Race to save wedding reception after marquee collapses

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THE showbiz wedding of a top Scots music producer who works with The Wanted and Take That was almost ruined when the marquee collapsed hours before the ceremony.

David Whitmey, who has also worked with the Saturdays and Sugababes, was due to get hitched to Dr Annie Lomas at a high society bash in East Lothian last Saturday.

The Edinburgh-born music guru had lavished tens of thousands of pounds on a giant marquee, top class food and entertainment for guests in the grounds of Tantallon Castle.

The 100ft by 40ft marquee collapsed as a result of high winds - with hours to go before  the reception
The 100ft by 40ft marquee collapsed as a result of high winds – with hours to go before the reception

 

Among the guests 200 guests due to be in the 100ft by 40ft marquee was The Wanted’s Jay McGuiness.

But just seven hours before the reception was due to start, horrified organisers discovered that freak winds had totally collapsed the structure.

The devastation was discovered just before 7am by events organiser Stuart Nichol.

Despite rain and wind, Stuart, 36, drafted in a team of local farmers who pulled off the near-miraculous feat of reconstructing the marquee in time for the 2pm start.

Not only did they have to rebuild the marquee but fresh linen and napkins had to be found – and a separate toilet block dismantled and rebuilt.

The happy couple's day went ahead as planned
The happy couple’s day went ahead as planned

 

Jo Nichol, 35, who runs the firm with her husband Stuart, said the collapse was a “freak of nature” and they could not believe their eyes on discovering the mayhem.

Jo said: “My husband went to check on the marquee at 6am and I got a phone call at 6.45am saying we need help.

“When I saw it with my own eyes, I just couldn’t believe it.

“We called all the local farmers we knew and our friends and family, the community came to our rescue and we pulled together and got it fixed.

“I couldn’t work out if I was on a film set or in real life, everything was happening so fast and people were everywhere.

“Although it was wet and windy, I didn’t think we were close to that. Something odd happened.

“By 11am the marquee was back up and running. The couple were over the moon.”

The marquee is designed to withstand gusts of up to 70mph and was protected by three huge trailers which they hired for the occasion.

David Hardie, 49, owner of Myreton Marquee hire, said it was “a very unpleasant surprise”.

Jay McGuinness of The Wanted was among the guests in the hastily rebuilt marquee
Jay McGuinness of The Wanted was among the guests in the hastily rebuilt marquee

 

He added: “The marquee got crushed, we drill in four pins every 10 feet and there are 8 pins in each corner so I can’t understand how it happened.

“We had another marquee a mile away and that wasn’t touched, just a few leafs on the roof.

“The weather forecast said a north east wind was coming with top speeds of 35mph, I‘ve seen that marquee withstand 70mph gusts and it survived.”

The reception, which followed the marriage ceremony at a nearby church, went ahead as planned.

One happy guest posted a picture of herself with McGuiness while others described the event as “fantastic”.

David, who also work as a musical director and writer, has toured with The Wanted.

David has also worked with Take That, the Sugababes and the Saturdays
David has also worked with Take That, the Sugababes and the Saturdays

 

The St. Andrew’s University graduate began playing keyboard and vocals on pop tours 10 years ago, getting his big break playing keyboard for Mika.

In the studio David has worked with KT Tunstall, 10cc and various hit internationals producers and writers.

The families of happy couple announced their engagement on the January 8 this year.

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