'An afternoon tea turned into our surprise wedding'

By Angie Brown
BBC Scotland News

  • Published
Wedding ceremony
Image caption,
The ceremony was the first wedding ever at the brewery

When Amy Lawson and Darren Wood's wedding was postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic they organised an afternoon tea to mark the original matrimonial date.

But just days beforehand the groom's granddad died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism and they decided they did not want to wait any longer to tie the knot.

However, they did not want to put pressure on their mothers to help arrange their big day at such short notice so they kept it a secret.

The couple, who met at school in Penicuik in Midlothian but got together 10 years ago, said they had several sleepless nights agonising over whether their parents would be upset at the surprise on Saturday.

Image caption,
Amy and Darren were worried about how their mothers would react to the surprise

Darren, 33, who lives in London with Amy, said: "We were very nervous for several nights in the lead up to it thinking about all the scenarios about what could happen.

"We have loving mothers but they are both crazy so we were very worried about how they would react."

The Thames Water contract manager added: "We were heartbroken when we had to put our wedding back a year and then when my grandad died we thought why are we waiting any longer, we hadn't seen our families for six months, and who knows what would happen next year so lets get married now."

The pair had chosen an outdoor area at St Mary's Loch in the Scottish Borders, where Amy's grandmother's ashes are scattered, to have the family afternoon tea.

However, when they did a recce they discovered it was overrun with people and motorbikes and so Amy's mother, Gillian Taylor, said they could hold the family "picnic" in her garden in Symington, unaware that was in Lanarkshire - three miles outside of the Scottish Borders where the couple had posted their wedding licence.

Image caption,
The surprised guests were "shocked but delighted"

Amy, a food and drinks sales rep, said they were in a panic about where they could hold the wedding as their humanist had to perform the ceremony in the Scottish Borders.

They remembered they had bought some beer from a local brewer at Broughton Brewery and asked the owner if they could hold it there.

She said: "We were over the moon and relieved when he said yes and we couldn't believe we were actually going to be married after all.

"Then it hit us what a dangerous game we were playing with our mums. We became very worried especially when my mum phoned a few days beforehand and said how lucky it was that our wedding wasn't on Saturday because her roots were terrible as she hadn't been able to get an appointment at the hairdressers.

"Then my brother, Andrew, who is our best man, showed me the jeans and t-shirt with a tiger on the front that he was going to wear to our afternoon tea and I was mortified but couldn't say anything."

Wedding day nerves

Amy said it was "nerve wracking" in moments before everyone could be told.

"When we explained what was happening to everyone there was just complete shock and lots of tears - but thankfully happy ones.

"While it wasn't what we originally planned, it turned out to be an amazing day from start to finish - and we couldn't have asked for any more as everyone was so relaxed as they didn't know what was happening."

Amy's mother Gillian Taylor, 55, from Symington, said: "I woke up today thinking I was having an afternoon tea with family.

"I was completely shocked but so delighted. It was a perfect surprise."

Darren's mother, Susan Wood, 55, from Penicuik, said: "We were shocked but it's turned into the perfect day."

There were 19 guests at their wedding at Broughton Brewery on Saturday.

David McGowan, owner of Broughton Brewery, said despite only having a few days' notice he managed to personalise bottles of beer for the wedding party.

He said: "I was surprised and delighted when they called and honoured that someone would choose to share their important day with our brewery.

"We have never had a wedding here in the brewery. The brewery has a romantic history and this is a lovely romantic story, so it's great they have chosen to have their big day here."

The original wedding at the National Mining Museum Scotland in Dalkeith in Midlothian for 120 guests will be held now as a big party on 14 August 2021.

Amy's dress is still stuck in Madrid where she bought it due to the lockdown so she will wear it at their event next year.

Their honeymoon had been planned for South America but now they plan to go to the Lake District.

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