Sunny Dumfries wedding with adorable alpaca ring bearers and an emotional groom

Katie Powrie & Gavin Meechan

10th July 2021

Venue | Mabie House Hotel, Dumfries and Galloway
Photography | Fraser Craig Photography

A bride and groom pose with two alpacas on a lawn

“In 2016, I ticked the box to complete my teaching probation year anywhere in Scotland. I was sent to Dumfries, which was where I met Gavin through mutual friends.

We started dating in January 2017 and moved in together the following May. Gavin popped the question later that year whilst on holiday in Venice. We had only been together nine months, so it certainly wasn’t expected. He’d organised candles, music and roses, but I was still oblivious. Our favourite song, Caledonia, was playing as he asked me to be his wife. It was the best surprise I could’ve asked for.

We actually selected our band before we decided on a venue. I had seen Papa Shandy and the Drams play at a friend’s wedding and they were awesome. We had to have them.
When it came to choosing a venue, we both had similar taste and wanted a traditional Scottish country house to host our big day. We viewed three venues before deciding on Mabie House Hotel in Dumfries.

This family-run country house has great character and stunning grounds in the centre of Mabie Forest. Our first meeting with Phillipa, the wedding coordinator, was relaxed and I knew we would be in good hands. The staff were amazing. Special thanks must go to Sam who ensured our day ran seamlessly.

We booked our venue in 2019 for the wedding to be held in July 2021. We had hoped to hold it sooner but with so many of our friends arranging their weddings in 2020, we thought another year won’t hurt. We welcomed our beautiful baby boy Ruaridh in the interim, in July 2020.

Covid impacted our wedding, but we didn’t let it get in the way of having the best day with our closest friends and family. We had to cut our guestlist in half; a very hard thing to do. We ended up with 50 guests and, looking back, I wouldn’t change it as it felt more intimate and allowed us to spend more time with them.

We chose a humanist ceremony led by celebrant Sandy Geddes from Independent Humanist Ceremonies. I knew he would make our day special as soon as we’d met him. Our guests raved about how personal and relaxed the ceremony was. He has such a warm and friendly nature. He had us all laughing the full way through – in between Gavin’s tears!

Gavin’s best men Calum and Martyn pretended they had forgotten the rings. Our 50 guests were totally fooled as they both ran off back towards the house. They returned shortly with our ring bearers: alpacas Pearson and Rory from Velvet Hall Alpacas! There was a lot of laughter at that point.

The alpacas hung around for a few hours for photos and cuddles with our guests. They were the sweetest, most well-behaved boys. A real highlight of the day.

Our photographer Fraser Craig was amazing! I am forever grateful that he captured our day exactly as I remember it. We really didn’t want to spend much time posing for photos and Fraser made sure this was the case. I cried the first time we looked through the album; they were perfect. My favourite shot is definitely the photo of Gavin’s reaction as I walked down the aisle.

Gavin and I spent a lot of time figuring out our song choices. We thankfully have quite similar taste in music. I walked down the aisle to Can’t Help Falling in Love by Hearts and Colours. It was an emotional entrance and I think that’s what set Gavin off for the rest of the day! We then lowered the tone a little for our signing of the register music and played It’s the End of The World As We Know It by R.E.M which got some giggles.

The thing that surprised me most about the wedding? How relaxed we both felt and how much we genuinely enjoyed it. People often say you never truly enjoy your own parties but we had such a special day.

The only thing I might change about our wedding? My wedding dress. I adored how it looked, but it ended up being 30⁰C that day and it felt too hot and heavy.”


Celebrant Sandy Geddes, Independent Humanist Ceremonies
Bride’s dress Bijoux Bridal
Makeup 6ty Shades of Beauty
Hair Slate Hairdressing
Mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom outfits Anne Marie’s
Groomswear Anderson Kilts
Flowers Galloway Flowers
Venue decor The Wedding Room Dumfries
Engagement and wedding rings Chisholm Hunter
Reception band Papa Shandy and the Drams via Hireaband
Reception food The Pizza Wagon
Alpacas Velvet Hall Alpacas

A table setting, featuring a clear vase with gypsophila; A rustic wooden schedule of the day, decorated with flowersA rustic wooden and wire table planThe father of the bride sees her in her dress for the first timeA groom is emotional at the top of the aisleA bride and a father of the bride walk down the aisle; a bride and groom laugh as the bride walks down the aisleA bride and groom stand at the top of the aisle whilst a celebrant leads the ceremonyFive bridesmaids smile as the ceremony takes placeA bride and groom take part in a handfasting ceremony, led by a celebrantThe bride and guests look back down the aisle, where two llamas are being led towards the group by two groomsmenTwo groomsmen hold the leads of two llamas at the top of the aisleThe bride, groom and celebrant laugh as the groom puts a ring on the bride's fingerThe bride and groom kiss at the top of the aisleThe bride and groom walk back down the aisle while guests throw confettiA guest poses with a llamaA piper plays the couple out of the ceremonyA close up of a floral arrangement; a rustic cake decorated with gypsophilaA bride and groom hold hands and look at each other in a wooded areaA groom kisses a bride's face; bride and groom embrace under a treebride and groom walk through grounds, holding handsa bride and groom walk through grounds, holding hands and smilinga groom gives a bride a piggybacka bride and groom each hold a toddler's handa bride and groom pose with a toddlerthe groom gives a speech at the top table during the wedding speechesa bride and groom dancea bride and groom dance alongside guestsa pizza van parked on a lawna man works a pizza oven