• Welcome...my name's Neil...I'm a Humanist Celebrant

    and I provide professional services for...

    Weddings & Civil Partnerships

    Vow Renewals, Commitment Ceremonies

    Welcoming & Naming Ceremonies

    Humanist Funerals & Memorials

    07955 386512

    01343 548709

    http://www.humanism.scot

    http://www.facebook.com/celebrantneil

    email : neil.lynch@humanism.scot

    Skype : neil.lynch

     

     

    call me for an informative, no obligation chat...

    or click the tabs above

  • Who am I?

    I'm a sports-mad, globetrotting chap with a love of the wild, natural history,

    big bikes and all the good things in life...

    an optimist, an all-round-believer in no such thing as an ordinary life. I like to have a laugh. 😅😆😁
    I've had a full and varied work career; 30 years in the Police, Solicitor's Agent, Sports Project Coordinator,Tennis Coach, Bus Driver, Tournament Referee, Transport Manager at London 2012 Olympics, (what an experience that was!) 6 years working in Iraq as a Forensic Programme Consultant, Barman, Course Instructor, Truck Driver...

    dog lover, wind-up Dad and irritating Granda too!...visited over 50 countries...lived in London, Edinburgh, Iraq & the Highlands of Scotland...the list goes on and on !

    Experience all you can in life!
    I am now a fully trained husband and dad to a girlie Welsh spaniel puppy (Tanni)! -

    - & Humanist Celebrant available throughout Scotland.
    My Humanist beliefs are coupled with my vast experience of working with people in various roles for over forty years and have added, not only to my caring nature, but strengthened my strong interest in helping people. I've experienced tragedy and triumph and always look for the positives.

    Please contact me to discuss how I can make your day, your ceremony, extra special.

    Designed by you, for you. Your day, your say, your way. 💘

    Neil Lynch

    Humanist Celebrant

    Tanni

    our new addition to the family

    isn't she simply gorgeous?

    memorable days

    unforgetable occasions

  • What do I do?

    I design and deliver loving, sincere & personal ceremonies for you; your say, your way, for your day

    Why have a Humanist ceremony ?

    any time, any place, anywhere in Scotland !

    My non-religious ceremonies are a really happy occassion. Every ceremony is designed to your choices, to encompass your beliefs and requirements. Imagine a ceremony that marks a major life event in a way that is personal, sincere, and honest…

    Perhaps welcoming a much-loved baby to the world with a bespoke naming ceremony.

    Or celebrating a couple’s marriage in a way that is sincere, warm, loving and genuine, that’s about the two of them and their relationship, and is full laughter and perhaps a few tears too.

    Or a funeral that focuses on the person who had died and the life they led – not on the idea of an afterlife – but recalling the happy times, the loving times - and provides a dignified and sincere way of saying goodbye.https://www.humanism.scot/humanist-ceremonies/why-choose-us/

     

     

    Weddings & Civil Partnerships

    be different, be adventurous, be original !

    Your ceremony is designed especially for you, to reflect your

    individuality , your hopes and dreams.

    A humanist wedding ceremony gives you the opportunity to marry where you want, when you want and how you want. You can set the tone that’s right for you and choose your own words and music. From castles to beaches, from Scottish islands to candle-lit city hotels or even the intimacy of your own home, I can give you and your guests a wonderful Humanist wedding or civil partnership in Scotland. Scotland is one of only eight countries in the world where Humanist wedding ceremonies are legal, the others being Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Iceland, Ireland and some parts of the US.https://www.humanism.scot/humanist-ceremonies/weddings_civil_partnerships/wedding-ceremony-ideas/

    photo; Copyright © 2018 Lauren McGlynn

     

    Vow Renewals & Commitment Ceremonies

    make it special, make it memorable, make it all about YOU !

    Your Vow Renewal Ceremony will be designed with you, for you, expressing your life, your love and your hopes for the future.

    You choose every aspect, every element, so that your ceremony reflects your individuality and uniqueness as a couple.

    Your Ceremony can be an intimate occasion with a small number of family and friends or part of a large celebration. It can be as formal or informal as you would like.

    You can hold your Ceremony where you wish. It can be an indoor or outdoor location of your choice: at a hotel or a village hall, in your home or garden, or at a special beauty spot. It is up to you!

    Welcoming & Naming Ceremonies

    let's all get together...:-)

    Naming ceremonies are increasingly popular as people recognise they can celebrate the arrival of a child not only with a party or celebration, but also with tradition, promises and sincerity. The arrival of a new child into a family is a very special time and you might want to celebrate with a baby naming. I would be delighted and honoured to assist you with some ideas which you may want to consider and aim to end up with a unique naming ceremony for your child or children that reflects you and you beliefs as well as incorporating an event which will be sincere, dignified and a lot of fun.
    I will provide you with lots of ideas and examples to help you decide what you would like to include in the ceremony as each ceremony is unique, tailored to your requirements.https://www.humanism.scot/humanist-ceremonies/naming/naming-ceremony-ideas/

    Humanist Funerals & Memorials

    recall the happy times, the loving times, the life to celebrate...

    The death of someone we know and love is often shocking and painful, even if it is expected.

    Humanist funerals and memorial services offer a personal and fitting way to say goodbye to those who have lived without religion.

    Humanist funerals bring people together to express sadness at the loss but also to celebrate the life lived. They focus sincerely and affectionately on the person who has died, paying tribute to the connections they made and left behind and the way they lived their life.

    Whilst a funeral director is the professional most likely to deal with the practical arrangements of a funeral, what type of ceremony you choose is entirely up to you. And since funerals themselves have no legal status, humanist funerals – like all others – can be held in a variety of places, although in practice most are held in crematoria, cemeteries or woodland burial sites.https://www.humanism.scot/humanist-ceremonies/funerals/funeral-poems-readings-music/

    a tongue in cheek article ; 22 Reasons You Definitely Shouldn't Get Married In Scotland

    Live long & love lots...

  • Client pics & reviews

    happy days, days filled with love 💘😍

    stylish venue, stylish couple

    23 June 2018 at Kinnettles Castle, Forfar

    Kinnettles Castle, a truly breathtaking baronial house steeped in character and charm. And I'm here for the wedding today of Scots bride Nicola to her Irishman beau Robbie. We have sun, love is in the air, a beautiful bride wearing a stunning wedding dress, a cool and relaxed groom, flower girl Lily sang a song - and their wee dog Lola is bringing the rings.
    F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S !!💘🌞🐕
    Congratulations Mr & Mrs Rea.

     

    fast boat to a secluded coral beach...and a lovely wedding for Lynne & Stevie

    10 June 2018 - Coral Beach, Dunvegan

    Well, today's wedding transport for the couple, guests and me was different...exhilarating even, as we sped across Loch Erghalan on an inflatable rib to the Coral Beach at Dunvegan. The breeze in our hair, the spray thrown up...And there, with just close family, Lynne and Stevie were married. The vows they exchanged were different from the each other, very personal and unique.
    These outdoor weddings in special places are just wonderful. So too was the love evident with this smashing couple. Congratulations Mr & Mrs Binnie! And the midges stayed away! Hooray!
    "Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction."
    Although some of the very best beaches in the world are located in the Outer Hebrides and on the mainland of north-west Scotland, great expanses of white sand are not to be found on Skye. But there are beaches of various kinds around the island, and some of them are very fine in their own way. One such place is Coral Beach, Dunvegan; even though it’s called Coral Beach, it’s not really coral. It is crushed bleached skeletons of Red Coralline seaweed (also known as Maërl).
    Out on the reef by the Island of Lampay Coralline grows very slowly at 1mm per year. There are also many different and colourful shells on the beach.

    We cannot thank you enough for the kind and beautiful words you shared today with us. We have had the most perfect day and so glad that you agreed to marry us, you were fantastic as was Tanni. Thank you again x

    Lynne

     

    a secret garden in Perthshire...and a DOUBLE celebration!

    The Byre at Inchyra - 9 June 2018

    The sun is shining, I’m in the beautiful walled garden, all is quiet except the birds singing...all will change shortly with the wedding of Sara and Matthew. What a fantastic place to have your wedding ceremony! All weddings 👰🏼 🎩 are special but this one was even more so..,for Sara and Matthew invited Sara’s mum an dad Carol and Ian to share in their magical day by inviting them to renew their vows after 30 years of married bliss! So we had two ceremonies much to the surprise and delight of all the guests. Lots of laughs, a few happy tears and a bucketful of 💕 love 💕. What a day! Congratulations to BOTH couples.
    The Byre At Inchyra is a converted cowshed on the Inchyra Estate, Glencarse, Perth. And whilst that may not sound particularly glamorous, it has become a very popular place to get married. This estate and country house dates back to 1795 with the original cattle byre built in 1877. Lord and Lady Inchyra performed a complete transformation of the building in 2014.

