Kay & Blair’s Humanist Wedding at Carlowrie Castle

What do you think will be the most stressful day of your life?

If you say, “my wedding day”, then you should check out the “Holmes And Rahe Stress Scale”, because what you see will calm you down. Marriage scores only 50 points out of a possible 100, so it shouldn’t be that scary, but let’s face it, for some people their wedding day is the scariest thing they’ve ever had to prepare for, and Kay was one of them.

I was just reading over our early emails and the signs were there from the start. After our first meeting, Kay wrote, “You have made me feel a lot more at ease about the whole thing”, but as she admits, she was still petrified when she and Blair came to see me for a rehearsal a few days before the big day.

Blair on the other hand… well, Blair’s used to pressure. He’s a high-level amateur golfer, so he takes it in his stride. I was really impressed when I turned up at Carlowrie Castle to find a huge box of tissues sitting on the table alongside the marriage schedule. You know what they say; “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.

Isn’t this a wonderful shot by Audrey Russell?

One thing brides get very stressed about is being on time, and the larger the bridal party, the harder that is. I was blown away when I turned up at Carlowrie Castle to see all seven members of the bridal party ready and waiting. I was even more impressed after talking to their makeup artist, Rachel McIlwraith, who told me that she’d done the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom as well!

On the day, everything just flowed.

I liked how the groomsmen walked the bridesmaids up the aisle. It looks great, and it must have been reassuring for Hollie, Heather, Emma, Clemmie, Rebekah and Matilda to have had Russler, Snowman, Hendo, Maximum and Mason to lean on going down those stairs!

I was also very impressed by Tabitha the flower girl who was very conscientious about scattering all her petals!

I love how their photographer Audrey Russell captured this moment – a hug is so much better than a handshake!

Kay and Blair first met at the ‘Caddy Shak’ in 2016 when the Open Championship came to Troon, but although they didn’t exchange more than a few words at the time, they kept bumping into one another and soon found themselves going for drives most nights, playing Pokémon Go and going to McDonald’s for Blair as he was, in his words, ‘on the bulk…’ 

Kay tried playing it cool but eventually they found themselves watching ‘a film about chickens’ and despite the fact that she sat there looking at her phone all the way through, they eventually graduated to Facebook Official!

10 days before the pandemic hit, they moved into their first home, which was a true test of each other’s patience, cooking skills (not Blair’s) & quiz knowledge. But – with the help of lots of pink gins and cans of Tennents – they survived and grew stronger as a couple in more ways than one. 

Fast forward to May 2021. Blair decided the time had come to put a ring on it, so he took his grandma shopping in Glasgow to pick one, but he had no idea  where, when or how to seal the deal until they found themselves on a romantic 5-day tour of Scotland via the North Coast 500. 

It wasn’t the smoothest of trips. After walking along the beach at Bettyhill in the rain, day three took them to Cocoa Mountain – home of ‘the best hot chocolate in the world’ according to bridesmaid Heather – but it soon became the world’s worst hot chocolate when it spilled all over the dashboard of Kay’s car… As they wrote, “That was not a good day… a lot of tears were shed, and vomit was had!”

But Day 4 turned out to be gorgeous, and they visited one of Kay’s favourite places, Achmelvich, where where the sea is clear blue, the sand is pure white, and they saw dolphins and paddle boarders. 

“They got to the beach, and there wasn’t a soul in sight. Blair went for a wander and Kay sat on a rock, looking out at the water in the distance. Blair came back and asked, ‘are you having a nice day?’ Kay responded, ‘eh yes better than yesterday’. Blair said, ‘well it’s about to get a whole lot worse for you,’ as he got down on one knee.

‘w w w w w w will you?’ No words came from Blair’s mouth, and for the first time he was stumped for words. Kay – in hysterics crying – said YES. The tears blinded her eyes for about 25 minutes. ARE you SURE ??? she asked. We couldn’t wait to get to the stop of the hill to phone all the family.

They have been on many holidays and adventures together but – for obvious reasons – the NC500 tops them all!”

I do love a happy ending, don’t you?

I was so glad when Kay sent me these great photos by her friend, Ayrshire-based photographer, Audrey Russell because she said this.

You made us feel at ease from start to finish.

It was lovely to meet you in real life before the wedding to do a rehearsal. 

As you know I was petrified, but leaving you that day I felt so much better. 

Before I walked down the aisle to Blair I felt a calm come over me that I had never felt before. 

The way you conducted the ceremony was amazing.

 You were so well spoken and it couldn’t have run smoother. That is very true, because look…

The box never got opened – so I hope that Kay and Blair keep it that way, as a souvenir of their wedding!

It’s perfectly natural to be nervous about your wedding.

And if you are, having a rehearsal beforehand can really help – as Kay just told us. If you want to know more, you can see what I think here.

On the other hand, if you can’t have a rehearsal for one reason or another – or even if you just don’t want one – I’ve written a post for you too!

My thanks again to Kay and Blair for choosing me as their celebrant – it was an absolute joy, and I’m so pleased that love and excitement won over the nerves on the day. My thanks also go to Audrey Russell for her lovely photos and to Rachel McIlwraith for getting everyone ready not just on time, but early. She gets a 5-star review from me!

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