A Beautiful Intimate Scottish Elopement at Ardanaiseig with a First Look

Today I am thrilled to share this beautiful intimate Scottish elopement at Ardanaiseig with a first look.

Images were captured by Jo Donaldson Photography.

Jo and Liam of Jo Donaldson Photography are creative, romantic photographers for the mad-in-love, the folks that have met their lobster and don’t care who knows it.

They photograph real moments, total adventurers and couples that aren’t scared to potentially get a little dirt on their wedding outfit.

Digging silliness, they definitely don’t take themselves too seriously and adore the in-between moments over the staged.

They live for getting to know their couples, and helping their wedding adventure become a reality…


They say of the couple and their day…


“Kate and David found us via a blog of another elopement Liam and I had photographed in Glencoe.”

“Their initial email was exactly my cup of tea, they seemed fun, open folks with a great sense of adventure!”

“We skyped, we talked about the wedding and some other completely random things (like Jurassic Park) – so Liam and I were over the moon when they picked us.”

“We were also able to meet them when they landed in Scotland – they stopped off in Glasgow and we met them for brunch at Trans-Europe Cafe for Eggs Benny and coffee – our favourite spot for brunch in the city.”

“We love being able to do this with our couples and had a great, chilled morning just chatting about anything and everything.”


“Ardanaiseig is one of our favourite venues, and didn’t disappoint that day either.”

“We had a pretty slow drive from Glasgow to the venue as we had agreed to pick up Kate & David’s wedding cake from Lisa at The Little Cake Parlour and transport it.

“We had a 2 and a half hour drive with sometimes winding roads – imagine two nervous photographers worrying that when they arrived the cake would be a smooshed mess !”

“Thankfully it arrived in one piece – and special thanks to Lisa who gave us some delicious cupcakes as a thank you.”

“We loved working with Kate & David’s humanist Jen too – she is wonderful, with a really fun, wicked sense of humour.”

“She brings such a positive energy to every wedding so we always air-punch when we know we will be working with her. Definitely look her up if you are thinking of getting married in Scotland!

“I remember it being a lovely, cloudy, moody sort of day – Kate creating her bouquet in the most gorgeous light and being her lovely, bubbly self.”

“Kate & David opted for a first look which was really sweet too. They were able to get married outside which was just a treat to photograph, and then the 4 of us adventured off into the amazing grounds.”

“David had music playing on his phone for their couples shoot and we thought it was a great idea – it also resulted in a lovely first dance in amongst the tall trees.”

“I love that at points you can see their genuine wonder at the grounds too! We could have spent hours and hours adventuring around, Ardanaseig is magic.”

“We were also completely touched that Kate and David bought us a wee gift as a thank you – a pair of beanie hats from Love Your Melon – such a thoughtful gift, as I LOVE a good beanie hat, the one they gave me was perfect haha! We weren’t expecting anything, so their generosity was really touching.”

“I’ve gone on and on, but their elopement was just lovely. So chilled, intimate, full of love. Ticks all the boxes and then some really.”


I hand over to gorgeous Bride Katie…


How did you meet?

“We met on a co-ed recreational softball team. David was filling in one night and I dazzled him with my softball skills.”

“He asked for my phone number to see if I could play on his regular team; there wasn’t an inkling of romance at that time.”

“However, a little while later, we went from teammates to having long-late night conversations.”

“We made a wager (one I apparently lost) and we met up so I could buy him a drink. He surprised me with a sweet, little gift and that started our courtship.”

Tell us about the Engagement…

Kate – “He went all out, my man of romance!”

“David sent me out to see a movie with a girlfriend. We saw Me Before You so I was already a blubbering blob when I got home.”

“I opened the door and there was a pathway of candles through our living room to the back patio.”

“David was out there in a full suit (sweating horribly in 40 degree heat surrounded by candles) with our pup, Charlie outfitted in his own bowtie and top hat.”

“Immediately after I said yes he changed into shorts and a t-shirt and we drank champagne on the patio, which was decorated so beautifully with roses and lights.”

“It was the day before Independence Day and people nearby were already shooting off fireworks. It felt like they were just for us.”

