With Joanna and Joe at Dalhousie Castle

What a lovely day it was at the wonderful Dalhousie Castle. Joanna and Joe met as students at Heriot Watt University nearly ten years ago and it was such an honour to meet their family and friends. Their ceremony was thoughtfuly put together and we began by lighting a candle in memory of Joanna’s grandfather and Joes’s grandparents. The ceremony included a Band Warming where we passed their rings amongst their guests and at the end  Joanna’s sister Vicki sttod up and shared the following, which I thought was beautiful:

In spite of what some of the famous old readings say, it is impossible to perfectly define what love is, or what marriage is, or how to keep them strong. The definition is different for each couple.

[Sister & new Brother]: This is your relationship, your wedding, your marriage, your life. You had the amazing good fortune to find one another, and now YOU get to define what love and marriage will mean to you. This will be one of your greatest tasks, and greatest adventures. Your married life will be uniquely yours. No one else has ever had that particular life, and no one else ever will. Make it loving. Make it wild. Make it last.”

A Windy Day at Dalhousie Castle with Alison and Shawn

Another Skype wedding although this time I met Alison and Shawn briefly around Christmas time when they were over from the US to visit her parents. During the rehearsal on the Friday evening the weather was slightly, eh, inclement if wholly representative of the summer (ha,ha) we’ve been having in Scotland. I met nearly all of their families, including Shawn’s who had travelled all the way from the United States for Alison and Shawn’s big day and Alison’s wonderful bridesmaids Lesley and Fiona who were to play such a big part in the day. We walked through the key parts of the ceremony – the entrance, the readings, the vows, the ring exchange and the exit – and we were only missing one important player, Bonny.
The day arrived and the weather improved. It was actually sunny, if slightly breezy (as in champagne glasses blowing off the tables breezy). Everyone assembled, the Apollo Strings played, and the ceremony began. The entrance went perfectly, not easy when you have two flights of stairs to negotiate to enter the room, I welcomed everyone and then asked the Best Man to bring the rings forward for a Band Warming. The Best Man did not have the rings at this point Bonny, the beautiful barn owl, did and on cue she flew down and landed perfectly on the Best Man’s gloved hand. I tied a ribbon through the rings and asked the guests to take part in the Band Warming, each to hold the rings and make a wish for the happiness of the couple and then pass them on. Lesley sang and stole everyone’s heart and Fiona ended our ceremony with a reading. Glorious.

Remi and Andrew at Dalhousie Castle

Scotland is a wonderful place for your wedding with our amazing countryside and our wonderful, atmospheric venues. Remi and Andrew had decided to elope from their home in the USA for their wedding. They were looking for a personal ceremony that reflected their vales and what was important to them, something quiet, meaningful and personal.
Their wedding was organised remotely by Litu  the Scottish wedding planners and consultants and they arranged the venue, the photographer, the piper and contacted me. Remi, Andrew and I worked by email and wrote the ceremony, just as they wanted it. On the day Kimmy and George acted as their witnesses and the five of us had a simple ceremony in the atmospheric chapel downstairs. George even jumped in the car afterwards and collected the Extract of the Register (usually called your “marriage licence”) from the Registry Office in Dalkeith

The ceremony was written around an extract from the works of Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926) the Bohemian-Austrian poet. He wrote about marriage as follows:

The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of their solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side by side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.” 

We played with an owl, had a glass of champagne and toasted the newly married couple. A lovely day.