A Wedding On The Beach with Craig and Lisa


 

One shouldn’t laugh but it is amazing how often it is the groom that breaks down during the important bits in the ceremony.

I had not conducted a wedding at the Glen Golf Club, I had played golf there so I was a bit confused as to where the ceremony might be held. Imagine my surprise when I arrived to find the seats set up on the sandy beach opposite the clubhouse. They were so lucky. It was a lovely day, a bit breezy so not easy projecting into the wind but even in September in Scotland, it could rain.

Theirs was a lovely story of slowly falling love having met at work. The trigger to the romance was an email sent to Lisa from Craig. I think he may have been drinking because this is the email as I read it out at the ceremony:

Sat 25/03/2006 02:18 To: xxxxxxhtwin@hotmail.com

yo u im a buit pssed but i have to confesss i like u. i tthink u r really nicd and was wondetrin if ud be up 4 goin 4 a dink sometime. txt me 077xxx9960

thik thats t. cya late xxxxx

Lisa’s replied by text to the number and Craig replied: “who is this?”. Lisa was more than a bit upset but they did meet up for a date and so the romance was born.

So, we laughed, Craig cried, we hugged, Craig’s nephew entertained us on the guitar and a great time was had.

unnamed

Yes, It Is Glamis Castle! Maxine and Tracy’s Big Day


What an absolute delight! It was a truly gorgeous, wonderful day when Tracy and Maxine got married at one of the most beautiful venues in Scotland. The two of them were great fun to work with, we had an absolute ball.

Their ceremony was in the tiny basement that only holds around 50 people so intimate was the word for it and their friends and family were very much a part of their big day. Tracy’s brother Mark began proceedings with a reading by Mark Twain:

‘A Marriage’

This will be the mightiest day in the history of our lives,
For it makes of two fractional lives a whole,
It gives to two purposeless lives a work,
And doubles the strength of each to perform it.
It gives to two questioning natures a reason for living,
And something to live for;
It will give a new gladness to the sunshine,
A new fragrance to the flowers,
A new beauty to the earth,
And a new mystery to life.

Their ceremony was hilarious with more puns per line than I ever thought possible. They then presented their respective mothers-in-law to-be with flowers before exchanging their pledges to one another. There honestly wasn’t a dry eye in the room and I have to share them with you all:

Maxine:

“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows,
But you can be my wingman anytime.
When I first saw your face, I thought the sun rose in your eyes.
I knew I’d found that somewhere, over the rainbow,
Where blue birds fly and dreams really do come true.
No measure of time with you would be long enough,
But let’s start with forever.
Come what may, I will love you until my dying day.”

Tracy:

“To me you are perfect.
I felt it early on, this was the beginning of something special.
I’ll always remember that text you sent.
“I like your fire, but keep a handle on those flames,” it read.
You know I have a tendency to get over excited.
But you were my destiny and I felt the force.
I love you more than I have ever found a way to say.
I love you, and that’s the beginning and end of everything.”

Aren’t they wonderful? Oh, you may wonder what Tracy is doing with a cardboard cutout Elvis. Well, theirs was an Elvis themed reception so the King had to appear at the castle as well, didn’t he?

Thanks for the message Maxine and Tracy, “Working with Brian was so easy, his guidance in helping us to create our perfect ceremony was invaluable and as a result, we ended up with something very personal and unique to us. All the guests commented on how lovely and intimate the ceremony was, some even said it was the best wedding ceremony they had ever attended which meant so much to us. Brian’s warmth, fun, and easy going nature made us feel so relaxed on the day and the nerves soon went – we enjoyed every moment of it and our only wish is that we could do it all over again!”

With Ann and John in Glasgow


CHP-327

 

 

It does make a change for me to conduct a wedding at a city centre hotel, so frequently am I out driving through the countryside searching for a castle in the mist. The Blytheswood Square Hotel is very grand and a wedding there is always special. I managed to park, there never seems to be a problem at the weekend, got organised, rehearsed the Band Warming where we pass the couple’s rings around their guests and then John and I waited patiently for the lovely Ann to arrive.

