Real Mountain Wedding in the Scottish Highlands: Part 1

Hand Fasting, Land Rovers, and Plaid

The Scottish Highlands hold a special place in western North Carolina history and culture. I will not bore you with all of the historical details, but suffice to say that the Scottish were removed to Ireland by King James the VI. From there many of them migrated to western North Carolina on the Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia.

Many western North Carolinians claim Scotch-Irish ancestry. So what could be more inspiring than a real Scottish wedding? Viki Watt from Acoustic Wave – Boutique Media & Entertainment Studio graciously shared this amazing wedding with us. She writes, "The entire wedding, with the exception of the marquee and furniture hire and dress were created compliments of close family and friends."

There are so many things I love about this wedding. I love that it was a community event with the couples family and friends contributing their skills to make it wonderful. I love the remoteness and ruggedness of the ceremony site and reception lodge. It speaks volumes of the heartiness of mountain brides. And I love the authentic plaid that infused nearly every element of the wedding from the attire, to the bride's bouquet, to the brides maid's dresses, and even the cake. But you'll have to check back tomorrow to see those details in part two of this amazing mountain wedding! Enjoy!

mountain views, stone fireplace and bridal bouquet


land rover on a dirt road


Bride rides a land rover to the ceremony site


handfasting ceremony



The Couple
Rona and Joseph grew up on neighbouring country estates in the Scottish highlands.  Despite their close proximity, they never met until many years later, while working as part of a working team on the hills.  They instantly clicked due to their similar backgrounds and a shared love of the Scottish mountain lifestyle.
The Wedding
The wedding happened at the beginning of July in the remote Scottish mountains – literally, in the central Highlands near Aviemore (30 miles from Inverness). The wedding took place high on a hill side (on the country estate where my brother grew up), nestled in the foothills of the stunning Cairngorm mountains.  Access was by land rover only and the ceremony was attended by just a handful of close family and friends. Later, the happy couple joined the rest of their guests at another remote  location – a mountain bothy known as 'The Fae' for a banquet for 30 guests, followed by dancing in the marquee with yet more guests arriving in the evening.  
Bridal Car: Our family friend Allen provided and drove the Bridal Car – a beautiful land rover!
Bridal Wear – Wedding Daze in nearby Nairn. They also collaborated with In Stitches who created Mother of the Groom outfit and provided seamstress for adjustments.
Bridal bouquets: Speyside Heather Centre (these used faux elements so that they can be preserved forever)
Wedding Cake – Cakes 2 Inspire
Photography: Our family friend Dougie provided the photography – Single Handed Images
Bar: Our family friend Beth who works for the local Cairngorm Brewery and brought a mobile bar and on-tap local ales
Music: Our family friend Alan Oates from Alternative Acoustic Weddings, provided one-man-band style live music
Chef: James (my partner) from bespoke hospitality service The Elemental Kitchen created the daytime banquet and evening supper
Waitress Service: Our family friends Amy and Kate provided waitress service for the occasion
Wedding Design & Coordinator – Acoustic Wave – boutique media & entertainment studio – Events page
Stationary DesignAlana McConnachie, the groom's cousin, created the wedding day stationery, based on the mountain scenery around the location.
Location/Venue:  Dorback Estate – The Fae Bothy, near Aviemore. 
The estate owners provided their hunting bothy and grounds as a complimentary location, as a wedding present to Joseph who grew up on the estate and works there occasionally, along with his father – a gamekeeper.   Our family friend Brian, the estate's head gamekeeper painted the 'hunter's lunch hut' on the hill to make it prettier so that Joseph and Rona could have their ceremony there if necessary – it was windy so it was necessary!! Our local farmer friend 'Big Hamish' cleared the grounds of sheep to make way for the occasion.
Marquee & Cater Equipment Hire – North of Scotland Marquees