Sunshine and cigars at this same-sex outdoor barn wedding near Glasgow

Martin Rennie & Jamie Sroka

15th August 2020

Venue | The Gathering, near Glasgow
Photography | Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

two newlywed grooms wearing Highlandwear smiling outdoors at The Gathering standing next to red carriage

“Jamie and I met on a dating site, chatted for a few weeks, then decided to have our first date. The day coincided with The Scottish Wedding Show (I work for grooms’ outfitter Remus Uomo which had a stand at the event) and my late gran’s 90th birthday bash. It had been a long day and I was a teeny bit drunk by the time the evening came! Clearly not enough to affect things, because everything worked out and February 2021 marked five years as a couple.

We were together for 2.5 years before we got engaged. It was Jamie’s birthday, so we decided to go on a camping trip to Mull, despite us not owning a tent or having a clue about camping! While he made square sausage on the camping stove, beside this beautiful wee burn and bridge, I got down on one knee (in the rain) and asked him to marry me.

We knew we wanted to get married close to Glasgow and do it outside – regardless of the weather. When we discovered The Gathering on the outskirts of the city, we were sold. The venue has a big hall set up like a Scottish medieval banquet which chimed perfectly with our vision.

The pandemic gave us (like the rest of the world) plenty of stress and anxiety! 15th August marked two years since we got engaged, so we were keen to go ahead on that date if we could. After an anxious summer waiting to see if restrictions would ease, we hoped that we might be able to have at least half our guests, but unfortunately that wasn’t to be. In the end, we had 20 people, all outside at our original venue.

All our suppliers were amazing. I couldn’t have asked for more from them during such a difficult time. In particular, our venue did everything possible to accommodate us – they even built a bar outside. Fingers crossed we can return to The Gathering for our reception in May when we are hoping to have 120 guests…

I’m lucky that my store showcases at The Scottish Wedding Show. It helped us find our venue, celebrant and kilts. I picked the tartan for the latter from MacGregor and MacDuff while working there one weekend. Jamie bought me beautiful brogues from Grenson to finish our outfits off, and, in turn, I bought him Doc Martens brogues. We both had my late father’s pocket watches to wear on the day as well.

Our celebrant Barbara Campbell really made the ceremony about us. She talked about our relationship and described us as two whiskies which she joined together in the quaich. It was personal, funny and many guests commented it was the best they’ve heard. We streamed the ceremony live on Facebook to around 100 guests that should have been there, meaning they didn’t miss out entirely. We also incorporated a handfasting. The two tartan ribbons we have are one of my favourite keepsakes from the wedding.

We are extremely lucky to count photographer Tommy Ga-Ken Wan as one of our best friends. He truly is an amazing talent and we love every frame he took. We laugh every time we look at the photo of us all lined up, trying to smoke or light a cigar! It’s staged and candid at the same time.

Celebrant Barbara Campbell, Marriage Scotland
Groomswear MacGregor and MacDuff
Bridesmaids’ dresses River Island
Cake Homemade by a friend
Stationery Love Weddings (no longer in business)
Wedding rings Chisholm Hunter
Piper Pipers4Weddings
Entertainment Drams Ceilidh Band
Catering Nosh

groom getting ready on wedding morning wearing tartan fly plaid being helped by male guestsame sex grooms wedding on wedding morning at The Gatheringsilver thistle badge on tartan fly plaid by MacGregor and MacDufftwo bridesmaids wearing white off-shoulder dresses and floral crowns at The Gatheringtwo bridesmaids wearing white off-shoulder dresses and floral crowns at The Gathering with bagpipersame sex wedding ceremony groom walking with his mum on wedding dayoutdoor same sex wedding ceremony under wooden canopy at The Gatheringtwo grooms' hands performing hand fasting ceremony with tartan ribbontwo grooms' hands completed hand fasting ceremony with tartan ribbonemotional groom during same sex wedding ceremony at The Gatheringtwo newlywed grooms kissing at outdoor wedding ceremony at the Gatheringtwo newlywed grooms wearing kilts at same sex outdoor wedding at the Gatheringtwo newlywed grooms wearing Highlandwear smiling outdoors at The Gatheringtwo newlywed grooms wearing Highlandwear smiling outdoors at The Gathering and naked Mr and Mr sponge wedding caketwo grooms cutting wedding cake with blue skies outdoors at The Gatheringone groom forcing icing from wedding cake on new husband's face outdoors at The Gatheringtwo grooms seated at table outside the Gathering laughing and drinking champagnegroom dancing Gay Gordon ceilidh dance with female guest outside The Gatheringnewlywed grooms posing seated at The Gathering signtwo grooms seated for dinner at illuminated top table at The Gathering with swords and flagsgroom showing pocket watch to other male guest at outdoors same-sex wedding at the Gatheringwedding guests posing with arms in air at same sex wedding outdoors at The Gatheringtwo bridesmaids smiling and wearing white off-shoulder dresses seated outdoors at The Gatheringgrooms and wedding guests lined up smoking cigars outside at The Gatheringtwo grooms hugging and kissing outdoors after their wedding