A Moody Elgol Elopement On The Isle Of Skye

Today’s stunning elopement is a wonderful example of how you should never be worried about bad weather on your wedding day. I’ll let Katy from The Caryls Photography tell you about their adventures:

Claire and Daniel chose a romantic and adventurous elopement on the Isle of Skye where Daniel had proposed the previous year. Travelling up from their home in West Yorkshire, they stayed in a characterful cottage near Elgol — a tiny hamlet in the south of the island. After a quiet morning, we all hiked around the Elgol headland to stunning location with views across Loch Scavaig to the Cuillin. Here, accompanied by a piper, Claire and Daniel had their heartfelt humanist wedding ceremony, exchanging their vows to the sounds of the wind and the sea. Following the ceremony, we headed out into the most rugged part of Skye, armed with hearty picnics and prepared for everything the weather could throw at us…and it did! When the sun did break through the cloud it sliced through the landscape with ribbons of light across the mountain and moors. We left Claire and Daniel to enjoy a celebratory dinner at Kinloch Lodge, before rejoining them at Elgol harbour for sunset, catching the last few rays on a beautiful day. The following day, the pair headed-off for their honeymoon—a road trip along Scotland’s epic North Coast 500. We wish them all the very best with their future adventures.

A Moody Elgol Elopement On The Isle Of Skye

We met through Tinder, in the very early days of its release (before it became just another hook up site), one cold winters night be both swiped right. We chatted a little before agreeing to meet in our local pub (we literally lived around the corner from each other, where I was late so he ordered himself a glass of wine whilst I made my way there. Texting as I was walking he asked what I wanted to drink and he’d have it ready for me, I replied a “a pint of Leeds pale”. He later admitted he’d ordered the wine to look more sophisticated and then felt a bit silly as I sat and drank my pint whilst he sipped on wine. The night was full of chatter, no awkward silences, with chats of nightmare spider experiences and general getting to know each other. A local all male choir was in that night and as I approached the bar they asked if I was on a first date… threatening to serenade us… but Daniel looked on from the corner of his eye thinking they were flirting with me. They left before us and gave me a big thumbs up at the window as they passed, slightly embarrassing! Daniel was a true gent and walked me home in the pouring February rain.

Moody weather on the Isle of Skye. Photo by The Caryls Photography

I knew Daniel loved mountainous scenery and lives for adventure, it seemed crazy that his only experience of Scotland was Edinburgh. I was desperate to show him my love of the Highlands. He loved it as soon as we arrived. We were based first in Loch Lomond and then in Loch Ness (followed later by a crazy faulty towers-esq castle in Stirling). While staying in Loch Ness we decided to go on a day trip to Skye. I had visited once before and was mesmerised by the place. We’d decided to go up to Scotland in Daniel’s 24 year old MX5 (Mark one, the one with the flippy up lights), it was a bit of a gamble (and a squeeze) but the roads in Scotland are amazing. Anyway, the day we chose to visit Skye was the most beautiful day we had. The sky was blue and the sun was beating down on us, and we drove around Skye with the roof down the entire day feeling like we were somewhere much more tropical than Scotland. I was desperate to get a decent picture of The Old Man of Storr, my previous picture being only from a car window, and Daniel had spotted a waterfall just before that would have the Storr sitting nicely in the background of the photo. After about 100 photos Daniel suggested we get a picture together and put my camera on timer, resting it on his backpack and ran over to me and in the 10 seconds it took for the pictures to take he managed to get down on one knee and propose. Luckily he’d also set the camera to take multiple shots so we’ve got a flip book of photos of the moment.

Bride and groom get ready in a small cottage on the Isle of Skye. Photo by The Caryls Photography

We had originally opted for a big wedding, I’d seen a picture of beautiful barn on Pinterest and was convinced it was the place for us. Nevertheless we looked at some other venues, but none seemed right and most seemed over priced when you totted up all the ads ons. We agreed on the barn as it seemed a good deal, but that’s when it started to feel forced. As wedding planning started to go ahead I kept running into problems. Things weren’t plain sailing and it seemed like we were spending a lot of money to try and make other people happy but not ourselves… and it also became apparent that one size definitely did not fit all, to change one thing would make someone else unhappy. I was fed up. This wasn’t why I wanted to get married. When the first appointment for a dress trying on session came up I cancelled it. I just wanted it to stop. I spoke to Daniel about it and he admitted he didn’t want a big wedding either. That’s when we asked ourselves, “so why are we doing this?” . When we decided to elope, so it could just be the two of us, doing what we wanted to do, in our dream location, we knew exactly where we wanted to go. We wanted to return to Skye. That magical place that has caught our hearts the day we decided to get engaged. By this point I was finishing my teacher training and do an elopement was only possible in the summer holidays. Knowing it would be busy in the highlands at this time we planned our location on the most remote part of the island, away from many of the tourist trails.

Black & white images of a bride and groom getting ready. Photo by The Caryls Photography

Google and the kindness of strangers! As everything was so last minute we were finding a lot of people and companies were booked. It was down-heartening at first and I admit I had a little cry when it appeared that no one would be able to help me with my hair and makeup on my wedding day (I’m hopeless myself). But, the people of Skye are the friendliest bunch and when we couldn’t find people we were given phone numbers and email addresses of many people that could help. We couldn’t have done it without them, the kindness of strangers.

A first look outside a cottage near Elgol. Photo by The Caryls Photography

We love the great outdoors! I feel happiest when in my boots, it soothes the soul. Scotland is one of the most beautiful places in the world, it was the perfect backdrop to our wedding day. It’s hard to take a bad picture in Scotland, especially when the weather is moody and the clouds gather around the mountains.

An Elgol Elopement on the Isle of Skye. Photo by The Caryls Photography

My favourite moment was our wedding evening/night. We’d had a hectic day dodging the wild Scottish weather. It all settled by the night time and we were able to relax a little in the garden of the bothy. We cut our cheese cake (and ate some too obviously) and drank Champagne with our lovely photographers who were more like friends by this point. Just as we were about to call it a night I remembered I had hastily packed some sparklers leftover from bonfire night and we lit them as a final toast to the day.

A humanist ceremony on the Isle of Skye. Photo by The Caryls Photography

Perhaps wake up a bit earlier on the day so I didn’t feel as rushed but nothing ever goes to plan! My hair and makeup lady was late too so I would have still have been late!

Bride and groom with umbrellas at teh Elgol elopement on the Isle of Skye. Photo by The Caryls PhotographyMoody skies for bride and groom portraits on the Isle of Skye. Photo by The Caryls Photography

Everyone says this, but you don’t really understand until you’re in the thick of things… but do what YOU want to do. Not what anyone else wants you to do (or they want to do!). After all, it’s your wedding… and your money! Don’t be afraid to elope, our friends and family were a little shocked but now they all agree it was the best thing we could have done. It was more ‘us’ than the traditional wedding and we got to spend our wedding day doing what we wanted and spending it with each other rather than trying to see, great and chat to over a hundred guests.

The bride and groom explore Elgol after their elopement on the Isle of Skye. Photo by The Caryls Photography

Our honeymoon and elopement sort of all blended together! After we got married we spent a couple more days in Skye and then headed off to the do the North Coast 500 around Scotland. It was the most incredible trip. We didn’t think we could love Scotland any more than we already did but it surprises us every time.

Elopement portraits on the Isle of Skye. Photo by The Caryls Photography


Photography – The Caryls Photography
Dress – Rolling in Roses
Groom’s waistcoat and tie – Harris Tweed
Florist – Simply flowers Skye
Bagpiper – Alan McKenzie
Cheese Cake – George Mewes Glasgow
Celebrant – Humanist Penelope Hamilton
Hair and makeup – a lovely lady called Ros who was recommended by someone local on the island (has no company)
Bride’s ring (and engagement ring) designed by the couple and made Dot the Jeweller
Groom’s ring – Hannah Louise Lamb (depicts the Cuillin mountains which were the backdrop to the ceremony).
Ring box made by the Groom


Are you thinking about eloping?

Editor of We Are The Wanderers Cat Ekkelboom-White at Lake Prags in the Dolomites in Winter

Author: Cat Ekkelboom-White

Cat is the founder of We Are The Wanderers as well as a photographer for Wild Connections Photography and mentor at the Adventure Wedding Academy.