Getting married is exciting. Staying married, on the other hand, has its challenges, which is why I love conducting renewal of vows ceremonies for couples who’ve gone the distance, and who want to create a new future while honouring their past.
Sophie and Bruno are one such couple. They’d been together for 26 years, married for 18, and they’d managed to raise two beautiful children, Loann, and Hanaé. When Sophie first got in touch, she told me that she was going to surprise Bruno with a proposal to renew their vows – and that is exactly what she did, at a fancy dress party…
The Hulk was very moved, as you can see…
Sophie was very keen to renew their vows in Scotland – specifically in Glencoe – and coming all the way from France, they wanted to make the most of their trip.
‘Destination Weddings’ are a thing these days, and I loved the way that she and Bruno made the renewal of their vows into a celebration of family and friends.
As she wrote, “Here we are back to reality, but our minds turn back to our stay in Scotland very regularly. The trip will remain a very beautiful memory, and we have promised ourselves that we will return”.
We are aware not just how lucky we are to have found each other, but also to have succeeded in maintaining our feelings throughout these years. To be able to keep the promise we made to each other right after we got married 18 years ago is just amazing. And to do our renewal of vows in this beautiful place was incredible.
Before we joined you on the hill, we had already shared some beautiful moments.
In the morning, Bruno got ready with our son Loann, and I with our daughter Hanaé. We were lucky that these beautiful moments of togetherness with our children were immortalised by our photographer Vanessa.
I took advantage of this moment to offer a blue stone symbolising tenderness to Hanaé (who is very sensitive to lithotherapy), a stone that she can sew in her dress or put in jewellery for her own wedding (and thus wear something blue as tradition dictates)… Those were our first tears of the day 😊
Then we went down to a small private beach overlooking Loch Linnhe, for the reveal of our outfits, with Bruno accompanied by Hanaé and me on Loann’s arm.
After this beautiful moment with the family, we went to the Glencoe Lochan for some more photos; I chose that location for its history.
We had booked lunch at The Glencoe Inn so we could have a quick bite before the ceremony, and once again we felt the kindness of the Scots.
They let us in before opening time and everything was ready so we could be on time for the ceremony. They even allowed us to take a few photos in our wedding outfits at the back of the pub.
Then we headed off towards the Three Sisters to find you waiting for us with Rich the Piper, on the side of the road. Thank you again for your help – it’s not always easy when you don’t know where you’re going, and what a crowd there was when we arrived – it was amazing!
Bruno enjoyed Rich’s bagpipes very much, as did our guests. It was really magical to go up the path to the sound of the bagpipes, and it was the detail that made all the difference 😊
We really appreciated the simplicity with which the ceremony took place. And even if there was a language barrier, we were able to enjoy every moment.
Renewing our commitment in this magnificent landscape brought even more emotion to this day. With our children, our friends and even the sun!
Afterwards, we went in search of the Lost Valley, meeting many hikers on the way. We loved receiving their “congratulations”, and their smiles. (We had hung “just married” signs on our backpacks.)
It’s easier to climb in a good mood! When we reached the valley, we were made breathless by the spectacle; it was truly magnificent and we “toasted” to our love for this place.
That evening, Loann told me something that really touched me and made me realise that this day would be unforgettable. I had taken a moment to myself on the beach to reflect on the day and he joined me to tell me that he was happy to have shared this moment with us and that he was aware that it was really exceptional to have been able to attend his parents’ wedding. What more can I say? He just summed it all up.
We returned to the place of the ceremony the following week because it had snowed, and before we left the Highlands, we sat down on a plaid to drink a coffee while admiring the landscape, which looked so different under the snow.
Last week some friends gave us a quaich they brought back from Scotland, so we will be celebrating future birthdays drinking whisky from it. We were touched by your initiative of planting a tree for us, and we think we may start a grove there for our family.
Thank you again for accompanying us throughout all the preparations and for allowing the ceremony to be perfect.
Merci encore, Sophie et Bruno! I find it profoundly moving when couples take the time to write to me after a ceremony to share their feelings, and having been allowed to share the 26 year history of their relationship makes Bruno and Sophie’s story even sweeter. They also wrote me a lovely review on Your Scottish Wedding, saying, among other things, “Our many exchanges (in French, our English is very bad), his precious advice and his proposal of “homework of love” contributed to the success of our day.
The “duties of love” are an excellent basis for writing our vows and are a real gift for a couple who have already gone through many years together. They give the opportunity to take the time to reflect on our love, and to talk to each other with an open heart.”
Your English is not “very bad” Sophie – it’s as least as good as my French! – and as you know, I loved being a part of the renewal of your love for one another. It was “extrêmement émouvant” and I know that Rich the Piper loved it too!
I can’t end this post without saying thank you to Sophie and Bruno’s photographer, Vanessa A, who took these great shots. She made a beautiful slideshow of the day and told the story really well on her blog (there’s a translation available too).
Sophie et Bruno; J’espère que vous vous souviendrez de ce jour, pas seulement lors de votre anniversaire, mais tous les jours, pour le reste de votre vie !