Sophie & Tristen’s Humanist Wedding at Carlowrie Castle

I love marrying English couples!

Humanist marriage still isn’t legal in England & Wales, despite years of campaigning, and although many couples can and do choose to have a humanist blessing ceremony, they still have to have a separate legally binding ceremony with a registrar. One of these days that will change, but what it means for me as a celebrant is that when an English couple come up here to Scotland, very few of the guests are aware of just how different a humanist wedding is from any they’ve been to before, which means their surprise and delight is all the greater!

Sophie and Tristen came all the way to Carlowrie Castle from Cheshire. I remember when they got in touch not long after the start of the pandemic and they said, “We decided we wanted a humanist ceremony and we thought you would be the best fit for us. You came so highly recommended and your website was so detailed and down to earth that we just had to contact you.”

I’m very glad they did, because they created a magical day!

Every princess needs a castle, and Carlowrie didn’t disappoint. What a stunning shot, by The Sassenachs!

When I introduced myself, I said, “You may be wondering who the other bald guy is standing in front of you today.”

That’s because Tristen asked his dad, Daren, to be his best man; I though that was a lovely idea.

Sophie took the ‘Meghan Markle’ option, and came down the aisle by herself. Followed by that dress!

And those weren’t their only original ideas. They invited their wedding party – Charlotte, Rebecca, Thomas and Matthew – to tell their story on their behalf.

It was a very moving ceremony.

Tristen’s mum, Parveen, also gave us a reading, as did Sophie’s mum, Maria.

Tristen and Sophie took my favourite route when it came to their vows. They wrote them in secret, and as I said on the day, “they’ve written these vows themselves and have not heard each other’s promises before, so things could get emotional…”

They did… and then we had a truly magical moment as Sophie & Tristen prepared to exchange rings.

Barn owls are such beautiful creatures. The good news is that their numbers are increasing, as this story in The Guardian explains.

As Sophie and Tristen said when they sent me these wonderful photographs, “having the ceremony in our own words made the day so much more special and ‘us’.

We felt able to truly express our feelings and thoughts without the constraints of the ‘traditional’ vows.

The guests also loved it and they have all expressed how honoured they felt to be invited to such a personal and intimate ceremony.

You truly helped make our day special and unique!

Special and unique is what I love to hear, Tristen and Sophie, but it was you who made it that.

Your thoughts, your words, your ideas and your imagination. That’s why it’s such a privilege to do what I do. Thank you again, for choosing me as your celebrant, and thank you so much for creating such a magical day!

Big thanks to Jodie and Matt Ward of The Sassenachs; to the wonderful team at Carlowrie Castle, and to Feador the barn owl and his handler, Roy, who came up from Durham to deliver our rings.

One of these days, English and Welsh couples will be able to have legal humanist weddings just like Sophie and Tristen. If you’d like to lend that campaign your support, you can find out how to do that here.

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