Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Catie and Paul's Humanist Wedding at The Caves, Edinburgh

 Katie and Paul were a lot of fun to work with - as I think you might guess just by looking at them. 

In the course of the year between our first meeting and their wedding, they sent lots of interesting emails. One said "Sorry we didn't get back to you, but we were in Norway, looking after a little farm." Another said "We saw you on The Big Question this morning!" and my favourite when they said, "We did our homework the other day. It was a lovely thing to do, and we both really enjoyed it."

Mind you, a few weeks later, that was followed by "We have had a bit of writers block about the entire ceremony, and haven't managed to find many quotes/poems that we really like yet, not for lack of looking. A lot of them feel either too cheesy or too jokey... or perhaps we're too picky!"

 Of course they got over it, and their ceremony was every bit as individual as they are. 

I remember we had a great rehearsal, in the tiny flat next door to The Caves, where I think I met about 14 members of the wedding party, including the mums and dads, the bridesmaids Ashleigh and Nicola, the best men James and Gavin, Katie’s brother Bruce and Paul’s brothers Stuart and Aly who played Katie up the aisle on his guitar.

 I particularly liked the opening two sentences of their story. In 2003, when Paul and Katie’s respective best friends who had met online wanted to meet in real life, they came along to ensure their friends weren't about to be murdered. Thankfully they were not, and very soon after, Paul and Katie fell in love.

Katie and Paul kept it short, but sweet. After their story, they got Shaun, one of their best friends, to read from ‘So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish’ by Douglas Adams.

Then after a pause for quiet contemplation, Paul and Katie spoke the vows they had written themselves and exchanged rings, 

before James and Ashleigh witnessed the signing of the Marriage Schedule.

One thing I'm sorry you can't see in these very atmospheric shots by Budapest-based photographer, Daniel Karczag, are Katie's shoes, which were so splendidly original that I just had to steal this other pic from his blog of the day itself.

When they got back from their honeymoon, Katie and Paul sent me this lovely note. 

"We would like to thank you again for marrying us in October. Everybody was very impressed at how personal and balanced our ceremony was, and how great you were (we loved your quip about robes and a sacrifice!). The ceremony went really smoothly with less nerves than we thought we'd have, even if I did arrive a bit early

Throughout the planning and rehearsal stages we always felt confident we were in good hands, and even though we are nervous public speakers, you helped us keep it clear. We are so happy to be enjoying our first cosy winter together as the O'Mahoneys". 

Thanks P&K! It was a lovely, heartfelt ceremony and I was just glad to be part of it!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Catie and Mark's Humanist Wedding at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

I often bump into couples I've married at the weddings of their friends. I don't usually meet them at the John Lewis sale, but that's where Catie and Mark tracked me down earlier this week! 

As I said at the time, it was a bit spooky, as I'd only just looked out the wonderful photographs they sent me from their wedding at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Queen Street last October, and I was in the process of tracking down their card, which reads like this...

"Just a short note to say thank you so much for conducting our wedding. You really helped to make it a very personal and moving day, and everyone commented on how special the ceremony was.

On reflection, we really appreciated the freedom to break with tradition and do things our way. We felt that having our photos taken beforehand, and entering the ceremony together, really helped us to feel relaxed and at ease.

We also think that this helped prevent us from crying all the way through the vows due to nerves!

We would also like to say how impressed we were with how well you handled the impromptu bible reading* (which was certainly not planned by us!)

We are now settling back into normality after a lovely week in the Cotswolds. Many thanks again and lots of love from Catie and Mark.

*It wasn't the first time a well-meaning relative has 'hijacked' one of my ceremonies by slipping in an unannounced reading from the New Testament, but what surprised me was that it was the second time it had happened in as many days!

As you know, if you've been reading this blog, humanist ceremonies are secular, but there is one Christian text that I positively welcome, and that was the one my hijacker chose: Saint Paul's Letter XIII to the Corinthians. The reason for that is simple. As Saint Paul wrote, "three things abide: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love" and that's what we're celebrating in a marriage, so I was pleased to be able to thank the reader for her contribution (although I'm not so sure she was as pleased herself…) You can read the text here in the version which I prefer, which is the Lorimer translation into Scots: I hope you can understand it!

My thanks to Mark and Catie and of course to Malin Widstrand for the wonderful photography: you can see some more shots from the day and read Malin's own thoughts about it here.

PS Catie and Mark did a rather wonderful thing and they wrote to all of their guests and asked them for a favourite recipe as a souvenir of the day. They've put them all on their blog as a memento - what a great idea!

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...