I received an enquiry for a very short notice elopement in April this year. A couple travelling to Scotland from America for their friends’ marriage. They were planning to come to the Isle of Skye to climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle in the Cuillin (being avid climbers) and were wondering if I could hold a ceremony for them whilst they were here.
My first step is always to meet with a couple (even before I take a booking) for us to confirm we’re all happy to work together, so we arranged a meeting as soon as possible (with the time difference) by which point, their proposed ceremony date was just ONE WEEK away!
In that first meeting (knowing it might be the only meeting!) I asked plenty of questions to get to know them, to understand their intentions for the ceremony, to find out about their relationship, their beliefs, what’s important to them. And as they didn’t have a photographer, I messaged a friend, a local professional photographer, who was surprisingly free & so put them in touch.
They weren’t hoping for a legal wedding… thankfully… as the paperwork has to be in at least 29 days before (and a wedding visa can take 3-4 months). Instead, their plan was to have a ceremony on Skye and complete the legal part when they returned home. Often couples travelling from overseas decide to do this to keep the paperwork simple.
So, with a super busy week ahead including 4 days away, returning on the Monday with their ceremony on the Tuesday, I told them it’d be super tight, but if they could provide the info to a schedule… their reflections on their relationship, their feedback on their draft ceremony, etc. I could do it… They agreed & we booked!
They were brilliant & responded quickly to emails and sent all the information I needed when I needed it to enable me to draft their ceremony, including the readings and rituals requested. I also was able to include a personal address reflecting on their relationship and a personal blessing wishing for them all the things they wish for themselves for the future. I couldn't believe when we met on the day that we'd only known each other for a week! We felt connected! I was grateful for their openness and willingness to dive into the process and dive into the reflective work wholeheartedly. And, as with all the couples I work with, I was grateful for the honour and privilege of working with them. Each couple and each ceremony bless me in different ways. The ceremony was beautiful and heartfelt. And they looked totally fabulous! What a joy!
They messaged when home to say…
"We just arrived back home, and whoa, what a trip we had! We can't thank you enough for supporting us and joining us for this intimate and truly special day in our lives. The ceremony was everything we had hoped it would be. We loved how 'ceremonial' and meaningful it was. We truly got lucky in finding you!"
So... if you've been pondering an elopement, but think you've cut it too fine for this year, let's talk! As I've just left my part time job to go full-time, I still have availability in August, September, October, November and December! I can signpost you to professional photographers & pipers, fabulous florists and creative cake makers. And if it’s a legal ceremony (without visas) you’re hoping for… we’re probably looking at September onwards now. With love… Jo x