Norton House Hotel

Looking out the window today at the howling wind and driving rain, I decided to reflect on a ceremony I conducted just a few months ago at Norton House Hotel in Edinburgh.

The couple in question had decided to have a Humanist Marriage Ceremony so that they could celebrate their commitment to each other in a way that was special to them and reflective of who they are as people and how they wish to spend their lives together.

When I arrived at the hotel, the venue staff had made the decision to move the ceremony outdoors. It had been raining all weekend, no surprise about that really, so the bride and groom weren’t really expecting it, but had been hoping that their July wedding could be held out doors. With the weather as warm and as sunny as it was, it was going to be too good of an opportunity to miss.

The colour scheme was red and in the garden and sunshine, the colours really popped and the red chair sashes looked beautiful against the crisp white chair covers.

They had decided to have a string quartet perform the music for the ceremony and drinks reception rather than just have music played through a speaker or sound system. The quartet positioned themselves just under some apple trees to give them the shade they needed. It really made the start of the ceremony that little more special, and I love any live performances of music, as the bride followed her bridal party down the aisle to Cannon in D. I’ve not heard it performed on the strings before and it was just beautiful.

The Bride and Groom had decided to include a couple of symbolic gestures in the ceremony, but also wanted to include there parents some how. So, when it came to the candle lighting, they had their respective parents to light their individual candles with the Bride and Groom then taking a flame from the two candles to light a third together. This was to represent their continuing individuality and their joining together in Marriage. This did cause a little bit of laughter as it was just a wee bit windy, so initially trying to light the candles took longer than it normally would. Thankfully I had spotted some storm lanterns that were being used for the table centres prior to the ceremony, so I utilised them to make sure the candles all stayed lit for the duration of the ceremony and thankfully they did.

Before announcing the new Mr & Mrs, we had a poem from the writer Gillian Stewart, that was very fitting to end the ceremony with;

May this day be full of joy and laughter and fun
A day for catching up with old friends and perhaps even making some new ones
A day to share in Bride and Groom’s happiness and delight
And of looking forward to a future that sure to be warm and bright

By Morag Webster


Venue Dresser: LBS Events

Photography: Alan Snelling Photography

Hairpieces: The Tiara Boutique

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