There’s beauty in simplicity. When Alice and MJ invited me to be their celebrant in August last year, true to their laid back natures, they were totally unfazed about planning their wedding in just a couple of months. We chatted in their cosy home by the sea with their sweet dog, Cora, asleep by the fire. It became clear very quickly that their day would be super mellow and gorgeous.
In Alice’s words, “We don’t like a fuss. Our wish is for a beautiful, simple ceremony where we can celebrate our love with our close family and friends.”
On a crisp, bright December day, MJ and Alice’s family friends and members of the school pipe band played as we all gathered under the impressively tall Christmas tree in the hall at Belhaven School, where Alice works. Alice and MJ walked up their wedding aisle together with Cora, in a symbolic gesture of the equality of their partnership and their shared love and support.
It was important to Alice and MJ that they choose an Agnostic ceremony; a ceremony that fully respected the shared and varied beliefs of everyone present. Alice was brought up Christian and MJ is non religious. Many members of their family have spiritual or faith-based beliefs. So, it was an honour to lead a ceremony that was inclusive and welcoming to all.
A close friend read a sweet reading from the Velveteen Rabbit and we all sang a lively rendition of Highland Cathedral to honour MJ and Alice’s Scottish heritage. I shared a few words about how the, at times, over-zealous matchmaking efforts of MJ and Alice’s friends eventually (and thankfully!) paid off when they introduced these two kind, unassuming people to each other on a skiing holiday in France. MJ and Alice hit off instantly bonding over shared interests and similar outlook on the world.
It’s clear that Alice and MJ complement each other brilliantly. Alice is typically late, MJ is punctual. Alice ski’s, MJ snowboards. Alice is, by her own admission, “a bit too relaxed about things” whereas MJ is “constantly wiping the new wooden worktop”. They care a lot for each other and have a similar sense of humour, really enjoying each other’s company while also spending time independently enjoying their own time and interests.
In the presence of their dearest friends and family, Alice and MJ exchanged rings and Marriage Vows with a snoozing Cora by their feet. Then they shared a first married toast in their beautiful ceramic Quaich, made by another close friend.
After the ceremony, a relative of Alice’s came up to me and said “it was perfect. So Alice. So MJ. Simple, gorgeous and personal.”
As I left everyone was celebrating in the common room at Belhaven and I had such a warm feeling. It was a beautiful honour to be part of this gentle, loving ceremony.
Wishing you so much love and happiness, Alice and MJ, and all the long walks, cosy pub lunches, fresh powder snow and happiness you could wish for.
Thank you for choosing to share these sweet details of your day. Thank you to Alice and MJ’s uncle and cousin, Dougie and Naomi Walker, for the stunning photos.