INVERURIE couple Anita and Bill Allan celebrated their golden wedding by taking a trip down memory lane to the venue that hosted their marriage celebrations in 1963.
They returned to Aberdeen’s historic Thistle Caledonian hotel where they had their reception 50 years ago the same venue which also played host to their silver wedding anniversary in 1988.
Mr and Mrs Allan, from Inverurie, say they have always had a great fondness for the city centre hotel on Union Terrace, which celebrated its own 120th anniversary earlier this year. The couple were joined by family and friends to toast the happy occasion, and were delighted to find the venue still had the same Victorian charm as it did 50 years ago.
“It’s hard to believe that 50 years have passed since we were married, it just feels like yesterday,” said Mrs Allan. “We didn’t have to think twice about holding such a special anniversary anywhere other than the Caledonian and we felt it was very important to hold it somewhere with such great memories.
“Our original wedding ceremony took place at Ruthrieston South Church in Aberdeen and I walked down the aisle to ‘Aire from Handel’s Water Music’ not the traditional ‘Here comes the Bride’. The staff at the hotel were really helpful and even arranged for the original wedding party to enter the room to the same music, transporting us all back to 1963 in an instant.
“On our wedding day, I had two bridesmaids and my husband’s brother was best man and to have them all together again, we could not help but ask the question ‘where have the 50 years gone?’
“There is no magic formula to a long and happy marriage, and we are extremely privileged that we still feel just as in love as we did 50 years ago. We felt a real sense of nostalgia, and even managed to have the celebration at exactly the same time of day as our wedding so there was a real sense of past and present.”
Before Anita and Bill retired, they lived and worked in London. They then returned to Aberdeenshire three years ago, seeking a quieter life in Scotland. Before retiring, Mr Allan was an accountant Anita was an NHS finance manager.