Hazel and Bruce’s wee wedding in the Highland capital was the tonic their families needed after a tough few months

Hazel Binnie & Bruce MacDonald

4th September 2020

Venue | The Waterside Inverness
Photography | Karen Thorburn Photography

“Bruce and I met through work in 2013 and started dating in 2016.  We got engaged on my birthday, 16th May 2019. Bruce surprised me with the proposal in our living room. I was wearing a baggy t-shirt and his slippers – very glam!

We knew we wanted a late summer wedding from the outset in the hope that the weather would still be pleasant. We thought The Waterside in Inverness was beautifully placed on the banks of the River Ness. Its interior was also lovely, with loads of twinkly lights. We were sold on the place, particularly as we got on really well with the venue’s wedding
co-ordinator, Claire.

When the pandemic reared its head in March 2020, all planning ground to a halt. I kept in touch with my suppliers, but we all suspected that things would be back to normal come our September date – which we all know now wasn’t the case. Bruce lost his mum in May 2020, so as time went on, we shared the view that we wanted something nice to happen for our families.

Despite friends and family advising otherwise, we decided not to postpone. Covid forced us to think about what was really important to us for our wedding. We wanted to get married even if it was different from our original plans, so our day became smaller and more intimate. In a way, it turned out to be a better representation of who we are as a couple.

Navigating the coronavirus rules was the biggest issue – from how many households were allowed at one table, to making sure the ceremony was socially distanced – but thankfully Claire and the team at The Waterside were super-helpful and on it all the way through. 

Three days before the wedding, the rule about guests wearing face masks came into force. We made a last-minute decision to shift the ceremony outside to a gazebo, meaning our guests didn’t have to wear a mask for the ceremony.

Everyone said how much they enjoyed our ceremony. It was very relaxed and romantic, yet funny in places. Credit goes to our celebrant, Jenny Shepherd from Independent Humanist Ceremonies, who perfectly captured what we are all about. My sister Fiona ‘attended’ the wedding via Zoom from Australia, even though it was the middle of the night for her.

Neither of us especially enjoy having our picture taken. For most of the day, we didn’t even notice our photographer Karen Thorburn was there; in fact, some of my favourite pictures from the day are the more candid photos. There is one where everyone is laughing at something that was said during the ceremony and every time we look at it, we are reminded of how much fun there was on our wedding day, despite the difficulties we had encountered leading up to it.

We laughed a lot. My dad made what was possibly the shortest speech in wedding history, which gave everyone a good giggle.”

Top tip: “Our biggest piece of advice would be to always remember who your wedding is for, and why you are doing it in the first place. Other than that: make lists! Keep a diary of when deposits and final payments are due to your suppliers and mark them off once complete.”

Venue The Waterside Inverness
Photography Karen Thorburn Photography
Celebrant Jenny Shepherd, Independent Humanist Ceremonies
Bride’s dress The Bridal Outlet
Bridesmaid’s dress Milly Bridal
Groomswear Slater Menswear
Wedding rings Chisholm Hunter
Flowers Fiona’s Flower Studio
Cake Harry Gow
Favours Tablet made by Donnie, the groom’s dad
Stationery Wedthing
Makeup Amy Mackinnon Makeup Artist
Hair Top Knot Hair Design

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