Amanda & Stephen’s Humanist Wedding at Arniston House

“What a magical day it was!” That’s what Amanda wrote to me afterwards and she was right! Her wedding to Stephen had been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait, as these great photos from Derek Christie show.

Family and friends are important to Amanda and Stephen, and as well as one of the biggest crowds I’ve seen at a wedding for many a year, they made sure that all the most important people in their life got a look in.

I said people. How could I have forgotten Bertie?

If there was an award for “Best-behaved Cockapoo at a Wedding”, Bertie would definitely have been in the running. Actually, he coped really quite well with not being the centre of attention for half an hour!

I think Stephen definitely won the “How Many Groomsmen?” competition though. Alongside his (not so) big bro Garry, he had four; Paul, Chris, Jamie and Daniel. Amanda matched him with her wee sister Emily, his sister Leanne, and her great friends, Danielle, Amy and Ashley. Quite how we all fitted into Arniston House, I have no idea!

It’s not a venue I’ve been to before, but I can’t wait to return. It’s a spectacular example of the work of Robert Adam, Scotland’s greatest architect, and even the stables are beautiful.

Stephen and Amanda did a very generous thing; they talked more about the members of their wedding party than they did about themselves. Nobody was in any doubt how much they meant to them, which was very touching.

Of course there was one person who really stole the show; little Max who only joined the family in February of this year. As they said, “he is the love of our lives and makes us happy every day”.

After a blessing from Amanda’s sisters, Kirsty & Joanna, Stephen and Amanda shared some of the reasons they realised that this was the person they wanted in their life forever. Stephen brought the house down when he gave his last reason for loving Amanda – “I can’t wait for her to become my Wife because in the words of Wayne and Garth, she’s a babe!”

The first line of both their vows was the same. “I promise always to have your back”. It was so fitting.

And I really love what Amanda said about the whole process, looking back.

It was stupidly important to us to make sure our ceremony was our words and it was super personal. We wanted our story to be told from us, by you! 

“The way the homework worked out was perfect and I completely understood why you’d asked us to do it when it then came to writing the ceremony. I simply used the bullet points to create sentences!! So easy and quick. What we spent most time on was thinking about what to say about our bridal party. We are so close with them all in different ways we wanted to ensure we expressed our relationships with them individually.”

I remember thinking in July “oh no we’ve still not done the ceremony!! What will Tim think of us?” So thank you for never putting pressure on us to get it finished. It was completed later than I liked but it was still done and we were happy with it which was the main thing. Of course the main reason for it arriving so late to you was the arrival of our son Max earlier in the year. He sure does take up a-lot of time!! 

I’m honestly not lying when I say to you at least 10 different guests/couples at our wedding expressed how fantastic you were and how wonderful the ceremony as a whole truly was. Your delivery is just fantastic and you made me feel very at ease considering being centre of attention really is my idea of hell!! 

You planned it well, Amanda. With Max and Bertie there, you had plenty of competition, but seriously, the way you talked about your wedding party really showed that your ceremony wasn’t “all about you” – it was about you and everyone around you and why you love them so much. We can all learn from that!

Thanks again for choosing me as your celebrant and for sharing your inspiring story. Thanks too, to Derek Christie for these great photos – one day, I hope to see Lee Richardson’s video too!

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