Meet the Guest of Honour: this is Isla, without whom Gerard and Gary’s wedding would not have been complete!
Gary, Gerard and I first spoke on Zoom during lockdown, but the technology didn’t go to plan so we reverted to a good old-fashioned telephone call – remember them?
That was in October 2020 and it all went very quiet on the LoveWork front until I bumped into them again in September of the following year at their friends’ wedding in the Kyles of Bute. I don’t know if it was my Instagram post that spurred them into action, but I got to read their story not long after, and it was a belter!
As Gary wrote, “Gerard saw my picture online and he seemed to like what he saw!! Not the traditional way to meet but that’s what’s involved these days: do you swipe left or right? My heart was racing, wondering if he’d turn up at the station – thankfully he arrived, and he didn’t walk the other way…”
Gerard wrote, “My nerves were all over the place but they were soon at ease when I met Gary .. I was a happy chap!! The day went well and I liked the fact that Gary had questions to ask. 1. Do u like dogs? And 2. Do you like camping? My answer obviously was “Yes!” to both. Our fur baby Isla soon arrived, and then we organised the first of our many campings trips around Scotland!!!”
I like the fact that there were no surprises about this wedding. Gary and Gerry got ready together. And they were joined by their Matrons of Honour, Gerard’s sister Tracy, Lorraine, Valerie and Susan.
It was lovely to be back at The Bonham, an elegant boutique hotel in Edinburgh’s West End. Its dark, Edwardian tones created a beautiful frame for Ditte’s photography.
I told you Isla was the guest of honour, didn’t I? She behaved impeccably – eventually!
Once I’d shared some of TEAM GG’s story, I stepped aside to allow the man who made all this happen take my place. Gary’s friend Alistair was the man who’d played Cupid by showing Gerry ‘that photo’, and he gave us a beautiful reading of “the Key to Love” by Robert M Millay.
Before Gary and Gerard spoke their personal vows to one another, I asked the guests to make some promises to them – I call that “Guest Vows” and it’s a really lovely way to make everyone feel that they’re a part not just of the ceremony, but of the couple’s future. You can find out a bit more about Guest Vows here.
The ideal way to speak your vows to one another is to print them out on cards, so you can choose the size of font and the spacing that suits you best, but if you forget to bring them with you, don’t worry. I’ll always have them in my copy of the ceremony!
I may however forget to pack my tissues, so it’s a good idea to bring some of your own. You’re going to need them!
Gerard and Gary spoke their own very personal vows, and exchanged rings before I pronounced them married.
Some photos really don’t need any words at all, do they? I do like working with Ditte… you can see why she’s so popular if you check out her website here.
Gerard and Gary sent me this lovely note along with their photos. “Creating our own ceremony was a big step on our journey to our wedding day. It made us truly think deeply, on each other, our feelings and our hopes and dreams for the future as a married couple. It made it personal and unique to us. Being gay you’re already not conforming to the norm! Hence, the enjoyment of creating our own ceremony.
It was also wonderful to be able to celebrate our love in front of our family and friends and tell them the story from when we met until we said ‘I do’.
We hadn’t realised that it had been 7 years since Equal Marriage became legal in Scotland, so it was an emotional day all round.
There were tears and laughter, not just from us, but from every single guest at the ceremony and on that note, nearly everyone said how touching and heartfelt the ceremony was. Everyone enjoyed it, especially how you delivered it Tim.
We only cursed your name once or twice at the very beginning of the process when we had to put our true thoughts and feelings on paper; we remember wondering how it would all turn out.
Equal Marriage is what it says in the title.
Love has no boundaries.
It’s wonderful that same sex couples now have the same legal standing as heterosexual ones.
\We were able to celebrate this, and make it official.“
I hate to repeat myself but I’m just happy, happy, happy to be able to share this story with all of you. Thank you so much, Gary and Gerard – and Isla, of course!
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[…] That lovely image at the top of this piece was taken by Ditte of Firstlight Photography at Gary & Gerry’s wonderful wedding at the Bonham Hotel in 2021 and you can see more of her work (and read their story) here. […]