As we mark the Winter Solstice this week, and the tilting of the earth back towards the light, it feels a lovely time to share a few highlights from Camille and Stewart’s surprisingly sunny September wedding.
Their ceremony took place on the iconic Blackford Hill, overlooking Camille’s favourite view of Edinburgh and with a clear view to Fife, where Stewart was living when they first met. In their words, their wedding day was a time of “significant commitment as well as good wishes, feasting and joy.” Their dearest family and friends travelled from afar to join them, including many from Australia, Camille’s home country. And they definitely brought the good weather with them as, despite the weather warnings that week for wind and rain, their ceremony was blessed with glorious sunshine.
When I first met Stewart and Camille we met for a chat on a bench in the Meadows in Edinburgh. It was clear from that first conversation that their ceremony would be incredibly personal. Camille’s family and many of their friends are Catholic, and Stewart’s family and friends are non-religious. We talked about the importance of their ceremony reflecting and celebrating the shared and varied beliefs of all involved and how, by choosing an Agnostic ceremony, we were able to hold space for them both in this way.
We began with the ancient tradition of ring warming. As Camille and Stewart’s rings were passed around the gathering, from elders to children, each person was invited to hold the rings in their hands, or close to their heart, as they made a silent prayer, blessing or well-wishing thought for Stewart and Camille, to wish them well in the years ahead.
We heard a reading by a friend of Stewart’s and fellow sailor, A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, which spoke beautifully of the evolving and enduring nature of a lifelong loving partnership.
“The only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.”Anne Morrow Lindbergh
I shared the story of of how these two brilliant, independent people found each other: how Camille thought the “enigmatic and mysterious” Stewart was a spy for the first six months of their relationship (after all, what other job could explain the long periods away, and his very ambiguous responses when she asked him what he did on the ships for all that time?); how Stewart braved the intense heat of an Australian summer for Camille (and the friendly interrogation by all Camille’s family and friends); and how they both agree their complementary natures is what makes their relationship work. In Camille’s words, “our love is about individuality and is stronger because of it.”
When we were planning their ceremony, Stewart and Camille had shared some secret thoughts with me when I asked them about their love and connection. With their permission, I shared their secret thoughts – the funny, the poignant and the heartfelt – as a lovely surprise for them both during the ceremony, giving sweet insight into their partnership for those present.
Camille and Stewart made joint vows to each other then we invited everyone present to continue to support, love and encourage them them in the years to come.
And to all of you dear families and friends of Camille and Stewart, will you support and uphold them in their Marriage now and in all the many years to come?“We will!”
In an emotional exchange of personal vows, Camille and Stewart shared some loving words with one another then gifted each other a ring.
It was my honour to declare Stewart and Camille married to the joyful whoops of their loved ones.
That’s how to do a wedding! So personal … so loving.
The whole event felt like a hug. After the ceremony, one of Camille’s relatives came up to me and said “that’s how to do a wedding! So personal … so loving.” I couldn’t agree more. It really was beautiful.
Congratulations to you both, Camille and Stewart. I loved being your celebrant – thank you for trusting me with your ceremony. Thank you for sharing these details of your day with us all.Wishing you a magical 2023 and so much love and happiness for the years ahead.
Thank you to Natalie Holt Photography for the stunning photographs.
Shout out to the amazing suppliers:
Flowers – Pollination
Cakes- The Pastry Section
Dress- Trelis Cooper
Headband and Jewellery- Forever Jems
Makeup- Flamboyant Makeup
Grooms jackets – Kingdom Kilts
Signs- The Little Dressing Company