Dianna and Nathan are big fans of Lord of the Rings, but aren’t fans of being the centre of attention. They decided that an elopement (from one hemisphere to the other!) and a ceremony held in The Shire-esque Puck’s Glen in Scotland was the perfect solution, especially as a forest location was high on the wish list for their day.
“Nathan and I had always wanted to travel overseas to the UK and Europe, and had been planning to do so for about seven years before we got engaged. As I grew up with my grandparents, who were Scottish, I had always wanted to visit, so when plans were finally made and our flights booked, we decided we would elope at the same time and find the perfect setting in Scotland, as a nod to my family heritage.”
Being an elopement, the wedding party was small and intimate. Dianna said, “We flew over to Scotland all the way from Australia with just our celebrant Moira, meeting our photographers Jo and Liam (who also doubled as our witnesses) there on the day.” It also helped keep the budget to under £5,000. “Not including the flights, as we were already coming over, we spent the most on our outfits, and as we had eloped we didn’t need to spend any money on venue hire or food and music, etc.”
As they were staying in a small log cabin next to the glen, the bride said, “We helped each other get ready in the morning, and we wrote our vows to each other the night before – everything was fairly spontaneous.”
Glasgow-born Naomi met Jenn in Washington DC, connecting instantly. A transatlantic-sized long-distance relationship led to moving in together and eventually to their elegant and fusion wedding day.
Naomi said, “Jenn has been planning and re-planning her future wedding since she was young, whereas I had not thought about weddings until I met her. We tried to explore options together and make sure it was an event that was an expression of both of us, individually and together. The day turned out to be a sort of Jewish/ Scottish fusion. Jenn is a Jewish American and I’m non-religious and Scottish, so we had a Jewish ceremony with a bagpiper out front and danced the Hora and Scottish ceilidh dances. About half our guests were from the UK or Europe and the other half were from the US. I don’t know if there has ever been another Jewish/ Scottish queer wedding, but there certainly hasn’t been one like ours! We also really personalised everything and made many non-traditional choices.”
The couple had an egalitarian Jewish ceremony with no theme, as such, saying, “We just wanted it to be colourful, joyous, and meaningful. We didn’t narrow ourselves to specific colours, and we chose wildflowers and vintage elements to give ourselves the opportunity to get crafty and artistic. Traditionally, both partners are walked down the aisle by both parents. We created a T-shaped aisle and walked to the middle with our parents, then walked the rest of the way to the Chuppah, just the two of us. We had been meeting with our officiant, Cantor Segal, for about a year beforehand and had selected all the language that was used. Cantor Segal asked us to each write love letters to each other and send them to her. During the ceremony, she read parts of the letters, which she and her husband had written into a dialogue. Until that moment, we had no idea what the other had written. After the ceremony, we had a private moment called a Yichud where we read each other’s full letters.”
Diane and Topher wanted a wedding where they could be completely and utterly themselves. That meant being true to their own tastes and styles, but also not feeling extra pressure to have a wedding that was ‘cool’ just for the sake of it.
“We’re not the most out there of couples but we definitely aren’t a normal one either”, Diane laughed. “We just wanted a beautiful wedding that included some quirky touches.”
“I couldn’t say it was the most unique wedding in the world – I took a lot of inspiration from different sources (including Rock n Roll Bride) but it was ‘us’ in every way. Every single detail was thought through and meant something.”