Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Orocco Pier Wedding

This was a last minute wedding for me. I only met Ben and Christine a few days before the ceremony. They had already married legally when they were both living in New York City and did the honours at Central Hall, which Christine compared to queueing for the post office!

They had relatives come over to Edinburgh from Massachussetts, where Ben hailes from and Australia where Christine has some family. Unfortunately my camera doesn't do the venue Orocco Pier in South Queensferry justice. The huge picture window gives a backdrop of the two Forth bridges. But here is a lovely picture of the happy couple. Gorgeous!

Christine's mum has been growing sunflowers in her garden all summer to use on the tables, in the buttonholes and of course, on the cake.

I've recently had a few grooms ask me if it's OK to have their ushers standing at the front with them as well as their best man. Of course it is! This is common practice in the US where they're called Groom's Men. They all had their kilts on and were muttering something about being true Scotsmen. I cannot confirm, but it is definitely true that Americans have great teeth:

Hello ladies!

Dryburgh Abbey Hotel Wedding

I don't often do weddings in the borders but the drive down to the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel for Fiona and Jonathan's wedding was a treat.

I was especially pleased when I got there because I met this falconer with his lovely baby Barn Owl. It's only 15 weeks old.

The sun was out so the wedding was in the gardens of the hotel and the bride made a dramatic entrance to the bagpipes.

The ceremony was lovely.

And Fiona and Jonny make a unique couple - check out his black nail varnish! I loved Fiona's dramatic scarlet gown, which her mother had customised.

Fiona's mum also made these gorgeous bridesmaid dresses.

And the best man looked very dapper too.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Holyrood Park Wedding

Driving to Holyrood park for today's outdoor wedding, what should I come across but...

And in the carriage was The Bride with her lovely bridesmaids. They were drinking Champers and having a jolly time.

The setting was lovely and for the first time in ages, the sun came out.

Mike and Suzanne are the first couple who have asked me if they could 'jump the broomstick'. This is an old tradition and it symbolises the bride's willingness to clean the house. Whoever jumped the highest was the decision maker in the home and surprise, surprise this was usually the man. It's not as easy as it looks in a big frock and high heels, but I'm pretty sure Suzanne jumped the highest.

And here is the happy couple at the end of the ceremony. What a sexy bride!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Abden House Wedding

Sometimes I can get quite caught up in the emotion of the day. Kara and Gordon said their vows in the lovely setting of Abden House with so much love in their eyes that we all felt a bit teary! It was a lovely ceremony and the best part was the baby naming of their little boy Lewis, who slept through the whole thing and didn't cry at all.

They make a beautiful family:

Here's a lesson in how to choose bridesmaids. At this wedding we had an adorably cute one and a gorgeous foxy one:

I love these 'Good Luck' horse shoes, and wish I'd been given some on my wedding day!

Napier University Wedding

Nicole and Stephen got off to a good start. They had already legally tied the knot in Autrailia but decided to have a ceremony in Scotland too. Here is Nicole arriving at Napier University with her dad.

I think she looks absolutely gorgeous in her blue dress and she is as talented as she is beautiful because she made it herself!

This couple created lovely vows and in Stephen's to Nicole, he promised to bring laughter into her life. She laughed just after he said this and I said, "Well, Stephen, You're off to a good start!"

Personally I think laughter and fun are vital ingredients to a good marriage and it was lovely to see this couple beginning married life with huge big smiles on their faces.

And, of course, the look of love!

Monday, July 9, 2007

What is Humanism?

Humanism predates Christianity and goes back to the Ancient Greeks.

Some people make it seem complicated but its core is pretty simple:

Humanists think we should try to live a good and ethical life without religion or superstition, that we should treat other people the way we want to be treated ourselves and that this life is the only one we have.

So, does that mean I get up every morning, embrace the day, climb mountains, listen in rapture to birdsong and glory in the wonder of evolution? No. Or not very often anyway, much to the disapointment of my husband.

Humanists value other humans equally no matter what creed, colour, age, gender, sexuality or social standing they are.

We place a high value on the environment and the arts.

But most importantly Humanists are free thinkers, therefore we have no dogma. So my thinking on Humanism might be quite different from the next Humanist's. Ce la vie.

Check out the Humanist Society of Scotland's website for more info. We have local meetings in different areas around Scotland that you are more than welcome to go to.

The Atrium Restaurant Wedding

Jemina and Matt travelled all the way from Australia to get married in Edinburgh at the The Atrium Restaurant

This is the first wedding where I've made a bride cry. Jemina's dad telephoned the restaurant just before the ceremony to pass on his and her mum's love and best wishes. I nearly cried with her, when I told her.

The groom was very nervous before the ceremony but was fine once Jemina made her entrance. Though he still looks slightly shell shocked here.

They make a gorgeous couple, don't they?

A Garden Wedding

On Saturday I took a trip back to Stirling where I was born!

Lynne and David's wedding wasn't in the castle but in the far lovelier setting of their very own back garden.

Here is a picture of the groom:

He is wondering if it is going to rain - again!

After much deliberation we decided to set up wedding camp under a gazebo.

We then scattered some petals on the ground for the bride arriving.

The sun once again came out at the last minute but the best part of the wedding was when David and Lynne's friends read out poems they had written for each other.

Neither the bride or groom had heard the other's poem before the wedding ceremony and it was very personal, touching and emotional. I think Lynne looked very regal in her elegant dress.

Edinburgh Zoo Wedding

The first ever legal humanist wedding was at Edinburgh Zoo in 2005, so I was delighted that Sarah and Paddy asked me to marry them there. When we all arrived the weather was horrid but then, low and behold the sun came out just as they were saying their vows.

The wedding was in the Mansion House overlooking the zoo, not in the penguin enclosure. Unfortunately.

I thought Sarah looked glowing in her pink dress.

The Hub Wedding

Another rainy day in Edinburgh!

Luckily Gail and Richard had chosen to get married indoors in the grand setting of The Hub on Castlehill.

I'd never married anyone there before and was worried that the space would be too big and echoey. However lots of spongy wallpaper gave the more intimate setting of the balcony lovely acoustics for the ceremony.

When you go to buy a wedding frock, the assistant always asks you where they wedding is going to be as apparently you need to know this before you decide whether you're having an empire line or a meringue. I used to think this was a load of nonsense but could see their point at this wedding. Gail's elegant and opulent gown was so well suited to the grand setting - and as you can see she looked beautiful in it!

They had their meal and dancing downstairs in the big hall and there was loads of room for a ceilidgh. I bet it was fun!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Holyrood Park Wedding

Nobody wishes for rain on their wedding day but despite the drizzle this ceremony was lovely.

It took place just outside the Historic Scotland education centre in Holyrood Park on the same day as the official opening of the Scottish Parliament.

I really love it when brides have their own style. Sabina's dress had a vintage 1940's look and was very elegant. Her hair was in a very glamorous chignon. As she is Shetland-Peruvian her sister Maria read out the lyrics from a Tracy Chapman song in English and Spanish:

Tracey Chapman from ‘Tracey Chapman’ (© 1986 SBK April Music Inc./Purple Rabbit Music)

There’re no words to say
No words to convey
This feeling inside I have for you
Deep in my heart
Safe from the guards
Of intellect and reason
Leaving me at a loss
For words to express my feelings
Deep in my heart

No hay nada que decir
Noy hay palabras convenientes
Lo que siento por ti
Porfundo en mi corazón
A salvo de las barreras
Del intelecto y la razón
Sin palabras para expresar mis sentimientos
Profundos en mi corazón

I also enjoyed all the home baking they had!