Scottish Castle Wedding at Dunskey Estate
Kiela and Derrick’s beautiful and misty Scottish castle wedding was something straight out of a fairytale. Home to an Edwardian Castle with stately grounds, gorgeous gardens, enchanting woodlands, and panoramic views of the land and sea—Junebug member Dunskey Estate truly makes for a picturesque wedding venue.
The couple walked into the breathtaking walled garden through a secret gate where friends and family were waiting. Surrounded by towering trees and lush shrubs, it was the perfect otherworldly setting for a romantic outdoor ceremony. The sea mist that crept in added a dramatic vibe to the couple’s intimate portraits on the secluded corners of the estate.
With a beautiful display of floral clusters and the soft glow of candlelight—the evening reception that followed was both elegant and cozy. The couple and their guests lit up the night with sparklers and a dazzling fireworks display. It was an epic way to end their big day.
If you’ve always dreamed of a magical and intimate affair with your loved ones, scroll down to see this Scottish castle wedding at Dunskey Estate. Junebug member The Caryls beautifully captured all of the incredible details and special moments as they unfolded.
Kiela and Derrick
Dunskey Estate, Stranraer, Scotland
A Scottish Castle Wedding Dream Come True
We chose Dunskey Estate for many reasons. The first time I saw photos of it, I was brought to tears. I could perfectly picture getting married there right away. I showed Derrick, and he thought it was so cool. The hedge maze and the rave cave, its location, and all the activities they offered—it’s like being at your own private resort. We decided we had nothing to lose and sent over an email inquiring about having our wedding there. We got a response right away, and they had our date available. It was fate!
Private Vows During The First Look
We chose to exchange our vows privately during our first look. It was so emotional, and I was definitely glad to have a bit of time with just Derrick. For the actual wedding, we decided to drink from a quaich and have a handfasting ceremony—both traditional Scottish traditions. I also had my dad and uncle walk me down the aisle. They mean the world to me, and I needed them both there for this big moment.
Traveling To The UK During The Pandemic
The biggest accomplishment was somehow pulling this off–even though COVID is still around–and getting 31 of our closest friends and family to make the long journey from the USA to Scotland. For many of them, this was their first time abroad. We got super lucky, with the UK lifting its travel restrictions to vaccinated US tourists about one month before the wedding. We just kept manifesting that it would happen–and it did. Derrick and I have been together for 11 years, and we just felt like if it was meant to be, it would happen. And it was the best day of our lives so far.
The Wedding Dress Inspired By The Venue
I took inspiration from the garden with my wedding dress, the Maya Gown by Galia Lahav. Covered in 3D embellished flowers, I can only describe it as fairylike. I knew from the moment I saw it; it was the dress of my dreams. To me, it was the perfect dress—feminine, sexy, but also unlike any other wedding dress I’ve ever seen. I paired it with Loeffler Randall heels that my best friend and maid of honor got me as a wedding gift.
Working With Junebug Members The Caryls
Working with The Caryls was an honor. They are so easy to work with. They instantly felt like friends from the first time we spoke on zoom. They made us feel so comfortable in front of a camera, and they went out of their way to produce the most beautiful and timeless photos. They captured every emotion felt on our special day.
Epic Firework Show To End Their Magical Day
The fireworks were a very special moment for us. We brought everyone outside to do sparklers without telling them there was an actual fireworks show, so everyone was looking at us and waving their sparklers when the fireworks actually started going off. Everyone started cheering, and a couple of people even cried. The look on everyone’s faces was priceless, and it really just made us so happy that we were able to share such an incredible moment with our closest friends and family.
Congratulations to Kiela and Derrick on their Scottish castle wedding at Dunskey Estate. To know more about this vast estate, check out their profile of the world’s best wedding venues in our directory. And a special shout out to Junebug members The Caryls for capturing and sharing this magical big day with us. Check out more of their workin our directory of wedding photographers from around the world!
This Isle of Skye elopement was rich with emotions as high as the mountain ranges where the couple exchanged “I do’s”. From the hand-crafted and personalized rings to the handwritten messages from loved-ones—no detail was short of amazing. Angela and Mark couldn’t take their eyes off each other—even surrounded by views as beautiful as the Quiraing. Humanist celebrant Rona Burstow tied the couple’s stories together and tailored the ceremony to celebrate their uniqueness. These Scottish lovers traded a typical champagne toast for some Kraken rum from the Quaich—a Scottish traditional two-handled cup which you share to symbolize two becoming one.
Photographer The Caryls captured the intimate moments that are sure to make even a few couples trade their large previously planned wedding for a meaningful and intimate elopement. Below is what The Caryls had to say about capturing this powerful celebration.
