Warm winds whispered as Paige and Scott eloped in the mystical Moroccan desert. Surrounded by 600 acres of clay-colored dunes, the couple wed under a minimalist triangular altar crafted from earthy foliage within the arid terrain of the Agafay Plateau. Unexpectedly delicate against the rocky desert surrounds, the bride’s chic gown was designed by Love Honor’s Ingrid Olic. The couple basked in the sun for a few days afterwards at the grand Palais Namaskar hotel with a private pool perfect for soothhing afternoons of cooling off in the shimmering heat.
The Morocco elopement was thoughtfully captured by photographer Courtney Marie.
Names / Paige & Scott Calland
Location / Marrakech, Morrocco
Wedding Date / July 5th, 2022
How We Met
Scott and I met online 9 years ago. We are from the same small town, just outside of Manchester in the UK, and as we started to get to know each other, we found out we went to the same college at the same time and oblivious to us, we found out our dads played football together and our parents were friends when we were younger, but neither of us had ever properly met or knew of each other at all.
So throughout our childhood, we had both been to lots of the same events together without either of us knowing! Then our paths finally crossed properly in October 2014.
Our Engagement Story
Scott proposed to me on Christmas eve in 2021. He suggested we exchange our gifts that evening when our little girl Pia was in bed, as Christmas day will obviously all be about her! To be honest we had agreed we wouldn’t give each other presents that year, so I felt a little guilty that he had got me something because I didn’t get him anything… whoops! To my surprise I opened his gift and it was a handbag I had wanted for years!
I was parading up and down the living room with my new bag for around 5 minutes, no idea that there was another gift inside! He finally got me to open the bag to ‘check if my purse would fit inside’ and there was the ring!!! It was our daughters first birthday a few days later, so we had a wonderful time celebrating her and our engagement with friends and family over Christmas and New Year.
What we love most about each other…
I think for the both of us, it is our sense of humour. We have quite a similar sense of humor and neither of us take ourselves too seriously, always laughing and joking and trying to find the funny side of any story or situation.
We made quite a last minute decision to elope in secret. When discussing what we both wanted out of a wedding, we soon realised that neither of us really wanted the fuss of a big wedding day, and our favourite part of any wedding day was the party! We already had Marrakech booked as a little holiday, it’s my favourite place and Scott had never been before, so we decided to turn our little holiday into our wedding (around 3 months before the trip!). I am in the wedding industry myself as I own a wedding stationery business, so thankfully, I knew a few suppliers who helped me turn things around pretty quickly!
We had a naming ceremony planned for our daughter Pia a few months later in the September, so we thought it would be fun if we kept our elopement a secret until then, and announce it there and turn the naming ceremony into our surprise wedding party! We managed to keep it a secret with only our parents knowing, so our friends and family had no idea when we announced it! So we feel we had the best of both worlds, a romantic elopement with just the two of us, and then a big party with our closest friends and family to celebrate.
As it was just the two of us, we wanted to keep things quite minimal. I love the natural earthy colors of Morocco, the sandy nudes, beige tones, and rust and terracotta colors. I wanted to try and keep the bouquet and any flowers all dried so I could take them back home and keep as a memory of our day.
As it was just the two of us, we ordered room service for breakfast and then when my hair and make up artist arrived, we split off into separate rooms. Our hotel room was huge and had quite a few separate rooms, so we were able to keep apart until our first look.
We had Courtney Marie fly over from the UK as our photographer. I absolutely love her style and we had met previously in Santorini on a style wedding shoot, where she was attending and I created the stationery. We had been industry friends on Instagram for a while, so decided to stay in a hotel together in Santorini for the shoot. Whilst we were there I was around 16 weeks pregnant with Pia, and Courtney did a little maternity shoot with me around Oia, so it only felt right that she shot our wedding too!
“I love the natural earthy colors of Morocco, the sandy nudes, beige tones, and rust & terracotta colors. I wanted to try and keep the bouquet and any flowers all dried so I could take them back home and keep as a memory of our day.”
We were getting married in the desert with camels, so we were quite happy with the natural scenery and views of the Moroccan mountains and deserts. I asked the venue (La Pause camp) if they would decorate the ceremony area with a few terracotta pots and organic dried flowers, palms and pampas, however when we arrived, to my surprise there was a wonderful rustic triangle frame decorated with gorgeous nude and natural-colored dried flowers and palms, which ended up matching my bouquet perfectly.
