Jen is from Surrey, where Humanist marriage is virtually unknown, so even before we met, she had to allay a few concerns. As she wrote,
They made it clear from the start they wanted something 'home grown', so they couldn't have chosen a better venue for that than Tyninghame Village Hall. Everyone who chooses to work with me has to put a bit of work into creating their ceremony, but Stuart and Jen really knocked me out because they didn't just write their script, they actually hand-made each other’s wedding rings from two strips of gold!
All brides plan their wedding down to the last detail, but Jen's was charmingly different from most. In her schedule she wrote Jen arrives at the kitchen door with bridal party (and has a quick cup of tea)
They made their guests very much a part of the day. As they wrote to me afterwards,
have made the cake or done the photography for quite a few friends as their wedding present, and although it's sometimes stressful because we're only amateurs, we've always really enjoyed creating a part of someone's big day. For our own wedding, we really wanted a home grown relaxed wedding that all the guests felt a part of and ownership of.
Our ethos of keeping things local, supporting small businesses and making from scratch was a big driver in us making the rings, and using the village halls. For us, that had more meaning than something big and shiny.
Our photographer was Patricia Rueda who's the sister in law of friends who were guests, and she does wedding photography alongside her fashion and documentary work. We chose her because we liked what she did, and she was warm, friendly, personable and she had exactly the feel we were looking for
As part of the homework, I asked Jen and Stuart to share their story with me and I quickly realised they make a great writer and art director combination. Their stories made me both laugh out loud and shed a tiny manly tear. But rather than have me tell their story, they asked their friend Kate to write her own version which she delivered brilliantly, and just as they predicted, it reduced her to tears too.
As we signed the Marriage Schedule, their friends Chris, Ali, and Elly sang a song called I'm Yours
thoughtful as they are, Stuart and Jen wrote me this lovely letter.
I received a wee note from my grandma today, and in it she wrote 'Thank you for a lovely day, both your granddad and I agreed it was the best wedding we had been to, the service was so personal and beautiful, and the weather helped - you certainly have a day to remember and you worked so hard to make it a success'. That's high praise indeed from an octogenarian - she's been to a lot of weddings!!