Wednesday, 31 March 2010

If Music Be The Food of Love

People often ask me if I know a good pianist for their wedding and until now, I had to say I didn't.

But at Sharon & David's wedding at One Royal Circus on Saturday evening, I met Michael Kelly, aka The Wedding Pianist, who used Mike Gordon's baby grand piano to knock out a couple of great songs including Van Morrison's "Have I told you lately that I love you?"

It was a very intimate wedding with only eight guests, so I took the opportunity to hang out for a while afterwards, enjoy a glass or two of very good champagne and listen to him play.

Every time I see a grand piano, for some reason, the soundtrack to "Film 90-whatever-year-it-was, with Barry Norman" comes to mind, but I can never remember the title of the piece. Not only did Michael play it, he very kindly sent me a link to two versions online. One is by Nina Simone, but I prefer this instrumental by its composer, Billy Gaskin. It's called, "I wish I knew how it would feel to be free", and it goes like this...  

The First Ever Humanist Chocolate Bar

Sandra Colamartino is a friend of mine who until recently edited Scottish Homes & Interiors Magazine, but after a long career as an art director on newspapers and magazines has abandoned the inky world of print to become a Chocolatier, and set up The Chocolate Library.

She's designed a whole range of wonderfully packaged chocolate bars and she's currently on a mission to create 100 in 100 days.

When I bumped into her last Friday, she was looking for a good quotation for that day's label. I suggested one of my favourite humanist ones, from Robert Ingersoll, that goes like this.

"Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so."

Within the hour, she'd designed the bar you see above. But then it struck me that she'd be the ideal person to use to design a very tasty wedding invitation. You can see some more of her personalised designs here and contact her here.

Maybe you can give her a good idea for tomorrow's design?

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Say 'I do' to the Humanist touch when tying the knot

I got a call the other day from Catherine Salmond at the Edinburgh Evening News. She was writing a story because Elizabeth Bell, the wedding co-ordinator at Houston House Hotel, had got in touch with the paper to say that 1 in 10 of their weddings this year are going to be Humanist ceremonies. So we had a chat and talked about the reasons that so many people are choosing this way to celebrate their love. As it says in the article,

"More and more people are coming across this and saying it's what they want," explains Tim Maguire, a Edinburgh Humanist celebrant authorised to legally marry couples, as well as conduct funerals. Many, he says, stumble across Humanism by accident, looking for a non-religious, yet meaningful service, perhaps because the couple come from different religious backgrounds, or are older and have been married before, or because reading up about the ideals of Humanist strikes a chord.

"At a Humanist wedding, people feel they can express who they are and if they can make a promise in their own words, it makes it all the more powerful."

I was pleased to see that she'd also interviewed Lindsay and Dave Rodger, whose wedding I conducted at Houston House last September, and Elizabeth and Bengtis Ericsson whose wedding I wrote about here.

The story made a lovely double page spread in the paper, and there's a poll about Humanist weddings in the online version that you can read here

It's time to celebrate, people!

I'm delighted to announce that from now on, I will be a celebrant with Celebrate People , a new Humanist organisation led by two of Scot...