a small destination wedding in edinburgh's radical bookshop

Angela and Andy were married on 15th August in Edinburgh, and had been planning their wedding since January. Huge thanks to Barry from Barry Forshaw Photography for sharing his images of this totally unique wedding day! You can catch Barry on his website, Facebook and Instagram.

”The ceremony was at the Lighthouse: Edinburgh’s Radical Bookshop. Our high tea was at The Colonnades at the Signet Library, and our dinner was at the Badger & Co.”

“We wouldn’t say that we eloped, we called it a small destination wedding since we did have eight family members with us. Also, everyone knew our plans, it was not a surprise. We picked Scotland because we wanted to get married somewhere that we both had ethnic heritage, so we put the list of countries together that we both knew we had some ancestral connection to. Then, we figured out how easy it was to get married in each of those places, because in some countries it’s very hard, logistically, for foreigners to get married there. It turned out that Scotland was one of the easier places to get married, and it’s the only country where we both have family from. And, I’d been to Scotland before and absolutely loved it, the people, the beautiful landscape, the culture, the architecture, so was more than happy to go back!”

“Neither of us wanted to plan a large wedding. We wanted it to be small and intimate with just immediate family. Also, we don’t live near any of our family members, and neither of our families live near each other, so it would have been hard to find a convenient location in the United States to get married.”

"Our favourite part of the planning process was putting the ceremony together. We had a blend between a religious and a Humanist ceremony.  It was also one of the hardest parts, but it was the most meaningful part for us so we put a lot of time and intentionality into it. We had to figure out how to blend both of our faith traditions and incorporate other rituals that were meaningful for us. It was also fun for us to figure out how to include our family members, we ended up having each of our mothers do a reading, which meant a lot to us.”

"“The start of the process was the hardest, figuring out what country to get married in and what venue to get married in. There were so many options at first, it was overwhelming. Also, finding a place for a wedding with ten people proved to be a challenge because most venues are set up for large, elaborate weddings with a ceremony and reception. Once we found the country and venue and officiant, everything went pretty smoothly from there.”

"We were both very involved in the process. Andy took the lead on some things and I took the lead on other things. We wanted this to be our wedding, so we both wanted to have say in how the day unfolded.”

“My favourite part of the day was the ceremony. It was so intimate and emotional, which is what we had planned. It felt like time stood still. I will never forget how powerful it was to hear Andy read his vows to me.” 

“Andy’s favourite part of the day was the ceremony as well, it was incredible. Because we’d spent so much thought into constructing a blended ceremony, it contained deeply meaningful elements for both of us. Andy loved the tactile feeling of the handfasting.  In their speaking, Andy could feel the care and certainty written into our vows.  It was perfect.”

“I found my dress after going to about three stores, so the process could have been easier. I bought it because I felt beautiful in it, and it was easy to move in, it was comfortable. It also was affordable and didn’t need any alterations. I wanted my dress to have some rhinestones, so my mom added beautiful trim to the top of it.”

“Andy knew that he’d want to be able to wear his suit again, and he wanted it to fit perfectly, so he had a custom one made and picked all the fabrics. It was a pretty easy process. He wore a grey suit with a white shirt and a plaid tie that was his family’s tartan.”

“My clearest memory is walking through the beautiful Holyrood Park to take pictures. I couldn’t believe I was walking through mud and dirt in my wedding dress! A few times the photographer and Andy had to help me up and down some steep slopes, but it was so fun! I loved incorporating that adventurous part into our wedding day.”

“Andy’s clearest memory of our wedding day is the moment when Angela arrived to the bookshop.  Our families were off in the next room and he was waiting in the front of the shop.  At first just Angela’s face appeared around the corner of the door – scouting to see whether everything and everyone was in place.  Then a few moments later, she was there, looking beautiful with the sunlight making the dress glow.  She looked beautiful and he never felt more joyful to see someone in his life!”

“We don’t really think we had an elopement, more of a destination wedding. Our advice would be to think through the timeline from morning to night. Have you scheduled too much? Too little? Do you have enough time to get from one thing to the next? You have to have a balance between structured events and unstructured time, with room for flexibility.”


Venue: Lighthouse: Edinburgh’s Radical Bookshop // The Colonnades at the Signet Library // The Badger and & Co.

Florist: Save the Date Florist 

Photographer: Barry Forshaw 

“Barry did an amazing job, we were so pleased with him. He took the time to get to know us, get to know our venues and really helped us plan the day. We were blessed to find him. Also, both of our restaurant venues went above and beyond with their service to us. They were so accommodating and made us feel so welcomed.”