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

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - EMMA CRICH­TON ecrich­ton@the­

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.

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