    What a day! What a day! What a day!
    Neil matthew and I want to thank you so much- your cheeky charm and professionalism won us over, you made us feel completely at ease and you made our ceremony so personal and just so wonderful, we were so blessed to share our day with my mum and dad who renewed their vows after 31 years of marriage which meant the world to both matthew and I but also to my mum and dad especially after my dads MND diagnosis a few years ago, which has been incredibly hard for the whole family so there was tears, but happy tears!! What a special moment I’ll never forget, Neil you made our wedding day something we shall never forget, so we thank you for that,
    Sara & Matthew, x

    Thank you so much to the wonderful Neil for doing such a fantastic job at our wedding on saturday, you made the day super special and really captured matthew and I's relationship perfectly, it was light hearted, very personal and just amazing!!! So thank you so very much...Sara

    Thank you so much Neil for a wonderful ceremony for my beautiful daughter and Matthew, a wedding to remember.
    Ian and are are also truly honoured to have had the opportunity to share our renewal vows with the happy couple. Happy day with many wonderful memories. Thank you 😊 Carol.x

     

    two lovers in the wild setting of Glencoe - where a Bond movie was filmed!

    1 June 2018 - Glen Itive

    the things I do...I should have learned my lesson the last time they said "would you do our wedding at the riverside...it's just a short walk from the car park." Two hour hike in on rough paths and two hour stagger back on blistered feet after the ceremony at the foothills of the Cairngorms. I'll not do that again I said.
    Then Caro & Nils from Switzerland asked if I'd do their wedding in Glencoe today...at the riverside up Glen Itive...so we get there, nice easy drive. But the ceremony will be over the OTHER side of the river! So it's socks and shoes off (should've brought my wellies from the car), rolled up the trews and staggered and stumbled across the river...jagged stones and slippery boulders...ouch ouch ouch... but I got there eventually. And to be honest...it was worth it! For here we were in one of the iconic settings for the Bond movie Skyfall.
    So, Caroline wore a beautifully embroidered wedding dress from India, they exchanged rings specially commissioned in their home town in Switzerland and made of local metal, incorporating their initials and set with significant, local gem-stones.
    And they had not had sight of the ceremony script...they wanted it all to be a surprise! And they loved it! Now they are Mr & Mrs. The greatest thing you'll ever learn - Is to love and be loved in return.
    All in all, a lovely day in the sun in a spectacular setting with two lovers...what more could you ask for? Tanni was in her element paddling in the pools.
    It's no accident that Bond's family estate is located in Glen Coe. Ian Fleming, James Bond's creator, was reportedly so impressed by Sean Connery's portrayal of his most famous character in Dr No (1962) that he gave Bond some Scottish heritage.

     

    love, family, sun, sea & beautiful scenery, the Irish....what more could you ask for?

    31 May 2019 Neist Point, Isle of Skye

    A couple of Irish peeps from London got hitched today, Neist Point on Skye providing a lovely backdrop. The haar had lifted by the time I got there and the sun was shining. Anne-Marie and Pat were on form, plenty laughs, (including at my expense when I slipped up during the vows.) (Oh, and Pat was troubled with a fly in his eye )All in all a lovely family day. Congratulations Mr & Mrs McLafferty! 💖 ☘️ ☀️ Fa’ilte
    Two souls with but a single thought,Two hearts that beat as one.

    Dealing with Neil was a pleasure from the initial contact to the end of our wedding ceremony. He was helpful and informative. He conducted the ceremony with warmth and professionalism and an amazing personal touch. We couldn't have had anyone else do such a stellar job. Neil, thank you for an amazing wedding - everyone was blown away. It was perfect. Anne-Marie & Pat

     

    Let's get married on the beach...but what a beach!

    28 May 2019 - Scarista, Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrideas

    I'm here at Scarista on Harris for the wedding on the beach of Danielle & Ashley from Edinburgh with just 4 guests and two dogs (theirs and mine). A simple ceremony with only their siblings and respective partners. They wrote their own vows which along with a couple of readings were handwritten into a lovely journal to keep for posterity. A lovely keepsake.
    The Isles of Lewis and Harris are incredible islands on the edge. They have beautiful, unspoilt beaches, rugged hills and mountains, a fascinating array of fauna and flora, a rich history, exciting recreation and wonderful culture, not forgetting art, music and crafts including the world famous Harris Tweed. And today I'm at Scarista the lovely golden sandy hebridean beach on the west coast of Harris in The Outer Hebrides. The place looks out towards the uninhabited island of Taransay (used in the famous TV series " The Castaways). The views looking out from Scarista beach are stunning - a pretty sparkling sea, the Harris hills, golden sands stretching for three miles. Along the way in to the beach in the summer is the beautiful machair carpet of wildflowers.
    This place is simply magical. "To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.”

    Thank you so much for being our celebrant Neil - we loved our ceremony, it was absolutely perfect. We're so happy! Hope you and Tanni enjoyed your couple of days in Lewis and Harris, it's so beautiful here! Danielle.

     

    outdoors by the river...let's tie the knot there!

    Sunday 27 May 2018 - Maryculter House Hotel, Aberdeen

    ...another gorgeous day, another fabulous venue and another couple so much in love 💖 and SO right for each other. Congratulations Ashleigh and Rorie, and thank you - it was a pleasure and an honour to be part of your special day.
    Maryculter House Hotel is one of the most famous and historic hotels in Aberdeen located on the banks of the River Dee and overlooking the Golf Course of Peterculter. With a classic reputation for hospitality, from the building’s founding in 1227 by the Knights Templar, this location has been offering hospitality to travellers from far and wide for many years. “I fell in love the way you fall asleep, slowly and then all at once.”

    photo credit to @calumriddell

    warm sun, lochside, woodland...bliss

    Saturday 26 May at Loch Lomond Waterfront, Balmaha

    There is nothing more magical than holding your marriage ceremony on the banks of Loch Lomond amidst the grounds of an exclusive private beach. Tie the knot within feet of the water and the soft hues of Ben Lomond in the background. Whether you use a star shade marquee or opt for a full open air ceremony, you’ll start your married life in front of an unforgettable backdrop.

    ...Sarah and Dominic are now Mr & Mrs Fitzgerald. Congratulations! “Love is like a friendship caught on fire.”

     

    Jade & Matt elope to Skye...

    24 May 2018 - Loch Coruisk

    No words...just young love 💖 for Jade & Matt. Sun, sea, spectacular scenery. What more could you ask for? "Marriages are like fingerprints; each one is different and each one is beautiful."
    Loch Coruisk, at the very heart of the Cuillin, is the most magnificent of all Scottish freshwater lochs. Whilst you are very likely to get wet feet from the boggy terrain, this is a small price to pay for the superlative mountain scenery along the way. If walking only one side of the loch, the south side has easier going and the best views.

     

    Romantic old Edinburgh - where better?...with faeries too for the wedding celebration of Laura & Luca

    07 May 2019 - at the Ghillie Dhu

    Lauren & Luca chose to celebrate their love and marriage in one of Scotland’s most iconic places, Edinburgh. Edinburgh? Oh, but yes! Edinburgh presents a surprising, romantic magic all its own. Writer Sir Walter Scott referred to Edinburgh as “The Empress of the North” and fellow Scotsman, Robert Louis Stevenson, wrote, “Edinburgh is what Paris ought to be.”
    Lauren and Luca saw Edinburgh as the perfect place and the perfect way to carry out their unique, personal and intimate wedding celebration ceremony. And of course, it’s where they met and fell in love - and where they have come back to, to continue their journey. "Love knows no reasons,love knows no lies. Love defies all reasons, love has no eyes. But love is not blind, love sees but doesn't mind."
    Ghillie Dhu - originally St Thomas Episcopal Church, has been beautifully restored to showcase its traditional features. There's a breath-taking Auditorium located on the first floor of this listed building with high vaulted ceilings, flooded with colour and large candlelit chandeliers and is where Laure & Luca's celebration took place.
    Inscribed on the wall of the auditorium is the following passage;
    “Celtic folklore tells of the Ghillie Dhu, the legendary pixie guardian of the forest. They are wild, mostly active at night and disguise themselves from preying eyes with clothes that are woven from leaves and moss. The Scottish forests were once heavily populated by these faeries but they are now very rare. Legend has it that the spirit of the Ghillie Dhu is all around…look up, they are watching over you now.”

     

    a wee stroll for me today for the local wedding of Becki & James

    28 April 2018 - Elgin

    the bride arrived in style...and maintained her composure throughout. The sun came out for Becki Cameron & James Wink and their little girl Olivia stole the show. A couple of lovely readings, the little known traditional Scottish gesture of "jaeger bombs" and one happy couple. Congratulations Mr & Mrs Wink. 💘
    "To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, And to sing it to them when they have forgotten. "

    "Thank you very much, Neil. You did an amazing job yesterday! It was a lovely ceremony. Becki."

