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A Highland Fairytale Wedding in Scotland

Sep 15, 2015  |   By Alison McGill

Fairytale Scotland 03Scotland is a magical spot Tannis Tralnberg and James Hyde have always held close to their hearts. Neither one of them has Scottish roots, but it’s a country that James first fell in love with while working overseas, a place he couldn’t wait to introduce Tannis to when the pair started dating.

“From the moment Jimmy first took me to Scotland, it felt like home,” Tannis smiles. “Both of us feel at peace when we’re there, and over the years we’ve made friends and found favourite places we have to visit each time we return.”

A destination wedding in Scotland seemed like an obvious choice, but it took the couple a wee while to figure that out. Upon engagement, they started planning a huge wedding in St. Albert, Alberta with a guest list of 150 and growing. One evening while in the throes of party planning, Tannis and James started talking about how things were taking shape and questioning if it was indeed the wedding of their dreams.

“We started thinking that maybe we wanted a different kind of wedding—that maybe we wanted to get married in Scotland,” Tannis says. “We already had a vacation booked to go over and that quickly turned into a wedding planning session. Because we had been there so many times we knew exactly the area and the venue we wanted for the day—it was the best decision we’ve ever made!”

Tannis and James had 25 of their friends join them for a three-day wedding spectacular in Plockton, a charming village in the northwest Highlands of Scotland. The couple started their wedding party in Edinburgh, where they landed a few days before their wedding, to show their parents the sights of the Scottish capital. The groom also picked up his kilt, a bespoke piece custom-designed and stitched for him by a kilt maker in the city. Tannis’ gown was a dress she had purchased in Edmonton, one she bought with her first wedding in mind. “As it turns out, I think the style actually made more sense for our Scottish wedding!”

The pair kicked off their festivities on a Thursday evening with a welcome reception for guests. “Most of the people at our wedding had never met each other before, and had never been to Scotland,” Tannis says. “By the end of the weekend everyone was the best of friends, and they had also fallen in love with the country.”

The following day the pair said “I do” in an evening ceremony at Eilean Donan Castle in Dornie. The historic castle (it was first built in the mid 13th century) was used to film scenes for the Patrick Dempsey film Made of Honor and it was a place Tannis said she and James had often dreamed about getting married. “When we looked into the cost of renting the castle for our wedding I was shocked at how affordable it was,” Tannis says. “We were thrilled to be able to have our ceremony there. We kept the decor simple with some beautiful flowers to enhance the beauty of the space.”

The couple stuck to the same simplicity for their reception at The Plockton Hotel. Tannis says one of her and James’ best moments came at the reception when they sat back in a quiet moment to soak it all in. “We were sitting at our head table, taking in all the guests that had travelled so far to show their support and love for us, and all we could hear was laughter, stories and cheers,” Tannis shares.

The couple’s wedding-day adventures stretched into a third day with a dramatic photo session with Carey Nash and Kelly Redinger who travelled from Edmonton for the event. Because the wedding was at night, there wasn’t a lot of time to take pictures the day-of; so Tannis and James put on their wedding fineries again and headed for the Highlands to capture some heart-stopping images.

“The weather on the day of our pictures was anything but romantic,’ Tannis laughs. “It was cold, windy and wet but the shoot was so worth it. The pictures truly capture what a dream day we had—it was absolutely perfect in every way.”  Tannis Tenille Tralnberg and James Jeffery Hyde, September 14, 2012, Plockton, Scotland. Photography courtesy of Carey Nash and Kelly Redinger. Vendors Ceremony location: Eilean Donan Castle Reception location: Plockton Hotel Bridal gown: ABC Bridal Bridal party attire: Geoffrey Kilts and The Bridal House & Tuxedo House Groom’s tux: 21st Century Kilts Cake: Marks and Spencer Favours: Shortbread hearts from Plockton Hotel and fudge from Isle of Skye Fudge Company Wedding planner: Mags Pearson Music: Iron Midden Flowers: Donald McIntosh Loch Duich Plants and Flowers Stationery: The Bride’s Maids (1-780-881-256)

See more photos from this destination wedding in Scotland.

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