Direlton Castle and Niamh’s Big Day

Well, who is the luckiest eleven-month old in the universe? Days before her Naming Ceremony and, of course, her Mum and Dad’s wedding at Direlton Castle the weather was truly awful but, on the day, the skies cleared, the showers stopped and a slight breeze blew.

Jackie and Jaimie had decided to have a joint wedding and naming ceremony and I met them before Christmas to start planning the big day. They wrote a fantastic ceremony and I sprinkled a little pixie dust on it as ever, suggested a few changes to the running order and with quite a few emails Jackie and I pulled the special day together. We met the day before and had a rehearsal which was quite important when there are two ceremonies in one and you have the complication of Direlton Castle – not the easiest of places for brides and bridesmaids to navigate their way around. We also had to work with Samantha and Gareth, Niamh’s Guide Parents (the equivalent of Godparents), and work out when they came forward and when the bridesmaids and the best man sat down etc etc.

On the day it all ran like clockwork and Niamh behaved herself, smiling away at everyone and generally behaving like the star of the show. Well, that part of the show anyway.

We reset the stage, the bridal party came forward again, and then her Mum had her big moment. I love it when the bride and groom write their own promises, especially when they keep them a surprise from one another, there is never a dry eye in the room. We signed the schedule and then the whole party assembled for the grand exit, Niamh in her Dad’s arms, the bridesmaids, best man and ushers, the Guide Parents and they all marched out following the piper to a standing ovation.


A wonderful, wonderful day and then Jackie topped the whole lot off with her surprise present to her new husband – the whole of the Haddington Pipe Band. Where else but Scotland….

Direlton Castle with Euan and Kim

Direlton Castle is a Historic Scotland property just north of North Berwick on the beautiful east coast of Scotland, Direlton Castle is an impressive 12th century romantic property in the forefront of Scottish history, which today is most famous for its beautiful gardens. Victorian and 1920s Arts and Crafts gardens have been re-created and include the world’s longest herbaceous border.

Euan and Kim chose to get married in the undercroft, a part of the ruins that used to house the kitchens and store rooms. It is

the most enchanting and atmospheric of venues and if you can imagine the scene in the photograph (taken when I visited a months before) dotted with candles and lined with flowers then that is what greeted the guests as they arrived on a breezy and sunny September day.

There are remnants of old windows and openings high on the wall to the left of the photograph and, I admit, more through luck than judgement, when we re-joined the guests after signing the schedule the sun had moved across the sky and came streaming through the window immediately above and to the left of us. It was one of those moments you couldn’t plan for (well, you can if you want, the sun came around at 3.30pm) and it finished off a magical ceremony beautifully.

Kim and Euan, as with all the couples I work with, had written their own, very personal ceremony and included in it readings by both of their fathers. Kim’s dad James turned out to be just like Garrison Keeler (Lake Wobegon Days) and, with his dry and self-effacing wit entertained wonderfully. It was then the turn of Euan’s dad Graeme who, to avoid any hint of competition, came forward and read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 and he read it beautifully. But James had set the stage and the whole ceremony turned into an emotional roller-coaster, with tears and applause in equal measure.

Kim’s family were dispersed throughout the world and we had guests from Canada and from Asia. They had prepared the most delicious canapes and we drank champagne and ate the snacks before everyone got back on the buses to Edinburgh for the reception. A day that no one will ever forget.