Monday, 16 December 2013

Tara and Robin's Wedding at Aikwood Tower

This was my first visit to this gem in the Scottish Borders - the exceptional sixteenth century Aikwood Tower, which has been lovingly renovated in recent years, while at the same time maintaining the endearing character and quirks of the historic building.

The elegant yet relaxed surroundings were the perfect setting for Tara and Robin’s intimate wedding. 

Tara and Robin put a great deal of thought into writing their vows and sharing their feelings on love and marriage, which made their ceremony unique and very personal to them. They also chose to have a handfasting using tartan cloth to symbolise the joining of their families.

In preparing their ceremony, I ask couples to tell me three things they love about one another, and if they want to, they can keep these a secret from each another, until I reveal them during their wedding ceremony. I really like doing this and love to see their reactions! 

Robin took this part very seriously indeed - I asked him to write just three things that he loves about Tara, and he gave me a page and a half! 

His words were eloquent and came straight from the heart, and when I read them out during the ceremony everyone was completely bowled over. Afterwards, Robin got a well-deserved round of applause!

Tara and Robin chose a poem called ‘I Will Be Here’ by Steven Curtis Chapman, which was beautifully read by Tara and Robin's friend Katy:

If in the morning when you wake,
If the sun does not appear,
I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand and have no fear.
I will be here.

I will be here,
When you feel like being quiet,
When you need to speak your mind I will listen.
Through the winning, losing, and trying we’ll be together,
And I will be here.
If in the morning when you wake,
If the future is unclear,
I will be here.
As sure as seasons were made for change,
Our lifetimes were made for years,
I will be here.

I will be here,
And you can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us we’re older.
I will hold you, to watch you grow in beauty,
And tell you all the things you are to me.
We’ll be together and I will be here.
I will be true to the promises I’ve made,
To you and to the one who gave you to me.
I will be here.

I was delighted when Tara and Robin sent these great shots of their big day, by Chantal Lachance-Gibson Photography, and this note:
“We just wanted to say a huge thank you to you for the beautiful ceremony you gave at our wedding. We have had so many people telling us how wonderful it was and that they wished they themselves had had a humanist wedding! You managed to capture our story perfectly.”

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Vows of Commitment

The great thing about a Humanist ceremony is that you can write your own vows of commitment that reflect your personalities and your aspirations for the future. I will send you lots of examples of vows so you can choose wording that you like, or you can use these as inspiration to write your own.

There are different ways of saying your vows – it’s entirely up to you!

  • I could read them and you say “I do” 
  • You could repeat them after me, line by line
  • You could read them yourselves, or if you’re feeling confident you could memorise them 

If you want to include a traditional handfasting in your ceremony you might like to say your vows at the same time. By doing this you are binding yourselves together through your vows and in token of that bond, the handfasting ‘Ties the Knot’.

You might also choose to read a poem to one another to express your hopes and dreams for your marriage. 

Here's an example:

I cannot promise you a lifetime of sunshine
I cannot promise riches, wealth or gold
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old
But I can promise all my heart's devotion
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow
A love that's ever true and ever growing
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.

(Mark Twain)