Every wedding is different and every couple is different; so it’s important that all of our Humanist Marriage Ceremonies are personal and unique to every one of our couples. I am truly honored to be a part of the process and to be involved in helping people celebrate their special day. Plus, I get to conduct a variety of ceremonies in some on the most stunning locations that Scotland has to offer.

This July I was lucky enough to return to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh to conduct an outdoor ceremony for Sheelagh and Gavin. They had chosen the botanical Gardens as it was important for them to be married outside, as they love the outdoors, and knew it would make their day that little more special. And, well you know what the weather is like in Scotland, second on the list was the fact that it had a wet weather alternative, still in the gardens, in the equally stunning Caledonia House.

Thankfully though, on the arrival of the wedding day, we were greeted with a gorgeous day, so the ceremony would be outside, under the towering redwood trees in the gardens, just across from Caledonia House, the seats were set out and the red carpet laid.

When the 100 or so guests arrived, they were shown by the ushers to their seats, where they would find their name hand painted on a stone. For the guests who didn’t have a seat, we created a horseshoe crescent so that everyone could see the ceremony.

The bride made her entrance, after the bridesmaids who were all dressed in matching long turquoise dresses, to the music of the bagpipes. The couple knew the pipers, so unusually there were two of them playing off of each other creating a really special marker that the ceremony was underway.

Sheelagh then joined Gavin at the front at we started the ceremony. There were words on Humanism and what it means to the couple, so thoughts on marriage and the the importance of it. I then told the couples story; their journey so far that has brought them to their wedding day and why they love each other.

Gavin and Sheelagh had chosen to incorporate a traditional hand fasting into the ceremony before we moved on the the legal vows. What made this more poignant was that both Mum’s had the cloths which were in each family’s respective tartan. They came forward and presented the cloths as a welcome to their respective son and daughter in law before the Bride and Groom ‘tied the knot’.

A Wedding is not only the joining of two people in Marriage, it is also the joining of two families, so the hand fasting partially represented this, but both Gavin and Sheelagh’s Brothers read a poem each: A Red Red Rose by Robert Burns and a Celtic Blessing.

After the ceremony we all headed back to Caledonia House for a celebratory drink and the newlyweds nipped off for some photographs, making use of the stunning gardens and of course the weather. The guests were encouraged to do the same to before heading back to the Carlton Hotel for dinner and the evening reception.

Congratulations again to Mr & Mrs Arbuckle, from all at Fuze, we wish you all the happiness in your future together.