    Carly & Robbie tie the knot

    27 April 2018 at Piperdam

    another day...the sun is shining, the birds singing and there's love in the air...💘it must be really handy when your venue is right across the road from Mum & Dad's house...so Carly strolled across in the sun while her beau Robbie waited nervously. 20 minutes later and they were the new Mr & Mrs Millar. Congratulations! And the rain stayed off just long enough to get the official photos done. ""Today I marry my best friend: The One I Laugh With, Live For, Dream With, LOVE."

    "Thank you so much Neil for making Carly and Robbie's day so special your service was so lovely Carly, Robbie, Zach and all us had a fantastic day thanks again Lorri (Carly's mum) x"

     

    A rural venue of excellence for Rowan & Craig's wedding

    26 April 2018 at GG's Yard, Gatehouse of Fleet,

    A simply stunning venue, perched on the hills overlooking Scotland's southern coast, opened in late 2017. Breathtaking views, set within a 250-year old converted steading, the perfect place for the wedding of Rowan & Craig, following the proposal at their favourite place, the Isle of Arran. Ring warming, 💍lots of readings including a Pam Ayres ditty, some nerves, a few tears at the lovey-dovey bits, 😄smiles, laughter 😂and lots of love. ❤️Congratulations Mr & Mrs Higgins!💞My heart to you is given: Oh, do give yours to me; We'll lock them up together, And throw away the key. Fabulous wedding video - see link.

    Gatehouse of Fleet is a village situated near the mouth of the Water of Fleet, ten miles west of Kirkcudbright. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Gatehouse of Fleet was a thriving industrial centre with cotton mills, shipbuilding, a brewery and its own port. It was known locally as the 'Glasgow of the South'.Traces of this industrial past can still be found in its buildings and street names and in the Mill on the Fleet, a former textile mill which is now an award-winning visitors' centre tracing the economic and social history of Gatehouse. F

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVrai5KrFQE

    Kirsty & Richard...it all started witn a crazy foam party!

    21 April 2018 at North Berwick

    Castleton Farm, North Berwick - a wonderful venue complete with spectacular views to Tantallon Castle, the Bass Rock and North Berwick Law, 3 of the most iconic images of East Lothian, you really cannot get any closer. And I’m here today for the wedding of Kirsty & Richard.
    They were just friends for a couple of years - then one night there was a crazy foam party at the University. They got to know each other a lot better, there was suddenly a mutual attraction and they found they had a lot of common interests, particularly sport. From there-on they became a lot closer. The friendship developed into a relationship, then a romance. To use a phrase from one of their favourite TV programmes, Game of Thrones, it was at this stage that Richard realised that Kirsty was the only woman he would bend the knee for. Aaawww.
    Congratulations Mr & Mrs Milne. Live long and love lots!

    Hi Neil, We wanted to drop you a personal note to express our thanks and gratitude for making our wedding ceremony so special on Saturday.
    The service was perfect and we have had lots of positive feedback from our guests who both praised your delivery of the personalised service, and loved the little touches of hand fasting and rose presentation you suggested.We had the most perfect day and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you to other couples getting married in the future.
    Thank you for all your help. Best wishes, Mr & Mrs Milne x

    History, a castle, romance, daffodils and two young lovers = magic!

    14 April 2018 at Brodie Castle for Caroline & James

    A sense of history, a sense of occasion...Brodie Castle today...we're here to celebrate the love between and the marriage of Caroline and James, a couple of locals from Nairn. “We want to share in the journey of life together” they said...and their next step in the journey was to declare their love and commitment in the presence of family and friends today and seal their marriage with a kiss. James, cool as ice, Caroline a little nervous, smiling and laughing throughout. A wonderful day for a lovely couple in a beautiful setting. “ Love is meant to be an adventure. "Congratulations Mr & Mrs Forbes! Live long & love lots.

    Thanks so much Neil - we had the perfect day and so many comments about how much everyone enjoyed the ceremony! Caroline Whitehouse & James Monty Forbes

    This rose-coloured, turreted castle stands on land confirmed to the Brodies by Robert the Bruce. Today we stepped back in time to the castle’s glory days, when the Brodie family were one of Scotland’s most prominent families. It's widely accepted that the Brodies have been associated with the land the castle is built on since around 1160, when it is believed that King Malcolm IV gave the land to the family.
    I read the letter sent by Robert the Bruce about the chief of Clan Brodie’s argument with monks who lived nearby and admired the art collection. The castle houses a magnificent collection of furniture, ceramics and artwork, including works by 17th-century Dutch masters and 20th-century Scottish Colourists. It also boasts an impressive library containing over 6,000 volumes and the grounds are carpeted with over 100 varieties of daffodil.
    Acres of gentle Moray countryside surround Brodie Castle, ancestral home of the Brodie clan for over 400 years, although their family seat has been here since the 12th century.

    Somewhere different, somewhere unique, somewhere...very special.

    12 April 2018 Bob Scott's Bothy, Ballater

    The wedding I conducted today at Bob Scott's Bothy, after trekking in to the foothills of the Cairngorms and at the side of the Lui Water, was probably the most dramatic and picturesque ceremony setting I have had the pleasure of experiencing.
    A 5-mile hike in the sun with almost cloudless skies, Tanni boucing through the heather and the bride & groom's parents assembled, forming a circle of love for Emma & Mark. They both love the outdoors, mountains and running around the Cairngorms – they’re cold, wet mountain people and like a bit of an adventure. And frankly, they’re both a bit bonkers.
    Congratulations Dr & Mr Jackson! 💘
    "Life is a long journey, just hold my hand and be there with me always"
    (Bob Scott was the head keeper on Mar Lodge Estate during the 1960s and early ‘70s and lived at nearby Luibeg Cottage from 1947 to 1973. The cottage is still there. That’s where the original Bob Scott’s Bothy was and where Bob’s legend – among the hill-walking fraternity at least – was born.)

     

    a simple ceremony in the village hall for Alex & Jack

    7 April 2018 - Victory Hall, Aboyne

    A wonderfully simple wedding at the beautifully decorated local village hall. Canadian bride Alex, the youngest of 5 sisters and the last to be married. (her 4 sisters were bridesmaids) giggled throughout the ceremony with a few tears too as she married the love of her life Jack, whom she woo'd with home-baked banana loaves! 😍Congratulations Mr & Mrs Richards, live long and love lots. 💘"Thank you for performing such a personal and memorable ceremony Neil. It was lovely to meet you. xx Alex" (Matt Ethan Photography)
    The Aboyne & Glen Tanar Memorial Hall, known as the Victory Hall, is set in the heart of the village of Aboyne in Royal Deeside. It is a substantial granite building of character, both inside & out, built about one hundred years ago and now C Listed.

     

    A grand countryside venue with Royal connections for the wedding of Becky & Phil

    31 March 2018 at Carberry Tower near Edinburgh

    Tanni & I on the road again...for the wedding of Becky & Phil at Carberry Tower, this romantic place with Royal connections. A couple so well-matched, so right for each other and SO in love.. a little nervousness, a few laughs and tears too...and so much love. 💖 Congratulations Mr & Mrs Ellis! "When the one whose hand you're holding Is the one who holds your heart"

    "Just wanted to Thank you for officiating Rebecca and Phil’s Wedding. You pitched everything perfectly and made the whole service so beautiful, personnel and special. Everyone commented on how wonderful it was , and how brilliantly you made everything flow. They all loved the explanations of the traditions and how interesting you made everything. Sorry about the Bride making the Groom wait 20 mins, but you helped to keep him calm and everyone relaxed. Once again, Thank you for everything Neil, You ( and your dog!) were amazing, Julie, Mother of the Bride, x x "

    "Thank you for making the service so special. I was very dubious when Rebecca said what sort of service they were having but it could not have been better. You put everyone at ease and made it so personal to them it was amazing. X Ethel Barker"

    One of the great Castle Mansion House of Scotland, Carberry Tower is situated just outside Edinburgh in beautiful East Lothian countryside.
    Standing regally in 35 acres of stunning, private Estate parkland and widely recognised as Edinburgh's 'Castle in the country,' Carberry Tower is a place of intimate grandeur and to arrive here, is to weave your own story into a history that goes back to 1480 when the first foundation stone was laid.
    Since then, it's been a gathering place for Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses and over the centuries, the great and the good have all come to warm themselves by the fires and feast from the banqueting tables. a long and proud Royal connection with Her Majesty the Queen, who often visited Carberry Tower with her sister Princess Margaret. The Queen Mother’s sister, Lady Margaret Elphinstone, used to live here and consequently King George VI, the Queen’s father, often visited with his wife, the late Queen Mother. During that period, the two young Princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, enjoyed playing in the extensive grounds with their cousin Margaret, often accompanied by family and loved ones who joined in the fun and games.

