Sunday, 20 January 2019

Melissa and Paul's Humanist Wedding at Melville Castle

Paul and Melissa's wedding was full of love and laughter, which makes this 'pre-wedding' shot of Melissa and her dad all the more poignant: Rose and Alastair Burns Murdoch really do know how to capture those all-important moments!


Melissa and Paul put a lot of thought into their ceremony, and it really paid off, as they told me when they sent me these lovely photos.


"Prior to the Wedding so many people advised us to take a step back and take it all in on the day because it goes by in a flash and we honestly can’t believe how true that was. We wish we could do it all over again.



Thinking back over everything now, all of the planning and hard work that we put into achieving our dream wedding was so worth it


It went without a hitch and everyone had the most amazing day ever, which you’ll agree is abundantly clear from our photos and video; we all spent most of the day laughing!




We are absolutely loving married life, we are still getting used to calling each other Husband and Wife. When I got my driver's licence back with my married name it was the nicest feeling, somehow making it feel ‘real’.


We had the best Honeymoon(s). Paris was a dream come true and sipping champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower truly made us feel like we were on top of the world!! Our time in the North of Scotland was so relaxing and brought us back down to Earth after all of the excitement!! 



Every single one of our guests commented on how much they loved our ceremony, how personal and emotional it was - there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!! Everyone agreed that you were fabulous!  



The words, poems and moments in our ceremony and the vows we made to each other were so special to us and we will reflect on them time and time again throughout our married life. Thank you for helping us bring our thoughts and ideas to life.


I have to say we will never be able to thank you enough for your advice and guidance throughout the whole process! It’s not every day you get married, therefore we really didn’t know where to start. 


You gave us all of the tools we needed and the freedom to design a ceremony that was in keeping with ‘us’ as a couple, which was simply invaluable. 



Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your words of encouragement and wisdom and also your true professionalism from our very first meeting. 



Much love,

Mr and Mrs Mitchell" 

Thank you so much, Melissa and Paul - letters like this mean the world to me, and I'm just so pleased to have helped you create the ceremony of your dreams: never forget your promises, and don't lose touch! Much love from me to you and of course to Rose and Alastair Burns Murdoch for these great shots!

Friday, 18 January 2019

Barbara and Michael's Humanist Wedding at The Caves


Do you know the song, 'The Book of Love'? Peter Gabriel's version is here* and the lyrics were an important inspiration to Michael and Barbara when they created their ceremony in far-off Chicago.



The book of love is long and boring
And written very long ago
It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we're all too young to know



They chose to tell their ten-year story through a number of books: Book One was entitled, 'Boy Meets Girl and All Those Clich├ęs'but before I go into that, it's worth talking about our journey to their big day. 


When they first got in touch, in December 2017, Barbara wrote,

We are both American, currently living in Chicago, so we'll have to do most of our communicating via emails and Skype. If that sounds odd (why are two Americans who aren't even in Edinburgh, getting married in Edinburgh?!), you aren't alone in those queries- a few of my family members are asking the same thing! ;) 

The background is that we came to Edinburgh to do a Master's last year (we left at the end of August, sadly) and just fell in love with both the city and all of magical Scotland so much that we wanted to get married there and share the places we grew to love so much with all of our family and friends. 

Keep in mind we got engaged in April and just now finally booked this about two weeks ago....so it was a big decision we mulled over long and hard. But ultimately, Scotland was in our hearts and we are really excited about getting married there. Now we just need to find the right person to help us do it! :) 


So we Skyped, and we got on, and after just less than a year, we all got together again on Thanksgiving Day in the middle of rainy November, at one of my favourite places in Edinburgh's historic Cowgate, the legendary Caves.


Michael and Barbara put in a lot of work to ensure that their ceremony was imaginative, inclusive and emotionally powerful. 



It was also a lot of fun!




Their friends Whitney and Nick both spoke, as did Michael: he ever read out what Barbara had decided she wasn't going to say after all, which got a big laugh, and then, after a pause for quiet contemplation, I asked the guests to make some promises to them before they spoke their vows directly to one another.





My old friends Dom and Robbie from Duke Photography were invisibly on hand, making sure that every moment was captured from every possible angle.




Barbara and Michael's mothers joined us on stage to sign the marriage schedule, and then the happy couple drank from a quaich, an idea unfamiliar to most of the guests who'd flown thousands of miles to be with them on the most important day of their lives.





Finally, Michael and Barbara's wrists were bound together in a hand fasting ceremony before they made their way off-stage to join their families and friends.


It was a really joyous ceremony, and I loved what they said about it in their review on the Scottish Wedding Directory.

Our ceremony was incredibly unique and 100% true to my husband and I, which was the most important thing for us, and we could not have done it without Tim’s help. 

Honestly, so many people have told us it was the best ceremony they’d ever attended, which was awesome to hear- but even more important than that, it felt like US. 


Even better, along with these great photos, they sent me this lovely personal message.

Thank you so much for everything. I really could write for days about how happy we were with everything, how many compliments we've gotten on the ceremony (and on you!) and beyond, but as we are still both tired and processing all the love and beauty, but for now I just have to send you some big love and a big thank you. 






It sure looks like one hell of a party, and I am sure that it will stay in my memory for a long, long time. Thank you once again Michael and Barbara for choosing to work with me, for creating such a great ceremony and for sharing these excellent images from Robbie and Dom. Keep dancing!

*Although I love Peter Gabriel's version of the Book of Love, it's important to say that the song was originally written by Stephin Merritt, and you can see him performing it here

Friday, 21 December 2018

Laura and Anthony's Humanist Wedding at The Principal Edinburgh


What's in a name? Well, as Laura wrote, when she sent me these great photos by Gee from Geez Photography,'I think we both gain a sense of pride in being able to refer to each other as "husband" and "wife" rather than that rather awkward "partner" title we used before - I personally always hated that!! 



Things definitely feel much more secure and complete, which is what we were hoping for.


I really loved how Anthony and Laura involved their family and friends in the ceremony!





when it came to the time to talk about what marriage means to them, they asked no fewer than twelve of the guests to read out quotations, hidden until then in twelve envelopes.


And the kids got a look in too: as they said, 'We are so proud to have Ava, Jude, Jules and Luca here with us today and would like to take a moment to acknowledge the role that they play in this family and how important they are.' and then they read them one of their favourite stories!






We loved doing the Dr Seuss reading for the kids and we gave them each a copy of the book afterwards as a little memento of the day. I was proud we managed to get through it all without falling apart like a pair of emotional wrecks!!



Thank you again for helping us put together the ceremony and for officiating over it. It really was just the most special moment of the day and the hard work writing everything up was so worth it. Everyone commented on how personal, unique and intimate it was. 

For us, the next task at hand is conquering Christmas with all 4 kids in tow. No mean feat as I'm sure you can imagine! I hope you have a wonderful break with your own family, and do let us know if you decide to write a blog based on our day - we'd love to see it!


Your wish is my command, Laura, and I wish you, Anthony and all the kids a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year!

Melissa and Paul's Humanist Wedding at Melville Castle

Paul and Melissa's wedding was full of love and laughter, which makes this 'pre-wedding' shot of Melissa and her dad all the ...