Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Liz and Eric's Humanist Wedding at Ardanaseig in Argyll
This was an extraordinary ceremony, in every possible way. Eric and Liz had been planning a humanist wedding for ages but only a month before their wedding, they discovered that the person who was supposed to be conducting their marriage wasn't actually legally authorised to do so*: major panic! Luckily they got in touch with the Humanist Society of Scotland and within a matter of hours we'd met and they decided they wanted to work with me. Their excitement that evening was almost palpable, and I had a feeling that this would be a particularly romantic ceremony.
I wasn't wrong. Ardanaseig is a small, luxurious and wildly romantic country house hotel on the misty shores of Loch Awe and it was the perfect setting for a wedding full of Irish people: all that rain must have made them feel right at home.
I love it when couples have the courage to speak during their ceremony, and Liz and Eric decided that they'd tell everyone the reasons why they didn't just fall in love with one another, but decided that this was the person without whom they couldn't live. It was incredibly moving and even the photographer, the ubiquitous Trevor Wilson, said he thought it was one of the loveliest weddings he'd ever been to.
When they came back from their honeymoon, Liz wrote me a wee note saying, "Without exception, everyone who was there on the day has commented about what a wonderful, personal and moving ceremony it was that you performed for us. Many of our friends who are married have said they wished they had had a ceremony like ours, as it was so emotional, and so uniquely 'us'. It is a source of great pride for us that people have said this, and we feel it should be for you too! And in terms of our feelings about it, we don't think that anyone else could have given us a ceremony like you did, we feel it was an absolute blessing to us that you got in touch and offered to help us in our hour of need, and we will always be grateful that things didn't turn out as we had first planned, as you really did make our day perfect! Just to say again the biggest thankyou I could for making our ceremony everything we could have wished for and more!"
It was and it is, Liz!
*No-one other than an authorised celebrant of the Humanist Society of Scotland can conduct legally binding ceremonies. There are now (June 2009) 51 celebrants authorised by The Registrar General of Scotland to conduct legal weddings. All of us are members of the Humanist Society of Scotland, and all our names and contact details can be found here. Accept no substitute.
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