Dan and David’s Humanist Wedding Blessing at Edinburgh Castle

Most of the weddings I conduct are legal, but the blessing ceremonies I do that have no legal status whatsoever can be every bit as emotionally powerful – if not more so.

There can’t be many couples who waited 20 years to get married, but David and Dan did. 

What made their blessing ceremony at Edinburgh Castle so special was that they chose to have it on the 20th anniversary of the day they met – the 4th of July – making it the ‘real’ celebration of their marriage, even though it wasn’t a legally binding ceremony. (They’d taken care of the legalities before they flew over).

It was a very international gathering, with guests from Spain, Belgium, Germany, England and every corner of the USA, and Dan and David really made it their own.

Their maid of honour and their best man came into the sounds of Pachelbel’s Canon, and once they’d arrived, David and Dan entered together to the sound of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

The first thing I told the guests was that this wasn’t just their anniversary, it was THE BEST DAY OF THEIR LIVES.

We had a reading from Les Miserables, by Scott: we talked about the sun, about Zeus, and about the Vena Amoris: Sarah read a poem by Anne Sexton called Cinderella, and then Dan and David spoke their vows.

Oh boy… it was emotional!

I think this shot has to get my ‘wedding photo of the year’ award for its symmetry, balance and emotional heft. Erica Hardesty is a truly exceptional photographer, isn’t she?


I’ve been looking forward to writing about this ceremony for a while now. 

Some time back, David got in touch to say, Once we Skyped with you on that afternoon really sold it for us. You were so gracious, calming, comforting and smart. You really understood us; you listened to us; and we really understood you. We both remember looking at each other after Skyping with you and saying: WE FOUND THE PERFECT PERSON TO FACILITATE OUR BLESSING!”

Well, I feel blessed to have been part of it: it certainly was the best 4th of July party I’ve ever been at. 

Thank you once again gentlemen, for choosing to work with me, and thanks once again to Erica for these really splendid images.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *