Once upon a time, a bloke went into Bannerman's Bar in the Cowgate, and stared into a pair of big brown eyes. Later that evening, the owner of the eyes had to help him open his packet of chewing gum, because he was a little too refreshed. And that was the start of a relationship that led Derek and Michelle to get married on a beach in Barbados in 2001. As they said, "Our relationship has gone backwards. We sort of stumbled into marriage, and we've got stronger and stronger, and closer and closer."
Ten years on, they decided it was time to renew their vows to one another. They still wanted to do it on a beach, but this time it would be closer to home, and all their friends and family would be there.
They took their time, and after giving a great deal of thought to what they wanted to say, they decided to invite lots of their friends to be involved. So Sharon told us her version of how they met. John remembered when he first met Michelle and thought "She's far to young to be his carer!". And Michelle's sister Shaeren and her brother in law Ian both gave us readings before Derek and Michelle exchanged and renewed their vows.
It was a very happy and relaxed evening that was topped off by a specially written blessing from Egg. A Renewal of Vows ceremony has a different atmosphere from a wedding. It's much less tense, I suppose because everyone knows one another already and they're confident in the love that's being shared. But some things are always the same. Flower girls would much rather go and explore the beach than listen to elderly bald men droning on...
And a glass of champagne always goes down a treat!
Michelle sent me these pics the very next day, along with a lovely note.
"We just wanted to thank you - we had a fantastic day! The ceremony was amazing, and everyone commented on how special it was. I think you may have found yourself a few fans and I'm sure we will see you at future weddings and other celebrations! Thanks for ordering the sunshine!!"
The party went on well into the evening, as you can tell from this shot of the sun setting over the island of Fidra. Thanks Derek and Michelle - it was a real pleasure!