Ged & Bertha’s Humanist Wedding at Newbattle Abbey

Ged and Bertha first came to see me in May of this year to talk about having an intimate wedding in August, surrounded only by close family – and their three dogs, Conal, Brynn and Mr Benji. Bertha made me promise not to reveal the brand name of her waterproof mascara, but she wasn’t the only one moved to tears during their deeply personal ceremony. This is her typically thoughtful account.

Ged and I have talked a lot about the whole process before the wedding. As we decided to write the ceremony with your essential guidance and ‘homework’, we found that it made us think more about each other and our relationship, and why we wanted to get married. You could say it brought us even closer together as we had to sit down and discuss things. There were lots of laughs along the way, a lot of teasing and the inevitable tears as well.

When I asked Ged why did we get so emotional, we had to think about it. I suppose because we wrote the ceremony and choose what to say, it was much more personal. Even though we had read over the ceremony several times – and numerous poems to decide which ones were right – on the day I suppose it really hit us and we were declaring it to others and each other. 

Ged says he loved the informality of it, the fun, having the dogs with us (very important parts of our lives!), the intimacy and we had people we really wanted at the ceremony (not like my first wedding!). We are both quite private people and that is probably why we didn’t tell many people that we were getting married – and it’s maybe something to do with our age as well! We both thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony and it was just right for us. we wouldn’t change anything.

One thing we didn’t expect is that now that we are married, we do feel different. That has quite surprised us. Even though the practicalities of our lives have not changed, we both feel more content, happy, with a sense of belonging I suppose. It’s hard to pinpoint. 

Sadly I didn’t get to see the wedding cake, but I hope at some point to get a picture of it. Ged’s sister Margaret made and iced it, but got somebody else to decorate it with a lovely sprig of flowers, and (of course) three poodles made of icing and in just the right colours too! Bertha said it was all Margaret’s idea and it was absolutely wonderful.

Special thanks must go to Bertha’s nieces, Rowena and Lauren who not only accompanied her as she sang, “May I Have This Dance?”, but gave us a duet of “Love Story” by Taylor Swift as we signed the Marriage Schedule. Oh and thanks to their dad, Bertha’s brother Ronald for these great pics.

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