 

Theirs was a classic wedding ceremony and we began, as I said, with a Band Warming. There were three readings and they asked me to deliver one of them, which I am always delighted to do and then they opted for a Hand Fasting as they exchanged their vows. Very Scottish.

I will leave you with the hilarious poem that young Luke read out and that had everyone in stitches:

I promise to love you

When your jokes are not funny

I promise to love you

When you have no money

 

I promise to love you

When you’re sick and all snotty

I promise to love you

When you’re angry and grotty

 

I promise to love you

When you’re drunk and unruly

I promise to love you 

When you’re hung over and drooly

 

And I promise to love you

When you drive me round the bend 

I promise to love you

Because you are my best friend

 

What a superstar!

 

 

With Carol and Kieran at The Parsonage


One of the great joys about my job as a celebrant is the variety of the couples I work with and the different ways they put their ceremonies together. Each ceremony is different, each is unique because, well, each couple is different and unique, especially each of their stories about how they met. This was so true in the case of Carol and Kieran. Their stroy was not just unique it was, well … this is how I introduced it during the ceremony, “As you can imagine their homework had a certain whiff of the surreal about it, a hint of the absurd and a couple of tablespoonful’s of just plain, not self raising, weirdness!” As you can see from their guest’s reaction their stories were hilarious.

But what made it even more special was that they had written most of the ceremony themselves including their promises to one another:

“You’re about to make promises to each other that you intend to keep. You’re going to vow to take care of each other, to stand up for one another, and find happiness in the other. There’s a simple premise to each of these promises: you’re vowing to be there. You’re teaming up and saying to the other, “Every experience I am going to have, I want you to be a part of.

“Will you, Kieran, keep Carol as your favourite person – to laugh with her, go on adventures with her, support her through life’s tough moments, be proud of her, grow old with her, and give her all the affection and love you give the fish?

Kieran: I will.

“and will you, Carol, keep Kieran as your favourite person – to laugh with him, go on adventures with him, support him through life’s tough moments, be proud of him, grow old with him, and give him all the affection and love you give the cats?

Carol: I will.

Will you, Kieran and Carol, be each other’s partners from this day forward? Will you bring out the best in one another, share your happiest moments together, and love each other absolutely – for the rest of this lifetime and for whatever may come next?

Carol and Kieran: We will.

Oh, and let me share one other thing from their sparkling ceremony. It’s a poem called Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton:

“I like you a lot
You’re funny and kind
So let me explain
What I have in mind.

I want to be Your Personal Penguin
I want to walk right by your side
I want to be Your Personal Penguin
I want to travel with you far and wide

Wherever you go, I’ll go there too
Here and there and everywhere
And always with you
I want to be Your Personal Penguin
From now on.

Now lots of other penguins seem to do fine
In a universe of nothing but ice
But if I could be yours and you could be mine
A cozy little world would be twice as nice”

It was read at the ceremony by Karen O’Driscoll who, I will be honest, absolutely nailed it.

Carol  was kind enough to send me the following:

““When we first went to meet Brian to talk about our ceremony we knew he was the right man for the job straight away. We wanted a light, relaxed and humorous ceremony and he didn’t disappoint! All our guests, some of whom had not experienced a Humanist ceremony before, couldn’t stop complimenting Brian and the ceremony. He made the whole process easy and stress free from start to finish”

Thank you my dear, a pleasure.

