It was back in November 2012 that Keren decided that the Linlithgow Burgh Halls were the perfect place to get married, and she and Stephen first came to see me. They'd chosen the date because it was going to be her dad's birthday, and I loved their story which was very romantic, and involved a proposal in Gaelic on Kilchoman beach on Islay.
One of the best bits though was the way they were brought together.
Keren and Stephen’s good friends Paul and Fiona had once tried to set Stephen up on a blind date that hadn't gone too well (not long afterwards the girl in question had emigrated to New Zealand to put the memory behind her!) so with some trepidation, they engineered an introduction to Keren. It went OK but it wasn't love at first sight, so Paul and Fiona got Keren and Stephen together for a second date, and this time it worked! It was lovely to hear Fiona and Paul's own version of that story as part of the ceremony.
After that, everyone joined in a rousing rendition of Mairi's Wedding, led on the harp by the wonderful Margaret Knight,
before we had a short pause for contemplation after which Stephen and Keren spoke their own very personal vows to one another, as you can hear in this trailer for their wedding movie by Strangeworx
Even though the marriage schedule only arrived by courier just before kick-off (someone had left it at the hotel), it was such a joyous, relaxed wedding.
I particularly enjoyed being upstaged by Poppy, one of the charming little flower girls,
and it was lovely to get this note (and the above photo) a few days later from Keren's mum Jackie, who along with Stephen's mother Barbara, was one of the witnesses.
I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful ceremony for Keren and Stephen on Saturday. You made it so special, and so many people told me how much they preferred it to a stiff church ceremony !! I knew when I heard you speak at Syl's funeral that if my daughter ever got married, I would love you to officiate. It was a wonderful day.
A wee while later, I got this lovely card from Keren (you can just see me trying to get out of shot behind the bridesmaids as Stephen and Keren had their first kiss).
I'd just like to thank you so very much for making our ceremony so wonderful. I loved every minute of it. I was so nervous about it, but it ended up being my favourite part of the day. I thought it suited Stephen and I perfectly and I thought you told our story so well and kept me calm. So many people commented on how fantastic the ceremony was and how they had never seen anything like it before. Nice to know our wedding will be remembered for many reasons.
It was a pleasure Keren! And my thanks also go of course to Sylwia and Simon of Crofts & Kowalczyk Photography for these lovely photographs.
PS I didn't realise until today that the Burgh Halls were redesigned some time ago by my old friend Malcolm Fraser which probably explains why the elegant penthouse room where the wedding took place feels so welcoming.
The staff are lovely too, so add it to your checklist if you're looking for somewhere a bit different.