     

    a romantic loch-side wedding with a mountain backdrop for Hannah & John

    17 February 2018 - Loch Maree , Wester Ross

    Mid-February Scotland is not renowned for warm weather...and it was freezing! Despite that, you could feel the warmth of the love between this couple who had been in a relationship for 15 years before deciding to tie the knot on the shores of Loch Maree in Wester Ross, in the northwest highlands of Scotland - and with just close family in attendance. Hannah wore a beautiful lacy wedding dress and braved the biting wind, John got the giggles during the ceremony - and everybody loved the simple, meaningful ceremony. 💘

    The waters of the loch were also thought to have curative effects, with being submerged in the water thought to be a cure for lunacy. All of the loch's islands are conservation areas. The largest is the only island in Britain to contain a loch that itself contains an island. Like Loch Ness, Loch Maree has its own monster in the form of the muc-sheilch. The loch is often referred to as the most beautiful loch in the Highlands. The loch is bounded to the east by Slioch, a mountain over 3000 feet high, and which dominates its surroundings. The area hosts golden eagles.

    "Good evening Neil,That’s us back safely in Glasgow after a truly wonderful weekend. We just wanted to thank you so much for delivering such a beautiful ceremony for us. We are genuinely so happy we found you and that you were able to be part of our special day!

    Our parents thoroughly enjoyed it too and we were all so sad you couldn’t stay for longer but understand you had a long way to drive home and warm up. We hope to have a party to celebrate with everyone later in the year and depending on the date, and your availability of course, we would love it if you could join us.Once again, thank you so so much!
    Hannah & John"

    Wild, wet, windy & wonderful Isle Of Skye Elopement

    for Jordan & Travis from Austin, Texas - 17 November 2017

    They say everything is bigger in Texas...well, this lovely couple from Austin were blown away (almost literally) by the dramatic big sky, the stunningly huge backdrop of the Quiraing and the full blast of a Scottish November afternoon. But it was all a marvellous accompaniment to the love they have for each other, the words they shared and the experience of standing there in this other-wordly place...just the two of them, lost in their thoughts and dreams. 💘💘💘It was certainly a day for the brave with an arctic blast to contend with...but a day to remember for sure. And Tanni made a welcome come-back too. Photo courtesy of

    https://www.dannybirrellphotography.co.uk/latest-work/2017/11/23/jordan-travis-isle-of-skye-elopement

    Rock & pop lyrics in the ceremony for Mikaela & Richard

    20 October 20917 at Norwood Hall

    Norwood Hall, Aberdeen...built in 1881 on the site of the 15th Century Pitfodels Castle, offering guests the best in breathtaking Scottish scenery and fine facilities. The atmospheric, wood panelled ceremony room was positively illuminated when bride Mikaela entered, such was her beauty and her stunning dress...gasps from the guests, she and groom Richard very relaxed, lots of laughs. They selected the lyrics from a number of their favourite pop songs to illustrate their love; John Legend - All of Me, I Wanna be Yours, Arctic Monkeys, How Would You Feel, Ed Sheeran, You & Me - The Wannadies; a lovely original inclusion. Friends, lovers, soulmates and now married!
    "The greatest thing you'll ever learn Is to love and be loved in return."😍

    "Hi Neil, Richard and I would just like to thank you so much for your help over the past months and the ceremony yesterday. We had the most amazing day and the ceremony was just perfect. Our friends and family commented on how personal the ceremony was and you delivered it with the perfect amount of humour and seriousness so thank you so much.

    Yesterday was the perfect start to our next chapter. Kind Regards,
    Mr & Mrs Coutts"
    Photo by Calum Riddell Photography

    a place of style & elegance...and so too the wedding

    07 October 2017 - Signet Library, Edinburgh

    Elle & Grant get married!

    WOW!...what a venue! Elle from Canada and Grant from Edinburgh. chose this spectacular place to tie the knot. Elle didn’t want to get married too soon, she thought she was too young…so she waited until she was 25, then told Grant she was “Ready now!” So Grant developed a plan, bought a beautiful ring and they travelled to Marrakech, a magical place where Grant made his surprise proposal. 💘 And now they are the new Mr & Mrs Murdoch. 👩‍❤️‍👨 Lots of laughs, a surprise guest in the form of a cardboard cut-out of Grant's dog Albert 🐕- and just a lovely day. 😍
    The Signet Library, in the centre of Edinburgh’s Old Town, is synonymous with prestige and Georgian elegance. Steeped in history, the building was completed in 1822 in time for the celebrated visit to Edinburgh of King George IV, who described the upper library as “the finest drawing room in Europe”.
    The library, on two floors, with the lower library and a stunning grand staircase leading to the upoper library, this is home to the prestigious Society of Writers to her Majesty’s Signet (also known as the WS Society), an association of Scottish lawyers and one of the oldest professional bodies in the world. The Society’s origins lie in the 15th century as the ‘writers’ of documents sealed with ‘the Signet’, the private seal of the Scottish kings – members are known as ‘Writers to the Signet’ or ‘WS’. Packed with legal books, documents and papers, some centuries old, it's a veritable treasure trove for the legal & history buff.
    And a stunning place for a wedding too! Ironically, the upper gallery is where old divorce papers are stored!

    After many, many years,Donna & Kenny tied the knot

    06 October 2017 - Carnbooth House, Glasgow

    Carnbooth House Hotel was the venue for the wedding of Donna & Kenny, a simple, relaxed and loving ceremony with lots of romantic bits and just a few close family and friends. They'd known each other for over 20 years but didn't really connect. Just friends really...just. They drifted along, finally got to know each other...then drifted apart again. For nearly 3 years. But they supported each other through their good times and the bad. And encouraged each other to follow their dreams. And that connection sparked something more than friendship. Love. For they realised the missed each other, wanted each other. She thought she'd never marry, he thought he'd never find the right one. Until now. And so they married today. They're just right for each other and it was a pleasure to befriend and work with this couple. "There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage. "
    Staff at the Carnbooth House Hotel were so helpful and friendly, thank you.A beautifully restored grade B listed House with many original features set within eight acres of lovingly kept grounds only minutes from Glasgow City Centre.

    "Neil, thank you so much for an amazing day, everyone loved you and commented on what a grand job you delivered. Thank you. I thought the wedding day would be the happiest day of my life and then I woke up today even happier - and perhaps a tad hungover! 😂Thank you again Neil, we will see you again." Donna

    Let's run the Loch Ness Marathon first they said...

    25 September 2017 at Glenmoriston Town House, Inverness

    To celebrate the love ❤️ of Sarah Louise Grigor & Chris Cull. They're both as mad as a box of frogs, 🐸 they spread their wings and fly together. They share a passion for ultra distance running, they, and daughter Bethany, all completed the Loch Ness Marathon before the ceremony today (Sarah's 100th marathon!, Bethany's first marathon and Chris's first Loch Ness marathon). They are deeply in love, so right for each other. Their friends and family gathered to celebrate their love, their commitment and their future together - it was a joy to be part of their special day. So many wonderfully personal and decorative touches at the venue - an amazing cake! - and so much happiness for this lovely couple. Nothing can compare to the joy of being loved by the one who owns your heart, and loves you exactly the way you love them.

    "Neil - I would have had nobody else but you to unite us. You helped make it so perfect - and fun! So many people commented on it being the most touching and personal ceremony they have ever seen. We cannot thank you enough for being such a perfect part of it 💜"

    fate prevails, love wins for the wedding of Christine & Andrew

    23 September 2017 at Lonmay

    They met, they romanced, they split up, they got together again, they split again...but fate prevailed and they found they couldn't live without each other...so they got back together, have been together ever since and today Christine and Andrew married. It was destiny. She was cool as cucumber, he was a wee bit nervous but they both did well. Their kids joined in the sand ceremony, Christine made a lovely handfasting tie herself. All in all just a lovely day for a lovely couple. Yes, destiny is a marvellous and mysterious thing.

    a stunning setting at Uath Lochans, Kingussie

    for the wedding of Leonie & Kev...19 September 2017

    The wedding of Leonie & Kev was held in a forest near Kincraig at one of the most spectacular settings I have ever conducted a wedding. They composed and read their own heartfelt ❤️vows to each other, just their mums in attendance, clear blue sky and sunshine ☀️ as we gazed over the lochan from several hundred feet up in the forest. Simply spectacular! 🌈❤️💍 Formed during the ice age 20,000 years ago, a mass of ice 1km high carved out the lochan and then melted, leaving what we see now. Shimmering pools, grand views and dragonflies in summer.

    a wedding spectacular at St Andrews

    Rachel & Anthony - 9 September 2017

    in St Andrews for the wedding of Rachel & Anthony...they first met at school, Anthony caught Rachel's eye which inspired him to ask for a teenage date...that led to love and marriage with lots of exciting adventures and travel in between. They composed and recited their own vows to each other, lots of active participation by guests with dads Martin & Charles filling the quaich, mums Dorothy & Caroline giving lovely readings, Bridesmaid Susie singing a beautiful rendition of My Love's Like A Red Red Rose...the couple spent a lot of time and effort in planning their wedding day and their very loving and personal ceremony. And it worked...simply a marvellous day.
    "Today I marry my best friend: The One I Laugh With, Live For, Dream With, LOVE."

