’re heading to one of our favourite parts of Scotland, for an intimate wedding full of colour and style. Christianne and Ciaran spotted their luxury Highland lodge venue while hiking in the Cairngorms, and as their plans evolved (because: Covid) it turned out to be the perfect place for their intimate celebration.
We love their unique and colourful summer micro wedding. And Christianne’s pale blue sequin dress is really something to behold. All the love for doing things your way!
How did you two meet?
Ciaran and I met multiple times during our teenage years at forced orienteering events, ‘leaders of the future’ events until eventually properly getting to know each other at summer school, just before starting university (in 2010). We were friends for years before getting together, and the rest is history.
What inspired your wedding plans?
Originally we planned to elope… we loved the idea of disappearing, just us and our golden retriever, down to the Lake District or up in the Highlands. We were going to have a special day and then celebrate with our family and friends a few months later in Edinburgh, our hometown.
Covid struck and we reevaluated our plans. My older sister has Down’s Syndrome and had to isolate for months on end, and we knew she would be heartbroken not to see us get married or celebrate with us (especially as the party wouldn’t be possible with restrictions).
So we decided to keep our wedding small and invite our direct family, doing exactly what we wanted. Ciaran grew up in a religious family, but neither of us are religious ourselves… we were adamant that we didn’t want any tradition, or pomp.
Tell us about your venue…
A beautiful luxury Highland lodge hotel, owned by art curators. We spotted the venue during a summer hike up in the Cairngorms and were struck by how beautiful and quirky the venue was.
I emailed their events team, and instantly clicked with the team. No request was too much, and despite the 5 star hotel status, they were more than accommodating of our tiny wedding.
We love your outfits! Tell us more…
I knew what I didn’t want, which was something traditional, something white. I’m not a huge fan of some of the usual traditions of weddings as they’ve got a bit of a history of misogyny. I’ve been desperate for a Needle and Thread dress for years, they are so glamorous and beautifully made but at an affordable price level.
I ordered quite a few of their dresses and always loved the designs, but the dress I settled on was really special. I chose a pale blue sequin dress with flowing floaty sleeves, that ended before my knees. I felt comfortable, glamorous and very much myself… which was always my goal.
I wanted boots as they’re my favourite kind of shoe. I saw these nude boxer lace up shoes a few weeks before the wedding and knew they’d complement my dress with a 60s style wooden wedge.
Ciaran didn’t want to wear a kilt, but the checked blue suit still felt suitably Scottish! This was the first suit he tried and it was exactly what he wanted. He also wore wore two clan pins, one for the Mckenzies and one for the Johnstons. His shoes were beautiful brown Ted Baker boots.
Your photos are stunning!
Anna takes such beautiful elopement photographs in the outdoors which is what drew me to her in the first place. She was incredible on the day, behind the scenes capturing everything, and then helping us find the perfect places for our couple photos after the ceremony too. A dream to work with and we’re so in love with the photos she took.
Were there any challenges along the way?
Covid! We’d have been married 5th August 2020 if all had gone to plan, but I’m glad we waited and changed our plans to include our families.
Our dog attended the full day and there was one moment where she’d disappeared… she was found sneaking into the kitchen before being brought back by a member of staff.
Tell us more about your flowers…
Chloe came highly recommended to us by the Fife Arms, as she decorates the hotel with beautiful outdoor installations. I found her on Instagram and absolutely loved her creations. Her work uses local Scottish flowers and is always so colourful.
I knew I wanted a bright pop of colour with some local heather and eucalyptus, and let Chloe work her genius. I absolutely adored her creation, it was so joyful with lots of colour and trailing ribbons. I plan to get a little line drawing tattoo of my bouquet, it was so beautiful!
Did you manage to stick to your budget?
Yes… although we didn’t really have a budget. With our day being smaller, we concentrated our funds on making sure Ciaran and I had an incredible stay, and all the elements we felt were important, including an immediate honeymoon road trip around the Highlands and Islands straight after the wedding.
Don’t ever feel pressured to have the day somebody else wants you to have. Always prioritise yourself and what you want, there is nothing wrong with being selfish about your own wedding! Small weddings are not to be scoffed at, and we wouldn’t change a thing.
Honeymoon or minimoon?
Minimoon – we travelled up to Harris and Lewis, before coming back down through Skye and the Highlands. It was absolutely beautiful, but we are very much still planning a sunny trip to Italy next year to celebrate again.
What’s the one moment you will always remember?
Ciaran starting his vows with “I Christianne…” because he was so nervous. Or that pure relief floating feeling immediately after the ceremony when all nerves subsided. The team at the Fife Arms were there immediately with Mai Tais so we could all celebrate and toast together which was really special.
Looks like colour is here to stay and we couldn’t be more here for it! Thanks for sharing your gorgeous day Christianne and Ciaran. x