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 prĂ©cis 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!

Kate and Chris's Humanist Wedding at Garleton Lodge

Thank you so much for your enormous contribution to our wedding day. 
The ceremony was perfect, just the right balance of solemnity and daftness! 

Although they were (mostly) our own words, neither of us would have found the right way to express how we feel about each other, and about marriage, without your guidance and support. 

We were so delighted and happy with how the day went, and all of our family and friends commented on how refreshing it was to have such a personal ceremony. 

We honestly couldn't have done it without you! 
Chris and Kate Newton

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Ross and Polly's Humanist Wedding at Aikwood Tower, Selkirk

How much fun do you think Polly and Ross had at their wedding?

It really was a cracking day for my first visit to Aikwood Tower, but not - I hope - my last. It's a very funky conversion of a 16th century Peel Tower, and I couldn't have seen it in a better light.

Ross and Polly kicked off with a version of their story, based on their homework, but written and narrated by their friend, Nats


They both had multiple bridesmaids & groomsmen, 

and of course they had to involve their sparky little border terrier, Guinness who delivered the wedding rings.

The music was excellent, courtesy of the Allestri String Quartet and their friends Steven and Lindsey Finnie, who collaborated on a rendition of Elbow's One Day Like This.

And not content with a single symbolic gesture, they had two - a hand fasting and a shared dram from a quaich, filled from the largest hip flask I've ever seen!

To answer my question, Polly and Ross said, "We had a fantastic day as did our guests.  Everyone thought it was a very personal, different wedding and really showed our personalities.  And the weather…..What can I say, it made for a fabulous day.  Guinness played his part as ring bearer so well, even if he had no idea what was going on!  We wouldn’t have done it without him!  Sadly, the day passed so quickly but we have some fond memories we will cherish long into our future together. 

Thanks so much for helping us make it the day it was and for all your ideas and reassurance".

And my thanks to you, Ross and Polly and to your photographer Andy Jack who took these excellent shots

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Monday, 7 October 2013

Fiona & Phil's Humanist Wedding at Prestonfield House

Rules are there to be broken.

Most ceremonies last half an hour: Fiona and Phil's took ten minutes.

Most brides arrive with their dads.

Phil and Fiona spent a happy half hour with all their guests before the ceremony.

Most guests get to sit down: at Fiona and Phil's, there was standing room only.

Most couples take a good five minutes to tell their story: Fiona and Phil told theirs in a single sentence.

Most couples write their vows together: Fiona and Phil kept theirs a secret till the day.

Fiona wrote hers as a poem, which she spoke from memory. 
It's called 14 excerpts

My sleeves have come unstitched
You led me headlong to the place where I belong
I wondered, I guessed, I tried; you just knew 
I’ve found a place I’ll never leave
If I split like light refracted, I’m only off to wander across a moonlit mile
It’s silly wrong but vivid right
Did I say that I smiled when I first heard your name?
When I’m down you breathe life over me
You breathe the will in to the weak, you coax the caged bird to fly free
I’ll take your part when darkness comes
I’d take a fall and you know that I’d do anything I will for you
However far away I will always love you; however long I stay, I will always love you
You’re all I’m made of
You’re the measure of my dreams.

Most couples proceed to sign the marriage schedule straight after the vows.
Phil and Fiona decided to take Yalla, the wheezing dog for a walk first.

We did get them back eventually...

And as Fiona said, "We had SUCH an amazing day!"
What rules do you want to break when you get married?

Thanks to Natasha Slater-Bowen for the snaps

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...