    "Neil, thank you so much for making our ceremony so special. You really did a marvellous job and you will not believe the number of people who have said that it was the best ceremony they have been to. They have said that it was incredibly personal and loved the unusual ceremonial acts. Thank you very much. Rachel."
    Rachel and Anthony gave me permission to reproduce their self composed vows below, to illustrate how personal they can be;

     

    Rachel's vows to Anthony:
    "You are my home and my cosiness, you challenge me to think in different ways, you have exposed me to new experiences and you have encouraged me in every adventure that I have sought out whether that has been with you or alone. You have an incredibly kindness to others and a loyalty to your family and friends that I hugely admire. You keep me on my toes with your academic and career success which I find so attractive about you.
    I truly believe that you are part of me, we have shaped each other over these past 11 years and we have grown up together. We have experienced a huge amount together as well as a substantial amount at a distance from each other. I think it's a testament to our love and respect for one and other that we have given each other and ourselves the space to grow and to think as individuals but there has never been any doubt that we are one unit, a product of each other and deeply rooted together. You really are the most wonderful person I know. I love you so much my pal and I can't wait for the rest of our lives together."
    Anthony's vows to Rachel;

    "My pal, you look beautiful and today you’re making me the happiest I could ever be. We have done absolutely amazingly to be here, and we deserve all of this. You are everything to me. Having you by my side for the last 11 years and the knowledge that you will be there for everything we have coming up in our lives together makes me feel near invincible. You are a champion of people and it is that quality I have always admired and found the most amazing. You are the kindest person I have ever met. You will always find the best in people and make sure they know that about themselves. You’re smile lights up the room, as people know it comes from a person that is always happy. The effect you have on people is more than I think you will ever know. You do things for others rather than yourself without thinking and often don’t wait to see the affect it has on those people. I hope I can show you how much all those things, especially the little things you do without realising, mean to me.

    The fact that you have chosen me to spend the rest of your life, that I will have someone as caring, kind and beautiful by my side everyday makes me the luckiest person in the world. I love you my pal and I cannot wait for all that lies ahead."

    Magical, mystical, historical Eilean Donan Castle, a spectacular wedding venue

    for the wedding of Rachel & Lincoln 08 September 2017

    and today we're at Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie, Kyle of Lochalsh for the wedding of Rachel & Lincoln from Ohio, US 👰🤵😍🇺🇸🤗
    They met online, fell in love and decided on this spectacular venue for their wedding as it connected Rachel to her roots, the McPherson clan. A relaxed and loving ceremony with just close family and friends.
    "And after today you shall say to the world..."this is my husband"..."this is my wife."😍
    Eilean Donan is a small tidal island where three sea lochs meet, Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh, in the western Highlands of Scotland. A picturesque castle that frequently appears in photographs, film and television dominates the island, which lies about 1 kilometre from the village of Dornie. Since the castle's restoration in the early 20th century, a footbridge has connected the island to the mainland. Eilean Donan, which means simply "island of Donnán", is named after Donnán of Eigg, a Celtic saint martyred in 617. Donnán is said to have established a church on the island, though no trace of this remains.
    The castle was founded in the thirteenth century, and became a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie and their allies the Clan Macrae. In the early eighteenth century, the Mackenzies' involvement in the Jacobite rebellions led in 1719 to the castle's destruction by government ships.

    "Dear Neil, we both wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you've done for us. You've patiently walked us through a process that is foreign to us (both literally and figuratively!), you've taken the time to get to know us and make the beautiful ceremony you've written us personal - and you were always that kind, reassuring voice when we needed it. We are deeply grateful for all that you've done to kickstart our new married lives together on the right foot. With love, Rachel & Lincoln"

    Dinosaur prints on the beach at Staffin Bay, Isle of Skye

    the perfect place for Terry-Jo & Dan to marry

    06 September 2017

    ok, yesterday's wedding was embargoed - until now, as the cat's out of the bag! Terry-Jo and Dan got married at Staffin beach opposite Staffin island, in a small, intimate ceremony with only close family. We just managed a window of sunshine and no rain, had a ring warming, composed their own beautiful vows, did handfasting and champagne toast from the quaich. They met a Stirling Uni and decided to have their special day on this beach, a place so special to them both and where they found dinosaur footprints! "And I'd choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I'd find you and I'd choose you."
    Here a local resident found a slab bearing a dinosaur track, probably made by a small ornithopod. Experts subsequently found more dinosaur prints of up to 50 cm, the largest found in Scotland, made by a creature similar to Megalosaurus. At about 160 million years old they are the youngest dinosaur remains to be found in Scotland. Staffin is located about 17 miles north of Portree and is overlooked by the Trotternish Ridge with the famous rock formations of The Storr and the Quirang. In 2011 it was reported that Staffin Island may be the last in Scotland where the old tradition of having cattle swim between grazings is still carried out. Crofter Iain MacDonald, who used to swim with the animals, now uses a boat to encourage them to swim from Staffin Island to Skye in early spring and back again in October.

    http://www.loveskyephotography.co.uk/isle-of-skye-photographer-stories-blog/wild-and-windswept-elopement-at-staffin-and-quiraing-isle-of-skye/

    Amy & Andy...young love

    25 August 2017 at The Vu

    And today's wedding...at The VU with Amy Watt & Andy Watt. The weather was miserable, the venue stunning, the loving couple and their guests were all relaxed and happy. It was a delight to work closely with Amy from Elgin and Andy her RAF beau. They were both a little shy but did really well with their vows, whispered little endearments to each other, smiled throughout. Friends gave a couple of readings, two of the wee kids who were guests gave a marvellous rendition of the poem ~"If you go to a wedding" resulting in rapturous applause. Their wee boy, Josh, carried the rings and did the handfasting....and he did great! It was nice to see Amy's dad Alan again, our work paths crossed many years ago and Alan was delighted to walk his beautiful daughter (stunning dress again!) up the aisle. "Today a bride, tomorrow a wife, but always Daddy's little girl."
    Uniquely extending onto Ballencrieff Reservoir, and with West facing floor to ceiling windows offering panoramic views over Central Scotland, the venue offers something truly unforgettable.

    "Thank you Neil! You were absolutely fantastic " Amy

    Love & coincidence #2

    5 August 2017 - Thainstone House for the wedding of Inga & Leo

    Wedding #2 at Inverurie with Inga Stewart & Leo.
    Another hearfelt and sincere ceremony at Thainstone House.
    And coincidence #2...Inga had proposed to Leo, same again as her mum did to her dad! She lit a candle in memory of her mum, we had a love song sung in Gaelic and a beautiful reading of the lyrics of Jimi Hendrix ‘Little Wing’...and then Gatsby their dog arrived with the rings! And did it very well too!
    And another stunning dress by the bride. Their happiness was tangible. - when you love someone, all your saved-up wishes start coming out.

    Love & coincidence #1

    5 August 2017 - a garden wedding for Annette & Tony...

    well today was a day of double celebration. Two lovely weddings 💘with double coincidences!
    Wedding #1 at Keith with Annette Broadley & Tony. Beautifully simple ceremony in their garden, lovely intimate, family orientated inclusions. The sun shone and guests sat on hay bales. It doesn't have to be a grand venue for a great wedding.
    Coincidence #1 - Annette had proposed to Tony - same as her mum did to her dad! So Annette entered first, waited at the altar for Tony...he kept her waiting for quite a few minutes... 🤗
    Annette's dress and bouquet were gorgeous. Kilts were nice too! Tony was her Boss at one time...but she didn't like him at first. She left the job, Tony went on a pilgrimage of 1000k. They both ended up back at their jobs..but it was different this time. They fell in love. 💞And now they are married!👏Relatives gave readings and we ended with a quaich ceremony. You could feel the love between this pair.
    Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

    this wedding meant SO much to the brige & groom - and me too!

