Aussies cross oceans and 200 years to ‘wed’ in church of ancestors
Pair so overwhelmed by the hospitality of strangers they now consider Scotland their second home
An Australian couple who flew to the other side of the world to have their marriage blessed in Perthshire say they were “overwhelmed” by the Scottish hospitality.
Paul and Kate Wright picked Inchture for their ceremony as the groom’s ancestors were married there in the 18th Century.
The pair had hoped to be legally married in Scotland, where the bride was born, but decided the process would be too complicated as they are not UK citizens.
Instead they had a private civil service in their hometown in Queensland in July, before travelling almost 10,000 miles to mark the occasion at Inchture Church on Wednesday.
They were blessed by Reverend Marjory MacLean in front of members of the local congregation after church beadle Ian Lowden gave Kate away, more than 30 years after walking his own daughter down the same aisle.
Paul said the pair regarded Scotland as their second home after the special day. “Marjory was magnificent and the whole thing was like a proper ceremony,” he said. “I didn’t give Kate
We felt as if we were among family, although we had never met them before. PAUL WRIGHT
her ring until the ceremony in Inchture because to us that was the real wedding.
“The congregation put on cake and champagne and they even gave us presents. It was quite extraordinary.
“We felt as if we were among family, although we had never met them before. It showed how great Scottish hospitality is, it was overwhelming.”
The blessing took place more than 200 years after Paul’s great, great, great, great grandparents were married in the same place in 1763. Although the church has since been rebuilt, it stands on the same site where the 18th Century Wright, from Dundee, and his bride, from Inchture, were married.
Paul said: “We were determined we wanted it to be Inchture because of my ancestors.
“I had been to Scotland more than 40 years ago and Kate was born in Troon but left Scotland when she was 12 and had never been back.
“Now it holds a special place in our hearts, it is like a second home to us.”
Although civil weddings are occasionally blessed in the church, Reverend MacLean said this ceremony was special due to the historical connection. “We were very happy to help and we wanted it to be as much like a real wedding as possible,” she said.
“I thought it would be nice to have some of the elders attend so the church wasn’t empty and it just sort of grew from there. Churches often face criticism so it’s nice to show how inclusive and welcoming we are.”
The newlyweds have been touring Scotland for their honeymoon, visiting Glamis Castle before heading north to Inverness. They now plan to visit Troon to meet old friends of Kate’s.
New friends for Australian couple Kate and Paul Wright at the marriage blessing at Inchture.