The current pandemic has changed so much for everyone but none more so than those celebrating life events and the wedding industry in particular has suffered hugely from COVID 19’s impact. There is hope and light at the end of the tunnel of course with a vaccine now being rolled out around the globe.
Five of my recent couples proved that love wins the day every time by going ahead, and in most cases, bringing forward their big day and tying the knot regardless of numbers and restrictions. Here are five of my recent couple’s love stories in a whirlwind eight day period covering 403 miles around Scotland.
Staci and Joe, Seamill Hydro Ardrossan 31st October 2020
My first of five ceremonies started on Halloween with Staci and Joe’s Seamill Hydro Ayrshire seaside affair. They had booked me for February 2021 but as they couldn’t see any significant changes to the restrictions they decided to bring things forward by almost four months and go ahead with their dream day.
The sea views were breath taking, the pumpkin themed place settings were perfect and their kilted cute 3 year old son Guy tried his best to not steal the show from Mum and Dad. And to top things off my petrol headed bride and groom brought along their favourite car and motorbike to get pictures with.
Staci and Joe told me; “We brought our wedding forward to simply get married. Our original July 2020 date was rescheduled to February 2021 but we began to realise that our big day wasn’t about having 100 plus guests and a massive party. Even with the restriction on numbers it was more perfect than we could have imagined to finally be marrying each other in front of our closest family. If we could do it all over again we would have another small wedding. Love wins.”
Rachel and Grant, The Torrance Hotel East Kilbride 1st November 2020
The next day I was a little closer to home at The Torrance Hotel in East Kilbride for Rachel and Grant’s ceremony. They booked me as their celebrant back in February 2018 and I had already conducted their two sons Naming Ceremony so was known to the family. Oliver and Jacob even played the part of ring security and ring bearers which was a beautiful gesture for Mum and Dad to cherish. Their original date was 15th November 2020 but in a bid to avoid the potential of increased restrictions they decided to bring their wedding forward by two weeks, just in case.
Grant and Rachel commented; “With the new tier system being implemented in Scotland we both decided to bring our wedding forward. We rearranged our full wedding in a day! For us, getting married was about us. We have been together over 11 years, have our home together and our two handsome sons and felt it was about time we all shared in the same family surname. We were lucky enough to have a live stream of our ceremony for those who couldn’t be with us in person. They loved it. We can’t believe how beautiful and sentimental our day was. It was full of fun, laughter, tears of happiness and a happily ever after.”
Beth and Mario, Trades Hall of Glasgow 4th November 2020
A few days later I was in the city centre setting of the Trades Hall of Glasgow to celebrate Beth and Mario tying the knot. Their engagement was in July of this year and they had original planned to get married in 2021 but simply just couldn’t wait to be husband and wife. Mario, originally from Albania, and Beth from the Isle of Mull had lots to consider when planning their ceremony to fuse together both of their cultures and traditions. A highlight for them was during their photo shoot in the city centre streets of Glasgow. Thanks to a Buchanan Street busker and their musical and singing talents, Beth and Mario had an impromptu first dance in the middle of the busy street. A beautiful priceless memory.
Beth and Mario explained; “I had seen online and through friends that many couples had changed their date two or three times and were still worrying if their day would go ahead. We couldn’t face that and just wanted to be married, so went for it! We planned everything in about 4 weeks and then relaxed and looked forward to our special day. We were apprehensive on how the day would go with only eighteen of us but it was perfect and looking back we can’t imagine having a big wedding. Our families from Mull and Albania, who weren’t there in person, tuned into our live stream of the ceremony and said they felt that there were there in the room with us. We were so happy when we heard this and never felt that anyone missed out!”
Aoife and Alex, Trades Hall of Glasgow 6th November 2020
Two days later I found myself back at the Trades Hall with Aoife and Alex. Following the postponement of their original wedding in April 2020 Aoife and Alex decided to do it all by themselves and eloped from London to Glasgow. The wonderful haunting emptiness of the Trades Hall grand ballroom was a near equidistant mileage count from Aoefi’s home town of Ballaghaderreen in Ireland and Alex’s home city Sheffield. Although not with them during the ceremony, they honoured their close family through candle lighting, poems and drinking from the Quaich. Following the ceremony they headed to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond for a beautiful atmospheric photo shoot.
Aoife and Alex said; “Ultimately we already felt as though we were husband and wife so knew it was important to honour this and officially recognise it for ourselves. We would have loved to have shared our wedding day with our nearest and dearest. More than that though, we just wanted to be married.
Our marriage is much the same as what our partnership was and is now before we eloped. The difference we feel is a solidifying and deep acknowledgment of our love for each other, and that for us is what makes a marriage.”
Gena and Ean, Branxholm Park, Hawick 7th November 2020
My final wedding ceremony of five in eight days was in the Scottish borders town of Hawick. The exclusive weekend use venue of Branxholm Park played host to Gena and Ean. Their closest family joined them on a near 200 mile round trip to witness their intimate ceremony. Oldest son Caleb helped during his Mum and Dad’s Hand Fasting gesture whilst younger brother Ozzy kept everyone amused with his onsite chicken chasing skills. It was a sight to behold during their outdoor ceremony.
Gena and Ean explained; “We decided to bring our wedding forward from August 2021 and elope with our immediate family for the weekend. It was one of the biggest secrets we have ever kept and we can’t thank our family enough for making our dream wedding come true. We arranged it all within 8 weeks and even with the extra restrictions due to COVID, it was literally the best day we could have ever wished for.”