Beautful, relaxed and intimate

When I met with Emil and Lucy to plan their ceremony, they told me they wanted a “beautiful, relaxed, intimate ceremony” and that’s exactly how it felt. There were so many gorgeous personal touches …

The bride and groom’s parents blessed the marriage in Polish and English at the start of the ceremony, which got us all weeping happy tears before it had even begun.

Kris Soul Photography

We heard the entertaining story of how Lucy and Emil got together (involving some heroic matchmaking efforts by their mutual friend).

I shared some of the lovely things Lucy and Emil had told me in secret when I asked them individually what they would like to say to each other about their love and connection.

Kris Soul Photography

The mother of the groom sang a stunning Polish love song which blew us all away.

Kris Soul Photography

Lucy and Emil exchanged emotional personal vows and rings.

Kris Soul Photography

They then sealed their Marriage Vows with a unique triple knot Handfasting. The mother of the bride did a fantastic job tying three knots; symbolising the bride and groom’s individual and shared vows, and the joining of their families and countries.

The whole event was absolutely glorious and utterly heart-warming and I’m so incredibly happy for these two brilliant people.

Wishing you so much love and joy for your future together, Lucy and Emil. Thank you for trusting me with your ceremony and for generously sharing these photos. It was an absolute pleasure being with you on your wedding day and spending time with all your lovely family and friends. Congratulations!

Kris Soul Photography

Stunning flowers and arch by family friend, Deborah.
Sweet photographs by Kris Soul Photography.

We make each other happy …

“We make each other happy, and we want to keep making each other happy.”

Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott’s wedding at the beautiful Restoration Yard in Dalkeith in June was wonderful. These two super-chilled, adventurous, whisky-loving people exchanged their Marriage promises to each other and to their gorgeous little girl, Bea, in the glorious sunshine.

It was an extra special honour to be invited to lead today’s ceremony as Scott and Elaine came on my birth course four years ago when they were expecting Bea. Bea did a beautiful job as flower girl on their wedding day.

Family is really important to Elaine and Scott and their wedding was a joyful gathering of their closest family and friends. It was such a personal, beautiful day.

Elaine and Scott wrote a secret poem for each other, which they shared on the day. Then they exchanged rings that they had made themselves, after panning for gold in the Scottish Highlands!

I shared some of the lovely thoughts that Elaine and Scott had shared with me in secret when I asked them about their love and connection. And after exchanging Marriage Vows, they shared a sip of Ledaig in their beautiful Quaich, a fine whisky and a great choice from these two self-confessed whisky geeks. 

Then they drove away in a stunning blue 1955 Ford Lincoln Capri. The first of many adventures as a married couple.

Elaine and Scott, here’s to lots of fun travels around the world in the years to come with delicious food, fine whisky, great culture and all the happiness you could wish for. Thank you for trusting me to be your celebrant. It’s been such a privilege to be a part of your family journey.

Thanks to Tara, Laura and the good folks at Restoration Yard for welcoming me back for the second time this month – and for lending me sun cream! It was also lovely to meet wedding photographer couple, Betty and David at Tub of Jelly, also expecting a little one very soon 🙂 Thanks so much Elaine and Scott for sharing these glorious photos.

If anyone wishes to go sustainably panning for gold in the Scottish Highlands then Jacqueline and Edward will be glad to hear from you.

It’s about valuing the little things in life …

The key to a happy life is equal respect and admiration. It’s about listening to each other and valuing the little things in life; like a hot water bottle in bed after the night shift, cheese on toast after a heavy night on the beers. It’s about the small surprises that we do for each other, and lots of hugs.

Jade & Calum

What a joy it was to declare Jade and Calum married on a stunning April day. After such a long wait and so many shifting plans, it felt even more meaningful to witness these two kindhearted, adventure-loving, wonderful people make their vows to each other.

Their sweet, joyful ceremony took place outside the stunning Orangerie at Dalkeith Country Park with two of their close friends as witness, and all other family and friends very much included through an online recording.

It was glorious.The sun shone as Calum and Jade exchanged personal vows and rings then sealed their Marriage Vows with a Handfasting, each ribbon representing their two families.

The nearby picknickers all gave a gentle round of applause as they were declared married. So lovely!

