Sunday, 15 July 2018

Carolann and Graham's Humanist Wedding at The Vu

The big moment at every wedding is the entrance of the bride: well not any longer!

Groom Graham had other plans. He decided to hide in a cupboard before the guests came into the Waterlily, and once they were all settled, he made his surprise entrance, which is you can see, had everyone in stitches.

Carolann got her moment in the sun too, and she wasn't remotely upstaged by her groom.

Just back from their honeymoon in Cuba, they sent me these great shots by Rod Irvine, and a wee note to say, "We both just wanted to thank you again for a fantastic ceremony, everyone commented on how great it was and they all loved you! 

Take care, and thank you again for everything!" 

Thank you, Carolann and Graham: I loved your wedding and I am just delighted that everyone else did too! 

Monday, 2 July 2018

Rehearsals without a Celebrant

If you don’t have the time for a formal rehearsal, here’s a useful checklist of things to think about as you prepare for the big day.

What time is the ceremony?
What time will the groom’s party arrive beforehand?
Who’s going to help the guests find a seat?
Who’s going to distribute the Orders of Ceremony?
Who’s responsible for the entrance music?
How is the groom going to come in?
How is the bride going to come in?
How do you want to stand?
Who do you want to stand beside you?
Who’s doing the readings?
Have you printed the readings for them?
Where are they going to sit?
Do they need a microphone and a PA?
Do you want your guests to sing?
Are the words of the song in the order of ceremony?
How do you want to speak your vows and legal declarations?
If you want to speak them yourselves, have you printed them on cards?
Are you going to exchange rings?
Who’s going to give the rings to you?
Do you have your Marriage Schedule?
Who’s going to bring it on the day?
Who should the celebrant give it to after the ceremony?
If you want to incorporate a symbolic gesture, who’s bringing the elements?

Suzanne and Craig's Humanist Wedding at The Macdonald Marine Hotel

The weather has been gorgeous recently, but these blue skies date from way back in April, when Craig and Suzanne tied the knot in North Berwick, famously one of the sunniest places in the whole country.

Their relationship began at a party where Craig literally swept Suzanne off her feet!

Much of their courtship was spent driving around East Lothian, listening to music and stopping for ice-creams - just like a pair of teenagers, as Suzanne said.

She was delighted that her handsome son Antonio and Craig bonded straight away, and it wasn't long before they were joined by their beautiful daughter, Layla.

In the five years they were together before their wedding day, they had some wonderful times, not least a trip to Las Vegas, but the most important was a short journey along the road to Gullane, where on the 30th of November 2017, Craig made Suzanne the happiest girl in the world when he proposed.

Our ceremony was in the beautiful gardens of the Marine HotelAfter a short pause to remember those who couldn't be with us, Antonio read us an old Scots blessing

Then Craig and Suzanne told each other why they'd chosen to marry. I think there were a few tears at that point, and they weren't all Suzanne's!

After Craig's sister Laura gave us a reading of Love and Laughter, Antonio came back to help me with the rings.

Of course we couldn't let Antonio hog the limelight, so I suggested that Layla conducted the hand-fasting, and she made a great job of it, as you can see!

I was very touched to get this message from Craig and Suzanne before they left for their honeymoon.

"We absolutely loved our ceremony, and everyone thought it was so personal. 

"We can’t thank you enough for the way you took the ceremony and included the kids - it was fantastic!"

That's because you wrote it, Suzanne and Craig! 

But seriously, thanks again for asking me to conduct your wedding and I wish you and your families every happiness in the years to come. 

Please pass on my thanks to your photographer, Martin Cardoo who did an excellent job of capturing a gloriously happy day!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

How to involve your family and friends...

I got my copy of the Scottish Wedding Directory Magazine today and I was delighted to see that their journalist Patricia-Ann Young spoke to two couples I married recently.

If you want to see a little more detail, check out Ashley and Jamie's story here

And the full version of Claire and Ross's story is here

I hope you like their ideas!

Monday, 4 June 2018

A Story about A Lovely Love Story

'A Lovely Love Story' by Edward Monkton is a perennial favourite at weddings. Yesterday, I heard it being read by two ten year old girls on a beach and it reminded me just why it's so popular.

I decided to have a look at Edward's web site where he's installed a clever new thing called 'A Monktonator'. Enter your name, choose a topic, and it will give you a piece of thoughtful advice.

I decided 'to ask for a friend' so this is what The Monktonator is advising my wife Susie to do today!

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Danielle and Brian's Humanist Wedding at Carlowrie Castle

Danielle and Brian knew their wedding was going to be emotional. As they wrote in the introduction to their ceremony, "Photos, laughter and lots of tears are allowed throughout the ceremony, and as you will already have discovered, there are in fact tissues on your seats if need be."

They came in very handy...

Brian and Danielle were 'reversing into marriage' as I like to call it, and they came with their beautiful children, Penelope and Oscar, who said, "Mummy and Daddy, we're so proud, and we love you both so much!"

Brian is a boxer. Not just any boxer, he's a 3 time WBO champion and one of the very few people who's retained the Lonsdale Belt

Which is why I warned him when we met that he might completely lose it on the day.

I wasn't wrong. And he wasn't alone in that...

I've now married two professional boxers, as well as a few other top sportsmen, and I've noticed that they tend to be much more emotional than you might expect.

It's an interesting paradox that the men who need to be as tough as nails in their professional life are the ones who are least prepared for the impact that love has on their wedding day, but I love that!

Their friend Daniel gave a great reading of 'Rain Sometimes', by Arthur Hamilton

then Danielle and Brian did a very brave thing: they chose to tell each other why they want to spend the rest of their lives together. 

That meant we needed to have a bit of a make-up repair session...

before Brian and Danielle spoke their vows, and Oscar gave them their rings.

Amarone Music gave us a few songs as we signed the Marriage Schedule

and Kirsty gave us our last reading: 'Look to this Day', a poem from the ancient Sanskrit.

I caught up with the happy couple after the ceremony, and Brian said a rather wonderful thing. 'You're the only man who's ever made me cry!'

He repeated it again on Twitter, which was really lovely.

I'll take that compliment any day, Champ!

Thanks again for choosing me to conduct your wedding, Danielle and Brian, and thanks too to Beth Alderson for these exceptional photos.

Carolann and Graham's Humanist Wedding at The Vu

The big moment at every wedding is the entrance of the bride: well not any longer! Groom Graham had other plans. He decided to hide in...