Jeni & Rune’s Humanist Wedding on the Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond

Jeni and Rune are quite unusual names, so you won’t be surprised to learn that their wedding was pretty unusual too. Brought together by a love of music, Jeni had studied Scandinavia as part of her degree, so when she met Rune, who’s from that part of the world,  she was quick to tell him that Sweden was her favourite country. That was when Rune told her he was Norwegian… The funny and touching story of their courtship was one of the highlights of their ceremony, but the real star of the day was the weather.

Outdoor weddings in Scotland are always a gamble, and this year that seems particularly true. Rune and Jeni had taken over The Waterfront at Balmaha, on the quieter Eastern shore of Loch Lomond, and when I turned up, the sun was shining, and wedding guests were still enjoying a few beers in the hot tubs. But that wasn’t to last. When I walked down to the lochside, dark clouds were massing overhead, and as their photographer (the ubiquitous and talented Stuart Craig) said, “This is shaping up to be an epic!” Never a truer word…

Just as the bride approached, the heavens opened, and Stuart got his first great shot of the day. Luckily, I was underneath the marquee, along with Rune and all  the guests, but then, just as Jeni arrived ‘on set’ there was an almighty clap of thunder! It wasn’t until after the ceremony that I learned that Rune’s dad’s name is Thor…

From then on, things could only get even better, and despite – or perhaps because of – the downpours, and the thunder and lightning, it was an absolutely magical day.  

When they exchanged their rings, they both spoke a personalised version of a poem by the great Humanist philosopher and writer Bertrand Russell, called “Today, I Marry My Friend.”

Rune is a professional musician, and while he and Jeni signed The Marriage Schedule, his best man and childhood friend Dagfinn joined singing star bridesmaid Ciaran in a song called “Laughter Instead” that Dagfinn had written specially for the day. 

What with the need to keep the marriage schedule out of the rain, the song ended before the ink was dry on our signatures, so in response to popular demand, Ciaran and Dagfinn played it a second time, and of course we all joined in on the chorus. The bridesmaids made a stunning backing group!

By the time the ceremony was over, the weather had changed yet again – it’s times like this you really appreciate how good a photographer has to be to produce a coherent picture of your wedding day, and Stuart did a great job.

Stuart has done his own blog about the ceremony, and I think he really captured the atmosphere , not just in his great shots but also in his writing. Check it out here!

I just got an email from the new Mrs Hansen. She said, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for being our celebrant for our wedding, we loved the ceremony and are so happy that we chose you – all of the guests are still talking about how memorable it was, not just because of the thunder, but also because of you, so thank you! There were so many people who asked about you afterwards and said how fantastic you were, I’m so pleased we came across your blog and dragged you all the way to Loch Lomond!”

Thanks Jeni, tak, Rune, and I look forward to seeing you both again at the Balmoral Hotel next March for Charlie & Dave’s wedding! Of course, big thanks also go to Stuart for allowing me to use his shots here too.

  1. Julia Cates left a comment on June 8, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Informative Blog.
    Thanks for share.
    Wedding Song

  2. Tim Maguire, Humanist Celebrant left a comment on June 8, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Thanks, Julia!

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