Evan + Christina


- July 7th, 2015 -

Hello there friends and family and welcome to what can probably best be described as the photo journal of Evan and Christina’s elopement on the Isle of Skye.

We made this site as a way for us to be able to share our favorite photos and memories of the day with our loved ones and also as a tangible way for us to record all of the details of this amazing day. Our elopement was truly such a deeply meaningful, fun, romantic, and exciting experience and we can’t help but want to share a piece of it with all of you.

Our Scottish Highlands Adventure

At the same time as we were planning our elopement, we were also planning the trip to the Scottish Highlands that went along with it. In order to "maximize" our Highlands experience we rented a car, booked accommodations in four different regions, and packed what felt like our entire wardrobes. From our arrival in Inverness on July 4th until our departure on July 9th, we got to experience some of the most truly beautiful parts of the world including Loch Ness, the Fairy Pools, the Torridon, Plockton, the Eilean Donan Castle, and of course, the Talisker Distillery.

Our Last Morning As Singletons

While Scotland is beautiful and majestic, it is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Scottish weather is known for its fickle nature even in the summertime and when we decided to get married on the Isle of Skye, we knew we were taking a risk!

We both woke up (but pretended not to) before 6am... to the sounds of a torrential downpour. As the hours passed, the rain continued on relentlessly, and we started talking about if we should use our backup location (the B&B we were staying at). By the time we had eaten breakfast and taken our baths (our bathroom had no shower, just a clawfoot bathtub!) the rain finally started to lessen. We decided that we weren't going to let a little/lot of rain hold us back and that we wanted to move forward with having the ceremony at Dun Scaith Castle (and boy are we glad we did).

Looking out our window the day before our wedding

Looking out our window on the day of our wedding

Both of us were both incredibly nervous and excited that morning, which made getting ready all the more difficult. Evan was left to pace downstairs as Christina got ready on her own (she was doing an “updo” for the first time in her life, based on a youtube video she’d found a few days earlier). Thankfully he didn’t have to wait toooooooo long, and soon enough we were hugging and laughing and Evan was literally helping Christina tape her dress together.

The photographers came to meet us at our B&B, so we were able to take photos both in the cozy indoors and the lightly raining outdoors. It's pretty crazy to believe that someplace this beautiful was merely our "backup" location for our ceremony.

The Fortress of Shadows

While deciding to get married in the Scottish Highlands involved more gut instinct than actual research, choosing where we wanted to have our ceremony involved much thought, research, and debate. We knew that we wanted to have our ceremony outdoors and by the water and somewhere reflective of the region we were in... but beyond that we were unsure exactly what we wanted. The final list of options we came up with were either Loch Coruisk, the Torridon Hotel (where we ended up choosing to stay on the night of our wedding), and of course, Dun Scaith Castle. We ended up choosing Dun Scaith because, well, it just seemed magical and amazing and just the right feel for us. It is has a fantastic mythological backstory involving a warrior maiden, martial arts, breathtaking views of Loch Eishort, and a castle ruin... really, what more could you ask for?

When we chose Dun Scaith as our ceremony site, we knew very little about the area itself or what access to the castle would be like. Two days before our ceremony we went to check out the site and discovered that it was close to a 45 minute (muddy and sheep-poop-filled) hike from where you could park a car to the castle ruin itself. While the concept of hiking in the mud (and possibly) rain in our wedding clothes was daunting (more so for the person who would be wearing the long white dress), in the end we realized that we really wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Our Wedding Team

While our elopement was "just the two of us", in reality it was "just the two of us plus three Scottish men". We chose to have the humanist celebrant John Howieson conduct our wedding ceremony. Deciding on John for our ceremony was very easy. Not only is he incredibly warm, jolly, intelligent, and fun... he is also the retired headmaster of the only high school on the Isle of Skye. He did a tremendous job helping us put together our ceremony and then performing the ceremony itself. He also proved just how tough the Scots really are by not only hiking through the mud and rocks with us without complaints, but then performing the ceremony itself in the rain, sans umbrella or rain jacket.

Christina came across Wilson McSheffrey Photography while perusing a Scottish wedding blog (as one does), and she and Evan could easily agree that their work was amazing. Andrew and Emmett were everything and more that we could have hoped for from our wedding photographers. They had a great sense of humor, were completely professional, and (as you can see) took some truly beautiful photos. They also didn’t even flinch regarding the hiking, the rain, the wind, or Evan and Christina’s utter awkwardness at taking photos.

We were truly lucky to have such a great team.

The Ceremony

Our ceremony was simply perfect.

It was deeply meaningful and heartfelt, sweet, and just a little bit sassy. It included two Scottish traditions that we really loved: the quaich and handfasting. There were also readings, personal vows, and an exchange of rings (we had found our wedding bands at a tiny jewelry shop in Hampstead). The rain began shortly before the ceremony... but then abruptly stopped right before the vows. We took this as a sign of good luck to come.

Post-Ceremony Photo Shoot Part I:

Evan + Christina Are In Love

There is nothing quite like going through one of the most emotional experiences of your life, to then clambering around a castle ruin, in the wind and the cold, intermittently posing for photographs. Neither of us are particularly good at posing for photos... but thankfully we had a beautiful backdrop, stellar photographers, and our happy glow to help make our photos turn out as wonderfully as they did.

Post-Ceremony Photo Shoot Part II:

Evan + Christina Attempt To Model

While posting these photos anywhere feels incredibly vain and narcissistic... we just can’t help ourselves! Lest one think we are getting too full of ourselves, we estimate there were probably at least a hundred or more photos taken of us on our own... out of those, less than 10 were deemed fit for public consumption.

You are welcome.

The Kindness of Strangers

It’s hard to articulate just how many great experiences we had both large and small due to the thoughtfulness and kindness of people we didn’t even know. This included:

  • The employees at the car rental agency who, when hearing we were going to be getting married that week, upgraded us from a Hyundai to an adorable orange Mini-Cooper.
  • Emma, the owner of our B&B, who made Christina a bouquet of flowers to use on the wedding day (without having even been asked!).
  • The pub we stopped at after the ceremony to have a snack, that not only gave us a surprise dessert (pictured below), but a beautiful whisky glass to commemorate our day.
  • The employees at the Torridon hotel that not only upgraded our room, but then surprised us with their private library room, complete with candles and romantic music, for our wedding night dinner.

We are so unbelievably grateful and lucky.

Thoughts and Feelings

By choosing to elope before our Bay Area wedding, we decided to split the core elements of a traditional wedding.

In Scotland, we focused on the personal, romantic elements. In the Bay Area, the focus will be on the celebration. Both parts of our wedding are incredibly important to us and we are so happy that we will get the chance to celebrate our marriage with our much-loved friends and family.

We hope that this website only serves to make everyone more excited for the upcoming celebration.