Our Magical Wedding / Vow Renewal in the Highlands of Scotland

January 15, 2020

I dreamed of a castle wedding in a magical land far away riding in on a unicorn. I did realize I’d have to settle for a white horse but the dream never died. We opted for a local wedding with our family and friends which was the best wedding anyone could ever have but the longing for that destination castle wedding never left. It wasn’t until we shot a wedding in Scotland that made me realize we could make that dream happen! You see, the Scotland couple is actually local to me. She lived there for a couple years where she met him while working at the same hotel. They had to get married locally here first as they moved to Canada together but her dream and goal wedding was there, in Scotland. If she could have a second wedding, why couldn’t we?! I was sold. The second we were on a Scottish airline on the way to their wedding and I was able to hear their soothing accents I was home. Driving in the cab from the Edinburgh airport to our hotel (which overlooked the Edinburgh castle right out our window by the way) tears trickled down my face. This place was everything I ever dreamed of. Everything that was part of all of my magical fantasies. I longed for the lush greens under a grey sky with a misty blanket adorned with cobblestone and castles and this was it. There isn’t a single thing we didn’t love about Scotland. We are explorers and not huge fans of the heat. And… It’s national animal is…. A UNICORN! Perfect.
For our first wedding Ryan’s best friend (who’s Scottish and born there) gifted us a print of Eilean Donan Castle. I fell in love with the castle instantly. I liked how it had it’s own little island and I loved the stone bridge that lead to it with the shallow water underneath. It was the castle we would get married in.

Once we arrived in Scotland for our own wedding we started in Edinburgh for a couple nights for good food and bachelor and bachelorette parties and then it was off to the highlands! As we were driving through the highlands and approaching closer to the castle we put on the Outlander theme song extended version and I’m telling you…that’s the way you experience going through that place! As soon as we saw the castle in the foreground I was overwhelmed with emotion. I couldn’t believe we were finally here. I couldn’t believe I was living my ultimate dream and I was actually experiencing this! I was shaking and full of tears when we arrived.

Photos: Three Nails Photography
Floral: fluer_de_lii (Instagram)
Makeup: Eve Learmonth
Hair: Alyce Fraser
Video: The Brave Ones
Dresses + Groom Suit: ASOS
Best Man: Slaters
Bridal Boots: UGG
Ring: Local Eclectic
Nails: Shandy Rose Beauty

You can’t really tell in the images unless you take the misty background into consideration but our day had gale force winds mixed with pouring rain. The whole day…. minus maybe 7 minutes and I wouldn’t change a thing! It was the mood I wanted and I NEEDED in my images. I wanted artwork and that’s what these are.

Since our day was constant bad winds and rain and we didn’t’ get the castle to ourselves until the end of sunset we had to work out of order and do all the outdoor things first! We could only shoot in ten minute intervals outside so staying on castle grounds was our only option and the most important option. We started with images on the rocks and I’m telling you… we were drenched within minutes. Our umbrellas only lasted two steps out of the vehicle. We were drenched and the bottoms of our dresses were soaked in sea water within a minute that we were out there which is why we needed so much time in-between to dry off and freshen up.

Our song was “The Girl” by City and Colour. Robbie is so talented and I wish I could share his folk version but sadly we do not have evidence of it!

Nicole: Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and anything else present in this old and likely haunted castle. We are gathered here today to witness the vow renewal of Janell and Ryan.

When you first joined hands and hearts in marriage 5 years ago, you promised to love, honour and cherish one another through all things. The divorce rate is currently over 50%, so I’m happy to be here today since you’re obviously still killing it at this marriage game.

Meeting online is no longer taboo, but meeting on Nexopia is much different. You’re not a regular couple, you’re a cool couple, and you’re doing amazing, sweeties.

The two of you are as equally different as you are the same. You compliment one another in ways others can only dream of, in personality, photography, and tattoo styles.

And with that, here we are today, gathered to celebrate as you wish to re-pledge yourselves to one another, but in a less-culty way than an American fraternity. Please join hands….

Five years ago we said, “I Do” for the first time and since then life has taught us a lot. When I’m wanting to give up, or just having an off day, you’re still there to pick me up and love me unconditionally.
You’ve shown me how a relationship works when you’re with the right person. I promise to love you. Respect you. Support you, and above all else make sure I’m not yelling at you just because I’m hangry.
I promise to fight by your side in the zombie apocalypse and should you turn into one, I promise to let you bite me so I can be one too.
I vow to hold your hand in my hand, to hold your head in my hands and to hold your heart in mine. I love you. You are my husband now and for all of time.

It’s been five years since we stood across from one another and declared our love for each other.
I can say with absolute certainty my heart has only grown fonder with each passing day.
I swear to continue to honour and protect you. Feed you when your hangry. Tickle your back, when life’s a frenzy and slow your breath when times are tough.
Most of all, I promise to never stop the search for mermaids, unicorns and all things magical.
I love you now, tomorrow, forever, and always.

Inside we had the castle to OURSELVES for two hours! With us having such a small crowd it was easy for me to be able to hang out by myself for a while in the main gathering area just taking it in without the usual crowds of people. Next on the list I just needed to have a ghostly experience as my dreams were always about haunted castles and I got it! Wether you’re a believer or not I know what we experienced and I was on cloud 9. It was the absolute best day ever!

The cinema! My favourite part is how it shows off how strong the elements were <3