Borders pair tie knot on royal wedding day

Stuart Johnson with bride Stacey Dyer at Abbotsford.
Stuart Johnson with bride Stacey Dyer at Abbotsford.

Borders bride Stacey Dyer was a princess for the day as she and fiancé Stuart Johnson tied the knot at much the same time as the royal nuptials were happening in Windsor.

Some 600 guests packed St George’s Chapel to see Prince Harry marry Meghan Markle, with millions more watching worldwide, and 88 of the Johnsons’ friends and family were on hand to celebrate with their own happy couple as they exchanged vows at Abbotsford, near Melrose.

“It was a wonderful day,” Stuart, 35, told us. “Stacey looked beautiful. The weather really made it. We had everything planned for being outside, and the gardens at Abbotsford are really nice.

“Everyone said it was the best wedding they had been to. It was pretty much spot on”

The St Boswells couple had been planning their big day since financial adviser Stuart got down on one knee and proposed to Stacey, 26, a hydrotherapist at the village’s Greenside Veterinary Practice, on Christmas Eve 2016.

They learned they would be sharing the date back in February, when Kensington Palace announced that Harry and Meghan would also marry on May 19.

“We got all the usual jokes from people saying ‘I can’t make your wedding anymore. I’ve had a better offer,’” Stuart said. “One of our neighbours told us she couldn’t come because she was going to London for the royal wedding. I said ‘I have heard that before,’ then I realised she was serious!”

And while Stuart didn’t pay much heed to the other wedding, the newly titled Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s noon ceremony did set the tone for the bridal party.

“We got married at 2.30pm, so all the girls were sitting watching it while they were getting their make-up done,” Stuart said.

The couple enjoyed a fairy-tale day despite a far from perfect run-up after issues with another venue.

“We were originally supposed to be getting married at the Roxburghe Hotel near Kelso,” Stuart explained. “The whole thing was planned and paid for, invitations were out, then we got a call seven weeks ago saying it had been sold and the wedding was cancelled.”

Kelso wedding planning firm Get Knotted managed to scramble some other options at late notice, however.

“We had a meeting with them and they gave us some options for other venues that were available,” Stuart said.

“Abbotsford was one of them and, luckily, it all worked out really well.”

Royal wedding celebrations were also held throughout the Borders, including some in Selkirk and at Edgerston.