Creative coastal wedding day at Dunnet Head Lighthouse, Caithness

When Kelly, who is originally from Wick said ‘I do’ to Brendan, whose hometown is Navan, Ireland, the couple knew they wanted their big day to be on the coast with spectacular views.

Here, creative bride Kelly shares all about their beautiful big day in the Highlands, captured by SDM Photography

“We had originally planned to get married at Dunnet beach, but then had second thoughts about putting all our trust in the Caithness weather forecast, where you can often see four seasons in one day!

We knew we wanted to be outside and close to the coast so we started thinking about other options, with the backup plan of being indoors.

I was visiting home and my mum and I went a drive to Dunnet Head Lighthouse after seeing it recently advertised as a wedding venue. I immediately fell in love and knew it would be perfect for a coastal wedding.

I took Brendan to see it the following month and we both agreed that it would be amazing to get married there.

Everything was so laid back and serene; wherever you looked, there was sea and sky and we could see across the water to Orkney.

Norman, who looks after the lighthouse, was an absolute gem. He helped make our time there so relaxed and enjoyable.

The theme was to not be tied to a specific theme or colour and to just go with what felt and looked right together.

I have always been a collector of weird and wonderful objects and love going to flea markets and charity shops looking for unusual things, so I guess we started using those pieces as a starting point for decorations.

Being an art student and then designer I felt I had lots of connections when it came to planning and designing things for the wedding.

There was so many different things, from copper bike wheels to fishing nets and old bottles, but it all just came together on the day and looked like it was always meant to be.

Naturally, the nautical and coastal theme came through given where the wedding was located, but we didn’t want to reign in on that too much so kept it more about mixing natural colours, patterns and objects.

The wedding itself was outside, which we decided on an hour before that we would do It outdoors as the weather was being temperamental most of the morning.

It was windy on the day which tied in very well with one of the readings, where our friend Phill read, ‘May the wind always be at your back’. At that moment, a huge gust of wind blew his kilt up! It was hilarious.

Having a humanist ceremony kept it all extremely personal and lighthearted, which we loved.

We had 100 guests, which was a great number as it meant we got a chance to get round everyone to talk to them during the day.

We used locally made alcohol for our drinks after the ceremony; beers from John o’ Groats brewery, Rock Rose Gin from Dunnet Bay Distillers and Old Pulteney whisky.

For our first dance, we chose Praise You by Fatboy Slim.

Unknown to us, my mum had planned for everyone in the room to have sparklers so when we walked in, the room was lit up which was really lovely.

We went on our honeymoon to Italy a few days later to avoid the ‘post-wedding blues’, which was a perfect way to relax after the run up to the wedding.

Being married feels no different to before, apart from we now have gorgeous photos to look at and beautiful memories.

It was a challenge living in Glasgow when the wedding was on the coast, but we managed.

I don’t actually think I would change anything. Even the things you can’t control, like the windy weather, brought its own funny memories.”