Being Positive, Optimistic & Flexible

Our Celebrant's Secrets to the Current Times

Our @Silvercelebrant John Leo Scott shares some great stories of the past months.

It is a privilege to share in a couple’s journeys. A privilege that comes with covid caveats just now. Constantly hovering over the news feeds trying to glean information on where the country or indeed where Local Lockdowns will be in the next 4-8-12-16 weeks time.

I have some beautiful and inspirational stories of couples who, despite the gloomy horizons have remained positive and optimistic that their wedding will go ahead. Being positive and optimistic is one thing, however, flexibility is the key word in all of this. The “what if”? question. Seeking solutions to a fast changing landscape are key. With all three of these combined together it provides a solution based mind set. Something I’ve come to experience and understand over the past 10 months.


Photo credit: @tonymarshphotography
Venue: Marine Hotel

Francesca and Calum
These two beautiful people were scheduled to tie the knot on the 14th October 2020 at the Majestic Drumtochty castle way up North where men are men and sheep are scared.

On April 14th 2020 I video called them to find out what their feelings were regarding the ceremony. Being completely pandemicaly naive, we all thought that it would have passed over by the summer, at the latest and we’d be swirling our kilts at the after dinner Celidh. Of course as time passed by, it became apparent that a wedding with 120 guests would be impossible, especially as most of Francesca’s family would be flying over from Canada.

We’d discussed the ceremony, thrashed out all the amendments, only to discover their wedding would have to be incredibly scaled down, in fact after a lot of soul searching Calum and Francesca decided to change location and to scale down to the smallest wedding possible. Four people, the bride, groom and two witnesses. I should also add, it was a massive secret.

The Marine hotel, North Berwick was the backup location for the ceremony. Which was fairly local for the bride and groom as they were city slickers living in Edinburgh. The hotel was absolutely fantastic, allowing them to use a smaller room for the ceremony and a room adjacent for their very own private dining experience.

On their very first date, Francesca and Calum ventured out onto Longniddry beach to watch the breakers. This was their inspiration to get married at The Marine, where they’d tie the knot in their positively sumptuous oak clad room with panoramic views of the Firth of Forth and in the far distance the kingdom of Fife.

The sensationally gifted photographer, Tony Marsh was shooting their wedding, commented on how he positively loved the vibe and thought the wedding was truly an inspirational story. After the ceremony, the bride and groom, plus witnesses cut the cake, popped the champagne cork, toasted their future and then headed off to Longniddry beach in all their regalia and shot the most stunning candid pictures, frolicking in the freezing water and generally loving the moment.

Once the wedding pictures were approved, they grabbed their favourite image, fired it onto a card, created a save the date for their Vow renewal the following year, and announced to all their would-be guests they’d tied the knot.

For them the most important thing they wanted was to pledge themselves, faithfully and unconditionally for the rest of their lives, to each other. And that’s exactly what they did. Love was definitely not cancelled.


Photo credit: Andrew Lynch Photography
Venue: The Waterside Hotel

Claire and Tommy

They’d booked me two years in advance for the 30th December 2020. If only they knew the chaos our country would be plunged into. Again being quite pandemicaly naive, we were all confident the country would be free from the clutches of covid and return to a normal life come Christmas.

How wrong we were. As the months marched on it was quite clear, their wedding would be dramatically different. Still, they were determined that love would win and they’d be Mr and Mrs in 2020.

As December rolled round, it looked like we were going to get a reprieve come Christmas. A slackening of the restrictions. Which was great news for our lovebirds. However, the reprieve was short lived and with very little lead in time the First Minister announced that weddings for twenty guests could no longer go ahead with a reception.

I called Claire after the announcement. She was in tears, all her plans were now in tatters. Everything she had planned was up in smoke. I calmly suggested we could find a solution. It was Saturday 20th December, I checked my diary and suggested Christmas eve. Claire thought for a minute… Christmas eve has a ring to it. I like it. She hung up, contacted all their suppliers, who moved heaven and earth for them to make her dream come true.

The Waterside hotel was absolutely fantastic and mother nature pulled out all her stops with the most magnificent blue skies and sunshine. The sun streamed in through the windows of the ceremony room, giving the illusion of summer. It wasn’t until the ceremony was over and Claire and Tommy walked out into the winter sunset it dawned on me. Just how much pain this couple had gone through for this day, and boy was it worth it. Watching them walk off onto the beach for quite possibly the most exquisite vista I’ve ever seen, reminded me. How deserving Claire and Tommy were of this moment.

John Leo Scott
John Leo Scott

Humanist Celebrant

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