I wanted my bouquet to be all dried flowers and palms, so I could take it back home and keep as a memory of our day I was also a little cautious of real flowers wilting in the heat of the desert. My florist added in some white orchids to my bouquet to add a little bit of luxe to the dried flowers and palms, as I love the modern boho style.
As I am a wedding stationer myself, I felt it was only right to make us both an invite, although we technically didn’t need any! Inspired by what we had planned for our elopement, I designed a mini invite with an illustration of a camel in the desert, all printed in gold foil emboss on a lovely nude colored card. I printed one for us both and gave Scott his invite just before we left the UK, inviting him to his own wedding.
Food & Beverages
Following our ceremony in the desert, we celebrated with some wine and then headed down to the camps outdoor restaurant. The whole camp was electricity free, so we ate a traditional Moroccan wedding breakfast with candle and fire light only, under the stars in the desert.
“I asked the venue if they would decorate the ceremony area with a few terracotta pots and organic dried flowers, palms and pampas.”
Fashion & Beauty Notes
Elopement Dress & Shoes
My elopement dress was from the Australian brand Love Honor. I saw this dress a few years ago when it was featured in a styled shoot I was part of, and as soon as I saw the dress on the model I just knew straight away that was the dress for me, if we were to ever get married. Fast forward a year or two when we was planning our elopement, I found a stockist not too far from me in the Liverpool in the UK. It was the first dress I tried on and I just knew it was the right one. For my shoes I wanted something quite minimal and with a block heel, as I knew there would be quite a bit of hiking in the sand to get to our elopement spot in the desert. The shoes were from ASOS.
Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories
My engagement ring is called Gatsby from Heidi Gibson. I saw this ring online years and years ago and fell in love with it, and luckily Scott remembered too! My engagement ring is rose gold, so I wanted a wedding band to match. I needed something quite small and minimal to fit underneath the diamonds on my engagement ring, and Scott liked the rose gold color too. We ended up getting ‘his and hers’ matching wedding bands, Scott’s is just a thicker version of mine.
Hair & Makeup
I wanted to keep my make-up as natural as possible. I like brown and bronze shades so my makeup artist created a subtle, natural smokey eye with a nude lip. My hair was down with long loose waves and the pretty ceramic flowers pinning up one side.
Scott wore a dark rust colored suit jacket, paired with a white shirt, black pants and black leather brogues.
We extended our stay in Marrakech for a few days after our elopement as a mini moon. It was amazing to stay a the luxury hotel Palais Namaskar with our own private pool. We have yet to go on a proper honeymoon but looking at going to Santorini next year just the two of us for a few days.
The celebrant we chose in Marrakech was great! As we wouldn’t be able to meet until the actual ceremony, our celebrant Peter sent us both lots of questionnaires to fill out about our relationship and how we met. We had to fill them out in secret, and not tell each other what we had wrote, so he read out both of our stories according to one another at our ceremony, which turned out to be very funny hearing what we had both put about each other!
A memorable moment…
The most memorable moment of our elopement day was the camel ride! We did this after our ceremony and I’ll be honest, trying to get on a camel in a long fitted elopement dress isn’t the easiest of activities!! However, once I was finally on, we had a little walk across the desert at sunset, and the views were out of this world.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
To be honest, because we eloped just the two of us and planned everything within just a few months, whilst keeping the whole thing a secret, we didn’t necessarily feel any pressures or stresses as you generally do in the run up to a traditional wedding day. This we felt really grateful for, as I know how stressful the run up to a wedding can be. Looking back, I would have maybe stayed in Marrakech a little longer after our elopement, or flew from there straight to another destination for a honeymoon, as this is something we haven’t really had yet.
You do you! Your wedding day is about you two as a couple, declaring your love for one another and taking that next step of commitment. Don’t feel pressured to do this a certain way or for things to look a certain way, make sure whatever you do it is right for you two as a couple, and it suits your personality. Even with a bigger wedding, if having certain traditions don’t really excite you or suit you two as a couple, then don’t do it. The day is about you two, so do it your way!
Sources of inspiration…
Being in the wedding industry myself I’m surrounded by wedding inspiration on Instagram every day. I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with some of the most amazing wedding suppliers with my business, so when it was my turn, I knew exactly which suppliers I wanted to be part of our special day.
Wedding Venue / La Pause Marrakech
Photography / Courtney Marie
Veil / Rebecca Anne Designs
Bride’s Shoes / Asos
Wedding Rings / Heidi Gibson
Hair / Lola Bellezza
Makeup / Team Bellezza
Stationery / Paige & Co
Florist / The Bloomroom Marrakech
Celebrant / Marrykech Wedding
Wedding Cakes & Desserts
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