    01 August 2017 at Fairy Glen

    they're all special, all unique...but this wedding 💘 at Fairy Glen on Skye was exceptional. For so many reasons. I really wanted to do it, they really wanted me to officiate. A deeply personal occassion. We kept some secrets. Clare and Drew with son Freddie and close family stood just off the roadside with a fast gathering of tourist spectators, intrigued with what was going on. Her dress was gorgeous, he was nervous to start with, she shed a few tears as she read a deeply moving and emotional poem to him; symbolic gestures were the four elements; air, fire, earth and water from a little teapot sprinkled over the incorporated handfasting ties made by Clare, candles were lit, wild flower seeds thrown to the wind, fine Scottish air filled our lungs in the sunshine. They've been through some tough times but today was the day that love overcame everything. By the time we finished and I declared them married, there must have been a hundred tourist spectators who had quietly formed a semi-circle and burst into applause. And I got a kiss from the bride too! 🤗 Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one. 😍
    Thanks to Norma & Roz at Euphoria Photography for great work again, it's a pleasure to spend an afternoon with you.
    A bizarre and delightful miniature landscape of grassy, cone-shaped hills, the Fairy Glen is a fascinating and otherworldly place to visit on a sunny summer's day.
    The Fairy Glen has no real legends or stories involving fairies that can be traced. The simple fact is that the location is so unusual it has been given the nickname Fairy Glen and is one of the most photographed landscapes in the world.

    "Neil really cared about our wedding ceremony. He was so thoughtful and put so much time and effort into it to ensure it was absolutely perfect. Then he delivered it beautifully and made us feel so relaxed so we could truly enjoy our day. I can't recommend him enough. So special. Now back at home reminiscing over everything- I have warmth, love and a deep feeling of contentment jingling right to the end of my fingertips and toes."❤️💙❤️

    The Bride, the dress, the flower girl Charlotte...they ALL had that WOW factor!

    29 July 2017 at Seamill Hydro...

    The wedding 😍of Laura and David today...it's gonna be a good one!
    What a great venue... must be 10 years since I was last here, BIG changes and a wondferful wedding venue. The couple were so laid back and relaxed, no sign of nerves, WOW! what a dress !, quite a few unscripted laughs throughout, especially with little Charlotte who said "Aaww" at every romantic moment - a wee star she was - all in all it was a wonderful day with a lovely couple. Thank you for having me join you in marriage. "My heart to you is given: Oh, do give yours to me; We'll lock them up together, And throw away the key." To view their lovely wedding video, click on the link; https://vimeo.com/233548330

    Fiona and Martin marry on the farm

    22 July 2017...an Ayrshire country wedding for Fiona & Martin

    Barwheys Farm, Maybole for the wedding of Fiona & Martin...thankfully the rain stayed away until just 2 minutes after the end of the ceremony. But it wouldn't have dampened the spirits, no, not at all. Bridal entry music was the longest EVER!..😁 (technical hitch...someone shoot the piper please) but the couple didn't let it faze them, Fiona giggled until the music eventually stopped, Martin managed to dry his eyes (must have been hay fever?) and then they just smiled, laughed and looked adoringly at each other throughout. They did the sand ceremony and quaich symbolic gestures, had a couple of lovely readings, little Cleo the cockapoo dog delivered the rings...big guest list enjoyed it all.
    "Today I marry my best friend: The One I Laugh With, Live For, Dream With, LOVE."
    Barwheys is a dairy farm at Maybole in Ayrshire set in an idyllic country location and is perfect for intimate weddings and special events. A marquee can be erected on the flat lawn – just a few metres from state of the art kitchens where the wedding meal can be prepared. Barwheys is let on an exclusive use basis so you will have the whole property to yourselves in complete privacy. I believe this was their first wedding and I'd highly recommend this place.

    Good afternoon and welcome, välkommen och, god aftermiddag...

    15 July 2017 - Cullen Bay - for the wedding of Sabina & Pete...

    it was warm, even humid, at Cullen Bay today for the wedding of Sabina from Sweden and Pete from Garmouth. There were a few lips a-quivering, the odd tear and some perspiration too. But much love. Flower girl is a beautiful wee charmer, bridesmaids were gorgeous in their contrasting dress styles, bride was stunning👰🤵, groom was nervous but held it together - just 😊, and his mum Kay delivered a lovely reading (I'll use that again Kay) to cap it all off. Congratulations Mr & Mrs Mitchell. "Better than I was, More than I am, And all of this happened, By taking your hand."
    "Thank you so much Neil. Everyone commented on what a great job you did. We are not just saying this but we will be forever grateful to you and thanks for making our big day so special and we hope to keep in touch. All the best from the newlyweds and take care" Pete & Sabina

    a Scots Baronial mansion for the wedding of these lovers-since their teenage schooldays

    8 July 2017 - Laura & Craig at Carlowrie Castle 2017

    The sun shone, the wedding principals and guests were all smiling, super collection of kilts, the brides dress? - simply stunning. Laura and Craig paid great attention to every detail of their wedding, composed beautiful commitments and vows themselves. Even the pesky fly which kept alighting on Laura's face seemed to enjoy the occassion! And it was just simply, a lovely day full of love. They fell in love while still teenagers at school you know. 💞
    "In the garden of thy heart, plant nought but the rose of love"

    Historic Carlowrie Castle on Edinburgh’s doorstep is the unexpected home to an international collection of ‘Urban’ and ‘Pop’ art. The 19th-century mansion house set amidst a 32-acre estate just eight miles west of Edinburgh. The Castle’s owner, property developer and former resident Andrew Marshall, has sympathetically restored the house and its grounds to create a remarkably lavish retreat that blends rich heritage with modern elegance and luxurious comfort. The contemporary interiors, scale and proportion of the rooms provide a dramatic showcase for part of Andrew’s evolving private art collection.

    Bought by his father in 1982, the castle was Andrew’s childhood family home. In its entire history, Carlowrie Castle has only ever been residence to two families; Thomas Hutchison who commissioned its build, a successful wine merchant and one-time Lord Provost of Edinburgh who bought the estate from the Sinclair family in 1850, and the Marshall family. Designed and constructed in 1852 by eminent Victorian architect David Rhind, Carlowrie Castle is a striking example of a Scots Baronial mansion with grand stone façade, pitched dormers and high parapets.

    See link to a wonderful video by Adam Troup at Inspire Video; https://vimeo.com/228393451

    the wedding of Lynsey & Scott at Nigg

    17 June 2017 - History is made in a historical setting

    Nigg Old Parish Church was my interesting destination today - Nigg (from the Scottish Gaelic: An Neag meaning "the notch", referring to a feature of the hills above the parish church) is a village and parish in Easter Ross. It lies on the north shore of the entrance to the Cromarty Firth and I was there to conduct the wedding of Lynsey & Scott, a lovely couple who now live in Edinburgh. Simple ceremony with lots of family & friends participation, mums lit candles, some beautiful poetry read by a bridesmaid and more from a friend of the couple. Quaich ceremony with a quaich presented by an uncle, packed venue, lots of kids, loads of laughs and bundles of love.
    There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment. 😍

    The present parish church is an 18th-century building on an early Christian site dating back to at least the 8th century. The Nigg Stone, one of the most elaborate stone monuments of early medieval western Europe, is preserved in a room at the west end of the church. This late 8th century Pictish cross-slab formerly stood in the churchyard, but was moved indoors for preservation in recent years. The nearby manse is one of the oldest to survive in Scotland, dating back to the first half of the 17th century. It is now privately owned and no longer used as the parish minister's residence.
    Nigg Old has its odd and curious features. In the churchyard is the Cholera Stone, dating from the cholera epidemic of 1832. One of the elders, on coming out of the church, saw a cloud of vapour hovering above the ground. He believed it to be a cloud of cholera, threw a blanket or cloth over it and placed this large stone on top to keep it from escaping. And inside the church, according to one tradition, the beadle (church officer) allowed an illicit still to be kept in the space under the pulpit. I resisted the temptation to deliver the ceremony from the two-tier pulpit.

    "Neil, we both wanted to thank you for conducting such a lovely ceremony, the response that we had from our guests was very touching and many said that it was one of the nicest/hilarious ceremonies that they had been to.

    We will definitely send you some wedding pictures as soon as we get them from the photographer, which should be in 2 or 3 weeks."

    a beautiful summer's day...a super venue...a couple in love since they were teenagers get married...and they involve their lovely kids too!

     

    27 May 2017 - Debbie & Michael get married in Elgin

    and today's wedding 💍at the Mansfield Hotel, Elgin with Debbie & Michael. Beautifully romantic words of love 💘 in their self composed ceremony, a sands of life symbolic gesture with the kids and a glorious day in the sun to top it all off. Love is just a word until someone special gives it a meaning.

    First off what a great guy Neil is...

    From the moment we met Neil for our first meeting we knew he was the right person to do our wedding ceremony. He made myself, now husband and our 2 children feel so at ease. He interacted with the children to let them know what a big part of the day they were going to play and be included which is very important to us.

    He took in all off what we were saying and scripted out something so beautiful but with some humour in there for good measure.

    Everyone commented on how great Neil was and to be honest he made the ceremony even more special, it was like having a friend there not just a somebody.

