This beautiful Brig O’Doon wedding featured a surprise ABBA medley and choreographed first dance

Katie Braithwaite & David McCabe

29th July 2022

Venue | Brig O’Doon, Ayrshire
Photography | Tom Cairns Photography

“We were together for 16 months before David proposed. He said ‘when you know, you know’. When David proposed, he booked an appointment the next day to choose my engagement ring together in Stirling. He proposed in our house with 50 red helium balloons, that all had pictures of our lives together on the strings. He had fairy lights and rose petals around the living room and was waiting for me (or I should say us, as I was with our puppy Nala who was five-months old at the time) to come home.

When we got engaged David had booked for us to stay in Stirling for a night away, however, due to the pandemic it got cancelled. I was also to meet with my best friend and go out for dinner – to keep me out of the house while he set up the engagement. But we weren’t allowed to go out so we had to arrange to sit in the garden instead – her instructions were to keep me occupied and let him know when I was coming home!

David asked my dad’s permission also before proposing, which he knew was important to me. We had wanted to get married in July 2021, but restrictions were still likely to be in place so booked for the following year.

We booked our wedding venue a month after we got engaged. We had taken brochures for eight places and visited two before finding the perfect venue. We chose Brig O’ Doon in Ayr and Alloway Parish Church. Brig O’ Doon was a beautiful, traditional venue but also grand and spectacular inside. Photographs were so important to us, and we wanted to make sure we had places inside if the weather wasn’t good.

My papa was also a great Burns’ man and we had celebrated his 80th birthday there – he passed 18 months before the wedding, and it would’ve been his 90th birthday the week we got married.

We had a religious ceremony as it was important to us to share our vows in church and we had 100 people throughout the day and an additional 20 evening guests.

Our wedding day developed with the planning, but it was important to us to capture our personalities and incorporate family. My ‘somethings’ included my mum’s veil, my papa’s bowling pin, a sixpence from the year my grandparents got married (to emulate their over 60 year success) and a bracelet gifted from my aunts (my godmothers). Then our bagpiper was my little cousin, our friends sang at the wedding and our best men and maid of honour delivered speeches.

Every decision we made as a couple. We got great help from my mum, and she executed lots of the DIY. We incorporated as many personal touches as we could and always brought it back to our relationship.

We had a personalised sign and post-box from Confetti Print. The ice cream wafers had our names on them, and we had a laser wooden cake topper from Etsy. Our centrepieces had photographs from key moments in our lives – for example, when we got our dog – Nala. The table numbers were also key dates from our relationship. The minister included personalised words in our ceremony from our meetings and the five speeches were all heartfelt.

A big surprise was when my friends from amateur dramatics performed an ABBA/Mamma Mia medley after the speeches. My friend Fraser put it together and six friends performed. My aunt made our guest book with gorgeous scrap book pieces, photographs, and papers – it made the book more personal.

We really wanted our images to capture the day, be real and include the special moments. Tommy Cairns had a lovely real style, that included a lot of depth and incorporated the small details.

David says his favourite photo is of the flying lift during our first dance. I love our first kiss as we walked back down the aisle, the one of David arriving at the church and the one in the car arriving with my dad. There are so many I love!

I was lucky that I had time off before the wedding because I work in education so I could arrange things more easily. David made a spreadsheet, and we marked off costs, when we’d paid things and when things were due. We checked it regularly and it really helped having it all in one place. We also made a wedding website, and the RSVPs and menu choices came in virtually, which helped. Having a menu choice though was tricky because we did have to manipulate the data to get it in a format to send to the venue

On the morning of the wedding my side of the party all arrived at my parents’ house to get ready. I helped my flower girl get ready and it was a really cute moment to share together. We were super organised and on time, until right before the dress reveal – my mum was the only one who could put me in the dress because it was a surprise, and it caused a bit of a bottleneck. David’s party got ready at his mum’s and their stress was getting stuck in traffic.

The nerves kicked in when I got out the car at the church though. We took pictures just the two of us straight after the ceremony, so it was a lovely chance to calm again and take everything in.

The speeches were perfectly timed, emotional, funny, and showed all the amazing personalities from everyone. My dad, John, went first and gave a beautiful, clear speech – he nearly hadn’t given it because he had been so unwell following cancer treatment over the past year. But in true form, he was funny and strong, and everyone said how amazing he was.

David gave his speech next, and he got lots of laughs, thanked everyone and started off my happy tears. Our maid of honour, Gemma, untraditionally went next, and delivered a beautiful poem. We had two best men: Robert and Stuart. Robert delivered a heartfelt speech and really showed why he loves us both and Stuart rounded off the speeches with lots of laughs.

Los Perros were our live band and people danced straight away. We invited everyone up after our first dance, and the father-daughter dance. Then we had a DIY sweetie table, the buffet – which included some of all the cakes; pork pie, cheese and sponge cakes!

Our guests were so complimentary about the day and have asked for us to do it again! They loved that we spent so much time with them, and they got the chance to talk and dance with us.

Our first dance was my highlight – we had fun and the reaction from our guests was fantastic. It created such a buzz and it kick started the dancing!”

Top tip: “Write a list and do it a little bit a time. And make sure you only do want you both want. I’m so glad that we planned it all together.”

Venue Brig O’Doon
Photography Tom Cairns Photography
Bride’s dress Maggie Sottero via Opus Couture
Bride’s shoes Badgley Mischka via Opus Couture
Bride’s veil and headpiece Veil from mum and headpiece from Eliza Loves
Bridesmaid dresses David’s Bridal
Flower girl dress David’s Bridal
Mother of the bride outfit Moda Dee and The Occasion Accessory Boutique
Mother of the groom outfit Elegance Boutique of Helensburgh
Alterations Elizabeth Wallace Bridal
Makeup IDoMakeUp by Geo Kane
Nails Sakura Nails
Engagement and wedding rings Ian Gallacher
Groomswear Kilts4U
Neil McNaught at Alloway Parish Church
Cake The Magical Cake Company
Pork pie and cheese cake
Higginsons of Grange
Flowers Thistle Du
Stationery DIY using pieces from Pure Invitation
Favours Blue wooden place names from Confetti print and a DIY sweetie table
Venue decor The Balloon and Party People
Fairy light canopy Make Believe Events
Ceremony music Stephen Bradley – Organist
Reception band Los Perros
Dance lessons Mairi Me Dance
Ice cream cart Renaldo’s Ice Cream Parlour
Filmmaker KLS Wedding Films
Bride’s transport Wedding Cars Ayrshire
Groom’s transport
Bagpiper Harrison Bishop
Wedding website
Other decor Confetti Print
Dress cleaning The Dress Cleaning Company