Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Rick and Phillip's Humanist Blessing Ceremony at The Caledonian Hotel

I've been looking forward to hearing from Phillip and Rick for a long, long time, because their wedding was a bit special, for lots of reasons. I'll let them tell their story in their own words, and in these lovely photographs from the talented Jonathon Fowler.

To say that our wedding day was the best day of our lives would be an understatement. 

When we arrived the day before with all my family from America, and Rick's family from England and Scotland, it felt so surreal having the two realities converge. 

We had prepared for that day for a year and the Waldorf Astoria couldn't have been more hospitable. 

I remember coming down the central stair case to look at the ceremony rooms and the flowers had arrived. Seeing them go into place and the staff running around making sure everything was going where it should really made us feel like everything was about to happen! 

Moments before the ceremony we started to both feel anxious and nervous but it was really good to see you at the end of the aisle, as we knew where you stood would be the place that we would be married in front of all our friends and family. 

The ceremony was truly incredible. It was so fun that we got to write our own ceremony, but just with your guidance, because it felt like it was OURS. 

I’ve been to so many weddings and they all sort of follow the same routine but ours got to be so original. 

Getting our guests involved by letting them pass the rings through their hands and getting them to say some vows to us were definitely stand-out moments. 

The night then went on to the wedding breakfast which had some amazing food made by the Caledonian Hotel's head chef and the music had everyone on the dance floor all night. 

Our wedding was literally something you see in the movies which I know sounds a bit cheesy but that’s the only comparable I can think of to explain how perfect and amazing our wedding day was! 

Sometimes we have to stop and think how lucky we are to have been able to be married in the first place. 

We don’t take for granted for one second that we are a same sex couple that are lucky enough to have fallen in love in a time where we can and get married in this big fancy hotel and had our entire family there that supports and love us. 

Cheesy or not, we’re living our perfect movie plot! 

And cut! No, it's not cheesy guys, it's  beautiful, and you totally owned it. 

I love how you came in with your mums/moms; I love how the guests got to hold the rings; I love that your mums/moms gave you the rings to give to one another

I could go on, but you get the picture...

I loved your ceremony, and I am just so pleased you chose me to conduct it. 

So, thank you, Phillip and Rick - long may you continue to star in your own unique love story! My thanks again to Jonathon Fowler, whose blog of the day has some more great shots here

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Sarah and Gavin's Humanist Wedding at Carberry Tower

Gavin and Sarah are VERY fit!

They've done the New York half-marathon and followed the Tour de France. They run, they swim, and they climb hills, so it made sense that Gavin proposed to Sarah by the side of the banks of the Union Canal where they first walked, ran, cycled, and fell in love.

They first got in touch with me in January of last year, and I was delighted when they asked me to conduct their wedding at Carberry Tower in October.

The 16th century Carberry Tower has been many things in its long existence, but it's now a 4 star hotel set in 35 acres of parkland, with its very own chapel, and that was where Gavin and Sarah chose to get married.

We had readings from Sarah's brother Ross and Gavin's sister Carol before we got to the climax of the ceremony and were joined by a surprise guest - Bella, a young, female barn owl, who brought in the rings!

I was very touched that Sarah and Gavin were among the first people to sponsor me when I spent a night in sub-zero temperatures to help end homelessness in Scotland, and along with these photos, they sent a lovely card.

We really enjoyed having the freedom to write the ceremony ourselves and tell the guests a bit more about our story and show why we are matched.

The guests were all impressed with the ceremony and thought it was unique.

We really appreciated your help in the run up with all the pointers, like when to get our certificates in motion and also your tips when we were not able to arrange a rehearsal.  On the day your guidance was invaluable: the ceremony was good fun and it went very quickly!

Your support helped us to relax on the day and take the worry out of things, so we could just focus on enjoying it!

That was my plan, Sarah and Gavin, and I am so glad it worked! Thanks again for choosing me as your celebrant, and thanks to your photographer, Martin Mclelland, for these lovely photographs.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Ashley and Jamie's Humanist Wedding at Balbirnie House

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

Storytelling lies at the heart of my approach to weddings, and I love it when couples take up my suggestion that they invite their friends and family to help deliver their story. 

Jamie and Ashley did that brilliantly. Every single member of their Wedding Party spoke, and as you will see, they had a lot of fun! Chloe, 'The Bairn', kicked off the tale. 

David told us about Ash and Jamie's first meeting at The Civil Service Club...

It didn't go well, as Lauren revealed!

Michael confirmed that Jamie did indeed crash and burn....

But then Jade told us what transpired two years later, when Jamie had grown both his hair and a beard... 

Let's just say the disguise worked! She handed over to Nick, who talked about Jamie's missing years

Kristi dealt with the emotional bit really well

And Sean wrapped it all perfectly in Jamie's words as he said, "We started at the bottom and we worked our way up. I love our story. I love us!"

I was so pleased when Ashley sent me these great photos by Suzanne Li and these words.

Both of us looking back now, just remember what an amazing day it was from start to finish and we couldn't have asked for better. 

I remember as I walked up the aisle there was just this amazing atmosphere and everyone just looking super happy. Apart from Jamie who looked extremely pale and ready to pass out. 

Afterwards, most of the guests said he didn't really speak before the ceremony which just shows how nervous he was! 

We both agreed that the ceremony was our favourite part of the day. We are so glad that we made it personal to us and got to share our story with our family and friends from the very beginning. 

Also having our families involved in the ceremony was extra special for us - even though a few at first weren't too sure about speaking in front of everyone; we are both so happy they agreed in the end.

Most of our guests commented on the ceremony, saying that they had never been to a wedding like this. It's nice to know that we told our story in our own individual way as each story is unique! 

We just loved everything about it and feel I could go on for hours about the day but I feel I'd best leave it there.

I'm sure we could talk about your ceremony all day, Ashley and Jamie - my hope is that your family and friends will still be talking about it in 50 years time!

Thanks again for the kind words, and these great shots by the talented Suzanne Li

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...