Taylor and Clayton had to change plans at the last minute, but ended up having the most glorious, intimate elopement shoot in Glencoe with only a teeny dinosaur as a guest. Starting in high school and spanning the years, their long-distance love story has stolen our hearts.
Where did your love story begin?
We met in high school and got married in college but amicably split up after four years of marriage. Just before that, Clayton and I had both been accepted to graduate schools in Edinburgh. We each ended up going at the same time but were at different schools.
About three years later, I was living back home in Iowa and he was visiting from Edinburgh for a few months before setting off to do PhD fieldwork in Tanzania for a couple of years. Long story short: we ended up getting pregnant and it was a VERY big shock. Adding to the drama, I found out I was pregnant literally 14 hours before he was supposed to fly halfway across the globe!
Clayton went to Tanzania, but was back in time to be there for the birth of our son, Milo. And then in order for Milo and I to get visas and join Clayton in Scotland while he finished his doctorate, we had to get married again. We went to the courthouse and signed the papers but didn’t really tell anyone about it! The three of us moved to Edinburgh when Milo was 8 months old.
What inspired your wedding plans?
We’d technically been married for a couple of years at this point but hadn’t acknowledged it publicly or celebrated in any way. In the summer of 2020, Covid restrictions were easing and venues were opening again. Emerging from the lows of lockdown, we were feeling super close as a little family and wanted to celebrate, be with our pals, dance, and eat good food! That inspired us to plan a small, intimate ceremony with our closest friends at Holyrood Park and a dinner party at one of our favourite places to eat, Bodega.
However, as the date grew closer, restrictions ramped back up and we had to call it off. I didn’t want Covid to ruin one more thing. We already had our outfits and flowers. The weekend coming was going to be abnormally warm and sunny, so I called our friend and photographer, Rebekah. I asked if she would be up for an elopement shoot and she said YES.
When we decided to “elope”, we only had one day to pick our location and it needed to be within driving distance of Edinburgh. We wanted to be somewhere a bit secluded and when you live in Scotland, you might as well take advantage of the magical, rugged, sweeping landscapes. Loch Achtriochtan just outside of Glencoe is particularly stunning, so we ended up there!
We love your outfits! Tell us more…
I wore the Fleur dress by Hope & Ivy, which showed up on my Instagram feed one day. I didn’t want the price tag associated with a bridal boutique because it was going to be a small, unconventional wedding. I’m drawn to classic, vintage, French-style apparel and that bohemian, flower-child vibe. The Fleur dress fit that to a tee and when I tried it on, I couldn’t have been happier. There was no time to sort out shoes, so I grabbed my hiking boots. My blush pink veil was from Cotswold Bridal and my necklace and engagement ring were from Aidah Jewellery.
Clayton wore a slim burgundy herringbone suit with a patterned button-down and shoes from Asos. He also wore a vintage navy knit tie.
Your photos are gorgeous!
It’s hard to come up with words to describe just how wickedly talented Rebekah is and how beautifully she captured our Glencoe elopement. The jaw-dropping landscapes certainly helped, but we truly could not have asked for a better person to have around on such an intimate day. She was attentive, creative, and easy going. She masterfully balanced giving us space to do our thing and being a guiding light through the whole process. I absolutely adored the photos she took and will treasure them all of my days! I’d recommend Rebekah for any of your photography needs a thousand times over.
Tell us more about your flowers…
Flowers by Minty designed the most stunning dried flower arrangement tied with a gorgeous velvet ribbon. I am so happy that I opted for a dried flower bouquet! Not only was it affordable and easier to elope with, but it now makes a beautiful decoration on the mantle in our bedroom. It looks as perfect as ever!
Were there any challenges along the way?
Oh, just a global pandemic which meant that at the last minute we couldn’t go through with any of our original wedding plans! But all said and done, I couldn’t have dreamed of a better alternative.
Our plans went out the window and our wedding became a spontaneous, fuss-free affair. Everything was stripped down to the essentials and it makes you realise what is truly important about the day. Less is more. Don’t break the bank over table centrepieces and decorations that no one will remember years from now, anyway. Think about what you still remember and enjoyed most from weddings you’ve attended and don’t stress much about the rest.
Honeymoon or minimoon?
We honeymooned in dreamy, remote Knoydart and stayed at the Knoydart House Studio. We rented e-bikes to get around the peninsula, enjoyed pints at Britain’s most remote pub, hot tubbing, and long walks in the rain.
What’s the one moment you will always remember?
Clayton and I saying special vows to Milo and holding his hands while he stood between us in his Triceratops costume. When you have a dino-obsessed 3-year-old who insists on wearing his triceratops outfit to get married you can’t say no!
The world needs more teeny triceratops at weddings we’re thinking! Thanks for sharing your wonderful story with us Taylor and Clayton. x