A Romantic Scottish Vow Renewal Ceremony

GEEBZ Photography

The woods were alive with birdsong and dappled sunlight on the day Anita and Adrian reaffirmed their love for one another in the heart of Roslin Glen in the North Esk Valley.

We gathered beneath the ivy-robed ruins of a 19th century mill, cocooned by the gentle hush of the river and it was hard to believe we were only thirty minutes from the bustling festival atmosphere of Edinburgh’s city centre.

Anita and Adrian’s Vow Renewal ceremony in August was a celebration of 20 years of Marriage, 22 years together, and many joyful years of family life. It was a chance to reflect on their journey so far, to acknowledge all that they have achieved together, to renew their Marriage vows, and to set their intentions for the coming years. 

Planning Adrian and Anita’s ceremony with them was an absolute delight. It became quickly clear during our conversations that they make the most out of their time together and they have a great time whatever they are doing.

From their wedding adventure where Anita and Adrian exchanged Marriage vows on a private wildlife reserve in South Africa in a ceremony blessed by two love birds chirping, to their tenth anniversary where they renewed their Vows in Las Vegas, with not just one but three Elvis’s officiating, Anita and Adrian live life to the full.

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It was Adrian and Anita’s wish to celebrate their 20th anniversary in an intimate gathering with their son and two of their dearest friends. Their ceremony reflected their cheeky sense of humour and their deep and supportive connection.

We reminisced about their time together; from the early days when Adrian joined “the most expensive dating app on offer” in the hope of meeting more ‘eligible women’ to Anita clearly being won over by the cheeky chap who wouldn’t take no for an answer. And how, after months of weekly, banter-filled phone calls from Adrian, Anita agreed to a first date. The two of them had such a great time bonding over their love of adventure, Latin dancing, food and culture, they have been “inseparable ever since”.

We heard beautiful readings, shared words about their thoughts on love and Marriage, and we spoke of all that is at the heart of their partnership and how it is clear to all who know them that Adrian and Anita are soulmates.

“Most people get married believing a myth that marriage is a beautiful box full of all the things they have longed for: companionship, intimacy, friendship… The truth is that marriage at the start is an empty box, you must put something in before you can take anything out. There is no love in marriage, love is in people, and people put love in marriage. There is no romance in marriage, you have to introduce it into your marriage. A couple must learn the art, and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, of keeping the box full. If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty.”

J. Allan Peterson

Adrian and Anita shared some words with each other that they had written and kept secret until the day then they gifted each other a commitment ring. We were all caught up in the emotion and romance of the moment. It was especially lovely to pause between the trees, to take time to honour all that they had shared. Then, when they felt ready, we ambled down to a sheltered area by the river for their Handfasting.

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Anita and Adrian affirmed their Marriage Vows and their love for one another with a traditional Celtic Handfasting. Their Eternity Knot was made up of ribbons symbolic of their international lifestyle and heritage.

Adrian and Anita, these cords are a symbol of the lives you have chosen to lead together. The two fabrics have been chosen by you to symbolize the intertwining of your lives.

A plaited ribbon of black, yellow, white, green, red and blue to symbolise the colours of the flags of the countries that have meaning for you both.

Red, white and blue for the Australian flat, the country were Anita was born and where you now live as a family. The red and white of the English flag where Adrian was born.

The black, yellow, white, green, blue and red from the flag of South Africa where you were married. And the red, white and blue from the American flat where you renewed your vows after 10 years.

The second swathe is a Spirit of Scotland tartan to represent today and renewal of your vows after twenty years of being married. 

As these ribbons are tied together, your lives –  your pasts, presents and futures – become intertwined in thought, word and action. This cord may stretch but will always remain strong; it connects you throughout life.

Anita and Adrian
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It was my honour to declare Anita and Adrian life partners to the joyful cheers of their son and friends. Then they celebrated with a shared drink from the Quaich in a sunny spot encircled by the river before cracking open the fizz.

Anita and Adrian, wishing you both so much love and happiness for the future with many more exciting adventures, and all the fancy dress parties, family board games and fun you could hope for.

Thank you for trusting me with your ceremony. Yours was a day that makes me smile every time I think about it. It was an absolute pleasure and an honour to be your celebrant – and thank you for bringing the Australian sun in your suitcase!

Thank you to GEEBZ Photography for these splendid photos.

GEEBZ Photography

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