jillian + max | torridon elopement

Jillian + Max eloped to Scotland on 27th June. They planned their wedding in two short months and enlisted the help of Jo Donaldson to document their epic journey. You can find Jo and her partner in crime Liam on her website, Facebook or Instagram.

"We had already booked the trip to Scotland as a Christmas gift to one another, and then we got engaged that February. Wedding planning turned us sour, so we thought, 'Why not just get married while in Scotland?'"

"Most of all, Scotland has such a raw and mesmerising beauty that to me, is steeped in magic. It was the epitome of the outdoorsy and romantic wedding we had dreamt of."

"We were in the thick of wedding planning and on the precipice of putting down payments on the things that were 'necessary' for an American wedding. Max and I were lying in bed talking about it all, and he couldn’t commit to the idea of spending so much money on something we weren’t in love with. I had originally wanted to elope, so when I asked him, 'What do you really want?' he closed his eyes, cringed, and said, 'I think we should cancel everything and elope.' And now I know it was exactly what we were supposed to do because everything fell into place so effortlessly. We weren’t stressed, and we were able to enjoy the entire process. Eloping to us meant that we could have that intimacy and privacy we had always wanted for our day."

"Our favourite part of the planning was hands down finding our photographer. Especially with eloping, you want to be able to share all those moments with your friends and family, and have your photos capture how you feel and the experiences you had during the day. So, naturally, I was wrought with anxiety in trying to find the perfect photographer. I found three photographers whose portfolios spoke to me. After one email with Jo Donaldson, I knew she was my spirit animal. We just clicked SO SO well. She got me excited about planning the rest of our big day, and she even helped us find the magical Torridon to get married."

"The visas and legality of it all was at times stressful, but I think just having to do a lot of trust falls for the entire thing was challenging. We saw Torridon on a map and online but we didn’t know anything else about it. And then when we booked the place where we would get married, we just had to have faith that it would be beautiful and perfect for our ceremony… and the owners of the estate never explicitly said we could get married on their land so we had to wait till the day we arrived to double check that they were ok with it."

"I wish I could say that Max was super involved, but I love planning and filling out paperwork. (weird I know). So he learned about a lot of the things we needed for our wedding and what we were doing last minute."

"I knew I didn’t want a traditional dress, and that I wanted it to be burgundy. So looking for something like that was daunting. But my cousin referred me to BHLDN Anthropology, which is a vintage inspired bridal boutique. On my first visit I picked out a two piece pink number, but once I got it in the mail, I realised I had not fought for what I wanted and had let my mother persuade me. So I sent it all back and went back to the shop on my own. I asked them for the sive dresses that I had picked out online, and once I put on my burgundy dress, I KNEW I had done the right thing."

"My husband and I went to a men’s suit store called Miltons, and we found his suit within ten seconds of being in the store. I had a picture of colour blue I wanted his suit to be and there it was on display at the front of the store!"

"If I am being honest... we went to a deer farm before we started getting ready, and I don’t think I have ever been that happy in my life… HAHA, BUT, I really loved getting ready with Max and having a relaxed and fun time with Jo and Liam. I felt like we were all just hanging out."

""We had a Civil ceremony by a registrar but we wrote our own vows. Once we were done with our ceremony we went inside to sign our marriage license. After we did, our host, Sarah, came out with her violin and played Sea to Skye. Max and I hadn’t intended on having a first dance, but it was just so perfect and romantic. "

"Have faith in trust falls and gut instincts, find a photographer that really speaks to your soul and personality, let them help you find a magical place to get married (the locals know best), and start doing the paperwork 2-3 months in advance if you want to make it legal."


Venue: Torridon Estate 

Photographer: Jo Donaldson 

"Jo Donaldson and Liam McFall are the most AWESOME AMAZING people you will ever meet! They are exceptional. They truly made the day enjoyable and FUN!"