Scotland…In a Nutshell
For those of you who have been following along on social media, you’ve had a bit of a sneak peak as to what I’ve been up to for the past couple weeks. On Saturday, June 14th Mike and I arrived in Glasgow, Scotland. On June 22nd we were married on the Isle of Arran. On June 24th we traveled to Paris to begin a 3-day tourist extravaganza, and today, June 28th/29th, we’re currently 10,000ft in the air…on a giant plane bound for Bali. I found time to write a few posts while we were in Paris but I’m just now sitting down to reflect on the whirlwind that was Scotland and our wedding. I wanted to give you everything in order, but I’ll give you a quick peek then start from the beginning…
3 years ago Mike and I visited Scotland for about 2 weeks and we absolutely fell in love. We fell in love with the country’s beauty, its people, really just everything about it. About halfway through our trip we visited the Isle of Arran, a small island off the west coast. We stayed there for 2 nights at a B&B called Darven Cottage that I found through TripAdvisor. It was quaint and quiet with a beautiful garden that looked straight out to the sea. The owner, David, welcomed us in and treated us like part of his family…lending us his dogs to take on walks, serving us the best meals we had our entire trip, sharing a bottle of wine (or 3) over dinner, and just making sure that anything we needed was taken care of. We didn’t want to leave and when we returned home Mike and I both agreed that the days spent on Arran at Darven Cottage were some of the most memorable we’ve ever had.
Fast forward about 1½ years…we’re engaged and starting to think about where to get married…Mike and I both land on the idea of getting married at Darven Cottage. We wanted a small wedding, we loved Darven, it was incredibly beautiful…would David go for it? Would our families come? After one email and a yes! response from David, Mike and I knew that it was meant to be. We talked to our families and when they agreed to follow us to Scotland we began planning our wedding on the Isle of Arran.
Mike and I arrived in Scotland a week before the wedding, staying in Glasgow for 2 days to do a little shopping and get settled before heading to Arran. We stayed at a cute little B&B called The Ashton in the West End neighborhood…just around the corner from Ashton Lane-a small, cobblestone side street lined with busy bars and restaurants. We shopped along Buchanan St and in Princes Square Shopping Centre, had a couple great dinners at Bothy Glasgow and Number Sixteen, sweated it out at a Bikram yoga studio each morning (only me!), took a double decker bus tour, checked out BrewDog Glasgow beer bar and several other local pubs, and really just started to enjoy being on vacation.
Then it was on to Arran. As we headed to the ferry terminal in Ardrossan it felt as though we had never left; even though it was 3 years earlier and we had only stayed for a short period of time, everything felt familiar and we knew it was meant to be. Returning to Darven, seeing David again, meeting his lovely partner Carol, playing with his dogs in the yard…it just felt so good to be back. Our families arrived two days later, which gave us a few days before the wedding to show them a small piece of the beauty that Arran has to offer. We had some delicious meals, hiked, shopped, relaxed, and took in as much of Arran as we possibly could.
Then, on Saturday June 22nd, with all the worrying and planning behind us, the rain let up and Mike and I finally became husband and wife on the beach in front of Darven Cottage.
With everything seeming to fall into place so perfectly with the help of our family and David’s, Mike and I couldn’t have felt more loved, more blessed, or more fortunate than we were that day. With all the worrying that inevitably goes into planning a wedding, small or large, when it gets to that day you just have to let it all go and appreciate every little moment. It was exactly what we wanted and so much more.
It definitely wasn’t easy…making wedding plans across an ocean by email…but every single person that played a part in our day was absolutely fantastic. Adele Smith made our beautiful and delicious wedding cake and went above and beyond to make sure everything was exactly as I envisioned.
Eleanor McCue from Eleanor’s Flowers handled our flowers and created a bouquet and centerpieces that were absolutely gorgeous…after only exchanging a handful of emails and pictures.
Anne Marie McElroy traveled to the island to do my hair and make-up as well as my mom’s and she was definitely my saving grace that day. She was so sweet, so positive, she kept me calm, poured me champagne, and made me and my mom look beautiful (if I do say so myself)…I just can’t say enough great things about Anne, she was amazing!
Then there is Sean Gannon, our photographer. As soon as we made the decision to get married in Scotland and David agreed to host, finding a photographer was my main concern. We may have only had 18 people there, but capturing that day with those people was of the utmost importance to me and when I saw some of Sean’s photos I knew he was the one to do it. He rolled up his pants to get in various bodies of freezing cold water, got stung by nettles, left his plate of food behind when someone yelled rainbow, and slept in a “shed” next to a chicken coup…he went above and beyond to capture our day and when I see the images I am so thankful that I found him!
And last but certainly not least, if I haven’t mentioned them enough already, there is David, Carol, his son Roddy, and the rest of his family that were there to help make our day so special. These are truly kind and generous people that you do not come across very often and it just wouldn’t have been the same without them!!
We spent one last day on Arran after the wedding before saying our goodbyes and heading off to Paris. Saying goodbye to Arran this time around was even harder than the first, but this time we left knowing that we would definitely be back soon! Thank you to everyone who made our time on Arran and our wedding so incredibly special, it wouldn’t have been the same without a single one of you!