You may have noticed I write about my visits to the Isle of Arran a lot! The island is close to where I live and so easy for me to travel there. I’m lucky to have Scotland in miniature right on my doorstep.
So yes, I went back. I needed to go back for a very important time in my life. After 11 years with my fiancé we were going to get married on the island ❤. We are both in our 40s and 50s and this would be our first time married.
I’m going to be really honest here. When I was a little girl, and I was asked what I wanted to be when I grow up … my answer was “I want to get married.” I obviously didn’t know what that meant at the time, but as I grew older I was a hopeless romantic teenager in my day. My friends of that time can most likely vouch for that!
But back to my future …
A wedding for less
A busy expensive wedding was not on our minds at all as we couldn’t afford to spend that kind of money on one day. We also didn’t like too much fuss and wanted to do what made us happy. So, we decided to run away together and tell everyone after.
- We booked the Lamlash Registration Office for our ceremony.
- We bought our wedding bands six years ago from the Scottish Orkney jeweller Sheila Fleet
- I bought my dress and shoes on eBay at an affordable price.
- My stunning dried flowers and head crown were a bit more expensive from Florence and Flowers on Etsy. They were worth it though as I can keep them forever. They are so beautiful.
- I curled my own hair and applied my own makeup.
- Alan bought his full rig out from Kilts 4 Less online at a reasonable price too.
- We booked the lovely Glenartney Guesthouse in Brodick for two nights. This was where we first stayed when we started dating in 2006. I really like the Glenartney, it has lovely views across Brodick Bay and towards Goat Fell.
- We would try to take our own wedding photos using our camera, tripod, remote control and drone.
- Our honeymoon was sorted. We had already planned to walk around Scotland in miniature.
It was quite chaotic for a few weeks getting organised for our wedding day and the island walk. I had to sneak our wedding outfits out to the car so my mum didn’t see them! She kindly looked after my two teenagers and cats while we were away for nine days. I am really thankful for her doing this, I know she struggles a bit with extra responsibility.
Our gear for camping and walking the Arran Coastal Way was so heavy. It was looking like our plans to carry everything without using our car didn’t look very likely. I was so busy in my head I didn’t get time to think about it.
We left early on a Thursday morning to catch the 9.45am ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick. Once we were on the ferry I felt more relaxed and excited. It was cloudy and raining, we couldn’t even see Goat Fell on the island. It didn’t matter though, I knew the weather would change, it always does.
Our pre-appointment with the Registrar in Lamlash was at 11am to go over our wedding details. Alan and I wanted to say a short reading to each other, but to be honest we didn’t rehearse anything. So, the lovely Susan made up some laminated cards for us to read from. She even enlarged the writing so Alan could read it without using his glasses.
After we left the Registration Office I thought it would be a good idea to look for scenic backgrounds for our wedding day photos. Lamlash was looking so pretty with yellow wildflowers spread right along the beach. The view across the water to the Holy Isle was a beautiful island view, from an island so to speak!
This photo was taken on a different day.
We returned to Brodick as I’d run out of my favourite perfume After the Rain from Arran Sense of Scotland (used to be Arran Aromatics). I was disappointed that they had none left! It must be very popular. I then visited the Arran Brewery to buy some of their new limited edition Arran Blonde lager in a can. Guess what, none left either. I felt an unlucky theme going on here … but happy to say everything turned out well in the end. I love that the island produces its own beer, perfume, whisky, cheese, arts and crafts and more.
When we woke up on the Friday morning I was a little anxious, but excited. I looked out of the window and couldn’t see Goat Fell mountain. It was playing that hide and seek game again! The cloud was low and looked like it was going to drop lots of water soon.
I knew I had to tackle curling my hair first. The heat on my curling tongs was so intense, I could feel it burning. This was so different for me as I usually just let my hair dry naturally leaving it the way it falls. The curls were … well … really curly I guess. So much that the length of my hair jumped up by many inches. The childhood cartoon that came to my mind was Crystal Tips and Alistair, that frizzy haired girl!
My makeup was just the usual with a bit of eyeshadow that I wasn’t used to wearing at all. I made it up as I went along.
Then it was time for a light breakfast before we got dressed in our wedding day outfits. My dress was a little tight, but I just managed to squeeze into it!
Alan was looking mighty fine and Scottish in his Black Watch tartan kilt and Ghille shirt. I was already feeling better about my hair as it had loosened out a bit. Phew!
We were to be at the Registration Office for 11am. We’d hoped to get some photos in the Glenartney garden but as I suspected the rain dropped from the sky above. A kind guest Angie offered to take some photos of us in the cosy Glenartney lounge though.
Then it was window wipers on, driving south to Lamlash. “Please rain, just stop for a little while” I said to myself. Nope! It rained all the way, so I took photos in the car of my beautiful bouquet sitting on my lap.
