Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Carrie and Graham's Humanist Wedding at Aberdour Castle

"Our wedding really was the best day of our lives. Everything worked out perfectly," wrote Carrie when she sent me these photos. As you can see, they make a very glamorous couple!

"In the beginning Graeme very much wanted to go abroad and get married with only immediate family. I wanted to stay at home with all our family and friends around us. I won! However throughout all the planning we very much wanted to make the day fun and keep the stress of planning to a minimum. I enjoyed every minute and I think that once Graeme gave in and actually embraced it he enjoyed it the planning too, I would do it again tomorrow".

"On the morning of our big day I was as you could imagine rather nervous. I calmed down after a class of champagne or 2 but as soon as I arrived in Aberdour my nerves kicked in again. But what made everything so much easier was that you were there to greet me and my bridesmaids. I was so glad that you were there to tell everyone where to go and what to do because by then I could barely remember my own name".

"We had so many compliments on the day as to how you conducted the ceremony. For many it was their first Humanist ceremony.  They loved that we were facing them and they all heard something in our story that they hadn't heard or known about us before. I was told that there wasn't a dry eye in the house. The ceremony really did bring everyone together and it continued into the night with a lot of fun, laughter and even more love".

"Thank you again for such a lovely start to our marriage and I'm sure the day was the start of many adventures yet to come." Thank you, Mr and Mrs Temple - I'm sure you're right!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Le mariage humaniste d'Amandine et Douglas de l'Institut Français d'Edimbourg

I always get a bit nervous before a Franco-Scottish wedding. While the Dutch are always delighted if you can get your lips around s-Hertogenbosch, and the Poles are pleased if anyone can pronounce Przepraszam, the French can have an un-nerving way of looking at non-native speakers that suggests they're not even sure that the language you're trying to speak is their own. Thankfully, Amandine and Douglas put my mind at rest.

As they wrote, "The dust is finally settling after our wedding-day and we wanted to let you know how thoroughly pleased we were with our ceremony. It really was a magical moment for us and everything we hoped for.

"As you know, the bilingual aspect was really important to us so a special thank you for seeing that through. Everybody, anglophones and francophones alike, was very impressed by you and went out of their way to comment on how well you ran the ceremony and handled the two languages. 

"People were also very taken with the Humanist approach and found the ceremony dignified, understated and very much an expression of us, something most of them are not used to at weddings (if I'm not mistaken, only one couple there had a Humanist ceremony themselves). 

"Now that we're no longer organising the wedding, we plan to start attending HSS talks from time to time. Doubtless our paths will cross again soon! Very best regards from us both, Douglas and Amandine."

I certainly hope so, Amandine and Douglas. Thanks to Ryan White Wedding Photography for these great photos, and enjoy your honeymoon!

Debbie and Jason's Humanist Wedding at The George Hotel, Edinburgh

I don't often get to tell a tale of teenage love at first sight, but Jason and Debbie met in 3rd year at Bo’ness Academy, so their story was a long and winding one. 

It took in a few serious lows (like Jason breaking his back in a rock-climbing fall) 
along with some serious highs, like his Christmas Eve proposal on ice at the Rockefeller Center, complete with a supporting cast of cheering New Yorkers!

They made the ceremony their own in lots of ways. 

Jason made a point of coming in with both of his parents, while Debbie chose to come in with her dad.

Jason had three groomsmen to match Debbie's bridesmaids, 

and they wrote their own original vows, which they spoke directly to one another.

Most touchingly of all, 
they asked Debbie's Papa, William and Jason's granddad, Billy, 
to be their witnesses.

The George has a spectacular ballroom, which looks wonderful in this shot, taken by Sam & Lucy of Perfect Day Images.

Oh, and in case you were wondering this is what 'a clean two-shot' looks like.
(I always get out of the way sharpish when it's time for the kiss).

when they came back from their honeymoon, Debbie and Jason sent me this note.

"We'd like to say a special thank you for the part you played in our special day.
The service was lovely and really told our story in our own words.
Having a Humanist Ceremony allowed us to involve all our family and friends,
and it truly reflected our values and beliefs as a couple.
We loved that we could choose the words, the music and the witnesses - 
it made it all very personal to us.
Thanks again, Mr and Mrs Begg
(Debbie + Jason)"

Not at all, D&J - thank you, and of course to Sam and Lucy for these photos.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Carol and Jon's Humanist wedding at Ravensheugh Log Cabin

These shots by Edinburgh based photographer Boyd are just too good to edit: they really capture the atmosphere of the day Jon and Carol married at the magical Ravensheugh Log Cabin in East Lothian.

Carol says, "Our wedding was truly one of the best days of our lives, it was just how we envisioned it and we will treasure the memories forever. After our wedding day one of my friends told me that coming to our wedding showed her that you don't have to stick to all the 'wedding rules' and that a wedding can be about the couple and the guests and not just following the normal expectations, which I think is a great way to describe our wedding! 

It was a wonderful day, from the setting, to the weather, to ceremony, to the guests, it was all perfect - thank you for being a part of it!"

You can see Carol and Jon's own story of the day here on Offbeat Brides or check out the photo stream on Flickr

Monday, 11 November 2013

It's Time

As the Scottish Parliament prepares to legalise Same-Sex Marriage, Ross Wright says why the HSS is on the right side of history.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Yvonne and Andy's Humanist Wedding at Garleton Lodge

A hot girl out of reach, a Santa Claus outfit, icy pavements, a very big phone bill, a fear of customs, dinner dates with cocktails, but no dinner and finally, an early morning proposal. 

No, those aren't the chapter titles of a new novel by Carrie Bradshaw, but a précis of the story of Andy and Yvonne.

Their good friend Gillian told us of a love that started in the classroom, and wove a complicated pattern over many years before their paths finally reunited in 2010, when Andy asked for Yvonne's hand at half past eight in the morning.  

Yvonne and Andy are made for each other, and they created a very joyous ceremony that was both deeply felt and light-hearted. You can just tell that she is his lobster!

Garleton Lodge is a great venue up on top of one of the few hills in East Lothian, and even though the East Fortune Air Show was taking place just along the road, our tranquillity was undisturbed.

There were so many personal touches. I loved that they asked their mums to come up on stage and give them the rings that they were to exchange.

And in another break from tradition, it was Yvonne's good friend Hazel and Andy's dad, Linus, who witnessed the marriage schedule while her talented niece Kelli gave us a song.

It was a day I'd looked forward to for a long time, not least because even before I married them, Andy and Yvonne had given me a rave review, so when the big day finally came, I was a little nervous. 

Turns out I needn't have worried - they had the time of their lives. 

"We just wanted to say massive massive thanks for being part of our wedding! 
We honestly had the best day!  
So many people said the ceremony was the best wedding ceremony they'd ever been to. 
Thank you so much!"

My pleasure, Andy and Yvonne. I can stop blushing now!

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...