The Glorious Blair Castle with Jojo and Chris

Just up the road is one of the most stunning wedding venues in Scotland, the home of the Duke of Atholl, the only person with a private army in Britain. It is Blair Castle. Set in its own magnificent estate, surrounded by “Big Trees” as we call them up here (trees collected last century by plant hunters mainly in North America) it is your archetypical Scottish Victorian baronial pile and filled with all the history you could ever want (mainly guns, guns and more guns. Oh, and swords).

Jojo and Chris’s wedding was the poshest of posh affairs. The majority of the men wore their trews or kilts with black tie and the women were in their finery – though none could eclipse Jojo.

I mean look at the antlers on the walls

The page boys entered before the stunning bridesmaids and the Jojo and her Dad. We began the ceremony with a Band Warming where the rings are passed amongst the guests and then opened with Bruce and holly absolutely nailing I’ll Be There By Louise Cuddon

I’ll be there, my darling, through thick and through thin.
When your mind’s in a mess and your head’s in a spin.
When your plane’s been delayed, and you’ve missed the last train.
When life is just threatening to drive you insane.
When your thrilling whodunit has lost its last page.
When somebody tells you, you’re looking your age.
When your coffee’s too cool, and your wine is too warm.
When the forecast said, “Fine,” but you’re out in a storm.
When your quick break hotel, turns into a slum.
And your holiday photos show only your special thumb.

When you park for five minutes in a resident’s bay.
And return to discover you’ve been towed away.
When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste.
Just stick on your hips and don’t reach round your waist.
When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes.
When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes.
So my darling, my sweetheart, my dear…
When you break a rule, when you act the fool.
When you’ve got the flu, when you’re in a stew.
When you’re last in the queue, don’t feel blue.
’cause I’m telling you, I’ll be there.

We had a great laugh at their story of how the two of them got together and embarrassed a few of their friends in the process. The highlight of the story was the 80 year old stranger in a south London pub told Chris that “she is a keeper” and persuaded him to ask Jojo to marry him..

We even had a random sing song with the bridesmaids leading all the guests. Just brilliant!

Well you’ve got to have a laugh haven’t you?

The Best Wee Wedding Of The Year With Jamie Lee and Paul

Wee weddings have been a way of life throughout the pandemic. During lockdown a wee wedding consisted of only five people, and that included me. The logistics of this mean that I had to get out the way to let the photographer do her work.

It is a great honour when you get to marry your friends and I have known Jamie Lee and Paul for what seems like centuries. We met, not too frequently, in Paul’s Mum and Dad’s pub, The Corbie Inn in Bo’ness and we already have the return match pencilled in for 2022 in the Corbie Inn – that will be a party and a half

The wedding venue was the incredible St Anthony’s Chapel in Holyrood Park and that is north Edinburgh and Leith stretching away in the back ground.

The witnesses were the two Mums, both looking very lovely. I was going to run a a competition to see if you could spot which Mum was which, but I think that would be too easy.

A wee wedding ceremony is very simple although we did have a wee laugh about how they first met before they exchanged promises and then their legal vows. Quite emotional actually.

So, a lovely, breezy day and I am really looking forward to conducting a full celebration next year. Isn’t she beautiful?

Just Perfect – John Muir Grove with Victoria and Gavin

It’s Official.
I have decided that my favourite venue in May has to be the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh and the stunning John Muir Grove. The rhododendrons and azaleas are just coming into their own, their flowers vivid and bright and the whole place is lush with spring growth.

Even last Sunday it was beautiful. The weather was dubious, it had been very showery in the morning. Showery as in stair rods showery, and my heart fell for poor Vicki. But as I drove over the rain slowed it dried up, and as I arrived I noticed the staff carrying the chairs across the path and up the hill to the John Muir Grove. Gavin had taken an executive decision to move the wedding outside and a good call it was as well.

The guys from the Apollo Strings were there, tuning up in the marquee before making their way up to the grove and there were the usual crowds of inquisitive tourists and spectators wondering what on earth was going on with all those men in kilts hanging around, beautiful women in their fancy frocks and staff wrapping seats in white and rolling out red carpets.

The ceremony that Gavin and Vicki had written was short, simple and humorous, just exactly what was required for the day because it was a bit chilly when the sun disappeared.

 Oh, and the Apollo Strings have changed their name to Capella thereby ruining one of my best gags when I ask the “appalling strings” to play while we sign the schedule. Anyone who can come up with a good line around “Capella” gets a prize.

Marie and Kenneth at Glencorse Old Kirk

As you can see I believe that a wedding should be a joyful occasion and that it is OK to have a laugh or two. I am pleased to see that it even amused the musicians who must have been to more than a few weddings before. I ask the couples that I am to marry to do some homework for me and to tell us how we come to be at the wedding and how they met. There is always an opportunity for a smile, or more, especially when I have been sent two separate accounts of the same story. I seem to recall that this moment was about the proposal when Kenneth pulled out an engagement ring made of pipe cleaners and proposed to Marie on a freezing cold day in Dunfermline.

Glencorse House is dramatic and romantic. I actually married them in the Old Kirk, down by the gates to the house, and it is a wonderfully atmospheric venue, an old church building with no electricity and yet full of light, even on a dreech day. I joined the guests for a glass of orange juice (I had another wedding later in the afternoon) and then went to bid my farewells to the newlyweds only to discover that the photographer had whisked them off to a secret location in the woods. I had to text my goodbye and apology to Marie the next day. She forgave me and was good enough to send a message with the photos just before they departed on their honeymoon.

“Thanks again for such a lovely ceremony – lots of people are still going on about how lovely and personal it was and how you had them all laughing, then crying at some bits”