A GREAT-grandfather collapsed and died moments into his son’s Gretna Green wedding ceremony.
Victor Cummings, 67, died in the famous chapel just as his son, Robert Cummings, was preparing to wed his fiancée Susan.
A spokesman for the chapel said Mr Cummings had arrived at the ceremony very ill and had died of natural causes.
It is believed that Mr Cummings, who was born in Stockbridge, may have suffered a heart attack.
Rev Ray Williamson, a family friend who conducted Mr Cummings’ funeral on Thursday, said: “They had just sat down when the wedding was about to take place when he took a bad turn.
“Quite tragically, Susan’s bridal bouquet became a mourning wreath.”
Rev Williamson said the wedding, on May 25, did not go ahead after Mr Cummings collapsed.
“Everyone had just sat down and Victor collapsed – he died on the spot. The medics turned up but it was all over by the time they got there.”
Rev Williamson added: “Victor was one of the finest Christian gentlemen I have ever met, a man of balanced and honest approach.
“He had a spirit of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Mr Cummings is survived by his wife Margaret and children Reginald, Thomas, Robert, Margaret and Elizabeth.
He was also a grandfather of ten and had one great- grandchild.
Well known in Prestonpans, he was as an active member of the town’s community council, of which he was vice-chairman.
He was a long-time member of the Loyal Orange and Royal Black Institution and a Master Mason of Lodge Friendship 1712.
Around 400 people took part in Thursday’s procession through Prestonpans by the Loyal Orange Lodge and Royal Black Institution in his honour.
James Yule, chairman of Prestonpans Community Council, said: “Victor was quite a fit man so it was a real shock when I found out.
“I knew him before he got involved with the community council, as far as I know he was brought up in The Pans – I remember him when he was just a boy.
“He was a very private man, but he really worked hard, I think he must have been on the community council for many years.
“He was on various committees looking after the Christmas lights for the town, he was on the police board, the Coastal Regeneration Forum.
“This will be a sad loss for the community.”
Prestonpans councillor Willie Innes, who described news of Mr Cummings’ death as a tragedy, said: “Victor gave up a lot of his time and energy and he dedicated a great part of his life to the community. He was a selfless individual.”