I started this blog more than a dozen years ago with the intention of inspiring couples to create their own ceremonies and I think the phrase ‘your wedding, your words, your way’ sums it up. Obviously, I’ve written most of the content, but every so often a couple gets in touch after their wedding and I’ve been so blown away by what they’ve said that I’ve decided just to hand the storytelling over to them – and that’s very much the case today. As you will see, Caitlin and Andrew’s story is as awesome as the setting for their wedding, the fabulous Gosford House.
Built in the 18th century by the Earl of Wemyss, it was designed by Scotland’s greatest architect, Robert Adam and it really is a masterpiece of the neo-classical style, with paintings to match. They don’t do very many weddings in any given year, so if you’re inspired by these fabulous photos from Derek Christie, my advice would be to ask early. You can find out more about that here but in the meantime, settle down and enjoy the story of Caitlin and Andrew!
Andrew and I put off doing our ‘homework’ as initially the wedding was far away, we didn’t really want to jinx anything with COVID going on and then life got a bit more complicated and busy. It became a bit of a chore rather than something we were excited to do – although that completely changed the night we actually did it!
I had gone down to my mum and dad’s house and raked through one of my many memory boxes to find the Caitlin & Andrew book I had made for Andrew’s 18th birthday in 2012 – this included cinema tickets, receipts from restaurants, bus tickets and a whole lot of photos. On the night we read our homework to each other, we sat and read through this book first and then we read everything we had put together to each other.
It was such an amazing night and one I will definitely remember. It put everything into perspective as we had been stressing about Covid and were unsure about what to do; that night really helped us define that the important thing was us getting married and expressing our love to each other with our closest family and friends. From this moment on there was not a doubt in our mind we would be getting married on the 2nd of May 2021.
I read through the other couples’ ceremonies and cried as we carefully selected how we wanted our ceremony to look. As a massive crier I knew I wanted the ceremony to be a little bit light hearted and something a little different so I wasn’t a crying mess.
We wanted to find readings that were a bit more obscure and unused but ultimately we went for readings that really resonated with us and our story.
When my bridesmaid Emma suggested a personalised poem, I was a little apprehensive (mostly if it was bad, how would I tell her I didn’t want it!) but thankfully it was amazing, we loved opening our ceremony with a personalised element. This was actually one of the few times Andrew teared up, he had actually read the poem a few times but in the moment the power of hearing it read, it caught him.
In our vows we had references to sitcoms that we love (Friends/Brooklyn 99/Modern Family) ‘cause we loved the idea of them being in there as a little inside joke for the two of us. We made our vows a little lighthearted, poking fun at the things we do for each other and our little quirks that ‘annoy’ each other.
I thought I was going to be really emotional and would struggle to get through the vows without crying (listening to the video there is a crack in my voice on occasion) but in the moment I just felt like it was only Andrew and I there. I loved our vows where we mixed serious and funny and I have already had to use Andrew’s vows against him (when he refused to order a second dessert for me!)
The moments that are so memorable from the ceremony are the little laughs; of Andrew cheering putting the ring on my finger, me awkwardly saying ’so.. I have a ring…’ as I didn’t know how to get it off Matthew, and being presented as Mr & Mrs McMillan. We are so glad we switched positions and were able to see our own side’s faces/reactions throughout the ceremony and being able to look out to our guests was so amazing.
A few of our guests have told us it was the best ceremony they have ever been to (including their own!) so that meant a lot to hear that others loved it as much as we did!
We always knew we wanted to have a humanist ceremony as neither of us are religious, but it was so important that we were able to make the ceremony our own and say our own words to each other.
We wanted the ceremony to be fun and not have a single person counting down the minutes until it was over and we didn’t want to be bound by precedent or what we ’should do’ – this was throughout our entire day, a little bit of tradition but with a Caitlin & Andrew twist.
The ceremony went exactly the way we planned but it was even better than either of us could have anticipated.
We are so glad we went ahead with our day, despite the smaller numbers and some restrictions in place, it wasn’t exactly how we imagined our wedding day but everyone we could have wanted was there and got to witness us making our commitment to each other and that is priceless.
I can’t believe it has been a month already, I wish we could do it all over again!!
I can totally believe that, Caitlin! It was a really wonderful day, and I am so pleased that your guests loved the ceremony as much as they did. To have people say that it was even better than their own wedding is a huge compliment to you and – as I told you when we first spoke about this whole process – the reason is that YOU WROTE IT! I can’t stress that enough. Your guests want your words, your thoughts and your truth, and that’s the secret to having your wedding your way. Thank you for showing everyone how it’s done – and thank you to Derek Christie who – as ever – captured all these moments so perfectly!