    Some of the touches that Neil added were amazing he gave us so many ideas/options in which we are so greatful.

    We would highly recommend Neil and again thank you so much for making our day extra special. Debbie

    Kim & Bernie...bitten by more than the Love-bug

    23 May 2017 - Fairie Glen, Uig, Isle of Skye

    Tuesday's Skye elopement wedding...we were assailed by midges between soakings by the rain, after climbing through the rocky & muddy paths of the Fairy Glen at Uig on Skye; a bizarre and delightful miniature landscape of grassy, cone-shaped hills, the Fairy Glen (sometimes spelt Faerie Glen) is a mystical, fascinating and otherworldly place to elope to...but that's what Kim & Bernie did today and I was delighted to be part of their special day...congratulations to Mr & Mrs Blocher!😍💑🌧🇺🇲🇩🇪️...Kim's smile is as beautiful as her dress and Bernie was the coolest groom to date...and soon they'll be 3 ! 👶
    "
    Thank you so much, Neil! It was unforgettable, and the ceremony was absolutely beautiful." Kim Kidwell
    Note to self; reconsider wearing kilt in midge country!
    Picture by Dylan Kitchener.

    the wedding of Lyndsey & Sandy

    13 May 2017 Bogbain Farm, Inverness...the bride had been counting down the months, weeks, day, hours, even the minutes...and NOW was the time. And then...

    Lyndsey and Sandy. Beautiful and excited bride, (forgot the Marriage Schedule!...a minor blip, we're flexible)...nervous but normally laid back groom = lovely couple. The new Mr & Mrs Leitch. I wore my late father's kilt for the occassion.
    "Neil u were amazing! The Ceremony was everything I expected it to be and more! Was so relaxed and funny and just felt perfect! Thankyou so much again for been part of our special day! Lyndsey Leitch"

    a giggling wedding throughout...😂😍

    29 April 2017 - a fun-filled wedding with laughs throughout for Laura & Ross at Lossiemouth

    it was a laugh-a-minute kinda day...bride Laura looked absolutely stunning, groom Ross was so relaxed, a lovely romantic ceremony with just a small group of family & friends...then the night time guests arrived in droves. I doubled as Master of Cermonies, everyone had a blast and the lovely couple loved every minute of it.

    "Just wanted to say thank you for all you did in making our day so much fun Neil...it was wonderful, everbody loved the ceremony. Laura"

    Wedding of Louise & Mark

    22 April 2017 - at Aswanley House, Huntly

    a beautiful wedding for a beautiful couple in a beautiful setting - a great pair to work with, kept their ceremony loving and simple, intimate venue, family & friends loved it.

    "Thank you so much for last Saturday- independently, we both had so many compliments on the ceremony, people really loved that it was relaxed but both personal to me and Mark. I was so delighted with the whole day- it just passed far too quick." Louise

    Click on the link for the beautiful wedding video by Orchard Wedding Films, Peterhead; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5JhuvG1ync

    Cas & Mike's wedding

    16 April 2017 - Gruinard Bay beach, Wester Ross

    THIS is what's so great about doing Humanist weddings; a marvellous day out to Gruinard Beach, the rain stopped, the gale force wind abated and the sun came out...for the lovely Cas & Mike's wedding on the beach with stunning views and a wonderful backdrop. And Tanni's first wedding too! She was a good girl...had her special wedding collar on. Lovely couple, wonderful families & friends, gorgeous dress worn by the bride, rare single malt for the quaich toast...what more could you ask for?

    "We have to say, of all the fun and festivities over the last couple of weeks, our time on the beach is the best. That might sound obvious, but so many people have said their ceremony was over so fast, or they didn't remember it. But we remember the whole thing, perfectly. It was marvellous Neil, thank you." Mike

    wedding of Erin & Daniel (with slideshow)

    13 April 2018 - Cortes House, Fraserburgh

     

    I recently married this lovely couple who composed their own vows in their entirety; they read them to each other, holding hands and looking lovingly into each other's eyes...we had Shakespearian quotations, poetry from a Bridesmaid, 3 things the couple love about the other, symbolic gestures and this... (almost brought a lump to my throat)...(reproduced with their kind permission)

    "Daniel - you are the person I want to build my life with.
    You are a kind, loyal, passionate person who I love laughing with.
    Your friendship and unwavering support is something I know I can rely on through good times and bad.
    I promise today and always to share your dreams and help you achieve your goals, working with you and never against you.
    I will care for you as you care for me, sharing equally in the responsibilities we both bring to our marriage.
    I understand that marriage will not always be easy but promise to celebrate the highs and am committed to working with you through the lows.
    I cannot wait to continue life’s adventure with you by my side.
    It is with a joyous heart that I take you as my husband and pledge my whole heart to you in front of our friends and families.
    I Erin accept you Daniel, in marriage to be my lawfully wedded husband."

    "Erin - You are my best friend and the person who makes me the best that I can be.
    I will always believe in you and be your biggest supporter in all things, to help you achieve everything you want to in life.
    I promise to laugh with you, have fun with you, play games with you, dance with you and share all of the good things that we have ahead of us.
    And, when you are tired, I even promise to rub your legs when you need.
    I will love you whenever we are together, and when we are apart.
    I cannot wait for us to start the next chapter of our lives together, building a home and a family together, wherever in the world our journey takes us next.
    You are all I could ever want and I love you with all my heart - and I promise to always be by your side as we face life’s challenges together.
    I Daniel, accept you Erin, in marriage to be my lawfully wedded wife."

    Now isn't that just beautiful! 😍

    Thank you to David Grant Simpson for the pictures. Click on the link to view the beautiful wedding slideshow.

    https://david-grant-simpson-photography.smartslides.com/erin-daniel

    http://www.davidgrantsimpson.com/

     

     

     

    Kristi & Robbie's wedding

    18 March 2017 - Drumossie Hotel, Inverness

    A lovely couple (they are just SO in love 😍)who put so much work into designing their own ceremony, with guests from Canada, Australia, the US and Cyprus. I believe there was even a few from deepest darkest Evanton! And Kristi was escorted up the aisle by her Mum Michelle to the strains of Ed Sheerin's Tenerife Sea. And a nice moment of reflection too.https://vimeo.com/209472118

    "Hi Neil, we can't thank you enough for such an amazing ceremony and a perfect day! It's a blur to me now it went so quick and I would do it all over again so would Kristi (I mean the wife)
    All the guests were telling us how great the ceremony was and we will all be recommending you! Will need to pop in and see you and this new puppy sometime!! Robbie "

    "Thank you so much Neil for marrying us, the ceremony was just what we wanted! Couldn't post this picture on your humanist page; just sums up our ceremony - lots of laughs! Everyone commented on how good it was. Thanks again, so much! Kristi"

    Howdy! & how ye' doin?😁

    14 February - Valentines Day - 2017 at Achagairn, Inverness

    Ashley and Kieran, Valentines Day wedding at Achnagairn. Super day, 🌞lovely weather, fabulous couple and a lovely ceremony with some unique and innovative symbolic gestures, lots of Scots & Americans, single malts, tartan = a perfect day for a lovely couple.

    "You performed a beautiful, heartfelt ceremony...thank-you for adding so much to this very special day! Nancy, (Mother of the bride) Oh and the scotch tasting was fabulous!" https://www.harperscottphoto.com/blog/2017/3/20/achnagairn-castle-wedding-photography

    Wedding of Dawn & David

    29 October 2016 - Tulloch Castle, Dingwall

    Atmospheric, spooky but a warm loving day at Tulloch Castle for the wedding of Dawn & David. The castlle is located in the town of Dingwall ad probably dates to the mid 16th century. Over the years, it has served as a family home for members of the Bain family and Clan Davidson, and Vickers family, as a hospital after the evacuation of Dunkirk and as a hostel for the local education authority.

    There have been several claims that Tulloch Castle is haunted. Visitors and hotel staff have reported witnessing apparitions in the form of a young girl and a middle aged lady. So it was perhaps appropriate that Dawn & David married on Halloween!

    "Neil recently conducted the wedding of my sister and the service was perfect. It was very personal and gave a great account of the happy couple. The whole service felt relaxed and was thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance. Highly recommend Neil to anyone looking for a Humanist Celebrant to deliver any kind of service." Claire Smith

    Funeral for simply a nice bloke...

    2017...

    "Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the lovely service you gave my dad yesterday, you spoke so eloquently about him, I think if you had met my dad the two of you would have got on, listening to all his stories and local historical knowledge. Love fee xx"

    it's always a honour to deliver a funeral tribute

    a lovely casket reflecting the lady she was; fun and cheerful.

    "A tall, elegant and quite beautiful woman, she had this quiet dignity about her…but was more often than not in wellies and smelling of the byre! As her son often said, she was never far from her farming roots."

    Funerals...

