Sunday, 28 October 2018

The Order of Ceremony: some more ideas

I've had a run of weddings recently with interesting Orders of Ceremony that I hope will inspire you!

Laura and Anthony decided to say a few words about Humanist ceremonies and why they'd chosen to have one.

Kate & John took more classical approach, with some lovely illustrations.

While Shona and Simon had a practical problem to solve. 

Shona is from Scotland but Simon is French, so they wanted to make sure that everyone could understand what was being said, whatever language was being spoken at the time, so they created a bilingual Order of Ceremony.

My most recent wedding was for Leon and Christianne, who are both from the Netherlands, but chose to get married here in Edinburgh because it had been an important part of their story. All their guests spoke Dutch, so they produced a simple information sheet that helped them follow the ceremony - no that they needed it, because like all Dutch people, they spoke very good English.

I was delighted when their photographer Marc Millar sent me this photo yesterday: it was taken outside my old garage, and it was lovely to see my NYC Department of Transportation sign is still working well!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Pam and Lee's Humanist Wedding at Orocco Pier

It's the tiny details that make a humanist wedding so personal and moving.

Pam told us she realised Lee was 'The One' shortly after they got together, when she went into the kitchen to find him picking the onions off a pizza because he knew she didn't like them.

And Lee said that he didn't know where he would be without Pam in his life. She is so beautiful, kind and caring, and he feels like he's lost a limb when she's not by his side.

Their wedding was a way to acknowledge their children, Connor and Lucy. 

As they said,'today, we are solidifying our bond as a family of four, and Mummy and Daddy are so proud of you.' Along with these lovely photos from Orange Lemur, they sent me these very kind words.

First of all we would like to say a huge, huge thank you to you for playing such an important part in our special day.  

From the very first contact with you, you were amazing.You welcomed us into your home to start our journey and kept us right throughout it.  You had the patience of a Saint answering all my silly questions, and everything in your blog helped hugely, from all the legalities to the hints and tips...each one was appreciated and helpful.

The homework part of our ceremony was interesting as we had no idea if we were doing it right but it was such fun. It made us sit down and think seriously about what marriage meant to us but it also gave us some laughs reminiscing about the story of us over the years.  And it made our ceremony so special and personal which meant everything to us!

And to the day itself... as soon as I got to the bottom of the stairs and saw you I felt so much better Tim, it made it feel all so real... you were the man that was going to marry us and there you were but the calm you brought to me was much needed!

Every single one of our guests have commented on how great you were and how much they liked you.  One couple have asked for your details for their future wedding and I do hope they choose you and we meet again.

It was such a pleasure Tim and we thank you from the very bottom of our hearts.

Love to you from Mr and Mrs Gallacher xxx

Thank you so much, Mr and Mrs G: you've just reminded me why I love what I do so much, because it's such a privilege to have helped you say everything you wanted to all the most important people in your world. XXX

Monday, 15 October 2018

Zoe and Michael's Humanist Wedding in the garden of their Dunfermline home

I love a DIY wedding. Yes, castles are wonderful, but getting married in your own back garden takes courage, and Michael and Zoe have plenty of that!

They met a long time ago, because Michael used to go camping with Zoe's dad, and it wasn't till they met at a festival in The Borders some years later that they fell in love.

After a spell of long-distance romance, they bought their house in December 2016, and after almost a year of renovating, building a Man Cave for both of them, they set the date and decided there could be nowhere better to get married than in their own garden, which they decorated in fine style with the help of their family and friends.

It was just the other day, after what looked like an amazing honeymoon in Mallorca, that Michael and Zoe sent me these great photos by their friend Tommy Slack, and these kind words.

It wasn't the perfect day, not everything went to plan, but it was still the best day of our lives - So far 👫... 

We had such a blast spending time with our closest friends and family.  The weather held out for us, considering the skies were dark, cloudy grey and looked like the heavens were going to open and pour down

Leading up to the big day was stressful organising everything but it was not only about us: it was more about our guests. We wanted them to be comfortable, so we decided for a casual dress code, and everyone looked gorgeous. 

Even our Fur Baby (Parson Terrier) "Eddie" was not so casual: he was dressed in full Kilt attire 🐶 

We wanted it to be a special memory for everyone, it certainly was for us! The L'Ochil (Our bar/cabin retreat in the garden) held up to its reputation - I mean how many people decide to marry in their own garden and and get to sign the marriage certificate behind their own Bar? We did 👍

Looking back, we were so lucky to have such supportive friends and family who helped us plan everything from the decorations to catering and keeping us sane: at the end of the day, you can't have a wedding celebration without guests!

Marriage means building our life together, looking to the future, being around friends and family... oh, and maybe less DIY in the garden 😊 We had an amazing day!

