Abigail and Ryan’s Humanist Wedding at The Signet Library


 I don’t usually post photos from the prep, but these candid snaps by Ricky Baillie are too good not to share!

David (above) is Abigail’s mum Nicola’s partner and an old friend from my years in advertising. If I remember correctly, he was the person who suggested to Abigail that she contact me about her wedding a good two years ago, or more.

You can see where Abigail gets her good looks and her sense of style, can’t you?

And yes, that was the day and the date that we all gathered at The Signet Library, which since the 15th century has been the home to the Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet – they were the lawyers authorised to produce manuscripts with the King of Scotland’s seal, or signet.

The building is nothing like that old, though. It was designed by Robert Reid and completed just in time for the famous visit to Edinburgh of King George IV 
in 1822. It’s one of the jewels in the city’s architectural crown, and we’re very lucky that we’re now able to use it for weddings.


There’s plenty of space, which is a good thing when you have six groomsmen and even more bridesmaids and flower girls!

I often suggest to grooms that they stand with their hands behind their backs, and you can see why in this shot: they can dissipate their nerves by twiddling their fingers and nobody can see (unless they’ve got a very observant photographer like Ricky!)

Abigail brought a nice touch to her entrance when she came in with both her father and grandfather

And yes, it was one hell of a dress!

Once she’d arrived, the bridesmaids and groomsmen took their seats and I began the unlikely story of how the China Doll and the Boy with Black Pudding in his Teeth met, went to see ‘I Love You, Phillip Morris’ and eventually fell in love.

It was a very good story…


and it took us a long way from Jewel and Ask College,  because it was at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, where, surrounded by persistent paparazzi and hundreds of tourists, Ryan got down on one knee.

Abigail didn’t notice, because she was looking at the crowds around the fountain, and it was only their cheering that alerted her to what was going on.


 Suddenly that persistent paparazzo became the most important man in Rome, because he’d caught the moment on his Polaroid camera. A tensely negotiated ten euros later, the images were theirs, and the planning for their big day could commence!

Ryan and Abigail kept their vows a secret until the day, and they spoke them directly to one another, which was both very funny and very moving.

Among other things, Abigail said

I promise we will grow old and crusty together, 
shake our collective fists at teenagers,
and reminisce back to the days a Freddo was 10p in 1990.  

While Ryan said

I promise to still be bin and dish boy,
and also clean the bathroom,
after you’ve been on a Patron shot sesh. 
But seriously…

after the signing of the Marriage Schedule, Abigail’s mum Nicola read us a poem that she’d written herself 


And I sent them all off to do the mandatory huge group shot with Ricky on the stairs, surrounded by portraits of the great and good.

I didn’t hear from the happy couple for quite a while, because they were off on honeymoon in the Caribbean, but they did send me a lovely email along with these photos.

Thank you so much again for everything – we can’t believe how quick time flies: it really was the most perfect day! We were so thankful you were there to conduct it, and a lot of people commented on the ceremony and the way it was put together!   

It was a pleasure, Abigail and Ryan – thanks for asking me to be your celebrant, and thanks again to Ricky Baillie for these really excellent shots – the boy really knows how to use light doesn’t he?


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