Emma and Martyn planned (and re-planned) their intimate Scottish highland elopement last fall at the gorgeous Monachyle Mhor in Callander, Scotland. Their effortlessly quirky and cool style coupled with the stunning backdrop of the Scottish mountainside in Autumn filled my creative soul (and maybe had me squealing a few times during the day, too.) Forever horray and congrats and ALL the good things, you two. Loved sharing in this epic day with you.

words from the bride…

“Martyn and I got engaged in Berlin on 7th February 2020.  Having been together 14 years, we were pretty sure of the type of wedding we wanted and set about planning it for the end of October that year.  We had just about returned from Berlin, told our families and friends, found our venue and started to book dress/kilt viewings… when the first lockdown came into force and everything was thrown up in the air.  Initially, as it was still 7 months away, we hoped it wouldn’t impact the wedding too much but it soon became clear that even if were able to go ahead with ceremony, we were going to rethink how we did everything else.  We briefly considered whether to postpone, but we kept on coming back to the idea that we didn’t want circumstances to get the better of us.  There’s a bit in the last book of Harry Potter (I can’t believe I’m quoting Harry Potter) where Bill and Fleur get married despite everything, and Ginny says, ‘Seems silly, doesn’t it? A wedding. Given everything that’s going on’, and Harry replies, ‘maybe that’s the best reason to have it. Because of everything that’s going on’.  We went with that.

Having talked it through with family and friends, we made the decision to plan the wedding (the ceremony) and postpone the party to a date when we were allowed to have everyone there that we wanted.  Our wedding day itself was to be the two of us and 10 of our immediate family (and two labradoodles).  We crossed our fingers that this would get through any impending restrictions.

In the meantime, the planning process was upended.  No longer able to try on wedding dresses, I looked for alternatives online and ended up going for a pre-owned Inca gown from Grace Loves Lace, and hatched a plan with my mum to alter it and fit it to me.  When lockdown briefly lifted in the summer, we were able to get Martyn into MacGregor MacDuff for a kilt fitting.  We ordered him a jacket and waistcoat online and I taught myself how to tailor them.  We found our florist (Flowers Vermillion) and celebrant (Susan Fleming) online and met them over dodgy internet connections and snatched phonecalls. In the meantime, we were checking lockdown updates nearly daily – our wedding party was made up on my parents and auntie in England, my sister in Canada and Martyn’s family in Scotland – and the changing travel restrictions across three countries made things very stressful.  In the midst of this, Bekah (our photographer) was also due to move to Scotland from the US, and because of the disarray of the pandemic, we weren’t entirely sure if her visa was going to work out before October (it did!).

Changing restrictions meant that the simplest things became a challenge.  Hair and makeup was subject to a labyrinth of restrictions.  What we were and were not allowed to do with the ceremony, the venue and the meal changed frequently.  Though my family were able to travel to Scotland, last minute restrictions meant that they were unable to stay with us, and we were only able to see them outside (a challenge when you have a wedding dress to fit!).  As the wedding approached, and the second wave of the pandemic loomed, we feared that even Martyn’s family in Scotland would face travel restrictions to the venue.

However, with a bit of luck, a huge amount of energy and a good dose of stubbornness, we pulled it off!  Miraculously, all of our family (including my intrepid sister all the way from west-coast Canada) was able to make it to the wedding, which absolutely made our day.  We had a few last-minute dramas – we really could have done without the only road to the venue being closed on our wedding day – but once we got to Monachyle Mhor, it felt like an oasis.  The autumn colour in Scotland is completely stunning, and the countryside around Balquidder and Callendar is something else.  Monachyle is situated on a strip of land between two remote lochs – it’s one of those places you can’t quite believe is actually real.

Our wedding day was intimate, hectic and hugely emotional.  Our brother-in-law sang us into the ceremony.  My sister put on a tour-de-force of wedding planning. My auntie helped with the flowers.  Monachyle made everything easy.  Our family was there.  We got married.  We had everything we had hoped for.”

Vendor Love

Venue + Food : Monachyle Mhor

Florals : Flowers Vermilion

Hair and Make up : Kate Elliot-Muir

Celebrant : Susan Fleming

Dress : Grace Loves Lace

Custom made Kilt : MacGregor and MacDuff

Rings : Hers and His

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