Lauren & Neil’s Humanist Wedding at Kirknewton Stables

I love couples who really embrace the freedom that humanist marriage offers.

Lauren and Neil really got the idea from the start, and their ceremony was a great showcase for their imagination – and their sense of humour!

As I said when I began telling their story, “Now, neither Neil or Lauren were strangers to long term relationships. However, fate worked her magic, and in the March of 2017, both of them were single and decided to give this whole online dating thing a go.” 

Nothing makes a first date funnier than the boy’s mum calling to ask how his date went when the girl is still sitting in the car and can hear every word; cue silent giggles!

Their story had more than one James Bond reference, and I’ll never be able to read “sticky toffee pudding” on a menu from now on without remembering Neil’s Sean Connery impersonation!

Kirknewton Stables is a wonderful venue because it comes as a blank canvas. If you want to leave it that way you can, but I remember being really blown away by all the time and effort Neil and Lauren and Archie put into making it their own – as you can see from this iPhone snap I took on the day.

And they didn’t stop there!

Personalised tissues are a great idea – and as you can see in this photo, Lauren also took the time to weave the ribbons for their handfasting too!

Like so many couples, Neil and Lauren decided to get married during the pandemic, so we had to do things a wee bit differently when the time came for them to tie the knot. The night before the wedding, they, Archie and Neil’s best man Davie all gathered at the stables to have a rehearsal, and Neil and Archie patiently repeated and repeated the complicated moves they were going to have to do on the day. As they say, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail” – and on the day, Archie made sure the handfasting went as smooth as the silk from which the ribbons had been woven!

Before I pronounced them married, I read these words that Lauren and Neil had chosen.

Neil and Lauren, as your hands are bound together now, so your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust. As you are the moon of his life, he shall be your sun and stars. Your love will be as ever present as those two celestial bodies even though they are sometimes hidden from one another’s sight. Your love will be the guiding force that charts the course of your tomorrows, holds your world together through difficult times and will make life itself shine bolder than we have a right to dream of. May you never lose the connection demonstrated by the tying of this knot and may you always look upon it as a reminder of the strength of your union. 

Before their wedding, I followed Lauren’s posts on Instagram, so I could tell how excited she was as she looked forward to her big day! I still follow her now, so I was delighted a couple of days ago when she sent me these photos, and these lovely words.

We can’t thank you enough for conducting the most wonderful ceremony for us. You made the whole thing so wonderful and I wish we could do it all over again. You were so flexible in accommodating everything we wanted just how we wanted it and we are so so grateful to have had you marrying us!

As a celebrant, I believe that it’s what you say in your ceremony that matters most, but I was really blown away by the amount of time and imagination that Lauren and Neil put into every other aspect of their day. All those personal touches made it not just very personal but very meaningful, and that is what a humanist wedding ceremony is all about – creating meaning.

So, thank you, Lauren and Neil – it was a joy being part of your big day, and – thanks to Instagram – I look forward to keeping up with life with the Inglises for many years to come!

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