A couple who spent 580 days working to get Alan Doyle to play at their Island wedding got their wish this weekend when the Newfoundland singer made a surprise appearance at their Charlottetown ceremony. 

Back in February 2018, Stewart Dowd and Dana McKinlay, longtime fans of Doyle, started tweeting him daily with the hashtag #AlanDoylePleasePlayOurWedding. The pair said Doyle’s music has served as the soundtrack to their life together, and having him sing at their wedding would be the ultimate gift. 

In March, a spokesperson for Doyle told CBC the singer was aware of the campaign, but couldn’t commit — that a potential appearance would depend on scheduling. But the singer had been planning for months to attend, and would surprise them just minutes after they exchanged their vows. 

“I heard the strumming of the guitar, and all of a sudden I looked over and I just like, my eyes are fooling me,” said McKinlay

‘An absolutely unbelievable moment’

When Stewart Dowd proposed to Dana McKinlay, Alan Doyle was playing on a speaker. (Submitted by Stewart Dowd and Dana McKinlay)

“That was an absolutely unbelievable moment,” said Dowd. “I was actually the last person in the entire place to notice that he was there, and I actually had someone go, ‘Stewart, turn around’, and then Alan Doyle was there. I just absolutely lost it. It was unbelievable.”

Doyle played a song called Take Us Home — one he’d performed a year before at a concert in Calgary, where the couple lives. He dedicated that performance to the couple who, at the time, had just begun tweeting him daily.

It’s the same song McKinlay had walked down the aisle to just a few minutes prior to Doyle’s surprise appearance at the wedding. 

Doyle didn’t just treat the couple to a song, he brought a brand new, signed guitar as a wedding gift. The couple said they plan to put it on display in their home knowing the only song ever played on it was their wedding song performed by Doyle.  

Doyle declined to be interviewed on his three-hour trip to Charlottetown, but posted several tweets to congratulate the couple, calling it “a lovely day.”

The couple said they offered to cover the costs associated with the trip, but Doyle wouldn’t hear of it. 

“He said ‘absolutely not, I will not let them, this is something I want to do for them.’ He refused to even hear another word about it,” said McKinlay. 

‘Full of love’

They said it’s hard to put into words just how much his appearance means to them. 

“We’re so overwhelmed that someone would take that much time to do something for perfect strangers, and just make such an amazing day just so perfect,” said Dowd. 

“I don’t think I could say anything to him that would convey what we’re feeling right now, we’re just so overwhelmed, we’re so lucky, and we’re so full of love right now it’s unbelievable.” 

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