Family affair at Keavil House with Suzanne and Lawrie


638A04590C3A2193Keavil House is one of my more infrequent venues. It is not that far away from me but there is this river in-between that presents more of a psychological  than physical barrier even though we do have a lovely new crossing to link the Kingdom to the rest of the (inferior parts of the) United Kingdom. Suzanne and Lawrie were joined by their very well behaved children Abi and Thomas and the ceremony was beautiful. We did, of course, have a bit of a laugh expecially at their meeting up a second time. It was in a pub and Suzanne, who was not one to hold back, immediately sprinted across to say “Hiya” and tell Lawrie that she was single and, as she said in her homework, “I was even more delighted to hear “so am I”, to this day still 3 magical words.” So romantic.

We laughed, had two lovely readings, the children were perfect. What more can one ask for?

0C3A2184

A Rather Damp Myres Castle with Nicola and Iain


Travelling up everything was fine and rosy, a bit overcast but it will be fine I thought to myself. As I parked I noticed that Nicola and Iain had decided to have the ceremony outside, underneath the beech tree. “So, we’re outside then Henry?” I asked, just for clarity. Henry is lucky person who owns Myres Castle – not as glamorous as it sounds as, at that moment, Henry was laying the chairs out for the guests. The swing band arrived and set up beneath the tree behind me.

The ceremony was ever so special and Nicola and Iain had chosen readings that I had not heard before like this, which Carol read:

“Once upon a time, a boy met a girl.

She gave him her hand and he held it tight.

Together, they set off down the unknown path in front of them.

Sometimes they walked slowly; sometimes at a quicker pace.

Sometimes they ran so fast it felt kind of like flying.

Whenever he lost his footing, she steadied him, and whenever she tripped, he helped her back up.

Whenever she grew weary, he’d carry her.

Sometimes they didn’t know which direction to go, but though they would occasionally lose their way, they never lost each other.

They wandered contentedly and lived happily, forever and always side by side.”

The highpoint of the cermony was when we sang a song, Stand By Me by Ben E King accompanied and lead by the swing band but by this point I could see Henry struggling up the path with an arm full of umbrellas.

There is inspiration everywhere for your own special vows and Nicola and Iain had taken theirs from the 2012 film The Vow and they were beautiful:

Nicola

I vow to help you love life,

To always hold you with tenderness,

And to have the patience that love demands, to speak

When words are needed, and to share the silence when they are not

I promise to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home.

 

Iain

I vow to fiercely love you in all your forms,

Now and forever,

I promise to never forget that this is a once in a lifetime love

I vow to love you, and no matter what challenges might carry us apart,

We will always find a way back to each other

I declared them married, we signed the paperwork, I announced their grand exit.

And the rain stopped.

And the sun came out.

It was a wonderful and special ceremony and Nicola and Iain were good enough to send me this:

“We are so happy we found you to conduct our wedding ceremony. Not only did we think you did a fantastic job, many of our family and friends have commented on how great you were, and that you were a “class act”. You made everyone relax, and your quick thinking when the rain came on meant that nobody got soaked! We would recommend you to anyone looking for a Humanist Celebrant”

 

 

Married by the guy down the pub – Zsofia and Phill


In my job, you get asked to all sorts of different weddings. Phill and Zsofi approached me in the pub we frequent because they were looking for something entirely unique, informal and without all the, eh, shall we call in razzmatazz of a “typical” wedding. As they said to me, they just fancied going off and being married by the guy in the pub! Theirs was a small, intimate affair at lunchtime in the garden of a restaurant in Linlithgow with a few of their close family and friends. I should share with you all that it was not a warm and balmy as the photos make it appear and Zsofia, in her gorgeous dress, was the bravest woman in the world.

Zsofia is from Hungary and we were joined for the day by some of her family and really close friends. Phill is from Scotland and he wanted a touch of Scotland in the ceremony so we performed a Hand Fasting. My Hungarian is non-existant  but I did manage the odd phrase in the story of their romance because Zsofia shared the most romantic of Phill’s proposal: “The ring was already on my finger for a long time, I know it is strange to say, but I felt it so real. I had a secret wish and the answer for that was Phill… When he asked me “Hozzám jössz?” (Will you marry me?), there was only one possible answer: Igen! (Yes!)”