Steve & Ali’s Humanist Wedding at The Marine Hotel North Berwick

In the 14 years they’d been together, Steve and Ali had been through a lot together; house moves, losses, accidents, operations and the arrival of grandchildren, but as they told me, although they recognised that these challenges had brought them closer and made them stronger, when they finally decided that the time had come to get married, at first they saw it as little more than an obligatory legal process.

I’m glad to say that the emotional impact of the ceremony surprised them both.

Their ceremony was discreet, as they are, but it still packed a punch.

I liked the way they teased the guests by asking me to read out the lyrics of some of their favourite songs.

Can you guess who sang this one?

I’m running out of ways to make you see
I want you to stay here beside me
I won’t be ok and I won’t pretend I am
So just tell me today and take my hand
Please take my hand
Please take my hand
Please take my hand
Please take my hand

Just say yes, just say there’s nothing holding you back
It’s not a test, nor a trick of the mind

Only love

One thing Ali and Steve really wanted to do was a hand fasting; if anything, I think this is becoming more popular than ever, and even during the pandemic, I was still able to help couples to do one themselves.

The simplest form requires only a single length of material.

Each partner holds one end, while grasping the elbow of their partner.

The trick is to pull away from each other very slowly, so that a knot ties itself right in the middle.

It’s trickier than it looks…

But Ali & Steve got there in the end!

I’m always touched to hear from couples after the event, so I was very pleased to read these words that Steve and Ali sent me the other day.

As you know, we have been together for around 14 years. We have always felt close, so we saw getting married as more of a legal or formal process. 

I don’t think either of us were prepared for the emotions of the day (ok maybe Ali was) or how we would feel in the days or weeks after. 

We feel our relationship has moved to another level and we have developed an even closer relationship which is stronger than ever. I think this is quite a statement, given that we were very close to begin with, and regard each other as our best friend. 

We would like to add that everyone we have spoken to has commented on how much they enjoyed the day. In particular they said how much they enjoyed the ceremony, so we have to say a big thanks to you. 

Well, Steve and Ali, as I always say, the reason they loved the ceremony was because you wrote it – but I’ll take the compliment! Over and above the ceremony itself, there were lots of other things to love about the day. Creating a handbook is such a good idea; something to look back on over the years to come.

Their young team of Groom’s Men did a great job of looking after the guests

And the bridesmaids had a lot of fun too!

Sometimes people think you’ve got to be gushy and mushy to create a moving ceremony; Ali and Steve were quite the opposite, but I could see how much their marriage meant not only to them but to all their guests too.

I think Grahame Smith did a great job of capturing that emotion, don’t you?

My thanks go to him, and of course to you, Ali & Steve for sharing your story. I wish you many more years of growing closer, stronger and happier together and I hope we meet again some day!

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