The Carlyls’ Take On The Isle of Sky Elopement
Angela and Mark’s dreamy Isle of Skye elopement in Scotland encapsulates everything that makes our hearts sing about Scottish elopement weddings. Ange and Mark have never been the traditional types, so running away just the two of them, to have an adventure on the breathtakingly beautiful Isle of Skye felt like the perfect way to exchange their vows and to celebrate their love. Angela’s parents had chosen an elopement wedding themselves, so they were on board with the idea from the start – and Mark’s family were super-supportive of their plan too.
As the Isle of Skye is renowned for its beauty, it can get quite busy with tourists, so we picked a stunning elopement ceremony location away from the crowds and with the most incredible view. As photographers, we have witnessed so many ceremonies, but Ange and Mark’s was one of the most personal and moving that we’ve ever had the honor of being a part of. We were in tears behind our cameras.
Angela and Mark
Isle of Skye, Scotland
Rings Hand Crafted With The Couple In Mind
Mark designed Ange’s engagement ring with the help of a local jeweler in Yorkshire. It was made from the stones of his late grandmother’s ring. The aquamarine is so striking, unique, and chosen to match the color of Ange’s eyes. The same jeweler made both the wedding rings and was heavily involved in the design process. Mark had Ange’s handwriting engraved on the inside of his ring, too.
Only Wedding Advice From The Couple: Elope
Elope! Only joking. But remember to stay focused on the two of you. That’s what matters. It’s old advice but it’s true – consider what will make you happy. Don’t let anyone convince you of what you need and don’t worry about tradition if it doesn’t suit you. That’s long gone we say! The other thing is to spend your money on the things that will last. Rings and photographs – they are what you will keep forever.
Vows As Powerful As The Views
The vows! Standing amongst the epic scenery of the Quiraing and opening your heart to the person you love was very surreal. Ange was so overwhelmed that at one point she couldn’t remember the mere five words she had to repeat during the ceremony! The emotions were so powerful and real.
Involving Loved Ones In An Elopement
As our families and friends couldn’t be there we asked them to write a letter or card for us to open on the day. We sat in The Bosville having a drink and reading all these beautiful messages from our favorite people—it was like they were there with us. We just felt so loved. Our families also surprised us with a video of them all dressed up, each in their respective countries and homes, having a drink and giving us a wedding day message – it was so emotional. We were absolutely blown away!
Congratulations to Angela and Mark on their beautiful Isle of Skye Elopement! If these sweet moments, captured by photographer The Caryls, have you dreaming of eloping but you don’t know where to start—we’ve got you covered. Check out the ultimate elopement planning checklist that will kick-start your planning process and make it a breeze.
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We love seeing couples incorporate their love for the great outdoors into their wedding. Isla and Greg did just that in their adventure elopement at Alladale Wilderness Reserve. With no planner helping them, the couple planned a magical day focused on the beauty of the surrounding snow-covered mountains.
Isla’s lace long-sleeved Unbridaled wedding gown paired perfectly with her warm colored bouquet from Wild Gorse. Greg honored Scottish tradition in his MacGregor & MacDuff kilt. We’re obsessed with the plaid shawl that Isla wore for the couple portraits–captured by The Caryls–that matched flawlessly with Greg’s kilt. While we could go on for days about this stunning affair, we think Katy Caryl said it best:
The Caryls’ Katy Caryl On The Day
Isla and Greg’s rugged and romantic elopement wedding at Alladale Wilderness Reserve in the Scottish Highlands had everything we love about adventurous outdoor weddings in Scotland. After exploring numerous venues, they found that they couldn’t get Alladale out of their heads—it was something truly special, and the perfect place for them to celebrate their wedding with just their closest friends and family.
Our photography takes us to so many incredibly beautiful locations, for which we are truly grateful, but the moment we drove through the gates of the Alladale estate, we were touched by its beauty too. Alladale Wilderness Reserve is a 23,000-acre estate 1.5 hours north of Inverness. The team behind the estate are really committed to keeping their corner of Scotland truly wild, or “re-wilded,” by replanting indigenous forests and reintroducing Scottish highland plant and animal species. Arriving at Alladale feels like stepping back in time to a bygone age.
Isla and Greg
Alladale Wilderness Reserve, Scotland, U.K
A Memorable Wedding Morning
We got ready separately in the morning then met up again—just the two of us—to walk to our ceremony together. The morning felt strange–being apart–but it meant that coming back together was so exciting. We’ll never forget the anticipation of seeing each other all ready for our wedding, then the feeling of joy and completeness when, hand in hand, we marched up the hill to marry.
Why Alladale Wilderness Reserve
We were looking for a large hotel or country house that our family could all stay in together—somewhere in the beautiful Scottish countryside. We saw Alladale online and felt it offered what we were looking for. After visiting we realized it was a thousand times more spectacular than we ever imagined it could be. There was no way we were getting married anywhere else once we’d seen Alladale. It’s the most special place, and we fell in love with it instantly. The surroundings are dramatic and wonderful, the accommodation is comfortable but luxurious, and the ethos of the reserve is admirable.