Thank you, Michael & Zoe. Keen-eyed followers of this story may recognise another couple of faces who I married not so long ago: Ashley and Jamie

Michael was one of Jamie's best men so it was great to see Jamie returning the compliment and of course to meet up with them all again on this amazing evening!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Jade and Michael's Humanist Wedding at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

Aged just 16 and 17 respectively, Jade and Michael first met at City Nightclub: obviously the place to be for underage party lovers! As the 'older woman', it was Jade who passed her driving test first and drove Michael on their first official date to see 'The Bucket List'

They both studied hard at Aberdeen University, getting on with their studies but always making time for each other. It was there that Michael showed his love in the most important way possible when Jade's dad Kenny tragically passed away, and in the ceremony, they said, 'we know that Kenny would be so proud of us and everything we have achieved. He would be very happy for us both to be marrying today.'

They survived a year-long separation while Michael worked in Australia and Jade trained as a teacher, celebrating their much-desired reunion with a holiday in Bali. 

After that, life moved on quickly. They moved into their first flat, they got their doggies, Rocco and Kaspar and then Reuben, their Little Best Man, made their family complete: as Michael said, it felt like their ten years together were just leading up to that moment.

People might say they've taken on a lot at a young age, but Michael and Jade say they love the excitement that Reuben brings to their lives.

As you can see, we had a glorious day in the John Muir Grove, and Carley Kyle made the most of the perfect light by taking these beautiful shots. 

When she sent them over, Jade said,‘Michael and I were delighted to be able to work with you for our wedding day. We really enjoyed looking back on our years together to create our ceremony and were really excited to share our story with our family and friends. 

Because you'd conducted my dad's funeral, to have you conduct our wedding ceremony made it feel there was a special connection for myself and Michael, and for everyone who'd known my dad and wanted to celebrate the day with us. 

Everyone's still commenting on the ceremony, saying it was really enjoyable and they’d never been to one quite like it. Your presence created a lovely, relaxed atmosphere which was the perfect beginning to our married life.

Thank you again Tim. We had the most fantastic day and were so happy to have you be part of it.Hopefully will see you again in the future! X'

I certainly hope so, Jade and Michael! Thanks again for allowing me to be a part of your life not once but twice. It was a privilege and I won't forget it. X

Annemarie and Jonny's Humanist Wedding at GG's Yard

I have nothing to add, other than to say it was just a joy to be part of this very special day!

Thanks to Neil Thomas Douglas for the wonderful photos: you can see many more of them, and read the rest of Jonny and Annemarie's story on the Scottish Wedding Directory here.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Sally and Sean's Humanist Wedding at Borthwick Castle

When Sean and Sally got together eleven years ago, it was all thanks to Doctor Who!

Sean may have suggested that a certain Scottish actor was his cousin: they certainly share the same surname, and when Sally's sons Josh and Kyle found that out, they just had to meet Sean!

Sally realised that she didn't stand a chance. She already knew Sean didn't look like David Tennant: she just hoped he didn't sound like Rab C. Nesbit!

They had a series of dates that just got better and better. From a first meeting in a Morrisons Car Park via the table beside the toilets in an Indian restaurant, they went onto a Burns Night ceilidh in Devon, a haunting weekend in Ruthin Castle, a Gypsy Caravan on the river's edge and a trip to Asturias, which turned out to be a remote and mountainous region of North West Spain, and not Austria as they'd thought when they booked!

As you may have guessed, Sally and Sean have a great sense of humour, but they're also a pair of true romantics.

When they exchanged their rings, they didn't swap new ones, but the Celtic 'Anam Charaid' rings that they'd already exchanged when they realised that they were soulmates (which is what those words mean in Gaelic). 

As I said in the ceremony, 'these worn and battered old rings mean so much to them that they want to continue to wear them to symbolise their love and commitment after they've made their vows.'

When they sent me these great photos by Lee Live, Sean and Sally said, 'We can’t believe it is our 1 month anniversary today!

We would like to thank you for all your help and guidance leading up to our wedding, and of course for the ceremony itself which all of our guests really loved.

The feedback was wonderful, the whole day went really well, and we were just buzzing for weeks, so thanks again Tim! 

The ceremony was great, and there are certainly some Humanist converts in the making amongst our guests!'

Well I am delighted to hear that, Sally and Sean - it's always lovely when the guests pick up on the humanist message, and I'm just delighted that everyone had such a great time. Thank you again for your kind words, and thanks to Lee Live for these great shots!

Abigail and Ryan's Humanist Wedding at The Signet Library

 I don't usually post photos from the prep, but these candid snaps by Ricky Baillie are too good not to share! David (above) i...