White wedding at St Paul’s for Dalkeith’s Rhian


A SCOTS daughter of a publican is over the moon after hearing she will be getting married at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Rhian Griffiths, who grew up helping her parents run humble pubs in Dalkeith, Midlothian, will tie the knot in February next year at the world-famous cathedral.

Only a select few people are eligible to marry in St Paul’s, which famously hosted Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ 1981 wedding, each year.


Rhian, head of production at a TV and film company, and husband-to-be James McCosker-Smith qualify as James’ father was given an OBE for services to charity.

In order for the couple to have their wedding in the church they had to pass an arduous vetting process, with the Boris Johnson’s office giving the final seal of approval.

She said: “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, it will be amazing. It’s something you tell your children and grandchildren about. ”

Career-focused Rhian, 40, said she would never have dreamed of a white wedding before meeting James: “I’m probably quite unconventional, it’s probably quite mad that I’m doing something the opposite of what I would do.

“I thought I would never get married. Meeting James has been a U-turn.”

She met James, 39, a few years ago and despite their first date being “the worst date I’ve ever been on,” with him turning up late and taking her to a series of terrible nightspots they soon moved in together.

While there was no “magic proposal,” she said: “When you meet someone you just know it’s right.”

Her parents ran the Lothian Arms in Dalkeith and later the working-man’s Wheat Sheaf pub, but were determined Rhian would go to a prestigious fee-paying school in Edinburgh.

Rhian, who now lives in London, said: “My parents worked really really hard and sent me and my sister to St Margaret’s School in Edinburgh.

“They said we wanted you guys to not have to work as long as we did.”

She said her parents John and Wilma were stunned at the news she would be married in the Christopher Wren masterpiece: “My parents couldn’t believe it. They are quite low key.

“When my mum’s friend saw the ‘save the day card’ she thought it was a joke!”

She said her memories of weddings growing up in Dalkieth amounted to taking part in a tradition of throwing pennies at at the bride for good luck.

She said: “We would wait for the bride to come out and we would throw pennies at them.”

As well those involved in running St Paul’s only those who have received honours including the Order of the British Empire, holders of the British Empire Medal, members of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor and their children. 

James’ father Michael was given an OBE for services to charity after he was CEO of charities including disability charity Liveability.  

But the couple also had to pass a vigorous vetting process to be able to marry in the cathedral: “The qualification process was very complex and lasted around a year. Boris Johnston had to give the final seal of approval.

“At one stage we were asked to take part in an interview with the Canon.

“It was quite an imposing room with a large table, and James wasn’t very good in the interview at all – he spent 25 minutes talking and still hadn’t answered one of the questions, and I was trying to kick him under the table!”

She continued: “We found out that our application had been accepted in November last year. I’ve been busy at work but I am starting to get geared up about it now.

“St Paul’s only do the occasional wedding and so it is a real privilege to get married there – I can’t wait.”

Around 80 people will attend the ceremony on 1 February, which will take place in the OBE chapel.