Nele and Neils’ Humanist Wedding at Carlowrie Castle

I first met Neil and Nele not long after my book was published. They were among the very first people to read it, so I was very touched to see this sign when I arrived to conduct their fun-filled, imaginative and very emotional ceremony at Carlowrie Castle.

Most Scottish castles are rattling with antiques of one kind or another, but not Carlowrie, where the owners have brought their historic house into the 21st century with their striking use of design and their extensive collection of contemporary art.


I was also very impressed to see the groomsmen hard at work reading their contributions to the ceremony before the guests arrived…

the bridal party were much more relaxed!

Nele is not a nickname: she hails from the Baltic state of Lithuania, so that gave me a good reason to learn how to welcome everyone in her language.

She and Neil were doing what I call ‘reversing into marriage’. They came to Scotland with their two beautiful daughters, Holly and Rosie (seen here with their favourite auntie, Gabriele).

 Naturally, they completely stole the show, even before it began!

 and their arrival had the predictable effect on Neil… I did warn him!

if you’ve been following my blog at all, you’ll know that my aim is to ensure that every couple really has ownership of their ceremony. There’s no one way to do that, but I believe that the more you involve your guests, the more fun they have, and that was definitely the approach that Nele and Neil embraced.

 So I didn’t tell their story: their wedding party did… ladies first, naturally

I was very intrigued to find out who this rude dude was after he rated my picture “you look ridiculous”. 

When I saw him in his all white tennis gear, Babolat Stockings so high up- I couldn’t take him seriously and I didn’t fancy him at all!

And then the gentlemen…

My speciality is making curry. It all went well although I didn’t know at the time that Nele actually hates curry… to this day she has never let me cook it for her again.

Neil can play any sport and whatever it is, he is very good at it, but he is absolutely crap at ice skating…

We had some contributions from the guests too: Mouse read Rain Sometimes, by Arthur Hamilton


before we reached the climactic moment when Nele and Neil exchanged their vows and rings

 I was so pleased to get these great fly on the wall photos from Dom and Robbie of Duke Photography

They always manage to find the right place to catch the emotion of the moment

And while the guests relaxed and chatted amongst themselves, Alastair and James helped us to sign The Marriage Schedule

And the rest of the groomsmen kept the bridesmaids entertained

 I’m always conscious when I’m conducting a wedding where some of the guests don’t have English as a first language that we have to make sure they understand what’s going on, so I was very pleased when Nele sent me these words.

Our guests loved the ceremony. They actually listened! I know that for certain because of the questions they asked afterwards 😊

I am very happy we chose you to marry us. It was so much fun, unlike boring church or register ceremonies ( no offence to them 🙈).. 

You may say that, Nele: I couldn’t possibly comment…

But joking apart, thank you not just for choosing me as your celebrant, but more importantly, for reading my book and really using the ideas in it – everyone clearly had a wonderful day, and it was just a joy for me from start to finish! 

labai ačiū! And big thanks as ever to Robbie and Dom for the lovely photos!

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