Martine Nouet argues that Islay is now the trendiest place to celebrate your marriage. From all the responses I have received through the Islay Info website in recent years Martine could very well be right. If you ask people where is the place to get married in Scotland, there is a good chance that they will answer: Gretna Green. That small village on the Borders has certainly attracted a lot of couples along the years. But now it is time to forget about it. The most trendy place to host your wedding isâ€¦ Islay. The Hebridean gem is not only a magnet for whisky lovers. Its romantic aura appeals to couples as the ideal place to make a proposal, then to realize it the year after and, in many cases, to give Islay as a name to their first born child.
Islay Wedding at Finlaggan
This summer particularly, a few happy celebrations brought foreign couples, friends and families to Islay. The last wedding in date took place on a breezy but sunny day in the ruins of Finlaggan Castle on the first week of September. Galen and Ling, a charming Singaporian couple, had planned their D-Day long in advance. How they managed to bring over thirtyfive guests, some from Australia, some from China and Singapore, some from France or Britain was of a real achievement. Continue reading....
â€œI loved Islay the moment I stepped in,â€ Ling recalls. â€œGalen is an Islay whisky aficionado and we came with friends two years ago for a few days, visiting distilleries and enjoying the beaches. He proposed to me on Port Charlotte Pier before we joined our friends for drams at the Port Charlotte Hotel. The event was celebrated with some rare Port Ellens and Ardbegs!â€
Ling and Galen started their wedding day with an emotional pilgrimage: first vow at Port Charlotte Pier, second vow at on the Cliffs of the Oa, third vow at Kildalton Chapel. Lunch at Ardbeg and the ceremony at Finlaggan, chosen by the couple for its deep Gaelic roots and romantic atmosphere. What a lovely sight it was to admire the beautiful young bride being piped in to the ruins where her obviously moved groom was waiting with the guests, all wrapped in coats, scarves and hats. Despite the wind and the fresh air, Ling and Galenâ€™s wedding was warm and cheerful. They and the their party will have left Islay with memories to cherish and plenty of photos.
It's great to know that the whole day, including the 6 locations, of the above wedding was arranged by Heart's Desire Wedding Planners, owned by Ileach Rachel MacNeill who also runs Wild and Magic Islay and Whisky for Girls.
For couples who are interested in "Tying the Knot" on the Queen of the Hebrides I'd like to point out a page packed with information about "Getting Married on Islay". The Marriage Page has been updated this week in cooperation with Sharon McHarrie, the Servicepoint Supervisor of Argyll and Bute Council in Bowmore. Sharon can also be contacted during office hours if you like more information on the subject. Her phone number is +44 (0) 1496 30 1320, her E-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org