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A fairytale setting, a symbolic date, and the dreamiest details! This magical day is not to be missed! Come and be inspired by this Glenapp Castle elopement captured beautifully by The Gibsons Photography.

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How did you two meet?

We met at work in 2013 in Washington, DC! I (Amanda) was hired onto a project team that Jeff was already working on, and we quickly became friends, frequently discussing our favorite tv shows, and movies, and just generally joking around with each other. About a year later, we realized that we really enjoyed each other’s company and started dating. After dating for 3 years, we got engaged in 2017! It was a long engagement – I knew I wanted to finish my university degree in the next year, and then we had taken some time to decide what kind of wedding we wanted to have before COVID hit in 2020, further delaying wedding planning.

What inspired your wedding plans?

So many factors played a part in our wedding plans, some practical, some more whimsical! After a lot of discussion on whether or not we wanted a bigger wedding or something more intimate, then the difficulty with larger gatherings due to COVID, we decided we wanted to plan a destination elopement and honeymoon all in one! We wanted to find a location that we’d like to visit as a honeymoon destination, but would also be a beautiful setting for our wedding ceremony. We both wanted to visit the UK, and were particularly drawn to the idea of getting married in a castle, so we started looking for elopement packages. We were also interested in the ability to hold a virtual ceremony so our friends and family back home in the US could virtually attend while staying safe and healthy at home. Lastly, we landed on November 11th (11/11) for our ceremony date, because it gave us enough time to plan everything and for international travel to open up after everything had been locked down with the pandemic, but also because 11:11 is said to represent new beginnings, synchronicity, as well as dreams and wishes coming true! I chose a celestial theme for our wedding and felt that the date aligned perfectly with the theme.

Tell us about your venue…

We found Glenapp Castle and it checked all the boxes for us – beautiful castle setting, a 3-night stay in a master suite with breakfast and dinner included, the choice of anywhere on the grounds for our ceremony with a piper to pipe us in, and out, and lots of activities at the castle and nearby where we could make the most of our time around our wedding! We didn’t have a reception, given it was just two of us and our friends and family attended virtually via Zoom. However, we had an amazing 6-course dinner privately in Glenapp’s castle library by a nice, cozy fire!

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We love your outfits! Tell us more…

I knew I wanted a classic satin gown for our wedding. Given an abbreviated planning period (we started planning in April 2021 towards a November 2021 wedding date), I knew I had a shorter timeline for shopping, alterations, and fittings. I did some browsing online at David’s Bridal, picked out a few potential options, and made an appointment to try them all on. I had a clear favorite out of the few I chose, but didn’t want to only try that one on for fear I didn’t like it in person. The sales associate had me try on all of my less favorite choices first. All but one of those was a hard pass, one was a maybe. But then I tried on the dress that I really wanted, and as soon as I came out of the dressing room and saw it, I burst into tears! It was a classic satin off-shoulder ball gown, with a chapel-length train. It was the one!

For my accessories, I went with tradition and had Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. My old accessory was a crescent moon Edwardian pin. My something new was star hairpins & earrings. For something borrowed I had a Bokjumeoni (Korean lucky pouch) borrowed from Jeff’s sister, carried in the bridal gown pocket. Finally, for something blue, I had crystal buckles on my bridal shoes.

To match the classic satin ball gown, we opted for a classic black tuxedo. Jeff had already purchased his dress shoes from Hugo Boss, and conveniently they also had a tuxedo in the style he liked. He tried on a few others at a few department stores but ultimately chose the Hugo Boss tuxedo, with a tuxedo shirt and bow tie to match also from Hugo Boss.

How did you choose your photographer?

We found The Gibsons through a recommended vendor list that Glenapp Castle provided to us. We checked out the few options for photographers on their list online, and loved the color and how natural The Gibsons’ photos were on their website. Their website also gave us a really good feeling, in that their style of describing their business is very approachable. We loved how effortless it was to capture our photos on the big day. The Gibsons were so great at giving up directions for posed shots, but we were so caught up in conversation with them that there were times when we didn’t even realize they were taking photos! It also rained the day of our ceremony, and they were so prepared with umbrellas and a golf buggy so we could still get some great photos outside the castle! Our photos turned out so great, and we couldn’t imagine anyone else capturing them for us.

Which of your suppliers completely rocked your wedding day?

All of our suppliers absolutely knocked it out of the park. The staff at Glenapp Castle were so friendly and attentive and made sure our stay was absolutely wonderful. The Gibsons gave us such wonderful photos that we’ll be able to look at and remember our wedding for years to come. Laura Gray did an amazing job on my hair and makeup, and I really enjoyed chatting and sipping champagne with her while she got me ready. Tasha Monaghan Leung is an amazing celebrant, and put so much attention and care into making sure she told our story during our ceremony, as well as making our handfasting cords! And Rebecca Anne gave me my bespoke veil, a one-of-a-kind item that I’ll treasure forever, that tied all the celestial magic of our wedding together! I genuinely feel that we not only hired suppliers for our wedding but gained friends in the process!

Were there any challenges along the way?

Planning a destination AND a virtual wedding is a bit tricky. You’re putting a lot of trust into people you haven’t met in person, and planning for a venue you haven’t seen in person. On top of that, you’re hoping that the Internet connection will work the day of the wedding so the Zoom video conference where everyone will be watching doesn’t have any issues. Planning travel during a pandemic is also a lot of extra work. We had to make sure we had our proof of vaccination, covid tests completed when we arrived in the UK, and a covid test to travel back to the US. It adds another level of complexity when planning a trip and making sure you’re taking care of those necessary items around the rest of the activities you have planned.

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Did you manage to stick to your budget?

We didn’t really have a budget. Given a lot of our wedding was also technically our honeymoon, we didn’t limit ourselves by cost. We made sure the ceremony was exactly what we wanted, and planned the rest of the trip around places we wanted to visit and activities we wanted to do!

Any advice?

Don’t feel like you have to stick to the traditional way of doing things – do what makes you happy! If it’s a big wedding with everyone you know in attendance or an intimate elopement where it’s just the two of you, make sure it’s what you want and what you’ll look back fondly on for the rest of your life!

Honeymoon or minimoon?

Honeymoon! Our wedding was part of our honeymoon – We stayed at Glenapp Castle in South Ayrshire for 3 days, then traveled to St. Andrews for 2 days to explore and play golf, then traveled to Edinburgh for a day to explore before flying back to the US. So we were in Scotland for about a week, and rented a car to drive ourselves around and see all the scenery! We loved getting to sample so much local cuisine and see all the history of Scotland!

What’s the one moment you will always remember?

Our handfasting ceremony! We wanted to include a nod to both of our cultural heritage in our ceremony, Jeff’s with the Korean lucky pouch as my “something borrowed”, and mine with a Celtic handfasting ceremony. Tasha did a beautiful job making cords to match my ivory satin dress, and it was really meaningful to literally tie the knot!

So much to love. Christina x


VenueGlenapp Castle
PhotographerThe Gibsons Photography
FloristPaperwhite Floral Design
Hair + Makeup stylistLaura Gray
CelebrantTasha Monaghan Leung
Amanda’s DressDavid’s Bridal
Amanda’s VeilRebecca Anne Designs
Jeff’s outfitHugo Boss
Stationery Minted Weddings