Real weddings: James Knapp and Alexander Polglase elope to Scotland

1 August 2019
By Fashion Quarterly

Brand manager James Knapp proposed to art director Alexander Polglase in the middle of the drop-off lane at Auckland Airport while on route to Chicago for business, and the couple wed just six weeks later.

After an overwhelming amount of suggestions for their wedding day flew their way, the couple decided on an elopement to Scotland and celebrated over aged port and grimy fish and chips. “I’ve always loved the romance of an elopement. The romantic, runaway, ride or die nature always melted my heart,” says James.


We married at Neist Point, Isle of Skye, Scotland. Like most decisions for our wedding, they were made quickly. We both had a rather long list of places we’d love to marry, however, time was of the essence, and Scotland was one of the first countries on our lists. As soon as I said ‘Scotland..?’, Alex said ‘Yes!’ The ceremony was on a quiet cliff top. It was cold, windy and we could see rain rolling in. It felt like the edge of the earth. It was so Scotland and everything we were after.


A Google search gave us a long list of possibilities, and after viewing a few profiles, we saw Viv Adam’s. We met over Skype and fell in love straight away. Viv was so kind, excited, and very Scottish. She was perfect, and she bought a friend with her to be a witness. Our photographer was able to serve as a second witness. We’d never met before, which felt a bit ridiculous, but fun.


We wore matching tailored suits from Working Style. Both of our wedding rings are super sentimental. James’ ring is a 1960s signet ring in rose gold that belonged to his grandfather. Alex’s ring is a handmade yellow gold signet ring that James’ sister Anna Knapp, a Sydney based jeweller, made.

After party

After the ceremony, we raced to the closest town Portree to register our marriage before they closed for the weekend. The old lady at the council was so happy for us. We followed up with dinner on the docks. For our wedding dinner, we celebrated with 37-year-old Port made by Alex’s dad and ate Fish and Chips from the grubbiest chip shop in Skye. It was fabulous!


Sarah Burton, a Kiwi based in London, was our photographer – and she was perfect. She’d shot a friend’s wedding in Amalfi which I loved, and she totally understood the vibe of what we wanted for images. She saw it as an adventure, which made it all the more fun. We wanted our wedding to be shot on film, and on the day we shot on 35mm, 120mm, and digital. The film photos are by far our favourite.


We stayed in a small white cottage in what felt like the middle of nowhere. It was the end of the Scottish summer, and we were surrounded by tall dry grass and purple heather. We were in Scotland for a week, then went on to honeymoon in Italy, France, and Germany.


As we drove around with our photographer in tow, we celebrated in the car with our favourite tunes. Needless to say, James made sure Kate Bush appeared on every single playlist.

Favourite moment

One of the witnesses, a woman called Fiona wearing tramping gear, threw confetti when we kissed. It was so windy it just flew everywhere. It was so dreamy. Alex’s vows were also the kindest word I’ve ever heard. Impossible to top.

Most unexpected moment

When we were honeymooning Alex was offered a job which meant we needed to relocate from Auckland to Sydney. We rolled with it, and here we are!

This article originally appeared in Fashion Quarterly, Issue 2, 2019.

Interview: Jessica-Belle Greer
Photography: Sarah Burton


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