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!