Ashley and Jackie’s Humanist Wedding at Marlin’s Wynd

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen my version of this photo about a month ago!



Ashley looked lovely, but I could tell she was a bit nervous.


Marlin’s Wynd isn’t just one of Edinburgh’s cutest venues: it’s also one of its oldest. Just off the Cowgate, and tucked into the side of Blair Street, it was named after the French stonemason Jean Marlouin who paved the Royal Mile in the mid-sixteenth century when Mary Queen of Scots was on the throne, so it has a long and interesting history.

Ashley and Jackie were doing what I call ‘reversing into marriage’ because they already have a family, and Ashley arrived with their daughter Violet and son Jackie, attended by her sister Rebecca, her friends Susan and Nina and her future sister-in-law, Jackie’s sister Kirsty.

Naturally, Violet and Jack stole the show!


Ashley came in on the arm of her mum, while Jackie waited with his best friends, Mikey and Jamie.

Jackie had been led to believe that Ashley was a bit quiet and didn’t say very much, so when her first question to him was, ‘are you married?’, his reply made sure she was. ‘No’, he said, and that constituted the entirety of their first exchange.


Fortunately, they got over their nerves, and over the coming weeks and months, Jackie introduced Ashley to some of his favourite bars and eateries in Portobello and further afield. Ashley was fair swept off her feet!


Not long after they got their trial baby, Higgs the puppy, Ashley became pregnant with Violet who was born healthy and happy on the 13th of April 2015. Jackie said that week was the happiest of his life because his team secured a place in the Scottish Cup Final, so the arrival of Violet was the icing on the cake. They soon decided she needed a wee playmate, and Jack was born on the 16th of March the following year. Jackie enjoyed that week too!

Jackie and Ashley told some great stories about each other. We now all know that Ashley is a very messy eater, whose favourite dish is nachos, because she prefers to eat with her hands!

Ashley complimented Jackie on his great dress sense – for her as well as for him. She also said what a great father he is to the kids: they love wrestling, kissing and cuddling with him and they even like to listen when he plays his guitar!

Bro Maid Barry flew all the way from Qatar to be with them, and he read us an excerpt from a rather famous love letter: from Johnny Cash to his wife June. It’s been voted the greatest love letter of all time, and you can read it for yourself here

Like that love letter, jackie and Ashley’s vows were very simple, very heart-felt and very true.


I, Ashley, accept you, Jackie, as my husband.
I offer you this ring 
as a symbol of my love and commitment to you.
With it, I give you all that I am, 
and all that I ever hope to be.

I, Jackie, accept you, Ashley, as my wife.
I offer you this ring 
as a symbol of my love and commitment to you.
With it, I give you all that I am, 
and all that I ever hope to be.


I always love working with Victoria Litster, who took these great photos – I really like the way that Ashley and Jackie made sure that they were surrounded by images of all the people they love when they signed their marriage schedule.

Ashley dropped me a line the other day.

She said, ‘We just want to say a big thanks again for the wonderful ceremony!’

Everything was just perfect, and everyone commented how lovely it was, and very personal. 

Looking back it was such an amazing day and if I could do it all over again I would: it was one of the best days of my life. 

We couldn’t have asked for a better humanist to conduct our ceremony. You spoke as if you had known has for years and the ceremony was very personal. It was so lovely to have a small wedding during the day with just close friends and family, then having the big party at night with everyone else. 

If I could change anything about the whole thing, it would definitely be not to be so worried about everyone else and not to be so nervous before walking down the aisle to Jackie. 

Jackie said he doesn’t know why he got himself so worked up about doing a speech and this is something he regrets. 


I waken up everyday with my smile on my face that I have finally married the man of my dreams, and I am sure Jackie feels the same haha! The whole day was just perfect from start to finish and these are memories that we will treasure forever. 

I’m sure that you will, Ashley – and thank you again for allowing me to help you create them in the first place!

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