Visiting Scotland is currently item #1 on my must-travel list, so when this darling wedding from Victoria Phipps came along, I nearly squealed out loud. Held at a quiet countryside church followed by a whiskey distillery reception, it’s basically everything you’d think a Scottish wedding should be, plus a whole lot more. From rich, green scenery to bagpipe players to little ones in kilts, there’s no shortage of beautiful images captured.
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From Victoria Phipps Photography…I first visited Islay in January 2012 with my other half on a sort of whisky/photography pilgrimage. There is something very special about this island. It’s a real effort to get there and perhaps that’s part of it, but even on the bleakest of winter days something about the landscape captivates you. There was an inevitable blog post a few months later which, through the power of google, led Lynn to contact me about photographing her wedding there in June 2014.
Reading Lynn’s first email, I had a really good feeling about the whole thing. Her kindness shone threw her words and I was so excited to be invited to capture her wedding day! At the time Lynn told me her mother was fighting cancer and how much strength the family was drawing from having such a happy occasion to look forward to. Tragically Lynn lost her mother late last year, but she certainly made her proud that day in Islay. Lynn & Kyle’s wedding was brimming with love and laughter and their family and friends could not have been more warm and welcoming to us. This was an authentic Scottish wedding with real traditions and real values at the heart of the day… an absolute joy and privilege to photograph.
From The Bride…I first met Kyle watching his team play rugby back in 2002. He was absolutely covered in mud and running towards me, even looking like that I thought ‘oh, I like him’. From that day onwards we became friends and that friendship eventually blossomed into a relationship. I think my 3 year old Border Collie Jed might have helped seal the deal too!
Kyle’s Mother was born and raised on the Isle of Islay and we have holidayed there every year since our relationship began. Islay felt like home to me, as it reminded me of the rugged and peaceful landscape of the village of Kinlochbervie where I grew up in the North West Highlands. So on a beautiful summer’s evening there in June 2013, when we were walking along Singing Sands beach Kyle went down on one knee and proposed to me just as the sun was setting. It was perfect and very ‘us’. Jed even got in on the act too and covered us in sand mid-proposal!
We chose the unique Ardbeg Distillery to host the wedding reception, as we loved the rustic feel it had and the surrounding scenery is beautiful. We wanted our style for the day to be genuinely in keeping with Ardbeg and the island as a whole, so kept a very scottish rustic theme throughout. Our friends and families were keen to be involved in the wedding preparation so we had them collecting jam jars, pine cones, shells, and pebbles! We made sure everyone felt as though they had been part of the day. I am very into Arts and Crafts and Pinterest inspired me with lots of creative ideas so I couldn’t wait to turn all these into a reality. Even Kyle started to enjoy all the crafting once he got stuck in!
I went to the bridal shop with my Mum, Sister & Cousin in the Summer of 2013. There was a new collection being previewed that day, so the place was buzzing with ‘brides to be’ from the moment we walked in at 9am. The lady I had spoken to on the phone to arrange my appointment gave me a wink and suggested we head to the back of the shop where this new collection was, so luckily I had it all to myself! I chose seven dresses from this collection but one really caught my eye. I watched the lady place it 3rd in the pile of dresses. So the first dress was pretty but a little too white, the second one was a bit too sparkly for me and so onto the third… as I put the dress on I couldn’t stop smiling. The lady tied the belt around my waist and I walked out of the changing room. I looked at my Mam first. Her smile beamed from ear to ear and she started crying, then my Sister and Cousin joined in too… it was the one. I only ever tried on three dresses!
Kyle & I are both very close to our families, so we decided we wanted to keep the wedding small and intimate with just close friends and family. I lost my Mother in the November of 2013 after a battle with cancer. We had planned to have the wedding within a year of getting engaged with the hope that she would be well enough to attend, but sadly she lost her very brave fight. This inspired me to make the wedding very personal and make sure she was remembered in different ways throughout the day. One idea we had was to collect small pebbles from our favourite beach in both Kinlochbervie and on Islay and paint little hearts onto them. We asked people to take a pebble in memory of loved ones who could not be with us on the day and to leave in a special place close to their heart. So far these stones have rested in California, Asia, New York and many other places around the world.
I wouldn’t change anything about our wedding day. Many moments will stick in our memories forever. We set a lantern off in the evening for my Mam which was a very emotional. It gave us all a quiet and special moment to remember her and reflect on the day. At one point in the evening we spotted some of our guests venturing outside and we weren’t sure why. When we went outside to investigate we discovered the most amazing moon we had ever seen. It was so bright and seemed huge in the sky – it felt as though it was resting on top of the hill. It was breathtaking. Victoria our wonderful photographer captured the moment perfectly. It was a really magical end to a perfect day.
Photography: Victoria Phipps Photography | Flowers: Chatterbox Flowers | Wedding Cake: Handmade Cakes By Donna, Aberdeen | Ceremony Venue: St. John's Church, Port Ellen | Reception Venue: Ardbeg Distillery | Bride's Shoes: Jenny Packham | Bridesmaids' Dresses: 'B2 Jasmine' From Perfect Bridal Rooms, Aberdeen | Groom's Attire: The Bute Heather Range, Houston Kilt Maker, Glasgow | Bride's Veil: Richard Designs | Flower Girl's Dresses: Monsoon | Hair & Make Up: Lyn MacIntyre | Ladies Favours: Spirited Soaps | Mens Favours: Ardbeg Distillery | Wedding Dress Designer: Stella York