Robert and Stuart’s Humanist Wedding at The Balmoral

‘Love at first sight is easy to understand, but it’s only when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.’ 

Stuart and Robert met ‘at the dancing’ more than 40 years ago, but it wasn’t a Frankie and Josie moment. They were both looking for a part time job at the legendary ‘Maniqui’ in Falkirk. 

Stuart was a petrol head, Robert wasn’t remotely interested in cars, but he introduced Stuart to Roberta Flack’s version of the Euan MacColl classic, ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ and the rest, as they say, is history.

In their time, they’ve studied together
and travelled the world together, 
so their guests came from ‘a’ the airts’ – some as far away as Fiji! If you follow this blog, you’ll have seen the story I posted earlier about their invitation, which I thought was wonderful.

Same sex marriage has now been legal for slightly over three years, but it’s worth remembering that when Robert and Stuart got together, Scotland was a less tolerant and inclusive country than it now is, and their marriage is a testament to the strength of their long relationship. In many ways, they have already had 40 years of marriage, and as Stuart said, ‘I like to think of us as having had a very long engagement.’

It was a very joyful and emotional ceremony at the prestigious Balmoral Hotel. To acknowledge their journey, they asked me to read one of my favourite passages from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, where Pelagia’s father explains to her what love is, and I think it’s worth quoting a few words from that now.

‘Love is not breathlessness, 
it is not excitement, 
it is not the promulgation of promises 
of eternal passion. 
That is just being in love, 
which any fool can do. 
Love itself is what is left over 
when being in love has burned away, 
and this is both an art 
and a fortunate accident. 
Those who truly love have roots 
that grow towards each other underground, 
and when all the pretty blossoms 
have fallen from the branches, 
they find that they are one tree 
and not two.’

Stuart and Robert involved a lot of friends in their wedding. Kate and John provided all the music before and during the ceremony.

Danoosha sang for us as they entered together, and Louise and Jamie were their witnesses.

When they returned from their fabulous honeymoon in California, Stuart and Robert sent me these photos which were taken by various of their friends. As they said, ‘We’re not sure whether or not there’s anything in particular that you want to write about, but looking through the photos set us thinking about what made the day so fantastic.’

Jamie was not only a fantastic best man, but he’s a talented piper as well. He piped us in to cut the cake at 7, and at the end of the evening he sent the guests home on a high with some pretty rousing piping, which was not bad considering he’d had a few sherries by then.

Danoosha also sang at dinner: her version of the Etta James classic, ‘At Last’ summed up the day!’

Is there such a thing as the right ingredients for a wedding? We were both so pleased with how the day went. Mind you I’m not sure we had any particular expectations but to say we were a little anxious may be an understatement!’

We can’t believe the month has gone by so fast after what was a truly fantastic day. Stuart and I are still on a high, there has been such a huge amount of goodwill surrounding the wedding.

Thanks for being such an important part of the day, and for all your help. 

We’ve had so many positive comments about the ceremony, the music, the mixture of laughter and tears and the brilliant delivery. Thanks again.’ 

It was my pleasure gentlemen: I really loved your ceremony and I am just so glad that you asked me to be part of it. Travel well!

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