I went to a wedding last Saturday. The bride was Mandy, daughter of my friend Jean, and the groom was Richard, Mandy’s partner of the last five years. They had decided that they wanted to commit to each other enough to take that next step into marriage.
After a small hitch when it was realised no-one had brought the necessary paperwork, the ceremony eventually took place in a local hotel in the village where Mandy was brought up, and was conducted by Juliet, a celebrant of the Humanist Society of Scotland. I think it was one of the loveliest wedding ceremonies I have ever witnessed – I say witnessed, because we, the friends and relations of the couple, were all called upon by Juliet to stand as witnesses to Mandy’s and Richard’s commitment to each other.
Instead of religious readings or hymns, Juliet spoke about Mandy and Richard, how they met, what had brought them together, how they had come to love and respect each other, and how they had decided they wanted to commit to spending their lives together by getting married. She had also asked them beforehand what they loved about each other and incorporated the funny stories they had told.
Interspersed with Juliet’s words, Mandy’s mum read out Rules for a Great Marriage; the little bridesmaid read the poem The Owl and the Pussycat, and one of Richard’s groomsmen read another poem about marriage. Then Mandy and Richard made their vows to each other in their own words followed by the perennial “I, Richard, take you, Amanda, to be my lawful wedded wife…..” and “I, Amanda, take you, Richard…. “ before Juliet finally pronounced “I declare Richard and Amanda are MAN and WIFE!” Everyone clapped and cheered! It was that kind of occasion! All the way through, cameras had been clicking but unfortunately mine weren’t too great – it was the light from the window behind the wedding party! Some of the better “bad”ones I played with and added filters to, to produce something a little better. After the register had been signed by Mandy, Richard, and their official witnesses, we followed outside to take more photos.
Mandy and her bridesmaids - Her sister, Susan, daughter, Ashleigh, and a young cousin, ellie.
With mums, Jean and Carol
with Richard’s friends
Mandy with daughter Ashleigh and mum, Jean
Then it was time for champagne and canapés back inside - and more photos. These are Jean and her sister, Edwina, Auntie Mima to Mandy and her sister.
Auntie Mima and Mandy
Ellie had never encountered Sea Holly before – a popular thistle-like flower often used in Scottish buttonholes – and took a great interest in its prickliness!
This is a nice picture of Ellie.
So then the party moved on to North Berwick and the pub the bride and groom run, where there was a lovely dinner waiting for us. The usual speeches were made and toasts drunk to the bride and groom. The cake was cut in the usual ceremonial way and…
…as soon as the tables had been rearranged after dinner and the disco set up, for the rest of the night we bopped!
Mandy. Richard. Wishing you both lots of happy times ahead in the years to come, and thank you for inviting me to share your wonderful day.
Talk again soon.