Friday, 30 October 2009

A Gifted Young Designer

I was at the Edinburgh Coffee Morning today where I met Fiona Storey, who's just finished her Graphic Design MA at Edinburgh College of Art.

Three years ago, she was one of the students who took part in a project I set to design postcards to promote awareness of the HSS. The course tutor, Derek Green, took the brief a step further and asked them all to come up with an identity for the society and it was Fiona's solution that was chosen as our new logo.

If you're looking for someone to create a really original invitation to your wedding, why don't you drop her a line?

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A Gifted Young Musician

I was conducting a wedding ceremony last Saturday evening in Edinburgh when I heard someone playing classical guitar - exceptionally well, I thought - so I went to see who it was.

It turned out to be Adele Neilson. Despite her youth, she's a serious player who earlier this year gave a recital at the Auditorio Claudio Monteverdi, Mantova, Italy, and is a winner of the Chanterelle Guitar Prize.

Find out more about her here, and book now, to avoid disappointment!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Carol & Craig's Humanist Wedding at Glencorse Kirk

I really enjoyed working with Carol and Craig, who created a wonderful and very moving ceremony and sent me this lovely testimonial.

"I wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks for helping make our wedding day so unique and memorable. From the minute I walked down the aisle I could tell that you’d ‘warmed the crowd’ as the atmosphere was so relaxed and happy. I loved every single minute of the ceremony, by far the best part of the day, and without you I’m not sure Craig and I would have known where to start. You can’t begin to imagine the impact you had on all of our friends and family, no-one had ever been to a ceremony that was so relevant to the couple and delivered with such sincerity. Infact, some of our engaged friends are asking for your number as they no longer have a misconceived idea of how dull a wedding has to be!"

"I could go on and on, but I just wanted to thank you for making our day the best of our lives. I smiled from start to finish and was on a high for weeks afterwards. I’ve watched the ceremony on video at least 10 times and there’s not one thing I would change. It was perfect."

"The atmosphere continued all evening with guests talking about the ceremony any moment they could….so you see, not only did you make the ceremony special, but you ensured everyone was on a high for a very very long time thereafter."

So, not much for me to live up to now, is there Carol? Thank you both very much indeed xxx

Step by Step Guide to a Humanist Wedding no. 8 - The Vows - Official Guidance

One of the many attractions of a humanist wedding ceremony is that you are free to choose what to say to one another about why you love one another, what marriage means to you and what you promise. The wording of the legal declaration, however is another matter.

As it says on the Registrar General of Scotland's website, "There is no legally prescribed form of words to be used in relation to 'marriage vows' in Scotland… but there must be "a declaration by the parties, in the presence of each other, the celebrant and two witnesses, that they either accept each other as husband and wife or accept each other in marriage or make both declarations."

So in plain English that means you can choose, take or accept each other, but you have to say the words, rather than have me ask you a question. 

Here are some, but by no means all, of the ways you might do that.

“I (Forename) choose, take or accept you (Forename) as my wife/husband”

“I (Full name) sincerely declare that I choose, take or accept you (Full name) as my lawfully wedded wife/husband”

“I call upon these persons here present to witness that I (Name) do solemnly and sincerely declare that I 
choose, take or accept you (Name) as my lawfully wedded wife/husband”

BTW, the declarations don't have to be made in English, as long as they are clearly understood by the couple, the Celebrant and the witnesses.  Yesterday, I married Mati and Kenny, and as you can see, Mati who's Spanish, spoke her vows in her native tongue.

In fact, the whole ceremony can be conducted in a different language (including Gaelic or old Scots) as long as the couple, the Celebrant and the witnesses understand what is being said, using the services of an official translator if necessary.

So there you go: if you have any further questions, you know where to find me!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Lina and Tony's Humanist Wedding at Mansfield Traquair Edinburgh

As I often say when I'm explaining what makes a Humanist ceremony different, Humanists believe that there are more things that unite humanity, rather than divide it, and the greatest of these is love. Lina and Tony's wedding was a textbook example. I think Lina's dad looked really cool in his kilt.

Lina and Tony were childhood sweethearts. They met at school, where Tony had hours of amusement throwing bits of paper into Lina's hair which was very long and bushy in those days.

This wasn't their first wedding; to honour Lina's family, they had a Hindu ceremony first, but they chose to make their Humanist wedding the legally binding one, and everyone really entered into the spirit of the day.

The ceremony was held on the 10th anniversary of their getting together. Before the vows, they did something very brave, which was to tell everyone the reasons they love one another. And even braver, they kept what they had to say a secret from one another until that very moment.

Their friends Gerard and Nora Holden gave a great version of 'Something', by The Beatles before they were piped out by a family friend.

Along with lots of photos, Lina sent me this sweet note. Thank you very much in being part of our special day we really had a fantastic time and the ceremony was perfect, everybody was really touched by it.

It was my pleasure!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Gillian and Neil's Humanist Wedding at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

On a good day, there are few more beautiful settings for an outdoor wedding than among the Redwood trees at the Botanics.

And these photos, by Kerry & Nick Steyn, capture it brilliantly.

Gillian and Neil were in two minds about what kind of wedding to have: something small and discreet or a big celebration for all their family and friends. This was their happy compromise. Gillian's friend Faye sang and played the Bob Dylan song 'make you feel my love.' She has a gorgeous voice, and the atmosphere was absolutely electric, even though her rendition was entirely acoustic.

I got a lovely email from Gillian the other week, saying "Thank you so much for conducting our wedding ceremony, it was just PERFECT! Everyone commented on how beautiful it was and how it reflected us as a couple so well, so we can't thank you enough for that. The magical setting helped too, I'm sure!"

It certainly did - and my thanks go also to Kerry and Nick Steyn of Firefly Photography for these lovely pictures.

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...