Sarah and Richard’s Humanist Wedding in their Garden

Secret weddings are hard to organise! I first met Sarah and Richard in June and they told me that they wanted their ceremony to be the surprise element of their housewarming party, so it was crucial that word didn’t get out. My lips were sealed…

The new home came with Richard’s new job: they were moving into a Lodge at Fettes College where he is now the Estate Manager, so there was a lot of work to do in a very short space of time. Luckily, they’re both extremely organised and highly motivated people, and when I arrived, the garden had been decorated, an a fabulous yurt had been erected where the ceremony was to take place.

Yurts are circular, so it was a perfect shape to create a circle of love.

Along with the seasonal flowers, Needles and Pines had arranged all the other decorations too, which included a photo tree, full of memories.

I loved how Grace from Puddle Lane Photography captured all these little thoughtful elements: she really caught the mood!

The garden party was in full swing when I arrived, and the weather was suitably glorious.

Like so many couples these days, Richard and Sarah met online: they’d only been matched because they both happened to be in Aberdeen for work on the day they first swiped, so their courtship was full of incident and adventure!

Sarah lived in Edinburgh, while Richard lived in Fort William, but they decided to meet up and see what happened.

The relationship nearly didn’t survive the first date when Richard was late: there is some debate as to how late he was but let’s just say that he was very late indeed, so – as he had driven 500 miles to get there – Sarah gave him the benefit of the doubt and the date went so well that they spent all three evenings of his visit to the capital together.

And so the long-distance relationship began, alternating between cities every weekend and spending a lot of time in between chatting over FaceTime.

Over that time, Sarah got to know Mollie, Richard’s daughter, and in return Mollie introduced Sarah and her dad to roller-skating!

Over the three years of their relationship, Sarah and Richard did a lot of travelling.

Richard even took up skiing – some might say ‘he was forced into taking up skiing’ – and found a sport he now loves.  Sarah was very impressed that his enthusiasm never faded, despite being sledged off the mountain in a “blood wagon” on the last day of their first trip to Courchevel.

Sarah and Richard freely admit they’re not perfect but they are willing to accept each other’s flaws.

Sarah often gives Richard “the look”, generally when it comes to timekeeping, housekeeping, excessively long showers, or drinking too much Stella.

Richard has learnt that Sarah is like a cat: you need to ensure food is available when required and without the requisite amount of sleep, you should approach with caution.

Before speaking the vows that they’d written themselves, the guests spoke a blessing for their marriage and Mollie joined me to present the rings.

Sarah and Richard designed Sarah’s ring together and the three stones represent the past the present and the future.  It’s a real show stopper!

When they sent me these wonderful images from Grace at Puddle Lane Photography, they also sent me these lovely words.
After 3 years of romance our decision to get married was an easy one: the where, when and how was the difficult bit.  
At 47 years of age, neither of us had been married before but we knew this was “it”. We didn’t want a big fuss, a long engagement or too much time worrying about the finer details, so we decided to change our house warming garden party into a wedding, which gave us only a couple of months to organise everything, which looking back now, was slightly bonkers but we did it, and it was the most amazing day.
We were absolutely delighted when Tim confirmed he would be able to marry us in our garden on our chosen day. Tim encouraged us to get on with our “home work” asap, this process really made us think about what marriage meant to us, what we loved about each other and why we wanted to be together for the long haul. 
For us, marriage is first and foremost a shared journey, companionship, stability and commitment.  It is underpinned by respect, communication, love, understanding and kindness.  It is being a team, helping each other achieve a happy and healthy life, sharing the highs and supporting each other through the lows.
The ceremony was absolutely perfect! It felt like true reflection of us and our commitment to each other. Many of our guests said it was the best wedding they had ever been to because it was so personal, emotional, fun and inclusive.  

as you can see, it meant a lot to Sarah’s mother Fiona, and Richard’s mother Ann to witness their wedding.

What made it even more special was that while we were signing, the guests sang along to a song called ‘Walking on the Waves’ by Skippinish, who hail from Tiree, in the Inner Hebrides.

Of course as we were at Fettes, our piper Tom was part of the school’s pipe band, and he led the guests along the drive for the big photo call.

Sarah and Richard said, ‘We had the most amazing day and wouldn’t have changed a thing about our wedding. We are so glad we didn’t spend too many months or years deliberating over the where, when or how and just got on with the best bit.

We love being husband and wife and we are looking forward to our future together.’
With love and thanks, Sarah & Richard xx
It was a real joy to have been a part of Sarah and Richard’s wedding: I was especially pleased when Sarah sent me a photo of her copy of WE DO! – I think all those tabs suggest that not only was it well read, but much more importantly – it was also very useful!
Once again, my thanks go to Grace at Puddle Lane for the wonderful photos, to Red Kite Yurts and to Needles and Pines for the lovely flowers and decorations.
  1. Unknown left a comment on December 1, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    I agree with everything! It was a wonderful day, a wonderful ceremony and a 'package' that can be thoroughly recommended: the flowers and buttonholes from 'Needles and Pins', the catering, Grace and Puddle Lane Photography, perhaps a yurt if it'll fit, and Tim's Humanist Wedding Ceremony. I know that Sarah and Richard appreciated the event and the way in which Tim and the others performed their parts but so too did I!

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