Scottish Wedding Favors
We love exploring Scotland and have wonderful memories of trips we have taken together and the adventures we have had. We wanted to share some of these with our guests, so we had Tobermory chocolate from the Isle of Mull, handmade soaps from the Isle of Islay, miniature bottles of whisky from the Isle of Jura, and gin from the Isle of Skye.
Congratulations again to Isla and Greg on their Scottish countryside elopement at Alladale Wilderness Reserve! We’re so thankful they hired Junebug members The Caryls to capture their incredible day. To see more of The Caryls’ work, check out their profile in our directory of best wedding photographers in the world!
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Lizzie and Aaron’s Scotland elopement at Cairngorms National Park has everything we love about adventure elopements: breathtaking scenery, venues rich in history, unique style, and sentimental details. These California natives–with the help of expert planner and Junebug member, The Stars Inside–created a magical day based around Dutch Master floral paintings with the help of a deep jewel tone color palette, crystal glassware, antique decor, and personal touches such as a cameo ring the bride’s mother bought in Florence in 1970.
After tying the knot at St. Margaret’s of Braemar Church, the two trekked down into the Scottish forests to take stunning portraits–captured beautifully by Sophia Veres Photography. They enjoyed authentic Scottish fare and champagne in their private suite. End the night by soaking up the feeling of being newlyweds.
Valentina of The Stars Inside on the Day
As lovers of architecture, art, and travel, this Californian couple chose to celebrate their marriage in Braemar–the heart of the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland. Their intimate elopement started with a handfasting ceremony at a decommissioned church and ended with gourmet food and bespoke cocktails amidst the art-covered and history-laden walls of The Fife Arms. The day also featured a myriad of tearful, personal details, including an adventurous photoshoot in the mountains and an outfit change to die for.
Lizzie and Aaron
St Margaret’s of Braemar & The Fife Arms, Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
Why a Scotland Elopement
From the start, we knew that it was essential to pick a location that would put us in the right mindset for a ceremony to embrace romance and solemnity. The simultaneous history, whimsy, and mystery of the Scottish Highlands made it the perfect location for us. Our hotel and dinner location was the Fife Arms. This incredible hotel was actually the reason we went from joking about eloping to Scotland to deciding it was perfect for us. Recently renovated, the Fife Arms is filled with art. From a Picasso overseeing the tea room to a contemporary blown glass antler neon chandelier, and even a watercolor by Queen Victoria.
The Sarah Seven Dress
I loved how simple and comfortable my dress was while still having a sense of excitement with the open back. The long sleeves were perfect for winter in the highlands, and a wool tartan blanket (a nod to Aaron’s ancestry) helped keep me warm while we explored the surrounding countryside. For the ceremony look, I wore medium-sized drop pearl earrings reminiscent of the women in Dutch Master paintings. They were paired with a cameo ring my mother bought in Florence in 1970. These simple pieces were beautiful in their own right but didn’t make too much of a statement.
St. Margaret’s of Braemar Church
We found out about St Margaret’s of Braemar while researching the area surrounding the hotel. It was impossible not to instantly fall in love with its gothic revival architecture and beautiful stained glass windows. It was even more special when we learned more about Saint Margaret– the lesser talked about Patron Saint of Scotland–and its renowned architect Sir Ninian Comper, who has also designed stained glass for Westminster Abbey. While once an active church in Victorian times, the church was decommissioned and closed until recently. Luckily for us, St Margarets was newly refurbished into a community concert hall and art exhibit space.
The Dutch Master Wedding Theme
We chose the theme of Dutch Master floral paintings to enhance the historical feeling of the buildings without being overtly thematic of our Scottish location. We thought the venues spoke for themselves and didn’t need more help. Dutch still-life paintings juxtapose masculinity and femininity, light and dark, and soft and stark in a way that resonated with the story we wanted to tell in our wedding. Marriage–to us–encompasses all aspects of love, life, and relationships.
A Traditional Scottish Dinner
We really wanted for our wedding was for it to be a unique new experience for us. The wedding menu was no different. For dinner, we were looking for flavors that would be special to the day and embracing local cuisine, so we went with venison and pheasant cooked in milk. Our wedding cake flavors were a bit less traditional, with a tier each of banana rum and whiskey caramel.
A Reception Outfit Change
For the evening portion of our wedding, I changed into a sequin gown that was more in line with the bubbly side of my personality. I switched the earrings to larger drop pearl ones to keep it simple but still amp up the drama. It was fun to have a wedding dress change to help showcase different parts of my personal style and character.
Congratulations to Lizzie and Aaron on their Scotland elopement at Cairngorms National Park! An extra special thanks to Sophia Veres Photography for capturing the day and Junebug member The Stars Inside for sharing this unforgettable day with us. Want to see more from The Stars Inside? Check out their profile in our directory of the best wedding planners in the world!
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