Story by Linda Bagdade
Photos by John Ratchford, of Ratchford Photographic Studio, ratchfordphotographic.com
When Dave and I met in 2007, it was love at first sight. We knew we were soul mates, and from the very start, one of the things that bonded us was our love of travel. We’ve been to 36 states and 11 countries together over the last eight years. One of our favorite destinations is Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The island is a mixture of Celtic, French and First Nation cultures, with breathtaking scenery and incredible music.
In 2012, Dave asked my daughter, Lauren Umbarger, a jewelry designer, to build an engagement ring, which he presented to me on one knee at Robert's Western World, a legendary music establishment in Nashville. We weren’t in a hurry to get married, so we enjoyed a leisurely engagement with occasional conversations along the lines of, “If we were going to get married, where would we do it?” One of these conversations was in Cape Breton last fall, when we visited the Keltic Lodge, a resort hotel seated right on the Atlantic Ocean. It was the perfect location!
By spring 2015, we had our plan: We would elope at the Keltic Lodge and honeymoon in Hawaii.
Our trip was arranged via phone and email. We never saw our wedding site in person or met any of the people involved until the day before. I bought a flowing gown. In honor of local traditions, we outfitted Dave in a kilt made of the Cape Breton official tartan, by Angus "Mac" MacIsaac of MacIsaac Kiltmakers.
On Aug. 14, 2015, there was just the two of us, a local officiant, a photographer and the fiddler. We exchanged our vows on cliffs overlooking the Atlantic as the fiddler's notes danced over the ocean breeze. We enjoyed champagne and Nova Scotia butter tarts afterward.
Our wedding photos were taken in front of the Lodge and on the rocky beach of MacLeod Point. The resulting images were magical!
After that, we changed into more comfortable attire and drove halfway across the island, over the beautiful Cabot Trail, for a celebratory dinner of local seafood. We flew home a few days later and had a second ceremony and party for our immediate family, including my two other daughters, Jennifer Talley and Amanda Lawson. Everything turned out perfect.
The bride was born and grew up in Kankakee. She is the daughter of the late Frank and Loretta Golowski, of Kankakee. The groom is the son of Al and the late Susan Bagdade, of Chicago. The bride is a director for Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis. The groom works in construction sales at Dalton Clark Group, and as an author and musician. They live in Indianapolis