Wedding Bagpipes for All Saints Star

Wedding Bagpipes for All Saints Star


September 25, 1999

pages 13 & 14
by Leigh Reinhold
Pictures: Don Brice/Stuart Spence

Is it true there’s nothing worn under the kilt? Och aye, it’s all in perfect working order. And what a perfect wedding it was for Erik and Caitlin

You might have thought it was a scene from Braveheart when All Saints star Erik Thomson married his beautiful bride Caitlin McDougall in the misty hills of McLaren Vale, South Australia.

With the couple both laying claim to Scottish heritage, the stage was set for a real highland fling and celebration of Gaelic traditions – including Erik’s choice to wear a kilt (with nothing underneath!)

“As far as I was concerned ther was no alternative to wearing my kilt at the service. It had to be done,” says Erik, who was born in Scotland and lived there as a child.

Gathered in a shed by a creek on the McDougall family’s winery in McLaren Vale, 120 ‘hooting and hollering’ guests, including Erik’s All Saints co-stars Libby Tanner, Judith McGrath and Brian Vriends, awaited the arrival of the bride.

Caitlin, angelic in a Collette Dinnigan lace dress and burgundy red velvet overcoat, appeared at the top of a rise – a lone piper heralding her arrival.

“I was looking forward to hearing the pipes before we saw Caitlin appear,” Erik says. “The bagpipe made everyone look and listen, and it was magic.”

Misty rain created a halo for Caitlin, her attendants and her dog Teaser as they made their way towards the altar placed before an open fire inside the barn.

Guests sipped hot mulled wine to keep warm as Erik and Caitlin exchanged vows and simple rings they had designed themselves – hers decorated with tiny irises, the first flowers Erik bought her.

Erik and Caitlin then hopped on board a trailer full of hay bales and were tractor driven to the reception set up in a 150-year-old barn on an adjoining property.

In keeping with the medieval theme, the barn was transformed – wine barrels filled with water and floating candles lit the room, as flames roared in braziers and the open fire place. A harpist played while guests tucked into a meal of broth, pigeon and venison pie, bread and butter pudding and rivers of Pennys Hill (the family company) wine.

It was perfectly planned by the young couple who knew, when they met two years ago, they were made for each other, despite the problem that Erik lived in Sydney and Caitlin in Melbourne.

“We had six months of long distance romance. It made us realise that we wanted to be together,” says Erik, who convinced Caitlin to move to New Zealand with him last year when he missed out on a role in Blue Heelers.

In Auckland, Caitlin (a budding actor) and Erik cemented their relationship and Erik popped the question. But, while the answer was yes, they resolved not to tell anyone of their decision for a while.

“Thirty years ago, you didn’t really have a choice to get married, now you do,” Erik says. “We had to make sure about why we needed to get married. It all came down to the fact that it was the natural thing to do.”

Five months later, after they returned to Australia for Erik to take up his role as Dr Mitch Stevens in All Saints on the Seven network, and after another proposal, they spilt the beans and organised their nuptials.

“The theme evolved,” says Caitlin, whose knowledge of the South Australian winter told her not to expect sunshine for her big day.

While it was bleak when they sat up in their separate beds on the morning of the wedding, there was a vital clue about their union.

“I saw this huge double rainbow,” Caitlin says. “It was a sign, on the day. Another blessing for us.”

Leigh Reinhold

[Article first appeared cyberwise on Tara’s Xenaverse. Reproduced with permission. Thank you Tara for the article and the scans!
Thank you also to Annie for sending me a transcript of the article.
You gals are way cool! 🙂
Copyright held by the author and publication of the article.]