This Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding Will Take You Back In Time

November 19, 2022 | justine

The roaring twenties and The Great Gatsby are synonymous with each other. And immediately, we think of romance, glamor, and unforgettable partying—all the things we want to see on your big day. With that in mind, a creative team of pros created this styled shoot to emulate a period of opulence, but on a more intimate scale. This Great Gatsby-inspired wedding is perfect for couples who are more ready than ever to let loose and celebrate in style.

With breathtaking mountain views deep in the Alaskan wilderness, the Sheep Mountain Lodge greenhouse proved to be a versatile setting for this luxurious theme. To elevate the stunning existing features, a tablescape with gilded accents and a lush white overhead installation were added to the space. The couple’s attire tied it all together. From the bride’s sparkly wedding dress with a sheer cape and jeweled headpiece to the groom’s classic tuxedo, it was the perfect finishing touch.

This wedding inspiration is utterly timeless—trust us, we don’t see it going away anytime soon! We’re talking about pearls, sequins, and feathers all captured by Junebug member The Hitched Hiker. Get your Pinterest boards ready, we guarantee you’ll want to incorporate these ideas that’ll help you and your partner channel the glitz and glam of the flapper era.

The Talented Team:

Photography – The Hitched Hiker
Event Planning – AK Happenings
Venue – Sheep Mountain Lodge
Workshop – Dressed in Wilderness
Floral Design – Honeybloom Floral Design
Invite Suite – Jen Simpson Design
Makeup Artist – Vibe Artistry
Hair Styling – Hair Play Salon
Wedding Dress – Salt Gowns
Rentals – Wild Poppy Events + Sitka & Spruce
Models – Gaia Casagranda + Mykel Mysing


A special shout out to Junebug member The Hitched Hiker for working their usual magic behind the lens and capturing this Great Gatsby inspired wedding that definitely took us back in time. To see more styled shoots and real weddings to inspire your own unique celebration, check out their profile in our directory of photographers from around the world.

While the setting has the most influence on a theme such as this, an opulent aesthetic can be achieved with key elements and decor. Talk to your planner and collaborate with your trusted team of vendors to nail your chosen theme. To help get you started, check out our planning and budget guides and take your celebration to the next level!

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Sophisticated Bayala Private Safari Lodge and Camp Wedding

November 17, 2022 | justine

An enchanting setting in the African wilderness, sleek decor in a timeless color palette, and two grooms dressed to the nines—need we say more? Christo and Stephen’s Bayala Lodge wedding had a sophisticated and bold aesthetic that beautifully contrasted their natural surroundings. Wanting their big day to be extra special, they set out to recreate the romantic atmosphere during their first holiday at the reserve together, and they totally achieved it!

With the vast safari landscape as their breathtaking backdrop, the couple promised a lifetime of love to each other. After the ceremony, the scene was set for a chic and dreamy reception at the lodge grounds. Set under lit acacia trees, they wined and dined in elegance with candle-lit tables filled dressed with white blooms that popped against black accents. Not to mention the his and his black peacock chairs that were the striking statement pieces to their outdoor affair.

And let’s not forget about the wedding fashion. After two years in lockdown, they all took it as an opportunity to dress up and go glam in the bush. The couple said their “I dos” in style with their matching tuxes while their guests echoed the chic vibe with their stylish attire. 

For couples looking for a contemporary take on safari weddings, this is exactly the inspo you need. Keep scrolling to see all the breathtaking details from start to finish, all beautifully captured by Misha-Lee Tame

The Couple:

Christo and Stephen

The Wedding:

Bayala Private Safari Lodge and Camp, South Africa

The Inspiration Behind Their Bayala Lodge Wedding

We feel happiest in nature, especially in a game reserve. Our first holiday together was at a game lodge in Hluhluwe, Northern Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, where we enjoyed a romantic bush dinner. It was set up with tons of lanterns and gourmet food in the middle of the bush, so we always said when we get married, we want to recreate that special moment. Our vibe for the wedding was very elegant, masculine, and sophisticated—inspired by “James Bond in the Bushveld”. Instead of having over-the-top decor, we wanted to focus more on the overall vibe and allow our guests to dress fabulous and stand out in a good way with the gorgeous natural monochrome surroundings of the dry winter bush.

Personalizing Their Ceremony By Walking Down Two Aisles And Having A “Hands” Theme

We had two aisles, one for each of us to walk down with our parents. We surprised our guests by having the iconic South African superstar PJ Powers sing us down the aisle with a personalized acapella version of the Elton John song, “Your Song”, and then marry us. We also incorporated “hands” as a theme throughout our ceremony—hand-tying ceremony, the blessing of the hands with ancient African fever tree dust, hand-themed reading and promise to each other, guests holding a tower of hands to make a tunnel for us to walk through after the ceremony as a blessing from guests as well, hand holding throughout the ceremony, and a lot of photos of us holding hands.

