Thursday, 29 August 2013

Planning Your Wedding

Getting engaged and planning your wedding is a very exciting time but organising such a big event can be quite daunting too. If you feel there’s too much to do, get family and friends involved and don’t shy away from delegation!

Happily, there are lots of wedding planning tools online to help make your life easier. If you’ve already started planning your wedding you will no doubt be familiar with ‘The Wedding Checklist’! Here are two examples:

I was pleased to see both of these lists suggest that you find your wedding celebrant as soon as possible in the process. My advice is to book your celebrant as soon as you have chosen your date and venue - you can then relax and concentrate on the details that will make your wedding day all the more special. 

But if you do find yourselves feeling stressed, take a step back and focus on why you decided to get married in the first place. After all, your wedding is one day - your marriage is forever.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Anna and Ian's Wedding at Summerhall

I was delighted when Anna and Ian asked me to conduct their marriage ceremony, and was excited to discover this would be the first wedding to take place at Summerhall - the former Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, now a creative hub for the arts.

Anna and Ian chose Summerhall after falling in love with this vibrant arts space and scouring almost every other venue in the city. It was when they arrived at its doors last Edinburgh Festival and were greeted by general theatrical chaos and trapeze artists swinging from the rafters that they knew this was the place for them!

Anna and Ian’s ceremony was very personal, moving and above all – fun! Anna walked (or should I say sashayed?) down the aisle to ‘My Baby Cares For Me’, sung by friend Nina. One of Ian’s best friends, Oliver, gave a speech that really came from the heart and Anna’s sister Helen had written a wonderful poem to celebrate their special day.

The traditional Scottish two handled drinking cup, the Quaich, is often called 'The Loving Cup'. It seals the bond between two people and marks the blending of their two families, not to mention giving them a lovely nip of whisky!

At this point it feels only right to introduce a poem by Ogden Nash called 'A Word To Husbands':

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.

To bring the ceremony to a close, Anna and Ian chose a lovely traditional Scottish blessing:

Where'er ye bide in the world sae wide,
We wish ye a neuk on the sunny side,
Wi' muckle o' love and little o' care,
A wee bit pursie wi' siller to spare,
Yer ain wee ingle when day is spent,
In a wee bit housie wi' hearts content.
It was a joy to be part of Anna and Ian’s big day, and I was delighted to receive these great pics and this note:

“Thank you so much for doing such a beautiful ceremony. You did such a wonderful job and so many people have commented on how personal and truly special the humanist marriage was. From the bottom of our hearts, the ceremony was our most treasured part of the day and that was down to you and your lovely manner and style.”

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Jennifer and Scott's Wedding in St Monans

It was a perfect summer’s day in St Monans, the pretty fishing village in the East Neuk of Fife. The sky was clear blue, the sea glistened in the sun and there was only the faintest breath of wind.  

The setting was everything Jennifer and Scott had dreamed of for their wedding day - in their own beautiful garden, with breathtaking views of the sea, celebrating with their close family and friends.

Before they exchanged wedding rings, Jennifer and Scott had a traditional handfasting ceremony and exchanged vows of commitment they had written themselves. 

They also chose to include a lovely poem called 'I Love You' by an unknown author, which was read by their two older children, Liona and Jamie.

I love you
For the kindness in your eyes
And the warmth in your voice,
For the honesty of your words
And the silence of your smile;
For the ways in which we’re similar,
And those in which we’re worlds apart.
For the openness of your understanding
And the acceptance of your heart;
For the tenderness of your touch
And the strength of your commitment,
For your sense of humour
And your seriousness of purpose;
For a thousand small reasons,
And one most important of all:
Simply because you are you.
In all of creation you are the one whom I cherish most,
The one with whom I hope to share my life –
Its joys, its sorrows, its accomplishments, its challenges –
While building our dreams together and growing everyday
In the love that makes us one.

 Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Mr and Mrs Jones!

It's too late Scott, you've signed it now!

"Many thanks again Fiona for making our day so special."

Jennifer and Scott, it was a great pleasure to share in your special day. What a wonderful way to start your married life. PS can I come and live in St Monans?!

Friday, 2 August 2013

A Twist on Tradition

Weddings are full of rituals and we’re all familiar with ‘here comes the bride’, the exchange of wedding rings and the throwing of rice or confetti. 

Honouring long-standing traditions on your wedding day is a great way to incorporate old customs - but remember, although you might want to follow some (or all) of these traditions, this wedding is all about you! Make it a day that resembles your personality and that you will both remember for years to come. 

Many brides now choose to walk down the aisle to a favourite song or instrumental piece of music. Two great tunes I’ve enjoyed at recent weddings are ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri played live on the violin (a must for Twilight fans!) and a recording of Carla Bruni singing ‘Quelqu'un m'a dit.

Designated bride and groom sides during the ceremony are also becoming a thing of the past, with many couples asking their guests to sit wherever they like. This is a great way to show the unity of the bride and groom and lets the guests get to know each other.

At a ‘traditional’ wedding you would see a line of bridesmaids standing near the beautiful bride. But if your best friend happens to be a bloke, don’t think you have to confine him to being just another guest on your wedding day - make him a bridesman. And no one would bat an eyelid if the groom decides to have a Best Woman!

Follow this link for some obscure and interesting wedding traditions from around the world: