Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Humanist Weddings in The Guardian

I was really pleased to see this article in Comment is Free today. It points out the connection between the inexorable rise of the Humanist wedding ceremony here in Scotland and the question on religion in the forthcoming Census - or at least it would do if the editors in their wisdom hadn't chopped my piece in half... 

But never mind. The wedding I wrote about was between Amanda and David and they sent me some great pics to illustrate it.

Amanda said, "We have such lovely memories of our wedding and the part of it that was most special, to us, was the ceremony.

To share our love for one another with all our family and friends, meant a great deal and was a unique experience.  

We also felt that we had got to know you by the time the wedding came round and it was so nice that you were also part of our day…and not just an extra, so to speak!

Sadly I seem to have lost the photo of the fabulous Aston Martin that was Amanda's wedding present to Dave... for six days only. But still - what a six days!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Elizabeth & Steven's Humanist Wedding at Glenbervie House

Sometimes weddings run like clockwork. Sometimes they don't. But one of the distinguishing features of a wedding is that nobody ever seems to mind, even if someone's forgotten the wedding rings, or left the paperwork at the hotel, both of which have happened to me in the past. It's a happy day, and when something goes wrong, everyone just laughs even louder.

Somehow I knew Steven and Elizabeth's day wasn't going to go completely to plan. I think the first inkling was when I was on the way to the rehearsal and half way down the M8, and suddenly realised I should have been on the M9. The second inkling was on the day itself, when I sped right past the entrance to the hotel... for the second time in two days.

And although I knew from the rehearsal that Elizabeth and Steven had decided to begin the ceremony by swapping places, I forgot, so I placed the cards for their vows where they would usually be. And that was why, when the big moment came and I held Elizabeth's card up for her, it took only a second or two for her to say, 'That's not mine - those are Steven's vows'. Oh, how their friends and families laughed as I blushed deeply and not so deftly swapped them round...

Ah well. As I often say, to err is humanist. And I'm pleased to say that to forgive is humanist too, because Elizabeth sent me this lovely letter the other day. 

"Steven and I wanted to thank you for the fantastic ceremony you performed for us at Glenbervie. I am sure you hear these stories every time, but our family and friends were blown away by the ceremony.  They thought it was emotional, honest, and most importantly it was about us!" 

"They loved the fact that Rebecca and Charles were included in the ceremony and could see the love we share as a family. It was very emotional,  we knew it would be,  and we were worried that we wouldn’t get through it, Steven thankfully can still speak while the tears are running down his face,  I on the other hand cannot speak once I start,  so managed to keep it together with deep breathing!"

"My sister in law commented that she started crying at the end of her reading because she looked up and saw the photographer crying!  Even my 12 year old daughter had a tear in her eye because she said it was lovely that Steven said I was a great Mum and that he loved Rebecca and Charles as his own.  She will always remember that and the fact that he declared that to everyone."

The guests thought that the little faux pas with the reading and the cards were brilliant,  I think they thought it was deliberate and funny.   I don’t think in a traditional ceremony I would have noticed but because I knew the ceremony, I knew every part , I did notice.   Thanks to you it really was ‘our’ ceremony, and it was a brilliant start to our brilliant marriage!"

My thanks (and apologies once again!) to Elizabeth and Steven, and of course to Rebecca and Charles as well. 

Jill and Chris's Humanist Wedding at Mansfield Traquair

Just look at Mansfield Traquair . Could it be more calm and tranquil? Little did Jill and Chris know what was to come. If they h...