Canadian bride Valerie had always dreamed of marrying in the Scottish Highlands, and enlisted the help of a local wedding planner to make sure her and partner Aaron's big day ran smoothly

Valerie Anderson & Aaron Lauritsen

19th August 2019

Venue | Eilean Donan Castle, the Highlands
Photography | Lynne Kennedy Photography

“We started planning our wedding with an entirely different location, and country, in mind. Originally we were going to get married in a vineyard in Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada. It felt too typical and not us, so we started talking about going away just us and our girls.

It needed to be beyond a typical destination wedding and have meaning and soul. We both have Scottish roots, and when I was a little girl I always visualised getting married in the Highlands with misty rain and green hills.

When I came across pictures of Eilean Donan Castle I had no idea what part of Scotland it was in, or how hard it would be to get there, but once I saw it I knew nothing else would compare.

We enlisted Lisa Bauer from Tartan Weddings to help plan our wedding as she specialises in planning Scottish weddings from overseas. She helped us to take small bites, crossing off one thing at a time – it can be overwhelming to think of the entire picture.

It was challenging hiring suppliers I wouldn’t meet until the wedding day. Luckily it worked out brilliantly and the leap of faith paid off.

The day before the wedding we were supposed to drive from Edinburgh to the castle, do a tour and meet with the staff and Lisa to discuss the next day’s events. Unfortunately, we got terribly lost and ended up arriving at our hotel in the dark.

In hindsight, I think that worked out for the best as it was so much more emotional the next day when I saw the castle for the first time. As I walked across the bridge with my parents I took in every stone, smelled the wet air and I cried!”

Top tip: “We’d planned to have Lisa help out in the run-up, however, I am so grateful she was there to coordinate things on the day and would recommend a service like this to other couples.  We got to be in the moment and allow everything to unfold knowing that we were in good hands.”

Venue Eilean Donan Castle, the Highlands
Photography Lynne Kennedy Photography
Bride’s dress Rue de Seine at The Bridal Boutique
Flowers Loch Duich Plants
Wedding planner Lisa Bauer at Tartan Weddings
Celebrant Halde Pottinger at Humanist Society Scotland
Piper Lea Macleod
Filmmaker Olive & Thistle
Transport Highland Vintage Car Hire
Hair Pin-Up Hair
Makeup Cat Robertson MUA

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