Dad jokes are great, but would you let your own father officiate your own wedding? 
That’s what David Patterson did when he married his beautiful bride Claire. In the first wedding since lockdown restrictions were lifted, 60 guests made their way to St. Helen’s Church, in Whitley Chapel, to exchange their vows - right in front of David’s dad, who is the local vicar. 
After the service, the reception took place in the Parish Hall, with the bar staffed by the area’s Young Farmers. 
It was a real act of community and family coming together – the ladies of the parish decorated the church beautifully, and bride Claire’s grandma sewed and embroidered the napkins for the tables.
The happy couple then went on to stay for a couple of nights at a holiday let in the Shire, spending time with family, before a night to themselves in Newton-by-the-Sea and their eventual return to their current home in Glasgow. 
Andrew Patterson, who married the couple, said: “I was very honoured. I didn’t expect to be asked to marry David and Claire, so you can’t take these things for granted.
“It was a huge privilege that they trusted me with the marriage and I was delighted to have it in our church. 
“We had to do a seating plan, but we were able to fit fifty people and it was very much a community event.
Unfortunately, some of the Patterson side of the family had to miss out on David and Claire’s big day. 
Some family members live in France and were not able to make it due to travel restrictions. Much of Claire’s family were able to travel though – as they live in Scotland.
Unlike many weddings which will be going ahead in the coming months, the Pattersons’ occurred on the day it was originally set for around two years ago.
Andrew said: “A lot of people have had to postpone or cancel their weddings, but we were able to go ahead with our original date – and for that, we feel very fortunate!”
As well as getting the date they had originally chosen, David and Claire were able to take advantage of restrictions lifting last month to have more than thirty people in the church. Because the attendance at weddings now depends on the size of the building, sixty of their closest friends and family were able to attend.
Andrew continued: “A lot of people said to me afterwards that it didn’t feel like a Covid event, it felt like a proper wedding.” 
He added: “They looked very beautiful and all of their friends were there.”

Who made the day special? 

The bridesmaids were : Elizabeth and Katherine Patterson, Abi Mitchell, Jade Mckeown and Noemie Kinniburgh.

The groomsmen were John Patterson, Jake Dixon, Rahul Rohit, and Danny Robertson.

The reception was in the beautiful Whitley Chapel Parish Hall, catered by Robinsons of Wingate, and Gentian Jones Davies , and served  by the brilliant Whitley Chapel YFC, who also ran the bar.

Photographers were Graham Dixon, Paul Vincent and Jurre Bosman.

The bride’s dress was supplied by Needle and thread.

The bride’s flowers were arranged by Katherine  the florist in Newcastle.