An ‘unwedding’ for immediate family with a breathtaking backdrop

Erin Tait & Sandy Middleton

12th December 2018

Venue | Eagle Brae, Inverness-shire
Photography | Aboyne Photographics


“No walking down the aisle. No sit-down meal. No bridesmaids or best men. No wedding cake. I think there were actually more traditions that we didn’t adhere to than did. I described it as ‘a get-together where we happen to dress up and get married’.

Initially, we had plans to have a much bigger wedding at home in Shetland, so that all our friends and family could come. But I pulled the plug on that one; it just wasn’t what either of us imagined for our wedding and it didn’t feel authentic to who we are as a couple. We ultimately wanted something laid-back, with immediate family only (14 adults and five children).

When I stumbled across Eagle Brae, near Beauly, I was smitten. I immediately closed down the other 200 (okay, not quite but almost) open windows on my browser. It’s intimate, different and the setting is truly breathtaking. It is such a tranquil, humbling place to be. It couldn’t have been any more perfect for us.

We all just mucked in together to make food after the ceremony. We are very lucky to be related to some amazing cooks and there’s nothing I would ever choose over food made by family, shared with family. 

I bought my dress with a very different wedding in mind. I must admit I felt uncomfortable in it and it kept getting in the way, so the moment the photographer left I was in my pyjamas! That said, I loved every second of dress shopping. If I wasn’t so worried about getting wedding envy I would go pretend wedding dress-shopping regularly!

My mum gifted me my late grandma’s brooch that I pinned on the back of my dress. I also wore my underground creepers – my ride or dies – with a pair of white fishnet socks. I changed into a pair of wellibobs that my sister gave me for our photos, just so I could safely stand in deer poop. Glamorous!

We wanted photography that was relaxed and pared-down. We got that and more with Aboyne Photographics, who went above and beyond. I just love how happy we are in our photos, there’s obviously the odd ‘strike a pose’ but overall they just perfectly encompass who we are as a couple: happy, chilled out and a big pinch of weird.

It was a very emotional day for everyone. The lasting memory and highlight though, especially for our children, was the meeting of my sister’s dog and a chicken – it’s all they speak about!

Our guests said that it was the most ‘unwedding’ wedding they had been to. It really was very laid-back and exactly how we hoped it would be.”

Top tip: “Make a list of all the things that you need to spend money on and rank them in order of importance to you both. That’s the order you should spend your money,”

Brides’ dress Essense of Australia from Perfect Bridal Rooms
Bride’s ring Bloody Mary Metal
Cake and catering Made by the two families
 Boda Flowers
Hair Suzanne McMahon
Makeup “I did my own makeup. It’s my favourite part of getting ready so I always knew that I wanted to do it myself,” says Erin.