American newlyweds fly 4,000 miles for unique ceremony in Glasgow fire station

Firefighters in Glasgow have rolled out the red carpet for two American colleagues to make their dream of getting married in a fire station in Scotland a reality.

Amanda Brooke Monroe, 38, and James Matthew Ownbey, 42, from Brunswick in the state of Georgia met in 2020 met when they started working together at Glynn County Fire Department.

The pair wanted to plan a unique wedding that incorporated their love for the job with Amanda’s Scottish ancestral history and contacted the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) with their unique proposal.

SFRS staff stepped in and the happy couple exchanged their vows at Calton Community Fire Station in Glasgow on Monday, 5 February, almost 4,000 miles from home.

Area Commander David Murdoch, who oversees SFRS operations in the City of Glasgow as Local Senior Officer, provided a musical regale for the occasion by piping the bride down the aisle as the on-duty White Watch stood guard.

James, a Battalion Chief back home in Georgia, said: “The day was perfect. It was better than what anyone could have imagined.

“We’re still surprised with how amazing it all turned out.

“Firefighters have a bond regardless of the department they work for.

“However what the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has done for us today is above and beyond.”

Ahead of flying to Scotland on Friday, the pair completed the paperwork for their marriage to be legally registered back home in Brunswick at the exact same time they their exchanged vows in Glasgow.

Earlier on Monday, the newlyweds received a tour of the SFRS National Training Centre in Cambuslang before they were driven to Glasgow’s east end today for the ceremony.

Group Commander Garry Marshall has organised the event for Amanda and James. He said: “It was an honour to oversee this ceremony for our fellow firefighters and make their day as memorable as possible. We wish them all the happiness in the world.”

Amanda, a Firefighter Advance EMT who wore her mum’s wedding dress for the occasion, added: “It meant everything to us to be able to share this moment with our colleagues in Glasgow.

“We can’t thank White Watch at Calton, Group Commander Garry Marshall and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service enough.

“It was something that was dear to both of our hearts, it wouldn’t have been possible without our fire family here in Scotland, and it just really turned out to be a wonderful experience.”