Highland Humanist Weddings

Stuart & Vicky’s Humanist Wedding at Dunrobin Castle

October 6, 2012 | Author: admin | Filed under: Scottish Humanist Wedding

What a wonderful atmosphere for Stuart and Vicky’s wedding! As the guests arrived, the piper played outside, and Stuart and Andy greeted everyone. It was a fine day, too, so no one was rushing, and photographer Lynne and videographer Colin were busy with their cameras. Vicky and her Bridesmaids were getting dressed in the Castle, […]

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What a wonderful atmosphere for Stuart and Vicky’s wedding! As the guests arrived, the piper played outside, and Stuart and Andy greeted everyone. It was a fine day, too, so no one was rushing, and photographer Lynne and videographer Colin were busy with their cameras.

Vicky and her Bridesmaids were getting dressed in the Castle, so I popped in to say hello before going upstairs to check the marriage schedule and make sure we’d got everything we needed.

As friends and family took their seats, it was lovely to hear the music of the string quartet, Cruiteran (the name’s Gaelic for Minstrels). Then the Bridal Party was piped up the stairs, there was a short pause, and a signal to me from Scott: I asked everyone to stand, and the quartet played Pachelbel as the Bridesmaids, Page Boys, Vicky and her dad Ian walked up the aisle. Beautiful.

We’d started the Wedding Band Warming before the ceremony began. For anyone who’d missed what I’d said, I explained again that each guest was to hold the rings for a few moments, warming them with their hands – and with their warm wishes and blessings.

Then we had the candle-lighting. The candles looked so elegant in Dunrobin’s silver candelabra, but they wobbled a bit when we touched them, and it was just as well our hands weren’t shaking too much. I love the symbolism: Bride and Groom lighting their individual candles at the beginning of the ceremony, then using the flames from these to light the third candle together after they’ve become husband and wife. And the individual candles continue to burn, just as two people remain separate individuals while being at the same time united, or one, in marriage.

A favourite moment was Vicky’s dad giving his Affirmation – he kept us waiting a long second for his reply – but I said we’d go ahead with the wedding whatever he said! Another was Stuart and Vicky’s exchange of rings and vows (Andy did a grand job managing the rings). I loved, too, the happy flourish with which Bride and Groom walked down the aisle at the end of the ceremony as the quartet played, followed by Bridesmaids, Best man and Ushers.

But the highlight for me was their History, which included: Apparently the initial reason he fell for her was that she was the worst cook he’d ever seen – in his words, ‘she burnt pancakes, her Swiss roll wouldn’t roll as the sponge was like a sheet of polystyrene, and her choux pastry was, well, inexplicable when we made profiteroles….’ Vicky says she fancied him in cooking class too and – in her words – ‘his work station used to be behind mine, he used to look over my shoulder all the time (I was not very good) and laugh and joke at my poor cooking.’ It’s not hard to guess who does the cooking at home!

And then there was the piece about family: A wedding is not only a marriage of two people, but also a celebration of family. It is the blending of two families, separate until now, united from this day forward, blending their different traditions, strengthening the family tree. On the day of their wedding, as a newly married couple, Stuart and Vicky wanted to honour this blending of families, and to thank their families from the bottom of their hearts for all their love and support over the years.

The Dunrobin staff were smiling, because the wedding guests were so happy and appreciative. I love being a Celebrant, and every wedding is special, but Stuart and Vicky’s was extra special for me because it was my hundreth!! Coincidentally, my very first wedding booking had been at Dunrobin Castle too, and over the four years since then I’ve been lucky enough to go back a few times every year. I hope I’ll be lucky enough to go back for a few more!

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2 people have left comments

Lorraine Wilson - Gravatar

Lorraine Wilson said on November 3, 2012, 21:30:

This is such a lovely summary of the most beautiful Wedding I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. I cannot emphasise enough how Penelope captured both Vicky & Stuarts personalities & their “love story” and put this into every aspect of their Ceremony.

The Cememony was not only personal, it was relaxed, fun & emotional. I was honoured to be Vickys Chief Bridesmaid and stand up there while she took her vows to Stuart. I obviously care deeply for them both so the ceremony was extra special for me, but I know that my feelings were shared with many of the guests; one of whom even commented to me”why can’t all weddings be like that” and I couldn’t agree more.

Penelope got to know them as indivisuals and as a couple and it was heart-melting to see their reactions to the intimate feelings they had individually shared with Penelope.

I just wish we could do it all over again. But I also look forward to watching Vicky & stuart grow as a married couple & am excited to see what their future holds!

Xx

admin - Gravatar

admin said on November 4, 2012, 21:47:

Thank you very much Lorraine – and I’ve just looked at Lynne’s beautiful photos, all 465 of them 🙂 so I’ve been enjoying the day all over again!

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