Congratulations, Calum and Jade! It’s been such a pleasure planning your ceremony with you these past months. Wishing you all the very best for your future together. Thank you so much for trusting me with your ceremony.

Beautiful photos by Paul Maguire Photography. Stunning silk bouquet by Gigha at Meadow Isle Floral Studio. Many thanks to Tara and the team at the Restoration Yard for being so welcoming and helpful. Thank you, Jade and Calum, for your kind permission to share these lovely photos.

Let’s Get Married!

Massive congratulations to Zoe and Trevor who said “We Will!” on Arthur’s Seat exactly one month ago. Such a fun, relaxed ceremony with these two incredibly laid back and super lovely people.

Photographer: Brenna Nyznik

When Trevor and Zoe first got in touch to ask if I would conduct their elopement ceremony, Trevor told me,

“We’d love to be at the bar, drinking a G&T, and having a laugh, and then at some point during that drink, we’ve got married.”

Well, we may not have been at a bar (their original ceremony at the Kimpton Hotel had to be postponed due to Covid-19) but the panoramic view and the hipflask toast more than made up for it.

In a secret, intimate, simple ceremony brimming with personal touches, Zoe and Trevor declared their love for one another overlooking Edinburgh. They exchanged unscripted vows and rings with their dog, Popcorn, and two of my good friends, Brenna and Pete, as their witnesses.

Photographer: Brenna Nyznik

In lieu of the Wedding Quaich, Zoe and Trevor enjoyed their first toast – G&T of course – as husband and wife. The sun shone, and we all enjoyed listening to Let’s Get Married! by the Proclaimers, and Wedding Day by Tori Amos.

Photographer: Brenna Nyznik

At a time when life is just beginning to open up again, it was pure joy to part of this incredibly life-affirming, love-filled day. Thank you so much, Zoe and Trevor, for trusting me with your ceremony. I loved being your celebrant.

Wishing you all the very best for your future together. Here’s to all the happiness, fizz, cats, dogs, hot tubs, adventure and love that you could wish for in your many years together. Congratulations!

Photographer: Brenna Nyznik

Bringing beautiful, person-centred ceremonies to Scotland …

We are delighted to announce that we are looking to invite six new Life Celebrants to join our Agnostic Scotland Life Celebrant network this year in order to help us respond to the growing demand for Agnostic ceremonies across Scotland.

Since our Agnostic Scotland launch in November 2019, we’ve been humbled by the response from people across Scotland wishing us well, enquiring about working with us, and asking about how to support our Community Fund and join our Community Connection Gatherings.

The Wandering Wildling Photography

We are so excited to be welcoming in this new phase in the development of Agnostic Scotland, and ultimately working towards our goal of providing beautiful, person-centred, affordable ceremonies that reflect the beliefs, values and wishes of the families involved.

As one of our ambassadors says:

“In today’s Scotland, there are fewer formal rituals. But our souls still need them. Today, we need a safe space for our rites, our ceremonies. Somewhere where there are no stipulations on God. Or Gods. Or no God(s). Or on gender binaries. Or on what a family looks like. Or on what music you can and can’t sing, or play, or listen to. I am excited that Agnostic Scotland can hold those spaces, perform those rituals, celebrate those ceremonies. Everyone deserves a safe place to mark life’s milestones.”

Raini Rowell Photography

If you are someone who has always held a deep fascination for life transitions, who loves to honour rites of passage through ritual and ceremony, who enjoys bringing individuals together in celebration, and who has a heart-centred and open-minded respect towards the many varied, sometimes contradictory, and often complicated beliefs, values and wishes of others, then becoming an Agnostic Scotland Life Celebrant could be the perfect role for you. No prior celebrancy experience is necessary, although experienced celebrants are also welcome to apply.

To find out more, please see the latest blog on our Agnostic Scotland website, or contact us to let us know if you’d like to be sent the application form on 1st June 2021. Thank you, and good luck!

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Morris-Jones Photography

It’s such a challenging time for anyone planning a ceremony just now; having to navigate all the shifting restrictions. So, I hope it’s a perfect time to share these beautiful details from Kirsten and Grahame’s December wedding ceremony. Hopefully, reassuring others that it absolutely is possible to have a glorious wedding day, despite the global situation.

“Seems silly, doesn’t it? A wedding. Given everything that’s going on.”

“Maybe that’s the best reason to have it. Because of everything that’s going on.”

Conversation between Ginny Weasley and Harry Potter

Kirsten and Grahame had planned to marry in Florida but, like so many this past year, their plans were forced to change. That didn’t stop this adventure-loving couple from planning their ceremony in less than seven weeks, and having the most wonderfully festive and magical day.

Morris-Jones Photography

Twenty of Grahame and Kirsten’s nearest and dearest gathered at the sumptuously decorated Archerfield House. Kirsten is a Christian and a devout follower of Harry Potter, and Grahame is non-religious. So, it was a great pleasure to lead a magical and incredibly personal ceremony for them both; one that fully respected their individual and shared beliefs, values and wishes.

Morris-Jones Photography

During the ceremony, they both shared some words with each other that they had written in secret, before exchanging rings as a symbol of their loving and binding commitments.

Their wee boy stole the show by dancing around the room, and we all witnessed Grahame and Kirsten make their Unbreakable Vows to one another. It was perfect.

Huge congratulations to you both, Mr and Mrs Newman. I’m so excited for you and wish you a magical future together. Enjoy your Florida honeymoon when it comes!

Heartfelt thank you to the lovely Dionne at Morris-Jones Photography for sharing these stunning photos.

A Big Love In

Happy New Year, Everyone. I hope 2021 brings you great happiness and good health, and a positive shift from the uncertain times we’ve all been facing this past year.

This seems a perfect time to share, with their kind permission, details of Natalie and Lucy’s gorgeous ceremony on 20th December 2020 and these glorious photographs by Ian Linton.

Lucy and Natalie brilliantly navigated the shifting sands of a global pandemic, despite the challenges they faced. I hope their story will help reassure others that a change in plans can sometimes simply mean a different kind of wonderful.

Ian Linton Photography

When we met to plan their ceremony, Natalie told me:

“Our wedding is about love… it is about celebrating our love with the people we love, and with all the people who love us… it’s a big love in…” 

And that’s exactly how it was; the light, beautiful Sun Room at Newhall Estate was brimming with joy, tenderness, laughter and love.

Ian Linton Photography

Originally, Lucy and Natalie’s plans had been to make their commitments to each other in a large gathering, at the height of spring, with all their family and friends present as witnesses. However, when lockdown hit they were forced to postpone. Seven months later, it became obvious that a large gathering would still not be possible.

They were determined to not let a global pandemic interfere with their wish to get married this year but it was also really important to Natalie and Lucy to include their wider friends and family. As Lucy had said when we first met:

“We both feel so lucky to have found each other. Our ceremony is about thanking everyone for all the love and support they have given us along the way.”

Ian Linton Photography

So, a plan was made to have two ceremonies. The first would be an intimate Marriage ceremony with just eleven of their close family and friends. The second would be a first anniversary ceremony and party with all the people they love.

Their December ceremony was absolutely heartwarming. Natalie and Lucy walked down the aisle together to ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ by Mariah Carey.

Ian Linton Photography

A musician friend recorded a beautiful song especially for their wedding, which we listened to during the ceremony. Natalie’s twin sister gave a brilliant and entertaining insight into how these two fantastic people found each other.

Ian Linton Photography

I shared, on their behalf, some secret thoughts and words that Lucy and Natalie had written for each other. They exchanged joint vows and rings as a symbol of their loving and binding commitments.

We heard a recording, during the signing of the Marriage Schedule, of wonderful music created especially for the day by Lucy’s brother and nephew.

After such an emotional and logistical rollercoaster of a year, it made my heart sing to declare Natalie and Lucy legally married.

.Ian Linton Photography

Natalie and Lucy, huge congratulations! Thank you for being so fun and lovely. I’m already looking forward to celebrating with you, and your family and friends, this time next year. Wishing you so much love and happiness for all your many years together.

Ian Linton Photography

Thanks also to Jack at Newhall Estate for being so welcoming. And great to catch up with Ian Linton Photography. Thank you for these epic photos.

The pursuit of happiness …

Beth has a joyful heart, beating a dance I want to get swept up in every day.

Rachel is my best friend. She brings so much happiness in my life. I can’t wait to explore the world with her by my side.

Rachel & Beth

When Rachel proposed to Beth in the middle of a darkwave goth gig two months into their relationship she was being serious. These two creative, funny, kind, and – by their own admission – eccentric souls had an instant connection and knew that they wanted to share their lives together.

Photo by Jono (Paul Johnson)

So, it was wonderful that, after a year of planning and what felt like endless shifting sands (due to the global pandemic), Rachel and Beth were finally able to go ahead with their Civil Life Partnership ceremony. On a crisp, clear autumnal day, a close circle of their family and friends gathered by St. Anthony’s Chapel on Arthur’s Seat in the heart of Edinburgh.

Photo by Paul Johnson (Jono)

Beth’s family joined us on Zoom and, during the ceremony, we heard some words from Beth’s mum and maid-of-honour, all the way from Australia.

In a personal and emotional exchange of vows, Rachel and Beth made their promises to each other overlooking the city that means so much to them both. There wasn’t a dry eye on the hill.

Photo by Paul Johnson (Jono)

They sealed their Life Partnership Vows with a Handfasting, the gold and white ribbons symbolising the brightness of the day. It was glorious.

Photos by Paul Johnson (Jono)

Beth and Rachel, thank you for trusting me with your ceremony. I absolutely loved being your celebrant. Wishing you so much love and all the witchy happiness you could wish for in your lives together.

Photo by Jono (Paul Johnson)

Thank you to friend of the family, Jono (Paul Johnson), for the gorgeous photos.

I love you more than I did yesterday …

Charlotte and Andrew’s Wedding at the stunning Colstoun House was a day of love, togetherness, family and friends.

Simons Studio Wedding Photography

With their beautiful rescue dog, Goose, and an intimate circle of their closest family and friends, Andrew and Charlotte gathered in the gloriously autumnal Colstoun polytunnel.

Simons Studio Wedding Photography

Their wider circle of family and friends joined the celebrations on Zoom. We successfully managed to shrink the geographical distances so that everyone felt an important and connected part of the ceremony.

Simons Studio Wedding Photography

Two friends described, over Zoom, the hilarious story of how Charlotte and Andrew first met (it was all thanks to a pair of size 9 trainers).

Then Charlotte and Andrew shared the secret reasons why they love one another, to much laughter and happy tears.

They exchanged personal ‘toasts to each other’ that they had written especially for their ceremony.

Simons Studio Wedding Photography

Then shared joint vows before exchanging wedding rings.

I love you more than I did yesterday.

Simons Studio Wedding Photography

A friend read, in Gaelic, an Irish poem she had written for Charlotte and Andrew. And the gathering cheered as the newly-married couple made their way into the sunshine.

Simons Studio Wedding Photography

Plans might not have unfolded according to Charlotte and Andrew’s original wishes (given all that is going on in the world) but everything about this vibrant, joyful, love-filled day was perfect.

Charlotte and Andrew, wishing you so many heartfelt congratulations. Thank you so much for trusting me with your ceremony. I’ve loved every minute of being your celebrant.

A shout out to the folk behind the scenes:

Wonderful to meet Simon from Simon’s Studio Photography – thank you for sharing these stunning photos.

Bride’s hair by Belle Bridal Hair and Beauty, and makeup by Rachel Doran.

Always a great pleasure to be celebranting at Colstoun, two fields from home. Thank you for a beautiful day!

A tale as old as time …

We will stay together through tears & laughter, because that’s what they call happily ever after.

Ashley & Tom
North Hold Photography

What an honour it was to be part of Ashley and Tom’s fairytale wedding at the sumptuous Prestonfield House in October. The sun shone, the leaves glowed with autumnal light, and the day was magical.

In an intimate ceremony with their close family as witnesses, Tom and Ashley shared the secret reasons why they love one another, and exchanged personal vows and rings. It was a ceremony filled with laughter and happy tears, made even more poignant by months of shifting plans and uncertainty leading up to their wedding date.

North Hold Photography

Ashley and Tom, I’m so delighted for you that you were able to go ahead with your plans despite all that is going on in the world just now. What a beautiful day! Thank you for inviting me to be your celebrant. Wishing you both so much love in the years to come with many more magical moments and fairytale adventures in your lives together.

North Hold Photography

Thanks also to Mark at North Hold Photography for these stunning photos, and Matt at Willoughby Films for Tom and Ashley’s awesome highlight film, and Alan, Kirsty, Cameron and the always-so-welcoming events team at Prestonfield House. It was a great pleasure spending time with you all.