Sarah & Lee’s Humanist Wedding at Prestonfield House

It was in April 2020 that I first heard from Sarah. As she wrote,

“My fiancé and I are getting married in Edinburgh next year at Prestonfield House and we were just wondering if you conduct pagan handfastings?” My short answer was, “of course!” and it wasn’t long before Sarah sent me this photo, saying, “this was the day I proposed to Lee in New York.”

Yes; Sarah & Lee are proud Goths, so I knew their Halloween Wedding would be just a bit special…

Before the big day, photographer Ali Jay whisked them off for a pre-shoot in the wonderfully atmospheric graveyard at Greyfriars Kirk…

Although that wasn’t where they had their ceremony. Instead, Lee and Sarah fell in love with the baroque splendour of Edinburgh’s exquisite Prestonfield House; the only venue that could live up to their own theatricality!

I loved their choice of music for their entrance; Nymphetamine Fix, by Cradle of Filth

And I loved the way they wove pagan elements into their humanist ceremony. Every guest was given a Futhark stone, engraved with Norse runes. Runes were originally used in divination but Lee and Sarah simply asked the guests to hold them and make a silent wish on their behalf.

Sarah describes herself as having a 365 days a year Halloween habit, so it was no surprise that was (almost) the date they chose to celebrate their ten-year relationship.

They also incorporated a whole bunch of other goth/pagan elements to the ceremony, including a handfasting, a candle ceremony and the drinking of mead from Viking cups made from horn.

Lee and Sarah aren’t an outwardly lovey-dovey couple, but they created a ceremony that was true to them and which showed a lot of imagination. As Sarah said when she sent me these photos, “The ceremony was great…..everyone commented on how they liked how personal it was and that it wasn’t about God and religion but about us as a couple.”

“We even had comments from the unemotional men saying how much they loved it. Ha ha!”

I really enjoyed writing our story and felt it represented us really well. I felt I wrote lots but it went so quick – which is a good thing as people don’t want to sit through a long ceremony when there’s champagne to drink…

We also enjoyed that we could show ourselves as a goth couple without it being too much or too cheesy and that we could incorporate pagan elements into our wedding.”

It really was a fabulous day – as you can see from these great photos by Ali Jay – but I bet the party was even more fun…

How better could I end this tale than with a quote from the poem that Sarah wrote for the wedding and which was read by Lee’s daughter, bridesmaid Kat)?

Today we celebrate happiness and love;

But tomorrow we celebrate ghosts and blood.

It’s time for frights, it’s time to scream;

With the King and Queen of Halloween!

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