Ever been tempted to ditch the tried-and tested wedding template and break a few rules? We caught up with one couple whose island getaway wedding took everyone by surprise

Stacey McDonald & Brian Hutton

Venue | Inchcolm Abbey, Inchcolm Island
Photographer | Chic Photo
Celebrant | Mo Ackroyd at Fuze Ceremonies (see more on the ceremony here)

“I actually don’t remember how the idea of keeping the ceremony location secret came about,” Stacey tells us. “My dad had always joked that if Brian and I ever got married, we could do it in his back garden. By the time we got engaged, we thought, ‘That could actually work!’

But I had always loved the idea of having our ceremony in an old building, and after some searching, we found Inchcolm Abbey on a little island in the Firth of Forth. We fell in love with it, and knew we had to get married there.

“We only told our parents and the best man – even the bridesmaids and ushers didn’t know until about a week before. We were holding the reception at my parents’ house and everyone thought we were getting married there too. My uncle came over a few days before the wedding and saw boxes of stuff we were taking to the island. He was like, ‘Oh, I’ll take this down to the marquee for you.’ We had to let him do it – then my dad and Brian had to go down to the marquee and bring it all back!

“On the wedding morning, we sent out minibuses to pick everyone up, telling them parking would be a nightmare at my parents’, and when they got there we had vintage buses waiting to take them to the ceremony.

Our ushers gave out festival-style lanyards with information about the running order of the day, and we headed to Hawes Pier in South Queensferry to get the ferry to the island. I hid below deck, and could hear the party getting well and truly started!

“The secrecy made everyone so excited, and we were so lucky with the weather – it was absolutely stunning. Afterwards, guests told me they felt like they were on their holidays. We’d had to delay the wedding a few times because of Covid, but our day ended up being perfect when it finally arrived – well worth the wait!”

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