Maggie and John got married, third-date lucky, as soon as the second lockdown restrictions had eased and they received a rapturous response from well-wishers on Byres Road afterwards

Margaret Connor & John Forsyth

15th May 2021

Venue | Òran Mór, Glasgow
Photography | Lauren Stirling Photography

“John and I got engaged on a trip to the States in the autumn of 2019 after seven years together. We were a week into the holiday and on our first day in Washington DC. We sat down at the WWII Memorial pool when he popped the question and produced a gorgeous ring. I wasn’t expecting it at all. Of course, I said yes!

We secured a venue and set the date for September 2020 – and, yes, you can guess what came next. About two or three months before our date, we made the call to postpone until March 2021 because our venue didn’t know when it would reopen and there was still so much uncertainty about weddings going ahead, full stop.

Come December 2020, our venue was sadly still unable to operate. We’d had a difficult year, so at that point we decided to downsize to a micro-wedding with just our immediate family.

As soon as we visited Òran Mór, we knew it would be ideal for our revised plans. Co-ordinator Pauline Muir was so reassuring, and answered all our questions about planning a wedding during Covid. For the first time in months we felt excited about our wedding again!

We were poised to tie the knot in March 2021 last year, but the second lockdown put paid to that. You were only permitted to have two people at a wedding at that time to act as your witnesses, so we decided to postpone again – but by as little time as possible.

Our biggest test of nerves came with the announcement of an alcohol ban at indoor weddings – it seemed we weren’t even going to be able to raise a toast on our new date of 15th May. Thankfully, this rule changed before our day arrived. We were so glad we held out and didn’t alter our plans again. Third time lucky – we actually managed to get married!

Pauline was in touch with us regularly and nothing was a problem for her and her team in the build-up or on the day. Everything was put together exactly as we hoped and they managed everything with ease. As we said to Pauline at the time, the only good thing to come out of Covid was that we ended up having our wedding at Òran Mór!

We had a humanist ceremony led by David Kennedy from Independent Humanist Ceremonies. We wanted something really personal that would be relaxed and funny. David was brilliant and the ceremony was everything we wanted.

We had 15 guests, all family, for the full day. We decided to live stream the ceremony for all the extended family and friends that would have been there under normal circumstances, so they could still be part of the day in some way, so we had a big virtual guest list. I sent them all a ‘wedding supplies box’ to be opened on the day of the wedding with confetti, favours, order of service so they could feel as included as possible.

One of the most vivid memories of the day for me was the excitement I felt when I heard the music at the start of the ceremony and getting to the top of the gallery stairs and seeing John waiting.

The speeches were also lovely and stick in my mind. My nephew Daniel’s speech was impromptu, funny and moving, while best man Steven deleted his speech from his phone halfway through, so that brought a lot of laughs and a few minutes of panic on his part until he recovered it!

I found my dress unexpectedly. I was passing Sarah Louise Bridal on my way to another bridal appointment and spotted a dress in the window. I went in and they said they had 15 minutes before another appointment if I wanted to try it on, and as soon as I did I knew it was The One. I bought it right there. It had pockets which I was really excited about, but I sort of forgot about them on day and didn’t make much use of them.

John took the opportunity to buy his Arran Mist kilt outfit from MacGregor and MacDuff, as he’d been saying for years he would like one. The rest of the wedding party wore the same kilt but with a grey tweed waistcoat and jacket, and a dark sporran and shoes. We got a brilliant deal between the purchase and the hires.

Lauren Stirling was the only photographer we met with. We felt really at ease with her and her candid style matched what we wanted. On the day she was so helpful and kept things ticking over, setting up photos to get those natural shots, and she just blended in with everyone.

I also liked the fact that she has a second shooter, so they could cover us both getting ready in the morning and, even though it was a small wedding, having the two photographers there to see things from different angles was still such a good idea.

In the evening after our first dance, we walked around the west end for photos and the reaction we got from everyone we saw was amazing! The beer gardens were full having not long come out of lockdown with everyone cheering us as we walked by, people honking their car horns and a little girl walking with her dad ran over to give me a flower.

Lauren literally had us stopping traffic on Byres Road for photos. We were just laughing the whole time, and it was such a fun part of our day.”

Top tip: “Try to do as much in advance as possible. All those ‘last-minute’ things take longer than you think. I didn’t want to feel rushed in the week of the wedding, so I had our wedding party gifts and other homemade items all made up well in advance.”

Celebrant David Kennedy, Independent Humanist Ceremonies
Bride’s and bridesmaids’ dresses Sarah Louise Bridal
Hair and makeup Kay Felvus
Groomswear MacGregor and MacDuff
Flower girls’ dresses Wed2B
Cake Falkirk Cakes
Flowers Rose ‘n’ Thyme
Venue decor Make Believe Events
Stationery and favours Homemade
Wedding and engagement rings Beaverbrooks, Chisholm Hunter and Flinn and Steel
Wedding film and ceremony streaming Strangeworxx Productions (scroll onto see)
Transport Rennicks Wedding Cars

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