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ABOUT OUR DAY
Our plan was to be married on the beach in Jura at 6am. However, because of the tail end of Hurricane Bertha, all of our professionals, our son and some friends were stranded on the mainland, as no ferries were running, until 1.30pm. So we had our ceremony in the tipi at 2pm, after guests ate canapés and drank champagne (from Jura France). This was in the tipi with the firepit in. The two Tipis were supposed to be joined together, but it was touch and go, because of the wind, that they were put up at all, and that we were allowed to go into them!
So we had two separate tipis and a catering tent. One tipi was for the ceremony and for the ceilidh later, and the firepit tipi was for sitting, eating, drinking fizz, and whisky tasting, cutting and eating cake and listening to speeches in.
We had to hold a full day itinerary in half a day, and whizzed through it all, with great fun!
We held our wedding breakfast in Jura Hotel with those who had managed to get onto the island on time, and we all pitched in to move everything from the village hall at Craighouse into the tipis, now that we were allowed in, since the Hurricane Bertha winds had died down a bit.
We were fabulously piped into our wedding ceremony by the wonderful Lou Marshall, The Piper For Scotland.
Immediately after the ceremony in the tipi (our celebrant was Terri Shanks, who founded the renowned Fellowship of Professional Celebrants, one of the original celebrants and trainers in the UK…) we all went outside and our friends and family played fiddle and guitar while friends and family danced the wedding blessing circle dance.
The Tipis were pitched in Jura Hotel camping ground and this looked out directly across the now calm sea onto the islands.
We followed our itinerary, just a bit quicker than planned, and moved our guests out of the firepit tipi after dinner, speeches, cake cutting and whisky tasting, into the cooler one, so that we could do a first dance! We’d been practicing a belly veil dance and then a friend of ours kitted out our gathering for a belly dance practice. This warmed everyone up and, assisted by fizz and whisky, everyone threw themselves into the practice and had great fun! We then danced another belly dance with sticks while the Jura ceilidh band got ready for the ceilidh. We all had a fab time flinging ourselves around, then went out to set a bonfire and watch some fireworks, after alerting the coast guard as agreed with them.
Our piper played with the band at times, our friends played some live music and sang with us through the evening too. Jura Hotel staff looked after us beautifully and we knew that we were in excellent hands with our talented photographer and videographers, and they got on with doing their admirable and professional thing all night long!
INSPIRATION FOR OUR WEDDING
We had been together for 16 years waiting to be able to marry and wanted to share the place that we love with our friends and family.
We have both lived through the sixties and wanted a wedding celebration that was colourful and casual and felt like a bit of a sixties hippy love in happening, rather than a religious communion.
We wanted to bring rainbows to celebrate hope not hate, and connectedness and diversity, and of course, LGBTI pride…and our pride….
Also a friend of ours (who dressed in rainbow clothes) had recently died of cancer and we wanted to think of her during the wedding, as well as close family members who were dead, and so missing from the ceremony.
WHY THE VENUE
We love the Highlands and Islands, and Jura island in particular, for its smallness, friendliness and wilderness and deer. One of us is from Scotland. The Jura Hotel owners; Cath and Andy, and the staff are lovely, friendly and full of great wedding ideas. They provided fabulous food and hospitality and were wonderful with everyone.
We wanted a rainy day option and chose The Highland Tipi company as their tipis are a beautiful venue for bad weather days. We hadn’t thought it would be quite so windy on the islands and the tipis were almost cancelled. The men who came with the tipis (Graham in particular) stayed up all night battening down the hatches in the wind and rain to have them ready for us.
WHY A VIDEO?
We were aware that many people just couldn’t be with us because of health or for family reasons, and so having a video allows us to see all of our friends and family having fun together with us and allows us to share and relive the happy happy day with those who didn’t make it to Jura.
FAVOURITE PART OF THE HIGHLIGHT VIDEO
We have shared this with lots of people who couldn’t get there with us and they have all said that it was beautiful and that they cried. The beginning, Milo’s words, the ceremony, the entrance, the circle dancing, the confetti throwing…the fireworks and sparklers, the dancing…picking up on happy faces, all of the angles and lighting…well, everything, really!