This couple’s mantra may as well have been ‘go big or go home’ as they had the full shebang, complete with a church ceremony, fabulous ballgown and 250 evening guests

Shelley Mackay & David Wade

8th April 2022

Venues | St Peters & St Andrews Church and The Weigh Inn, Thurso
Photography | SDM Photography

“David and I got engaged on 23rd September 2019 at Discovery Cove in Florida. I’d previously said that I’d love to swim with dolphins and unbeknown to me, David had arranged a set-up with the management at the amusement park.

I was told to wave my hands underwater and Coral the dolphin would come and give me a toy. When it swam up to me, it was holding a buoy that read ‘Will you marry me?’ After the shock and tears of happiness, I said yes.

Our original wedding date was 2nd April 2021. Due to Covid restrictions, we would have only been able to have two witnesses, so we decided at the end of 2020 to postpone til 8th April 2022. At the time, we were both incredibly disappointed, but we were very lucky that all the suppliers we booked were available for our new date.

We married at the stunning St Peters & St Andrews Church in Thurso. As a little girl, I was a flower girl for my uncle and almost decided that day that when I grew up, I’d get married there too.

For many of our 140 guests, it was the first time they had been invited to a church wedding. Everyone told us how much they enjoyed it. Rev. David Malcolm conducted the ceremony and we couldn’t have wished for a better person to marry us. He filled our day with fun and laughter.

I walked down the aisle to Meat Loaf’s I Would Do Anything For Love, performed by Luke Gunn on the guitar. David and I both love this song and it sounded truly breathtaking played in the church. Lots of guests commented on it afterwards.

We’re in the middle of taking our vows and moments away from becoming husband and wife in my favourite image from the day. Although there is so much else involved in a wedding, standing there with my best friend and becoming his wife in front of our friends and family was all that mattered to me.

I’ve followed Susie Mackenzie from SDM Photography on social media for a number of years and always thought her work was fantastic. It is obvious how hard she works, as she was still capturing our reception for hours longer than she needed to.

By the time we got home late at night, Susie had already sent me over a few photos. She is dedicated to what she does and I think her work speaks for itself. Hats off to venue stylist KG Events too. They went out of their way to transform the hotel where we had our meal and dance into David and I’s dream setting.

I definitely wanted a fairytale wedding. I just love the whole ‘Disney princess’ look and always knew I would base my dress and the wedding styling around this.

When it came to dress shopping, I tried on every conceivable style, but I knew that I would end up with a big ballgown. When I tried on a Martina Liana dress in Perfect Bridal Rooms in Aberdeen (the second shop I visited), I felt it was The One, but my friends encouraged me to keep looking, just in case. Nothing else came close, so I returned and placed an order.

David’s family have a tradition of playing Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell at family gatherings and weddings. As the bride, I had to stand-in the middle of the room and during the chorus, both families rushed back and fore to different sides of the room! It was such a laugh and a great way of getting everyone on the dancefloor together.

The most important thing to us was that our day was filled with laughter and fun. We were warmly taken aback at how generous and excited people were about our wedding and we wouldn’t change a thing about it.”

Venues St Peters & St Andrews Church and The Weigh Inn, Thurso
SDM Photography
Bride’s dress
Perfect Bridal Rooms 
Bride’s and bridesmaids’ jewellery The Fairy’s Workshop 
Wedding rings ROX 
Makeup Aquitaine by Elly
Hair Hair by Lorne; Hexed by Sammi-Lea 
Groomswear Hugo Boss
Cake Adelie Bakes
Flowers Buds ‘n’ Blooms
Stationery Pure Invitation
Favours Homemade fudge and shot glasses from Weddingstar
Venue decor KG Events
Balloon arch Wishes and Kisses 
Ceremony music Luke Gunn 
Wedding film Struie Media Production (scroll on to see)
Transport KNI Events Car Hire
Bridal party and wedding night accommodation Camfield House

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