    It may sound odd but I actually enjoy working with families to deliver a meaningful ceremony to give tribute to their loved one, especially when it helps to ease the pain, just a little.

    2018;

    Dear Neil, 
    Thank you so much indeed for all the help you gave us with my cousin Margaret’s recent funeral.  We appreciated your help very much indeed. 
    The preparation you put into it all,  from doing the compilation of the Queen and Runrig tracks, through the bird song for the period of reflection, to the ceremony of remembrance and celebration of her life was greatly appreciated by her family and friends there. 
    For some people there it was their first experience of a humanist service and through your preparation and consideration it was a positive experience for them and dispelled their apprehensions. .
    Once again thank you for all that you did. It was a great comfort to us at a difficult time. 
    Kind regards, 
    Katrina and family
     

    2017;

    Dear Neil

    "I would like to thank you on behalf of my family and I for the lovley service you gave my dad John. It made a tough time more easier that we could laugh and joke and every one we spoke to afterwards said it was briliant and very fitting - so thank you very much. Pamela & family."

     

    Dear Neil, On behalf of the entire family I just wanted to let you know how much we appreciated all your work on behalf of mum. Your kindness, diligence and attention to detail made our loss a little easier and the Service of Remembrance very special. Having attended a Humanist Family wedding we knew the personal nature of the Service was what we wanted from the start but without exception all comments and remarks from those attending have been positive and declaring what a lovely Service it was. Whilst I appreciate it is what you do and the skill comes with your experience I am just wanting you to know how very special it was for us. Thank you, Evelyn and family"

    2016;

    “I can’t thank you adequately for yesterday Neil. The ceremony was absolutely perfect – celebrated the happy times, the good times of my wife’s life and was commented on by everyone. And thank you especially for your warmth and understanding.”

     

    “Dear Neil, Just a short note to say that we very much appreciated the service for Mum this afternoon. We felt it hit exactly the right note. A lot of people came up to me at the reception to say that they thought it was a brilliant service and just right for her. So thank you very much indeed for that.”

     

    "Hi Neil,

    I just wanted to send on the family’s thanks for putting together and running such a lovely service on Friday for Grandma’s funeral. You really did make what is a very sad time that little bit better.Thanks again,

    Sonia (and family)"

     

     

     

    From one of the funerals I had today...


    M... who could shop for Scotland – loved visiting charity shops with her friend, all over Moray and as far as Inverness too. And while clothes shopping some years ago with one of her grandchildren, she said hello to someone as they passed in the shop; when asked who she was talking to, she said she couldn’t remember the lady’s name but she looked familiar. M... was speaking to herself in a mirror!

    No black at this funeral...

    17 October 2016 April 2016 -

    Mohan may have gone but the memories of this man are everlasting.

    A cultured, dignified, highly educated and ambitious man.

    An honourable man, a romantic.

    A loving husband, father, brother and son.

    A dedicated professional man who worked tirelessly to bring relief and a better life to others, respected amongst his peers.

    A man who reached the very top of his profession.

    And a flamboyant dresser...I wish I had known him.

    So I dressed accordingly, bow tie, colourful waistcoat, chinos...in his memory and in tribute to Mohan.

    "Your tribute was perfect - thank you Neil"

    Listen, there is this silence now...this stillness...

    03 July 2017 - two funerals. two special men.

    a couple of funerals yesterday, both equally important and both deceased equally significant. Peter, aged 99, married 51 years, lovely man, insisted on buying a watch at aged 95 years but it had to have a 5-year guarantee...'cos he was going to live to 100 ! He just missed his centenary by 9 months. An optimistic, forward thinking man. A great neighbour and wonderful surrogate Grandpa.
    And then Giles, really clever chap, wrote poetry, loved the outdoors, wandered the flow country of Caithness in his 70's, liked a dram, quite a character. Played "Roisin the Beau" by the Clancy Brothers at his funeral...listen to the words.
    Days like these make me realise how lucky I am to be part of the celebrations of their lives.
    I can not recommend this lovely man enough!!! Although we have been to other Humanist services, I'd never met Neil. This was our first funeral we had to organise for our dear Peter. At the grand old age off 99 we had a lot of life to cover but Neil summed it up nicely. Everyone has commented on how wonderful the service was. It was just perfect!!! Although Neil did not know Peter in person you'd never have known that. You have been a huge support to myself, Gary and the kids in our darkest days. Thank you ever so much
    . Neil, you did a fantastic job of Peter's funeral. He would have loved to meet you. x Amanda

    Baby Rayne - a chilled out, laid back, smiley and giggly little girl.

    Aged 9 months

    24 February 2018 at Forres

    Baby Rayne’s naming ceremony today. A very special ceremony. This gorgeous wee girl has not had an easy time of it recently but she was all smiles today as usual. Friends & family did readings, candles were lit and there was a lovely unity vase sand ceremony with pastel colours. All of the selected readings were simply beautiful...and we look to the future, give Rayne our best wishes, hopes and dreams for her...with a short extract from mum Karen's reading; " Now you're here to brighten up each day, And fill our life with happiness in so many ways. Every night I will stand your door, And tell you, Rayne, that I love you more. "Thank you for giving me the honour Karen Dawson

    Omg what a brilliant day Rayne's Naming ceremony was perfect, thank you so much Neil, everyone really enjoyed the ceremony. Glad she finally got her day. You were fab. Xxx Karen

    It was a perfect day and a beautiful ceremony Thank you Neil. Munchkin would not give in to sleep stayed up partying all day. She’s a wee 🌟 xxxxx Granny Beatrice Jamieson

    Little Alfie, not so little! - and with a BIG personality

    08 August 2016 - Alfie...aged 2 months

    Alfie is an alert and smiley little boy. He is a happy, contented baby and feeds really well and although he’s only 8 weeks old (by date of ceremony) his character is developing already. His smile and contentment make any lack of sleep worthwhile! His arrival has brought his parents closer as a couple and well, they simply love him to bits. "Neil, thanks so much for performing Alfie's naming ceremony, we all had a fantastic time. Thanks a million, Robyn & Chris."

    what is a boy? Arran William Ashbrook, aged 5

    01 April 2016 - Edinburgh 2016

    He’s a builder of Lego blocks,

    A climber of trees,

    A teller of jokes and stories,

    With a grin that’s sure to please

    Thankyou Neil for such a wonderful, personal and meaningful naming ceremony for our wee boy. It was perfect. Caroline & Anthony

  • Contacts & Suppliers

    We always suggest the best.

    Margaret Soraya specialises in natural, creative, but most of all, emotive images. Quietly and gently, her aim is to capture all the expressions, emotions and atmosphere on your wedding day. Many of the weddings she photographs are small weddings and elopements on the beautiful beaches of the north of Scotland and the Scottish Islands.

    The Blossom Company specialises in spectacular wedding flower displays. This includes our exclusive and quite unique arches, backdrops and table centerpieces.... click on the link.

    Your wedding story captured in a natural, creative and truly unique style...click on the link

    looking for great original tartan pieces for your wedding?...all handmade, highly recommended...click on the link...

    http://www.tartanatheart.co.uk/

    looking for wonderful, professional and experienced photographers?...with loads of great tips on weddings in Skye...click on the link

    the legal stuff...I Want to Get Married in Scotland. How Do I Go About It? click on the link...

    Because your special day deserves to be captured in a very special way...with Orchard Wedding Films

  • Photos & Videos

    My Humanist Heroes - enjoy!

    Attenborough

    Sir David Frederick Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FRS FLS FZS FSA is an English broadcaster, world leading & inspirational naturalist - and a Humanist.

    Faber

    Sandra Faber, an astronomer at the University of California-Santa Cruz who finds meaning not in religious doctrine or deities but in the beauty of the natural laws of science. In an interview Faber asserted her preference for the materialistic explanation rather than theistic faith in a creator, adding, “I take comfort in the fact that it is a beautiful universe, and we belong here and that we fit. This is our home.”

    Darwin

    Charles Robert Darwin, FRS FRGS FLS FZS was an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. And a Humanist.

    Einstein

    Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist. He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. Einstein's work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. And a Humanist.

  • audio files

    Have a listen and enjoy!

    a short audio on Humanist Ceremonies...

    one on Humanist weddings...

    another on civil partnerships...

    vow renewal?...listen here...

    another on welcoming & naming ceremonies...

    and finally, one on Humanist funerals & memorials

  • Connect With Me

    always available - anywhere in Scotland

    http://www.facebook.com/celebrantneil

    07955 386512

     

    neil.lynch@humanism.scot

    neil.lynch

    NEIL LYNCH

    @talk121neil

    Neil LYNCH

    Neil LYNCH

    07955 386512

    Neil LYNCH

    +44 (0)1343 548709

    https://soundcloud.com/you/likes

    https://myspace.com/talk121neil