Edinburgh Castle Military Elopement | Elemental Weddings

I have such a beautiful military elopement, that took place in Edinburgh to share with you today. Which I think marks the debut of a Scottish wedding on Nu Bride. Celebrations all round!

I saw beautiful Katharine (Katie) and James on Elemental Weddings  instagram feed and I knew in that moment I had to share their love story with you an dit just so happens that James wanted to surprise Katie with a surprise feature of their wedding day. So a match made!

I have always admired military couples. The sacrifices they both make to serve others. Both of them. Notwithstanding the selfless-ness and strength of those being left behind, to be able to put their feelings (and sometimes dreams) aside, to be able to live thousands of miles apart to support their loved one to serve their country. I could not do it and I am in awe of those who find their own magical way.

Katie of British Jamaican heritage and English gentleman James are a great example of love standing the test of time and distance.

Katie and James Scottish castle elopement with their nearest and dearest was the perfect backdrop for their union (despite the rain), with just 9 guests, they had an intimate and truly meaningful ceremony led by James’ father who is a minister, followed by drinks, cake and then ice-cream in the Grass-market and then onto Aizle restaurant for dinner. They are set to celebrate with extended friends and family in summer 2018.

Photographer Jay from Elemental Weddings said:

I absolutely loved getting to be part of Katie & James’ wedding – it was such a beautiful, fun day, full of love and laughter. They are clearly perfect for each other! After a rainy, atmospheric start, the skies brightened and the most incredible sunset brought a breathtaking finish to the day.


Over to charming James for the details!

How did you meet?

Well its all because of my little cocker spaniel Jasper! I had recently moved to Edinburgh on a posting with the Army and knew very few people. I was quite busy with work and was looking for someone to look after Jasper for a few hours. Early on I met Katie through a mutual friend as someone who might like to look after him. She volunteered and completely fell for the dog, I came as part of the package! (Nu Bride: Brilliant!)

Your Proposal

Katie’s father works in Rwanda and so opportunities are rare, firstly for me to ask permission and secondly for us to celebrate with him. 
We spent Christmas with Katie’s parents in South Africa. I had already spoken to Katie’s mum and so she helped me craft an opportunity to have some time alone and ask permission on the first day of the holiday.
On the second Katie and I drove to Stellenbosch to begin a day long private wine tasting tour. I arranged with our guide for him to set out a bottle of MCC (South African sparkling wine) in the rose garden at the third winery we visited. It was a beautiful Manor House, Rupert Wines  with views of the Groot Drakenstein Mountains from the rose garden.
After the tasting I asked Katie if she would like to go and see the rose garden which was apparently very pretty. As we turned into it there was a bottle and two glasses set out for us. I was very excited and thought that Katie probably knew what I was up to, so I dropped to one knee as we reached the centre of the garden.  She said yes!
The setting could not have been more perfect and we spent the rest of the day trying more excellent wine before staying the night at another beautiful vineyard.

Coming together

We put the wedding together in only 6 weeks (after I found out I was being deployed for 6 months).  We agreed on everything and our families were very helpful. Katie’s mum is very artistic and made the invitations, did all the flowers and table decorations. My parents are both in the clergy, my Dad married us and my Mum wrote and delivered the prayers.
We chose Elemental Weddings to capture our day and Jay was incredible and I would recommend them to anyone!!!
Katie’s favourite flower is a protea so she had one in her bouquet. Other than that we just tried to make sure they would not clash with the blue, red and gold I was wearing and she chose an absolutely stunning dress from Sottero and Midgley.
It was very easy to find! I wore my no.1 dress uniform. I am a Captain in the British Army and my regiment is the Royal Artillery.

The Ceremony


It was a very rainy morning but when Alex (my best man) and I left the Governor’s Quarter to walk up to the Chapel we were surprised to see it had cleared. When we got there there was a little set up to do like rolling out a carpet to prevent Katie’s dress getting wrecked by the damp floor after hundreds of tourists had been tramping through it all morning.

Katie’s arrival was delayed by traffic in Edinburgh and the car with her family in it going another way and so they were about 30 mins late. Although I never doubted she was going to turn up, I was getting nervous at this point.
The Castle will only close the chapel to tourists for a very limited time as it is the oldest building in Edinburgh and a key attraction. To manage my anxiety I just started trying to organise people, much to everyone’s annoyance, especially our string trio! Alex was amazing, he made me sit down and behave. (Nu Bride: LOL!) 
Then Katie arrived and everything was perfect.
My dad married us and said some beautiful things in the address. The ceremony was very small and very intimate with only immediate family, the best man and maid of honour. The location could not have been more special.
The ceremony was by far the favourite moment of our day. There are two crystal clear moments; One was turning and seeing how beautiful and happy Katie looked as she walked up the aisle towards me and the other was looking into her eyes and the feeling of pure joy as we exchanged our vows. 

The Reception

One of the funniest moments of the day was definitely the hundreds of tourists in the castle that gathered to photograph us as we left the chapel. One bumped into Katie’s Dad and he decided to have some fun in revenge – he told them we are Scottish Royalty!  (Nu Bride: LOL!)
It was important to me to include one of the military traditions to cut the cake with my military sword, although Katie wasn’t keen!
We actually had our official first dance at a friend’s wedding the following week! We knew which song we wanted (Shut Up and Dance, Walk the Moon) and had the string quartet play it as we left the chapel but we didn’t dance on the day. We will have that moment at the bigger event in Summer 2018 when I have returned from duty.
Another fantastic point in our day was leaving the meal with Jay to take some sunset pictures at Arthur’s seat. These are some of my favourites and then we snuck back to the restaurant for another pudding before going to our hotel (https://thedunstane.com/)

Challenges and Triumphs

Trying to plan a wedding in only 6 weeks in a place that we no longer live, with a parent who lives abroad and finding a date in the height of summer in a super popular venue was pretty challenging! But once we had the idea to get married in the Castle we knew we would do anything to make it happen. 

Top Tip to other couples

Relax, don’t stress over the small details. Also have a really good best man/ maid of honour. The last thing you want to be doing is stressing about what everyone else is doing or where they are going.

The Talent

Photographer: Jay from Elemental Weddings: http://www.elementalweddings.co.uk/
Venue: St Margret’s Chapel, Edinburgh CastleAizle restaurant
String trio: Erskine String Trio http://erskinestringquartet.com/
Brides Fashion: Sottero and Midgley ‘Addison’ own beaded belt
Accessories / Jewellery: earrings from Swarovski
Shoes: LK Bennett
Makeup: Alletarre by Sana 
Hair: A List Hair, London 
Bridesmaid Outfits: John Lewis

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