Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Jen and Sean's Humanist Wedding at Colstoun House

As its website will tell you, Colstoun is arguably the oldest house in Scotland, dating back in parts to the 12th century. 



It's very beautiful but when Sean and Jen got married there, they really wanted to be outside. In fact, as Jen said on the Colstoun blog, "Before booking our date, I'd checked historical rainfall figures for East Lothian and May showed by far the lowest chance of precipitation so we went for 20th May and kept our fingers crossed..." 



You know where this is going, don't you? 
Jen takes up the tale...

Our Rock Paper Scissors Ceremony

We knew we wanted our wedding to be personal, which is why we chose a humanist ceremony. And it doesn't get more personal than getting the opportunity to write the whole thing, from start to finish! 



That, coupled with a professionalism that was unrivalled, was why we chose Tim.  



Writing the whole thing initially seemed a bit daunting, as we thought we didn't have the first clue about what should go into a wedding ceremony. 



But Tim made it easy for us by breaking it into smaller, bite size chunks, and in the end it was such a great experience putting it together and remembering all of the little things that are part of our story. 



It helped us to remember the reasons why we were getting married in the first place. 

I enjoyed it so much I frequently recommend the 'homework' to other couples even if they're not getting married, as it was such a lovely experience - we learned things about one another that we didn't know before. (That is such a good idea, Jen - thank you! Tim.)



We were able to communicate our story and what it is that we love about each other to our guests so that we could share what brought us all there that day. 

Our vows were built from what we each wanted out of marriage (with a few extras thrown in there too!), so it meant that we were able to make promises to one another that are actually relevant and therefore a lot more meaningful. 

Tim was great on the day, a reassuring visit to each of our respective cottages ensured we knew exactly what we were doing and who was to go where. 



I will never forget the feeling I got right before the ceremony, as I approached the poly-tunnel with my dad and my bridesmaids. 

Seeing the silhouettes of our guests inside, hearing them laughing and talking with the string quartet playing mixed with the sound of the rain on the canopy was incredibly exciting. 



The butterflies I got when my last bridesmaid turned from me, smiling, and disappeared into the polytunnel before it was just my dad & I left to do the same! Unreal. 

Then it was our turn to go, and seeing Sean for the first time truly settled my nerves, and I was so excited for the day to begin. 



I walked down the aisle to 'String Reprise / Treaty' by Leonard Cohen, arranged and played beautifully by The Cairn String Quartet. It was perfect.



During the ceremony, it was so lovely seeing all of our guests enjoy hearing our story and our promises to one another. 



When the rain got so loud that some guests struggled to hear, Tim (ever the professional) knew to pause the ceremony and wait for the rain to die down. Sounds disastrous, but it was hilarious!




We incorporated a game of rock paper scissors to decide who got to speak their vows first, as this is how we resolve many dilemmas. 



Our readings were super personal - the first was a rhyming story Jen wrote for Sean one Valentine's day, and the second was chosen by Sean as a surprise - the lyrics from 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' by Aiden Moffat & Bill Wells. 



The latter was so perfect, our guests laughed very loudly at the line 'and still it will rain' (those who could hear it over the rain anyway!)





We included a ring-warming ceremony and a guest-spoken Apache wedding blessing, as we wanted our guests to be a part of the ceremony too. 



It meant that the day was not just a celebration of our love for each other, but also our love for all of our friends and family, and was a small acknowledgement of everything they'd done for us that meant we could all be there that day. 



Our ceremony was just perfect. 




All of our guests have told us how personal and touching they found it - it offered an insight into us as a couple, and brought us all closer together. 



It was our favourite part of the whole day and I wouldn't change any of it, even the rain!  



Especially the rain, Jen and Sean! Thank you so much for this perfect story of a brilliant day. Who needs sunshine? Thanks to of course to Caro Weiss whose excellent shots these are: you can see more of them and read her story of the day on her blog here

PS This has prompted me to create a new category - Really, really rainy weddings - something tells me that I'm going to be using it again soon!

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