Stunning pink-themed surprise wedding at the Torrance Hotel

Laura Porter and Shane McColgan

24th September 2023

Venue | The Torrance Hotel, East Kilbride
Photography | Craig & Eva Sanders Photography

a group of people posing for a photo at a wedding at Torrance Hotel

“I own and run beauty brands F.A.B. Salons and F.A.B. Skincare and first met Shane when he became a client at one of my salons. After getting to know him over the course of two years, and getting myself to a good place after some personal issues, I plucked up the courage to ask him out!

I knew I was going to marry him after that first date. It was the easiest, loveliest dating experience I have ever had. We were both very open and honest about what we were looking for, and I guess the rest is history. We were two people in the right place at the right time and we both wanted the same thing. We fell madly in love from the get-go. I always said I would never get married – that was until I met Shane!

As time went on, we joked about getting married and soon realised that it was something we really wanted to do. When we discussed what our perfect wedding would look like, we both said ‘small’ and I added that I’d like to keep it as a surprise to everyone!

We set off to London in April 2023 where Shane bought me an engagement ring and planning commenced. It was so lovely being in a little bubble together with no-one knowing our plans, but admittedly I was a little sad that I couldn’t wear my gorgeous ring unless we were out of the country.

My friends joke that I found my wedding dress before I found the guy, which is no word of a lie! I spotted a Savin London dress on Eleganza Sposa’s Instagram feed about six months before I even got with Shane and sent them a comment saying ‘do you need to have a groom to buy that dress’? I booked an appointment to try it on as soon as we decided to get married.

Everything fell into place around the dress. It’s blush so it was always going to bring a different vibe. I had collaborated with wedding stylists Supernova Wedding Design and Flowers in the past for non-wedding projects, so I trusted them completely to help me realise our vision in pink.

Torrance Hotel dressed with pink flowers for a wedding ceremonypink wedding flower displaysa wedding reception with tables and chairs

We initially considered booking a hotel in Glasgow, but we weren’t happy with the service. The next venue on our list was The Torrance Hotel in East Kilbride. I have worked with the hotel’s owner and operator, Manorview, for charity events in the past and have always had wonderful experiences; it was no different at the Torrance. Not only were the staff amazing, providing a level of service that we’ll be grateful for forever, but the wedding packages were insane value for money. Because of the reasonable costs, we could afford to book out all the rooms!

Keeping our wedding plans quiet was easier than you might think. We were heading off to Vegas a few weeks before the wedding and everyone kept asking if we were planning to get married while there. We would always reply, ‘not yet; it’s too soon’. I think that kept people off the scent.

Our immediate bridal party were the only ones who knew what we were up to. They were Andrew, my best friend of 23 years, who walked me down the aisle; my maid of honour Lauren, who flew home specially from New York; and Elizabeth, another close friend of Shane and I’s. We also had lovely flower girls: Shane’s daughter Leah, and his niece, Allana.

We told our guests that I was having a murder mystery-themed ‘RIP to my 30s party’ instead of a 40th the following year. It’s not unusual for me to do something different, so no-one had any suspicions. The invites to the guests simply read: ‘wear something you already own that makes you feel sexy. Don’t bring any gifts and – most importantly – don’t be late!’

When the guests arrived at the Torrance, they were invited to read cards addressed to them. However, the wording was a bit ambiguous, and left an element of ‘is this a wedding or all part of the murder mystery act?’ – especially as at this stage, neither Shane nor I were anywhere to be seen!

a group of people looking shocked holding cardsa group of people laughing and holding a card

Whilst this was all unfolding, I was getting ready at home and being sent reaction videos. Seeing guests’ simultaneous joy, excitement and confusion is something I’ll treasure forever. It almost broke me though, and I’d have ruined my makeup, so eventually I had to stop watching them!

The ceremony was amazing. The best bit was locking eyes with each other, at which point any nerves just disappeared. Celebrant Evelyn Robertson from Fuze Ceremonies was incredible from the outset. Shane can get a little nervous around groups of people, but – boy – she just put him at ease and there were remarkably no nerves to be seen.

I couldn’t believe my luck when highly sought-after photographers Craig and Eva Sanders said they were available on our date. I booked them on the spot. I’ve been to other weddings where they’ve been behind the lens and adored their work, but never imagined I’d have the opportunity to use them myself.

Other than wishing we could’ve started partying at 8am, we wouldn’t change a thing about our wedding. Marriage has made us even more in love than we were before the big day if that’s possible.”

Top tip: “Other brides I knew kept telling me that their big days went by so fast, so I suggested to Shane that we didn’t bother with a top table. Instead, we moved table between courses. It meant we got to spend a good amount of time with everyone before we got to party the night away on the dance floor.”

Venue The Torrance Hotel
Photography Craig and Eva Sanders Photography
Filmmaker Kedia Films (scroll on to see)
Celebrant Evelyn Robertson, Fuze Ceremonies
Bride’s dress Savin London from Eleganza Sposa
Bride’s earrings Brazen Studios
Bride’s shoes Sophia Webster
Bridesmaid dresses Jane Watt Designs
Skin and beauty treatments F.A.B. Salons, the bride’s company
Nails @knx_studio on Instagram
Makeup ARTSY Stacey Toner
Evening makeup artist (for guests) Unfiltered Kerrie
Hair colour Lisa Gallagher
Hair extensions BlowsByBrogs
Hair on-the-day Pam Doc Hair and Olivia Ferry Hairstylist
Groomswear Forbes Tailoring
Flowers and venue decor Supernova Wedding Design and Flowers
Stationery Laila Lettering
Cake Special Days Cakes
Live artist What Hannah Does
Favours The Drinks Co.
Ceremony and drinks reception music Capella String Quartet
Reception music GeO Gospel Choir and hotel DJ
360° video booth Blue Parrot Events Group
Transport @famaazi on Instagram

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