Why They Wanted A Bayala Lodge Wedding Weekend

We wanted an elegant wedding that was super fun for our guests to talk about for years to come. We didn’t want a quick one-day wedding with hundreds of guests, but rather a weekend celebration with only our nearest and dearest there with us. Our guests are still talking about the overall vibe, the food, and how stylish the wedding was. The three elements that were most important to us from the start. And we nailed it!

Wedding Advice: Set Priorities Together And Stick To Them

Decide as a couple what you really want at your wedding and what’s important to you as a couple. Don’t feel pressured to add elements that both of you don’t find as important. Keep planning fun and exciting by setting a specific weekly time for wedding discussions. This will avoid getting annoyed with each other when all you end up doing is talking about the wedding and nothing else. If and where possible, get professional suppliers to do what they do best. Go with your gut about your wedding ideas, and don’t overthink too much. Stick to a few key ideas and focus on making those ideas amazing. 

Practical And Stylish Wedding Favors That Goes With The Vibe

We gave the guests beautiful white parasols and fedora hats. It went well with the stylish out-of-Africa vibe we went for and also acted as cover against the sun out in the bush ceremony. We didn’t have any other decor at the ceremony, so this was also a simple, elegant way to pop on photos.

Telling Their Love Story Through Food

Chris and at least half of our wedding guests are complete foodies, so a standard buffet meal would never have been perfect for us. We got one of the most talented chefs in South Africa to cater for our wedding, and his team of chefs created the perfect menu for us. They designed each course to tell a specific story of our relationship leading up to our wedding, and our guests are still raving about the incredible food.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Misha-Lee Tame
Ceremony Venue – Bayala Private Safari Lodge and Camp
Floral Design – The Creativity Lab
Catering – Food by Andrew Draper
DJ – DJ Dave Ward
Live Music – PJ Powers
Videography – Michelle River Photography
Invitation Design – La Vie est Belle Weddings
Grooms’ Apparel – Khaliques
Decors – Casey Wishart


Congratulations to Christo and Stephen’s sophisticated Bayala Private Safari Lodge and Camp wedding. And a big thank you to Misha-Lee Tame for capturing all the dramatic scenery and fabulous details and for sharing them with us. 

There’s something so striking and magical about a modern black wedding against the vast safari landscape. If you and your partner want to add a chic edge to your elegant celebration, start by checking out our guide on tastefully incorporating black into your wedding day

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Everything You Need To Know About Planning A Scotland Destination Wedding

November 15, 2022 | kailey

Image by The Caryls. See more of this real wedding here.

The beauty of hosting a destination wedding in Scotland lies far beyond the history, stunning landscapes, and fun fashion—hello, kilts! Scotland might be known for its exceptional sights and brimming romance, but this buzzing tourist destination is a hot spot for “I dos” of every fashion. 

Are you and your partner dreaming of a large traditional castle wedding? How about a city-center celebration surrounded by cobblestone streets and historic buildings? Maybe you want an intimate elopement surrounded by the rolling Highland hills? In Scotland, all of these are a possibility. From finding your dream vendors to the country’s legal requirements, here’s everything you need to know about planning a Scotland destination wedding. 

Top Cities And Areas For A Scotland Destination Wedding


Walking the cobblestone streets of Edinburgh, it’s no surprise why it’s one of the most popular cities in Scotland. From the medieval Old Town to the more modern New Town, every corner is rich with history and gothic architecture. Here you can visit the famous Edinburgh castle, Princess Street Gardens, and even walk the Royal Mile. 

Here are some notable venues in Edinburgh to check out: 


Though Edinburgh might be the first place that comes to mind, we’re reminding you not to sleep on Glasgow. This city has a heritage of Victorian architecture, packed with stunning buildings, quirky charm, and vibrant art. It’s the spot for couples dreaming of a city celebration that incorporates modern and old-world influences.

Here are some notable venues in Glasgow to check out: 

Image by Martin McLellan. See more of this real wedding here.


This coastal town is a stunning city escape with sandy beaches, 18th-century grey buildings, and rigid coastlines. It also happens to be one of the sunniest cities in Scotland. So if you’re hoping for sunny weather on your big day, this might be the perfect location. 

Here are some notable venues in Aberdeen to check out: 


Being Scotland’s fourth largest city, Dundee is a smaller alternative for couples that want to be surrounded by both city and nature. The coastal town has a variety of sandy beaches, ports, and even an extinct volcano towering 572 feet over the city. Adventurous couples will love Dundee and all the audacious experiences it offers. 

