During quieter times I like to make the most of my destination weddings and so a wedding in Barra, the Southern most island of the Outer Hebrides, became a week long road (and boat) trip for me and mum in early June.Chris and Meghann are Americans who somehow found my details and got in touch. As a MacNeil, Meghann wanted to celebrate her Scottish heritage by marrying on the Isle of Barra, at the seat of the MacNeils, Kisimul Castle; situated on a tiny island in the bay of Castlebay. Given the journey involved getting from Pasadena where Chris and Meghann and their families live to Barra it was close family only.You can fly to Barra (it is the only airport in the world that has scheduled beach landings!) but mum andI decided we had time to take the slow route which involved me collecting her from Inverness airport (she coming from Gatwick, me coming from Inshriach House’s folk festival Insider, a little worse for wear) and driving to Oban for the 7 hour ferry crossing to Barra’s Castlebay. With only about 1600 residents, island life is a little different to life on the mainland. Our B&B (Tigh Na Mara Guesthouse) host looked quizzically at us when we requested keys for our rooms, ‘you won’t need those here’, he assured us. How refreshing.I joined the family for the rehearsal on the tiny castle out on the bay and the wind and rain whipped around us. The next morning however, the sky was blue and the waters calm. I loved the intimacy of a wedding of only 11 people (including the bride and groom) and the setting couldn’t have been more picturesque. It was a joy to spend time with them and their lovely families and they invited me and mum to join them for the wedding meal at The Castlebay Hotel that evening after I had stolen them away for a half hour for some informal shots on the beach.
After honeymooning in Italy they are now back in the US and have a summer of celebrations to share their marriage with wider friends and family.