Stephanie & Kari’s Humanist Wedding in their garden

Getting married in your garden is a lovely thing to do, especially when you have a garden like Stephanie & Kari’s!

A hidden paradise with its own derelict sawmill, it’s the kind of venue you just can’t hire and the intimate ceremony with only their closest family in attendance, had been much anticipated ever since Kari proposed to Stephanie as the sun went down on the summer solstice last year.

If their baby Oskar ever asks, “what did you do during lockdown, daddy?” Kari has a pretty cool answer. He meticulously hand-carved the engagement ring from this beautiful old beech tree under which we gathered for the ceremony.    

A former mountain guide (Stephanie) and a solo sailor (Kari), they thought they were an unlikely match. As they wrote, “For a couple made up of a technophobe and a cynic about love at first sight, it was pretty unexpected that a ‘Bumble’ first date would be the start of a lifelong partnership and their very own expedition.” Within less than a year, they had found the perfect home and moved into it together on Valentine’s Day last year; coincidentally the same day they learned that they were to be parents to the adorable Oskar.

Lockdown passed in a happy little bubble; working from home; gardening until sunset; chasing hens; feeding the owl; stripping wallpaper; sanding floors; foraging; participating in family quizzes; honeymooning in advance in Croatia; ultimately nesting until Oskar was born.

It was great to see my old friend Matt of Fern Photography again. The last time we met was out on the Pentland Hills, so I knew he could cope with the descent into the valley of the river Dour that flows through Kari and Stephanie’s garden.

I know when you read the bit about ‘feeding the owl’ you did a bit of a double take. So did I! This is Napoleon; a twenty-seven year old Indian eagle owl who ‘came with the house’ when Stephanie and Kari moved in last year. Isn’t he just beautiful?

Kari and Stephanie spoke their vows together; same promise, same words, same time, which was great fun!

And then they had a champagne reception under the trees before going onto dinner.

I honestly can’t think of a more inspiring DIY wedding; it was all so natural and easy. I was delighted to get these photos from Stephanie (the good ones that is – the happy iPhone snaps are mine) and this note.

“We had an amazing day, absolutely wonderful all round. The weather improved as the day went on and we really couldn’t have wished for more. Thank you for conducting our ceremony under the beech tree whilst dodging the nettles and dips underfoot! You played a great big part of the joyous day and we couldn’t have done without you so we are eternally grateful.” 

It was a real joy, Stephanie – thank you and Kari and your lovely families for me. And if you ever decide to turn your perfect home into a wedding venue, let me know. They’ll be forming a queue! And my thanks again go to Matt of Fern Photography for his lovely shots.

  1. Erlend Clouston left a comment on June 8, 2021 at 5:36 am

    Smart production, Tim – both here and on the day. Thank you for officiating so magniloquently.

    • Tim Maguire left a comment on June 9, 2021 at 7:57 am

      Thank you so much, Erlend!

      I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to chat longer, but it was lovely to meet you and the family and I hope I get the chance to do so again some day.

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