Danella & Bryan’s Humanist Wedding at Balbirnie House

A magical moment for Danella & Bryan, by Rachel Gillies of Lifetime Photography

How long was your courtship? Bryan & Danella’s must be one of the longest ever! They first met in ‘a Discotheque’ (look it up) in August 1983 when Danella was doing her best to avoid the ‘slow’ dances, but Bryan found her hiding in a dark corner, and as the music stopped, he was rewarded with a ‘thank you’ kiss.

They say opposites attract and that certainly applies to Danella and Bryan.  Danella is the “yes” to Bryan’s “no”, the black to the white, the ying to the yang.

As they said in the ceremony, ‘The homework has been a tricky challenge for us. Partly due to us being private people, not keen to share our emotions and feelings publicly.  And partly, because we never really figured out how we managed to come, and remain, together.’

When Bryan asked Danella for her thoughts on why she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him, she said that she was gorgeous, witty, outgoing, social, with a fabulous sense of humour, a good cook (eventually)… and, that Bryan was none of those things.

She continued, saying that Bryan was shy, kind, passionate, thoughtful, romantic, considerate, practical and thinking of the future …. To which Bryan replied… ‘and, Danella is none of these things’. (She likes to be seen as tough and independent… but she’s a big softy at heart)

I really liked their honesty. They said, ‘Reasoning aside, we seemed to just merge together, developing a stronger relationship as time went on.  We both admired and respected each other’s character, abilities, (and assets), strengths and weaknesses as they were so different from their own.  Our relationship has come through many of life’s ups and downs, good and bad. We’ve had our rows, with both on occasion threatening to either ‘run away with a sailor’ or to ‘leave the b****’ and, we’ve also had our surprises; Duncan and Barbara for example.’

‘All in all, a really big plus to our bond is that we share a good sense of humour which has got us through many events over the years.  When things are down, we still manage to make each other laugh.’

As you can see from these great photos by Rachel Gillies, it really was a very happy occasion!

Looking back on their day at Balbirnie House, I asked Bryan and Danella how it feels now, and they said, ‘Our first thought is relief and second is delighted.  All the preparations (“homework” included), organisation and arranging came to a happy fruition on our wedding day.’  

With our witnesses, daughter Barbara and Bryan’s father Morris

Apart from getting married, our aim was to have a memorable day.  As you may recall, our year hadn’t got off to a good start.  Was it a memorable day? Oh yes,  and for all the right reasons …. plus, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day.’


‘The highlight of the day, the Ceremony, by your good self was excellent.  Many commenting they’d never been to a humanist ceremony before and how much they enjoyed it.  The Balbirnie Hotel were superb, the staff couldn’t do more and the food was out-standing.  All in all, we couldn’t have wished for a more memorable day.
Kind Regards, Bryan & Danella

I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Danella & Bryan – it was a pleasure. Thank you for asking me to be your celebrant, and thanks again to Rachel Gillies of Lifetime Photography for these wonderful photos!

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