Rachael & Nick’s Humanist Wedding at Carrick Castle Estate

There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing, so get yourself a sexy raincoat and live a little.” Billy Connolly was right, although there wasn’t a raincoat in sight when Nick and Rachael got married at Carrick Castle Estate the luxurious lodge that overlooks beautiful Loch Goil.

When I turned up, the weather didn’t look very promising. The rain clouds were massing, and it didn’t look likely we’d be outside as planned.

But given that most of their guests had travelled half way around the world, Rachael and Nick didn’t let a wee smirr of rain get in the way of their big day!

Have you heard the story of The Bartender and The Backpacker? Well, Nick was behind the bar in Brisbane when Rachael blew in after a year on her travels. Their lives quickly wove together, so tightly that when Nick followed his original plans and moved to Sydney, he realised that he couldn’t imagine his future without her in it.

Since then, more than 12 years have passed, and in Rachael’s words, she and Nick have “grown alongside one another and become entangled in the life they share together.” They’ve created careers and a business together in Sydney; they’ve travelled Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, they’ve studied, performed, celebrated and commiserated together. 

It was in 2018 (the last time they made it home to Scotland) that Nick told Rachael’s mum Jan about his plans to propose on Christmas Day, and she said, “Go for it!” So it was with the help of Dan and Laura that Nick convinced Rachael to walk up a rain-soaked and mucky hillside to a ruin, where he asked her to go on the journey of marriage with him. And only four years, a pandemic and quite a few lockdowns later, here we finally were.

I was really pleased that Nick and Rachael totally owned the whole process. They didn’t just write their own ceremony, they actually spoke parts of it as well. The first thing they did was talk about what it is that marriage means to them.

Nick didn’t just share his thoughts on marriage; he also shared a poem that he’d secretly written for Rachael.

And then the rainbow popped up.

Not just a bit of a rainbow, but one that completely straddled the loch, its arc directly above us. We couldn’t have asked for a more spectacular lightshow!

Rachael and Nick then spoke the vows they’d both written in secret, and I got out of the way. As I often tell my couples, this is the magic moment, when you create your future by speaking it directly to the person you most love in the whole world, so at an intimate ceremony like this, I prefer to listen from the sidelines.

After I’d pronounced them married and they’d had their first kiss, we made an executive decision, and moved swiftly indoors to sign the Marriage Schedule. It was one of those ‘four seasons in one day’ days after all…

It really was a magical day though, as Rachael said when she sent me these stunning photographs by Glasgow-based photo-ninja, Simon Lees.

“We’ve had a little bit of alone time to reflect on how we feel about the wedding now and what married life will hold for us- it feels good.  As predicted something HAS shifted – the feeling of setting out on an ‘intentional’ lifetime together has set in, and it has a ‘new’ energy to it. We’re buzzing.”

We are delighted we chose you to be our celebrant. Thank you for taking us on and for your patience along the way.  Generally we both feel in life if something is worth doing then it’s worth doing right – and you really gave us the opportunity to do the ceremony the right way.

It wasn’t easy, and at times I cursed myself for not taking the ‘easy way’, but ultimately it made the day what it was and we are so grateful for that. Lots of people talk about their wedding and the parts they loved the most – for us it was the ceremony. 

Rainbow or not, it was easily the most magical thing about the day and we can’t believe how much we loved it (I’m grinning as I type).

So am I Rachael… so am I! What a day! And what fabulous images to go with your beautiful, moving words. I’m so glad you chose me – and that you chose Simon Lees too. He completely captured not just the event but the atmosphere of the day, and I’m delighted to be allowed to share his pictures which so perfectly match your words.

See what I mean?

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