Camille & Baptiste’s Humanist Marriage at Finlarig Castle

Let’s be honest. Not everyone wants to get married. And when Camille sent me their LoveWork, she told me a little secret about Baptiste.

He’d been a “totally against wedding man” all his life, but after a thirteen-year relationship and two wonderful children, Lily and Achille, he finally changed his mind. As he said to Camille when they shared their LoveWork, “Tu as su être patiente et me convaincre.

Puisque nous voulons vieillir ensemble pourquoi ne pas graver cette union dans le marbre ? Tu as tenu tes engagements, je tiendrai les miens. Finalement ce n’est qu’une étape de plus dans notre chemin. Je souhaite plus que tout t’aimer et te chérir chaque jour. Laisse moi être ton mari pour la vie et m’engager devant nos familles réunies.

It sounds better in French, but to paraphrase, Baptiste said, “Seeing as we want to grow old together, why don’t we carve our union in stone? You’ve kept your promises, I will keep mine. At the end of the day, it’s just another step on our way. More than anything, I want to love and cherish you every day. Let me be your husband for life and let’s get married in front of our reunited families.

One of the stereotypes we Brits have about les français is that they are so romantic and passionate, but actually I think there’s more than a little truth in that. Almost all the French couples who come here to marry in Scotland choose to do it somewhere wild and remote. I think they prefer it when it’s raining!

Finlarig is a little-known ruined castle hidden in a wood on the shores of Loch Tay. Built in the early 17th century by the seventh Laird of Glenorchy, Sir Duncan Campbell, it’s thought the castle was only the last of a series of structures on the site that date back to prehistory.

On a dreich, drizzly day in October, it has quite a forbidding aspect. There are even a few signs warning the visitor to beware of tumbling into various holes in the ground, but Camille, Baptiste and their families are made of sterner stuff and we were all perfectly safe.

Their ceremony was simple and charming. The first person to speak was Lily, who read us the poem she had written for mama et papa.

Papa et Maman c’est comme deux aimants.

Qui s’aiment très fort.

Qui s’habillent joliment,

Pour ce grand jour.

Avec leurs amis et parents.

C’est un grand amour

Qui durera toujours.

And then I got to tell a short version of the story of Baptiste and Camille.

It was a magical evening, suspended in time, between beer and rock music. We met again as soon as possible, just two days later, and that was it – we were together forever!

I got out of the way so they could speak their vows directly to one another.

Parce que ce n’est finalement qu’une étape de plus sur notre chemin,

Parce que je souhaite plus que tout t’aimer et te chérir chaque jour,

Parce que je promets de toujours tenter de t’apaiser quand l’orage gronde en toi, autant que de te faire rire du matin jusqu’au soir.

I know – it was “très charmant!”

I got a lovely message from Camille a few days later, long before I got to see these great photos taken by Matt Dale at Fern Photography

We had a wonderful time in Scotland and our wedding was a dream to all of us, especially to Baptiste and me. Thank you sincerely for all you’ve done, for your patience, for your kindness, your help and everything…

We are now waiting in the airport with stars in our eyes and in our kids eyes, which is the most precious thing of all. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

C’était un tel plaisir, Camille ! Honnêtement, j’ai adoré – et voir vos visages et les visages de votre famille m’a fait comprendre à quel point cela signifiait pour vous, Baptiste, Lily et Achille.

What could be more romantic than running off to Scotland to get married? If that sounds like you, get in touch with my friend Gabrielle Plasman who specialises in organising weddings here for French couples.

In my past life as a director of TV commercials, I spent a lot of time trying to persuade VisitScotland that we should shoot some ads where we show the many kinds of rain this country has to offer.

They thought I was crazy…

I know – that even if only this time – I was not!

Thank you again, Camille and Baptiste. Thank you, Gabrielle, and thank you too, Matt for sharing these lovely photos!

  1. Robyn Nisbet left a comment on September 24, 2023 at 3:40 pm


    we are looking to be married at Finlarig castle next year and we were wondering if permission has to be given or if it is under right to roam?

    Any information would be muchly appreciated as it seems to be hard to me by!

    Thank you,

    • Tim Maguire left a comment on October 27, 2023 at 4:52 pm

      Thank you so much for asking, Robyn. I’ve written to you directly, so please check your spam folder in case my reply ends up there.

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