Hans and Sven are a German couple who met on Tinder. Whilst planning a vacation, the pair spontaneously decided to get married! And so, after a romantic proposal on the River Rhine, they travelled to Scotland and – without telling their friends and family – the couple said their vows to each other in a super intimate Elopement on the Isle of Skye. Rosie Woodhouse of Love Skye Photography shares more details of their special day below.
Elopement with a view on a Scottish Island
The couple choose the ruins of Dunscaith Castle (short history – Dunscaith Castle, which is also known by the Gaelic name of Dùn Sgàthaich, occupies a large rock overlooking Loch Eishort on the western side of the Sleat peninsula. Like nearby Knock Castle, it was built by the MacLeod clan who dominated Lewis, in the Western Isles, and by the late thirteenth century controlled much of the Isle of Skye as vassals of the Earls of Ross. Built upon the site of a much earlier fortification, that seems to have been partly vitrified, Dunscaith Castle was established by the early fourteenth century.
The castle had strong natural defences for the rock on which it built had near vertical drops of in excess of 10 metres on all sides. Despite this, the summit of the rock was enclosed by a curtain wall with the surviving portions suggesting this stood 5 metres tall and in excess of 1 metre thick. The castle was connected to the mainland by a drawbridge which crossed an artificially constructed trench hewn out of the rock. From this access point a steep set of steps worked their way up to the summit of the rock which was occupied by numerous buildings including a large rectangular structure which is presumed to be a Great Hall. A small seaward gate on the south side provided the means to embark goods from boats below.
The MacLeods held Dunscaith until around 1435 when the entire Sleat peninsula was seized by the MacDonalds of Skye. However, by the late fifteenth century, James IV had broken the power of the clan and had taken the MacDonald estates, including Dunscaith, into Crown control. The MacLeods saw a chance to recover lost lands and in 1495 Alasdair Crotach MacLeod successfully retook Dunscaith Castle, captured Duntulm Castle and attempted, but failed, to recover control of Knock Castle. He was officially granted a pardon for his actions in 1515. The feud between the MacLeods and MacDonalds of Skye over the ownership of Sleat came to an end in the seventeenth century when the latter shifted their main seat to Duntulm Castle.)
A very ancient site on the south west of Skye perched on a cliff top overlooking the sea and with amazing views to the famous Cuillin mountains. The couple choose a civil ceremony performed by local registrar celebrant Angela. Scots law requires two witnesses to a wedding – I was one and my friend Fiona joined us to witness too. She also helped out with the photography and with the traditional Quaich ceremony where the couple share a loving cup or quaich of whisky as part of their wedding bond.
Hans and Sven have only known each other for a relatively short time and I loved that they had made the commitment to marry and elope on the Isle of Skye while their love is fresh and strong.
It was an unusually sunlit and warm afternoon for autumn in Scotland and we spent time after the ceremony exploring the castle ruins and the nearby rocky shore before moving to a nearby sandy beach for sunset view of the mountains before the left to begin their wedding evening at their hotel in Portree.
Photography – Love Skye Photography