David – “I spent a long time planning the engagement and I wanted everything to be perfect.”

“My plan was going well until I ran a few tests with the tea light candles and they kept blowing out from the wind.”

“Then, every time the fireworks would go off my dog would run around and knock over the candles and flowers.”

“Finally, I was ambitious in timing how long it would take Kate to get home from the theatre.”

“I ended up sitting outside in the heat with the dog for about 30-40 minutes. I had to put the dog on the leash because the fireworks terrified him so much.”

“We were both uncomfortable the entire time we waited for Kate. By the time she showed up, I was so worn out I forgot everything I planned on saying.”

“Instead, I just kept it simple and asked her to marry me.”

“Despite the hectic setup, I was happy with how everything turned out. We ended up drinking a lovely bottle of champagne on our patio with fireworks in the air.”

Tell us about your Wedding Planning Journey…

“It was interesting planning an international elopement, but we had a lot of flexibility since it was just our group of 7.”

“Initially, I had wanted to plan a very special trip for my dad where he could share memories of growing up in Irvine with David.”

“After talking about it, we could not think of more romantic place than the Scottish highlands to get married.”

“Ultimately, we opted out of a big wedding at home and decided on an intimate ceremony with our family.”

“I knew the most important part of planning was to find the perfect photographer to capture the day.”

“After some research, I found Jo’s (Jo Donaldson Photography) work. I was wowed by her ability to capture the intimate details and capture the beauty of the Scottish backdrop without losing focus on the couple.”

“We were thrilled when she confirmed her availability. Not only did we look forward to our Skype date/emails, but she also helped connect us to Jennifer Buchan (our crackin’ Humanist celebrant) and the delicious desserts of The Little Cake Parlour.”

“Initially we planned on staying at a bed and breakfast near Glencoe, but we had to rethink our plans when the reservation fell through.”

“Everything worked out for the best though. We went back to the drawing board and stumbled upon Ardanaiseig after an online search of romantic, Scotland, highland, weddings.”

“We could not believe how perfect the estate was with its dreamy grounds and kind staff.”

“We didn’t need a lot more in terms of planning. Having done some dabbling in floral design, I knew I wanted to do my own flowers for the day.”

“I wanted to focus on locally grown produce and small businesses so after some searching (really the internet is wonderful) I came across Mayfield Flowers and Grassroots Fine Flowers.”

“They made the long-distance correspondence easy and I was so happy with their product!”

What was the theme /colour palette of your Big Day?

“We didn’t have a theme or colour palette.”

“As far what we wore, I think we both had the same idea of something classic and timeless. As for flowers, I just wanted what was best in the garden so we were pretty flexible.”

What was the best bit of your day?

“We both valued how we were able to focus on the two of us and really enjoy the day together.”

“Plus, the Highland landscape was spectacular. For the two of us, we could not have imagined a more beautiful location for a wedding.”

What advice would you give to other couples getting married?

“Plan a wedding that works for the both of you.”

“We had a lot of discussions over what kind of wedding we both wanted, and getting married abroad in the highlands satisfied my wish for a gorgeous, romantic wedding with David’s wish for an intimate, no fuss wedding.”

“Also, remember to be flexible and roll with things that you are unable to change (like the rain). The less you stress about those things, the more you can appreciate marrying your love.”

Thank you so much to Jo and Liam for sharing this incredible Scottish elopement at Ardanaiseig.

Love how they have just made the day their own by travelling with their very nearest and dearest across the world to a country that holds dear memories so that they could make new ones.

The landscape and setting is spectacular too and just adds to splendour of their celebration.


Wedding Suppliers

Venue – Ardanaiseig

Photographer: Jo Donaldson Photography

Celebrant – Jennifer Buchan

Dress – Ivy & Aster  – Retailer – The English Dept

Suit: Gary Franzen Custom Clothing

Florist: Arranged by Bride – Flowers from Mayfield Flowers and Grassroots Fine Flowers

Cake Maker: The Little Cake Parlour

Rings: The Jewelers of Las Vegas


To Contact Jo Donaldson Photography

Website: http://www.jodonaldsonphotography.com/

Email:  info@jodonaldsonphotography.com

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UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow

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