Today is our 28th wedding anniversary. We got married on 23 May 1992 at Dumbarton Castle. Elaine had lived in Oxhill Road, Dumbarton for years before going to Stirling Uni where we first met (actually we first met in the DH or Dunblane Hotel).
We got engaged in September 1990 when I proposed to Elaine in the Lake District and had moved into a 2nd floor flat together in Cowane Street, Stirling in 1991. Elaine was working for Stirling Womens Aid at the time and I was working in Alloa as a QS.
Neither of us were religious but we still wanted an historic place for the wedding. Someone knew the keeper of the castle if I remember correctly so it was perfect. If the weather was poor we would be wed in the governor’s house otherwise it was outside in the terraced garden, overlooking the Clyde.
May 1992 was a scorcher, but there were thunderstorms during the week leading up to the wedding. The day itself dawned breezy with hazy sunshine which was fine. The wedding photos show ourselves, both sets of parents ,Elaines gran and papa, bridesmaids and best man all looking magnificently windswept.
The entrance to the castle is up stone steps and through an archway.The guests had their photos taken at the foot of the steps and then walked up through the archway where a glass of bubbly awaited in the governors house.
The ceremony was held outside in a natural area surrounded by ancient stone walls/rock face. The breeze was causing amusement and at the altar dresses,kilts and veils were held down with trembling hands. Above us towered Dumbarton Castle and below was the Clyde: it was a perfect setting. Rev Ian Miller conducted the service impeccably and that was it, we were married!
I later found out Elaines lateness was not only due to tradition but also due to her dad. Sandy had their driver stop the car at a crossroads near the castle and told Elaine they could still turn back. Luckily Elaine said drive on!
We had the reception at the Cladhan Hotel (now the Abbotsford) and it was a lovely afternoon and evening. The first dance was hilarious as myself and Elaine were carefully trying not to stand on toes, then Scott and Diane joined in going at 100 mile an hour, zooming around us on the dancefloor. The first dance was “Could I have this dance (for the rest of my life)”.
I was summoned through to the lounge at one point and told by some senior members of the Watson clan that I’d better look after my new wife. Failure to do so would have unpleasant consequences. Then we all had a dram!
We left around midnight in a taxi and spent the night at the brand new Lodge on the Loch (on Loch Lomond). We even had a sauna in the suite and a great view onto the loch. We had a second night there before getting the sleeper to London then off to honeymoon in Egypt with a cruise on the Nile then a Red Sea safari.
And that was our wedding. The End.
PS I’d better get Elaine breakfast in bed today haha.