We parked and walked into the Registration Office, umbrella included. Alan set up his camera and tripod in the marriage suite to record our ceremony. Then we were introduced to our witnesses who worked in the Registration Office. I’m so thankful to them for helping us out. Thank you ladies!
My background music for a short while was Bear McCreary’s Outlander soundtrack. His music makes you feel the emotion and it’s part of my favourite TV series Outlander. I listen to his soundtracks often.
Our ceremony then began with Susan, the lovely Registrar. When it was time for our reading I felt a deep emotion come out from inside me. I really couldn’t believe I was standing there getting married to the man I love. It was a life-long dream coming true.
Alan was first to read:
They say it takes a lifetime to feel love
And finally find that special one
So when we meet our soulmate
We know our search is done
Then it was my turn. I couldn’t see the words for tears. My voice broke as I started to read:
Love has taught us love and patience
And to always appreciate each other
So may we never take love for granted
For it will wrap us in each other’s arms forever
We then tried to read the last part together, but it took three attempts for us to sync:
On this our wedding day
As we take our vows together
Remember we were friends yesterday
Lovers today and now soulmates forever
We said our vows to each other and exchanged our rings. Three rings were joined that day, my engagement ring, wedding band and Alan’s wedding band.
It all passed too quickly though, but we had the rest of the day to enjoy it. The girls took a few photos in the Registration Office for us.
We then stood outside the Registration Office, undercover, until the rain eased off. I don’t like my selfies much but I wanted to capture everything I could.
After about five minutes the rain stopped! Yay, it heard me! The sun peeked out from behind the clouds. At last, we could take the rest of our photos.
Photos at Lamlash
There was a lovely big mossy tree in the car park, so that was the first place for our outdoor photos.
Then we walked down near the beach to capture the lovely yellow wildflowers. I think they are yellow mustard plants.
We found a wee bridge a little further down the road and I loved this as a background.
We did get lost in the moment and soon realised we hadn’t told anyone yet. So, we phoned our parents to let them know our exciting news. I also messaged my friends, family and work colleagues. I think we shocked a few people. My work colleague said it was the best kept secret!
Time was passing too quickly, so we made our way to Machrie Standing Stones. My favourite magical and mystical place on the island.
The stones that stand
When we arrived at the car park for the Machrie Standing Stones it was busy with people and cars. I knew it would be as it’s a popular place to visit. Everyone needs to experience this place. I was worried that I wouldn’t get photos of just the two of us though.
As we walked the path to the stones many people passed us, congratulating us too. It was so lovely. I was feeling excited as I’d soon be standing beside the stones of time. The illusion of a ghostly lady in a white dress looking for her star-crossed lover came to mind, then I looked at my feet. I was wearing my blue running trainers. There was no way I could walk there in my heels. Maybe I was the runaway bride after all!
After a short walk we reached the stones. We waited patiently for opportunities to capture our photos once people had moved on.
While we were waiting I caught up with replying to messages of congratulations, when I had a signal. Little did I know that Alan was taking photos of me. He calls this one the techno fairy.
I love my Sheila Fleet new wave rings, they fit so well together.
There’s a little bit of an Outlander theme going on here. Most of it unintentional. It was so much fun though, I loved it.
Remember I was worried about not capturing photos with just the two of us … so cute though!
I’m looking lost again. Blue trainers hidden in the grass thankfully!
Ahh, there he is waiting for me 💗
Alan flew his drone and took a shot of us from above. I love how this photo has turned out! Even the puddle looks like a heart ❤
Meeting peaker friends
We needed to return to Brodick before 7pm to meet my peaker friend Anne and her sister Kathy. They were walking the Arran Coastal Way too. It was so nice to see Anne again and meet her sister. We first met Anne last year at an organised Peaker hike where we shared the most magical moments climbing our first Munro, Schiehallion, Fairy Hill of the Caledonians. Anne was keen to challenge herself even further in 2017, so the Arran Coastal Way was also one of her big challenges.
We all ate dinner at the Brodick Bar then enjoyed a gentle stroll along the promenade to the starting point of the Arran Coastal Way. This was Anne and Kathy’s first visit to the island, so I was really pleased that it was dry for them and the mountains could be seen!
Anne took this photo of us. A perfect ending to the most memorable day. This was where our next challenge would start the next day.
Happy ever after
We were joining together four rings, my engagement ring, our two wedding bands, then we would complete the ring around the island. It would be a true test of our wedding vows for sure!
Arran coastal way
I’ll be writing about our Arran Coastal Way walk soon. Seven days of walking was very challenging for all of us, but we’ve captured great photos of this stunning island and created mostly fun memories.
Thanks for reading!
Dawn-Marie (Mrs) 😘