Emma & Candy’s Humanist Wedding at The Royal Botanical Gardens

The John Muir Grove at The Royal Botanical Gardens is one of my favourite venues, but being outdoors it’s not available all year round. A few years back, I conducted a wedding in February that the Cairn String Quartet will never forget, because it was so bitterly cold, and by a strange coincidence, they were playing at Candy and Emma’s wedding in October, which was the very last one of the year to take place there before the winter sets in. 

As you can see from these great photos by Robbie Adam of Duke Photography, the weather was still mild, and the guests really enjoyed the warmth and wit of the ceremony that Emma and Candy composed. Here’s Emma’s account of the day. 

I remember being so nervous before arriving at the Botanics. At one point I actually thought I would say to you that I couldn’t walk down the aisle and could you just go get Candy and marry us over in a corner… 

Although once I got there my nerves and worries vanished and I just remember being so excited and happy that we were finally getting married! And I’m glad to say it wasn’t just me who felt the nerves – Candy said that he felt nervous all over again just looking at the pictures of me walking down the aisle!

 And here is the Candyman himself, accompanied by his best man, Scottish author David F Porteous, and his groomsman, Emma’s brother Steven.

You can actually see the relief/realisation that we’d done it in the last picture of us walking back up the aisle together! Haha!

Our day was so amazing, so much more than what we could have hoped for. 

It was so wonderful to have all our family and friends with us to share the day. Our guests all said that the ceremony was so personal and that they all learned something about us that they’d never known before! 

They loved that we stood facing out to them, not with our backs to them, and that we had written the ceremony ourselves. 

We also loved that we had the freedom to tell our story in our own words and got to pick readings that weren’t your classic wedding picks! (That’s so true: this is one of Emma’s closest friends, Mhairi Henderson, reading an excerpt from “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?”, by Mindy Kaling, writer of the American version of The Office.)

One of our friends even said he felt like he was in Bryan Adams’ music video for (Everything I Do) I Do it for You, the song I walked down the aisle to, and that this was amazing seeing as it’s from Candy’s favourite movie, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves!

It’s true what everyone says; it goes by so quickly and you don’t get a chance to speak to everyone, but it really was one of the happiest days of our lives. So, thank you for setting us our homework, keeping us right along the way and sharing our day with us. It means the world! 

Big hugs, Emma & Candy xx

By a strange coincidence, I got an email a few days later from Annemarie of the Cairn String Quartet who’d been playing for Candy and Emma on the day. She’d gone home that evening to find her boyfriend Jonny waiting to propose to her!

Even better, once they’ve decided on a venue, I’ll be conducting their wedding too: it’s not many days that I help to make two couples equally happy, so I feel very touched.

Thanks again Candy and Emma – may you have many more years of fun, fancy dress, Cuban rum and of course, David F. Porteous!

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