Friday, 23 June 2017

Jaclyn and Stuart's Humanist Wedding at The Vu


Stuart and Jaclyn first met at an NME Nominees gig in Glasgow, but it took Stuart a while to win Jaclyn's heart because she thought he was 'too sensible'! She also had to get over his fondness for Take That, but he got there in the end... via the university email system!



Their first date was to see Madagascar 2... despite the movie choice, Jaclyn had butterflies in her tummy all night. Over the next few years their relationship developed to the point that Jaclyn moved in on Stuart by stealth, one possession at a time! 




After their big holiday to Florida, they bought a house, but it was a complete wreck, and they were so hopeless at DIY all Stuart's dad Alex would let them do was mop the floor. 



Stuart's proposal was one of the most original I've heard in a while. The ring arrived at breakfast time, along with two apple turnovers. Jaclyn said, “I enjoy every moment I spend with Stuart, and can't wait to make more memories with him in the future!”



The day before the wedding, Jaclyn sent me this message. "I am a bit worried about getting so nervous talking in front of so many people that I tongue twisted in my vows - is there anything you can recommend so I don't?"



I said, "just breathe deeply and enjoy the excitement!" It must have worked because along with these photos, Jaclyn said, "We would just like to thank you for all your help in preparing our wedding and conducting our ceremony.  It was absolutely perfect - so many people have told us how lovely it was and so personal to us." 




"It was definitely my favourite part of the day -  and I am so glad I never cried haha!"



"We have just watched the DVD that Billy Graham filmed for us and it was so nice to relive the moment again!"




"We are so glad we had you as our celebrant and will be recommending you to all of our friends and family that get engaged! Thanks again for everything, hopefully we get to meet you again soon!"



I hope so too, Jaclyn! Many thanks to Mark Timm for his photos - you can see more on his blog here



Thursday, 15 June 2017

Rosa and David's Humanist Wedding at Seton Collegiate Church


Seton Collegiate Church is one of my favourite places to conduct a wedding, not least because Lesley Peebles-Brown who looks after it for Historic Scotland is such a calming and reassuring presence. David and Rosa chose it because it's not far from Edinburgh where they live and it's also close to North Berwick, one of their favourite getaways, where David had proposed on a starlit beach the year before.


I loved the musical intro to the ceremony: it was Pachelbel's Canon, which is a very familiar tune, but one I'd never heard played by a brass band! David plays with the wonderful Dalkeith & Monktonhall Band, who played them into the church.

Being geologists by training, they love the great outdoors, so they asked Rosa's sister Annie to read this beautiful poem by Ann MacLeod: it's called 'There Will Be No End'

There will be no end to the joy, my love. 
We will stand together as the stars 
sweep the Cuillin rounding into morning 
the bright new morning of the tender heart. 

And where we sing the song will be a fine one 
and where we dance our steps will never fail 
to tap the springs of life of love and laughter 
timeless as stars the wheeling circling stars 
that dance and sing and sing and dance again 
and there will be no end to the joy


When they spoke their vows, they chose my preferred route, which is to say that they spoke directly to each other: it's always a powerful moment.


And as well as these pics from the lovely Caro Weiss, they sent me these words.

Thank you once again for conducting our ceremony.  It was perfect! 

We've had so many guests say how much they enjoyed the ceremony and that they felt a much greater connection to it because it was so personal and heartfelt.  

Thank you for all your help and guidance in preparing for the ceremony, and of course for delivering it so wonderfully.  

The process of doing the homework and then writing the ceremony was really a fantastic way to reflect upon our relationship and take stock of where we were and where we wanted to go, and both of us really took a lot away from that experience, so thank you again.


It was a very moving ceremony - as you can see from the many many photos on Caro's blog here - and the guests loved it: she's got a lot of really good shots of their reactions and I've rarely seen a happier crowd.

Thanks for sharing this with me, David and Rosa: I hope life continues to be wonderful and that you'll continue to enjoy cycling and walking through Scotland together for many years to come.


The Future of Humanism

"Humanism is now facing an existential challenge and the idea of “free will” is under threat."  This is an excerpt from an art...