THOUSANDS of couples across Scotland have been planning their dream wedding for years, only to have their big day cancelled or postponed.

Weddings were banned in March in a Scottish Government effort to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Now restrictions have been lifted, couples are able to have a maximum of 20 guests at their wedding, including third-party suppliers such as photographers.

According to a survey by wedding website Hitched, 71% of couples due to marry this year have postponed their wedding.

Today, we reveal the stories of the couples who had to delay their dream and the suppliers who lost business at the height of the pandemic.

A CARDONALD couple have decided to give up on planning their dream day and are instead eloping to Gretna Green with their nearest and dearest.

Catriona McQueen and Jo Dugan, both 28, were originally supposed to be getting married in Glasgow’s opulent 29 in Royal Exchange Square last December. The couple weren’t able to go ahead as Jo was ill. The big day was pushed back to December this year, but because the venue was moving weddings to another venue nearby, the couple decided to cancel it.

READ MOREWedding stories: Carole Smillie married us at our venue's first lockdown nuptials

Catriona said: “We’re not spending all of that money for a wedding we don’t want. We wanted to get married at 29 and that clearly wasn’t going to happen. We weren’t going to get live music or any of the guests we wanted. We decided between us that we were going to just disappear.”

Catriona and Jo then planned to elope, just the two of them. They booked to go to Gretna Green to marry and then go away on a honeymoon where they were planning to announce they had been to Gretna to get married.

Catriona said: “Nobody knew, it was a complete secret. We had been prepping our families, asking them how they would feel if we went away.”

She added: “Jo asked for something sentimental from her parents to have on the day, should we elope. She got quite emotional and asked if we could invite our parents.”

READ MORE: Wedding stories: Carole Smillie married us at our venue's first lockdown nuptials

Glasgow Times:

Now, the couple is planning on having just immediate family at the wedding, with a meal at the hotel they are staying at after the ceremony. They were hoping to go on a honeymoon to Gran Canaria but they have put those plans on hold due to restrictions on travel. Catriona and Jo are planning a Scottish honeymoon later in the year.

The couple met on the dating app Tinder in November 2015. Catriona said: “I was living on the Isle of Bute and Jo was in Northern Ireland. Our radius was set to max. We matched by pure chance.

“I suggested the first date in Glasgow which lasted for four days. After that, she moved to France to work for a season. She decided she couldn’t come back and we split up for a while.

“I texted her one day saying I missed her. So she decided to come back to Scotland to be with me. We stayed on the Isle of Bute for a while and then we moved to Glasgow.”

Catriona had an elaborate, surprise proposal planned. She said: “Jo was on a course in Edinburgh, so I went through and put up a tent. I had bought a ring because she had been hinting at it.

“We hadn’t been together for that long, so people were shocked. As soon as she moved to Scotland, we knew we were going to be together.”

But Catriona’s plans were foiled when she found out Jo had been logged into her Amazon account.

Catriona said: “I didn’t like the ring box because it was white, so I ordered a black one online. She’d seen this black ring box. She didn’t tell me but when she got home I had packed a bag for her and told her we were going away.

“I took her to this tent I’d pitched and proposed to her and that’s when she told me she knew I was going to do it!”

Catriona and Jo are now looking forward to their new wedding arrangements and will hopefully be holding a reception next year with all of their family and friends.

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