We were the only people there at the loch that day and it was a flat calm day. The water was like a piece of glass, reflecting the majestic mountains beyond.
Milanda and Andrew live near Edinburgh, Scotland but they wanted to get married somewhere beautiful and remote so they chose the Isle of Skye in the Scottish Highlands and decided to organize an elopement there with just themselves, their little daughter, Edith and Rusty their border terrier.
They contacted me about photography because I specialise in photographing Isle of Skye elopements and as I live here, and know all the local vendors, I was able to help them arrange someone to marry them, a florist and also a second witness (I was the other witness) who doubled up as a babysitter for Edith. November 2nd 2019 was the date they chose and it was a typical misty morning on Skye. The Gaelic name for Skye is Eilean a' Cheo which translates as 'The Misty Isle' and this typical Skye weather always gives such an incredible feel to the photographs. The mountains always look more dramatic with swathes of mist and cloud around them.
Mary's Thatched Cottages, Elgol, Isle of Skye, Scotland wedding image of the couple at the Scottish stone cottage ceremony location
We left their beautiful traditional Scottish stone cottage, where they had been staying, to drive down to the pier in the tiny village of Elgol.
The ceremony location is a magical loch nestled at the heart of the Cuillin mountain range and the only way to get there is by boat - unless you want to walk at least five miles each way.
Misty Isle Boat Trips, Elgol, Isle of Skye, Scotland wedding day boat trip for the eloping couple's ceremony
It was a little windy on the 30 minute boat trip so the couple and their daughter stayed under cover until we reached the jetty where we were to get off the boat.
Cuillin Mountains, Isle of Skye, Scotland wedding image of the trek to Loch Courisk for the elopement ceremony
Once you leave the boat, there is a ten to fifteen minute trek to the famous Loch Courisk. Andrew carried little Edith part of the way as the walk was a little tricky in parts.
During the ceremony, the couple's daughter Edith had a part to play when she gave the rings to the celebrant, Penelope, who then passed them to the bride and groom. The ceremony was very intimate and emotional. Although Edith was quite excited about her parents getting married, she was also very keen to be able to explore somewhere new, which she did after handing over the rings!
As well as making personal vows to each other, Milanda and Andrew had a handfasting, which is a very ancient Celtic ritual, and used to be how couples were bound together before legal marriage ceremonies. It was said that if a couple stayed together for a year and a day, they were then considered married.
Loch Coruisk, Isle of Skye, Scotland wedding image of a ritual to drink from the Quaich - cup of friendship
Another ritual they included was to drink from the Quaich, or the cup of friendship. After each of them has a sip of whiskey from the quaich, it is traditional to spill a little onto the ground where they are married as a sort of blessing.
After a bit of time spent taking some portraits of the newlyweds, we were on our way back to the boat when a beautiful stag just appeared. It seemed to be very relaxed out about us walking past and just stared at us while it was eating. I think seeing the majestic animal topped off a perfect day for Milanda and Andrew.