Kay and Ryan's Arisaig Beach Elopement

Kay and Ryan’s Arisaig Beach Elopement

Here at Bog Cotton headquarters we are used to a bit of wind and rain. Most of our elopements and small weddings are in the great outdoors, somewhere between Arisaig and Glencoe, which is an area of Scotland that is not known for its wonderful weather. We’ve been out there on marrying missions in the snow, and sunshine, and we are firm believers that the weather doesn’t matter.

However, just a few days before Kay and Ryan’s wedding on Knoydart, a beautifully remote bit of Scotland that’s only accessible by a boat trip across Loch Nevis from Mallaig, the weather forecast was looking grim. Gale force winds and torrential rain from the morning to the evening.

The days passed by but the apocalyptic weather forecast remained unchanged. After a few phone calls with Ryan and Kay we decided to just move the wedding to the next day. They were going to be on the mainland that day anyway, and the forecast was miles better. Moving an entire wedding wasn’t as difficult as you might think (admittedly there were only two people involved). Trevor was able to come up a day later and more than happy to make exciting new plans for the photography. Paula was available later in the day to officiate, and the ever-helpful registry office in Fort William were happy to amend the date on the marriage schedule. So, with no bother at all, Kay and Ryan’s Knoydart elopement on Sunday became an Arisaig beach elopement on Monday.

Wedding Plans – Take Two

This Arisaig beach elopement had everything and we both loved every second of it. It even had a dog, but only for a short while. Kay and Ryan were remarkably relaxed about everything and our new plans were vague at best. We met them at their cottage in Arisaig about 4pm and finalised everything. Trevor, who knows a thing or two about photography, suggested that he took Kay and Ryan to the beach before the ceremony to make the most of the light.

He knows that particular part of Scotland very well, having photographed loads of weddings and Scottish beach elopements in Arisaig (you can see one here), so he headed to our absolute favourite spot. You approach this particular beach walking through a narrow sandy path through towering gorse and ancient trees. The final part of the walk takes you up a small rise, at the top of which you get to suddenly see a beautiful white sandy cove, completely deserted, with evocative views stretching over to the islands of Eigg and Rum.

Trevor said that being able to introduce people to this special place, and to be able to witness their happiness and joy at being there for the first time, just as he felt all those years ago when he first saw it, brings him immense pleasure and is one of his favourite parts of being a wilderness elopement photographer. Always remember that team Bog Cotton are always very happy to guide you to the best ceremony and photography locations on your day. We know loads of incredible places and find knew ones all the time!

Trevor’s photography style is very natural and relaxed and once he arrived he did nothing but photograph Kay and Ryan on the beach doing whatever they wanted. His approach as an elopement photographer is to be ready to create images for them that document all of this, guiding them a little only if he needs to. The previous day’s storm hadn’t fully left the west coast of Scotland and the resulting turbulent seas and dramatic skies were simply breathtaking.

The Beach Ceremony

Kay and Ryan met up with Paula and we walked to a different beach to find a spot for the actual wedding ceremony. This time we had the Isle of Skye as a backdrop, and some pretty hefty waves too, but I’m not sure that the setting could have been better. Yes, the waves came up to their feet occasionally, and yes, it was freezing, but we were genuinely fighting back the tears when we witnessed Ryan and Kay publicly declare their love for one another there on the sand in such a magical place. Their ceremony was perhaps one of the loveliest and most honest declarations of two people in love that we’ve ever witnessed, and one that we won’t ever forget.

Whether you are planning a Scottish beach elopement, or eloping anywhere else for that matter, being open to making adjustments to your plans can be rewarding if things are going quite to plan. As long as we have a vague idea of what’s going on, and where, we are completely happy to change things about right up to the last minute if it helps our couples.