One of the advantages of a destination wedding is that your guests are with you for several days, so there's a lot less pressure and everyone is really relaxed.
Another is that you may have the time to do what Greg and Kirsten did, which was to shoot a lot of photos for your album before the ceremony rather than afterwards. Marine Villa is set in acres of mature woodland on the edge of the Firth of Forth. It's a stunning location as you can see.
Kirsten and Greg came a long way to have their blessing ceremony. They took care of the legalities back home in the States, but as I said in the ceremony, 'today is the real celebration of their marriage because what makes it different and meaningful is that they have written it themselves so it will be their words and thoughts that I am speaking so I invite you to listen as they tell you why it is they wish to spend the rest of their lives together.'
Kirsten came in the traditional way, on the arm of her father, Patrick.
Eric gave us our first reading, of To Love is not to Possess, by James Kavanaugh,
And then the three of us took centre stage as I told their story, which was a good one!
Greg managed to convince Kirsten that he worked as a 'Monkey Tamer' at the Zoo. Mind you, they had both had a few pints in the Bulldog Bar by that point, so she believed him until one of her friends called him out because he could say exactly where the Monkey House actually was.
The second date didn't go quite as planned when they realised that the restaurant Greg had booked was closed on Mondays...
but they laughed it off, and went with the flow.
Kirsten's family introduced Greg to the southern Louisiana hobbies of fishing and hunting, and he was a much better shot than anyone anticipated!
I liked how they felt able to talk about their sorrows, as well as their joys. as they said, 'the strength of their relationship was tested when Darcy, Kirsten’s mom, passed away suddenly just over a year into their relationship. Greg’s unwavering love, patience, and dedication for Kirsten and their partnership was the strength that they needed to overcome such a sad time.'
Kirsten was welcomed into the Lorenz clan and invited to join them for a “classic Lorenz family vacation.” These typically have at least one “near death experience” and horseback riding through blizzard conditions without the proper gear in Banff, Canada proved to be her initiation!
Katie gave us our our second reading:
a poem called Love, by Roy Croft
and after a moment of silent reflection, it was time for Kirsten and Greg to speak their vows
Of all the people you’ve met on your journey
and of all the places you’ve been,
somehow and some way,
you ended up here — with me.
It is the most powerful
and humbling fact that I can accept.
I vow to be your partner
in all of life’s adventures.
Loving what I know of you
and trusting what I don’t yet know,
I give you my hand. I give you my love.
I give you myself.
Collin and Jordan came forward with the rings
before I said the magic words
And then Greg moved in for 'The Kiss!'
As this wasn't a legal ceremony, there was no paperwork to sign, so it was Greg's mother Diane who gave us the last reading of the day, by an unknown author.
When evening falls,
I will look up and there you’ll be.
I will take your hand
and we will turn together
to look at the road we travelled to
reach, this, the hour of our happiness.
It stretches behind us
and the future lies ahead,
A long, winding road,
whose every turning means discovery.
Old hopes, new laughter and shared tears.
The adventure has just begun.
after their wedding, Greg and Kirsten headed off on a little tour of Scotland, and when they got home, they sent me these great photos by Lina and Ryan of Ryan White Photography along with this note.
We have been doing really well and enjoying our newly married life! We miss beautiful Scotland, and we look forward to the chance to visit there again. Our family had nothing but amazing things to say about you and the ceremony. Thank you so very much for your help with everything!
It was my pleasure, guys! Come back any time, but even if you don't do that for decades, I hope you'll never forget your wonderful, romantic wedding!
Thanks for allowing me to be a part of it, and thanks of course, to Lina and Ryan for these great shots.