Here are some notable venues in Dundee to check out: 

The Highlands and Islands

Being a more remote and isolated area, the Scottish Highlands are a popular setting for destination elopements. You’ll find rolling hills, rigid coastlines, and a variety of hikes leading to jaw-dropping views. With the Highlands stretching far and wide, picking just one location worthy of celebrating your love can be difficult. Though every corner of the Highlands offers something different, we recommend looking into the village of Glencoe and Isle of Skye

Here are some notable venues in the Highlands to check out: 

Best Time Of Year For A Scotland Destination Wedding

It probably comes as no surprise that Scotland is cold and rainy year-round. So before booking your destination wedding here, you’ll want to make sure you’re okay with the unpredictable weather. If sunny weather is your main priority, consider a date in the late spring and early summer. These are typically the sunniest and warmest months of the year. 

When you picture Scotland, odds are your mind doesn’t immediately think warm and sunny. You probably picture a dark and moody vibe. And if you’re looking to take full advantage of the autumnal atmosphere Scotland is so famously known for, you’ll want to choose a date between late September and early November. 

If budget is your main concern, we recommend throwing a winter wonderland celebration. During the colder months, you’ll be met with cheaper travel costs and accommodations when you arrive. You’ll also be able to take full advantage of the romantic ambiance that comes with the snowy Scotland flurries. 

Image by The Caryls. See more of this real wedding here.


What Does A Scotland Destination Wedding Cost?

Your overall wedding budget will be determined by travel costs, your guest list size, venue, vendors, accommodations, and so much more. If you’re ditching a traditional celebration for an intimate elopement, you can expect to pay somewhere between $5,000-$15,000. Couples planning an extravagant celebration surrounded by their closest loved ones can expect to spend between $25,000 and $40,000. 

What Costs Should You Cover For Your Guests?

When planning a destination wedding, it’s not always clear what should be covered for your guests. Though every wedding is different, it’s typical for guests to be responsible for their own travel costs—we’re talking hotel, airfare, baggage, etc. Though it’s not mandatory, you can set up a hotel block to keep your loved ones in close proximity and make the overall costs cheaper for your guests. 

When Should You Send Out Save The Dates & Invites?

A destination wedding timeline—especially for those that require international travel—is stretched longer than one for a traditional, local celebration. It’s important to send out your save the dates as soon as possible. Ideally, this would fall about eight to twelve months before your big day. Invitations should then follow about six months before your wedding. This gives your guests plenty of time to book days off of work and secure flights and accommodations. 

When Should You Begin Booking Your Vendors?

Wedding vendors tend to book out well in advance. So when you finalize a destination, venue, and date, it’s time to hunt down your dream vendor team. And the further out you book your vendors, the better—especially if you’ve had your eye on a particular vendor for a while. 

Should You Hire A Wedding Planner?

There’s a long list of vendors we recommend securing for your wedding day. But when it comes to planning a faraway celebration, we can’t recommend hiring a wedding planner enough. Local planners know the area well and can provide suggestions for venues, vendors, and post-wedding activities you can’t find during a simple Google search. 

Not sure where to start? Check out our directory of wedding planners in Scotland.

Images by Mike Meller. See more of this real wedding here.

Legal Requirements For A Scotland Destination Wedding

Legal requirements differ from place to place. And the last thing you want is to plan a stunning destination wedding just to find out you haven’t finalized all of the paperwork or met the necessary requirements. 

Any two persons can legally tie the knot in Scotland provided that:

  • They are 16 years of age or older on the day of their wedding
  • They are not related
  • They are not already married or registered as a civil partner
  • They are capable of consenting to marry 
  • In case of opposite sex marriage, the marriage would be regarded as valid in the party’s country of domicile

If you meet all the requirements, you can then apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa and pay the £100 application fee. 

If you’re granted your Marriage Visitor Visa, you can submit a marriage notice form (three months to 15 days prior to your wedding) to the registrar of the district in which your marriage will be taking place. You will have to show proof of your original ID documents to the civil office issuing your marriage license in person before your wedding day. You will also need to produce your birth certificates, passports, and also documentation of divorce, annulment, or death of your former spouse, if applicable. 

If you’re having a religious ceremony (rather than a civil ceremony), the registrar in your district will provide you with a marriage schedule that’ll need to be completed and returned within three days so the marriage can be registered. After your marriage has been registered, you can obtain a copy of your marriage certificate for the appropriate fee.

Image by Raini Rowell Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

Now that you have all the information needed to bring your destination wedding to life in Scotland, the fun planning begins. Start by checking out our directory of wedding vendors in Scotland, then read our destination wedding planning guide to ensure you don’t miss a thing.

Image by Raini Rowell Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

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