The Marriage Ceremony of Andrew and Fiona at Edinburgh Castle
Friday 12th September 2014 2pm-2.30pm
Ladies and Gentlemen. Could I ask that you all take your places and, if you are able, can you please stand to receive the bride.
Entrance music to start playing. Entrance of Bridal party, bridesmaids and then Fiona – to join Andrew at front. Formal seating arrangements to be discussed with Marion to enable Marion to guide people to seating if need be.
(Maid of Honour, Bridesmaids, Best Man and Ushers will stand during Ceremony)
Please be seated. Good afternoon everyone. My name is Marion and it’s my great pleasure today to be conducting Andrew and Fiona’s Marriage Ceremony.
The couple have chosen this very personal style of ceremony to enable them to express and share the values that are dear to them, and to formally celebrate their love and commitment to one another.
I would like to begin by welcoming you all here today in the fabulous surroundings of Edinburgh Castle to share in this wonderful celebration.
Today’s ceremony will celebrate the couple’s union. Not simply a legal union; but an emotional commitment they will honour for the rest of time, a commitment built on the solid foundations of mutual respect, understanding, communication, trust and love.
Fashions may come and go, the places people choose to get married, and the words they say may change with the years.
Yet we see the same intrinsic values being honoured, no matter our differences. The deeply sincere commitments that Andrew and Fiona will pledge today are vows that represent the very essence of their union, and their future lives together. The union we call marriage.
When I first met Andrew and Fiona, I was impressed by their clear definition of what today is about. Today represents the dignity and purity of their commitment and also celebrates family, the fun side, the lighthearted side of life too.
So they are both glad that you could all make it today to participate in this wonderful celebration.
Andrew & Fiona’s Story
(Mood – More light hearted)
So, how did it all start? Well, for Fiona and Andrew, theirs is a journey that began seven years ago. Their paths first crossed when they were working in Scotland’s best city- Glasgow.
At that time, in 2006, they were working different shifts, so the opportunity for romance to ignite took quite a while. It wasn’t until 2008 that they ended up working on the same shift together. And although Fiona says she regarded Andrew as appearing quite moody and unapproachable, she quickly realised that this was not the case!
Their first date was a romantic meal at a local restaurant followed by a drink – or ten. Andrew remembers thinking that Fiona scrubbed up well, and Fiona couldn’t wait to tell her mum the exciting details.
Love isn’t always perfect. It isn’t a fairytale or a storybook.
And it doesn’t always come easy. Love is overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, fighting to be together, holding on and never letting go.
It is a short word, easy to spell, difficult to define and impossible to live without.
Love is work, but most of all love is realising that every hour every minute and every second was worth it because you did it together.
(Mood – Light Humour)
Now, those of you who know Andrew and Fiona well, will know that they both enjoy a very mature and settled relationship.
When I asked Fiona, “What annoys you about Andrew-what are your pet hates?”
Fiona said ” Andrew is sooooo unorganised, he’s very much a do it later type of person”
And Andrew’s response about Fiona was ” Fiona has OCD in the recycling department!”
(Mood – a bit more focused and serious now)
So it is clear that a long-term commitment, being willing to work together at a relationship, is a tremendous achievement;
To allow each other the space to grow as individuals, whilst also growing together.
And to love and respect one another in such a way that a compromise can always be reached.
Andrew proposed to Fiona in October 2012. Picture, if you will, the glorious surroundings at the fountain at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. They were attending a Shania Twain concert followed by a lovely meal, although their thoughts were worlds apart. While Fiona enjoyed the emotional highs of “From this Moment”, Andrew just wished it would hurry up and finish. He was terrified of losing the engagement ring he had concealed in the jumper he was carrying. Thankfully, Andrew was finally able to reveal the plans he’d been thinking about all night and asked Fiona for her hand in marriage. And here we are today.
A Look to the Future
I’ve spoken to Andrew and Fiona about their hopes and plans for the future.
They are both very excited about starting this new chapter together. Their marriage today is just the beginning of a lifelong journey together, hand in hand and heart in heart.
When I asked Fiona and Andrew what their plans are, it was lovely to hear them say they wished to be very happily married for many, many, many years to come. They’re both looking forward to a long, happy, healthy marriage.
In today’s world there are many people out there who think happiness is something that will come to them, without realising of course that happiness is created from within, so it was great to hear that Andrew and Fiona do understand this.
(Mood – serious and emotional)
I asked Andrew and Fiona separately to give me 3 reasons that summed up why they loved one another:
Andrew said SECRET UNTIL WEDDING DAY
Fiona SAID SECRET UNTIL WEDDING DAY
So, today Andrew and Fiona are cementing their bond, celebrating their commitment. But this will be no knot of steel. Fiona and Andrew will not handcuffed to each other by force. The bond will be strong because Andrew and Fiona have the will, the commitment and the love to make it so.
Fiona and Andrew have chosen to have a traditional Scottish Handfasting. Handfasting is an ancient Scottish Marriage ritual, and if you have ever heard the phrase “Tying the Knot”, then now you know where it comes from.
Fiona and Andrew, will you now please face each other and join left hands. Thank you if you can now join right hands.
Handfasting cords loosely arranged over their hands
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you,
That are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
Knot is tightened
(Mood- you should hear a pin drop)
So now we come to… the moment you’ve all been waiting for! The culmination of one chapter in Fiona and Andrew’s lives and the beginning of a brand new one. A partnership that you will promise to nurture, and never let dwindle. A partnership that you promise to nourish with your intentions and your actions. A loving union that will have the strength to overcome life’s greatest obstacles.
Personal Vows & Legal Declarations
Fiona and Andrew, if I could ask you both to stand before me.
At this point, could I ask the best man to be ready with the rings.
Marion hands Andrew the following to say…
Fiona, I look forward with great joy to spending the rest of my life with you, caring for you, nurturing you, being there for you in all life has for us, and I vow to be true and faithful for as long as we both shall live. I give you this ring as a symbol of my love.
Andrew receives Fiona’s ring from the Best Man and places it on her finger.
Marion hands Fiona the following to say…
Andrew, I look forward with great joy to spending the rest of my life with you, caring for you, nurturing you, being there for you in all life has for us, and I vow to be true and faithful for as long as we both shall live. I give you this ring as a symbol of my love.
Fiona receives Andrew`s ring from the Best Man and places it on his finger.
Andrew George Hamilton, do you take Fiona Elizabeth Brown to be your lawful wedded wife?
Andrew says I DO
Fiona Elizabeth Brown, do you take Andrew George Hamilton to be your lawful wedded husband?
Fiona says I Do
The Legal Declaration
Marion then says:-
Following the declarations made before me and in the presence of these witnesses, it is now my pleasant duty, Andrew and Fiona, to pronounce you husband and wife!!!
You may now kiss!
Applause and cheering
Signing of Marriage Schedule
Can I ask the witnesses to now join the bridal party in order to witness the signing of the marriage schedule, and if anyone would like to take any pictures, please feel free to do so, however Andrew and Fiona kindly request that you do not post any photos to facebook or social media prior the evening reception.
Adjourn for signing. Music played
Then following the signing and photos the ceremony continues.
Ladies and Gentlemen. Would everyone please be upstanding and welcome for the very first time Mr. and Mrs Hamilton!!
Thank you please be seated.
We are now coming to the end of this ceremony, so you will shortly be able to begin the reception after the Bridal party make their way, but just before we finish, I’d just like to round with a final verse. It’s an Apache Wedding Prayer and I’m sure you’ll appreciate the beauty of the words…
Apache Wedding Prayer
Now you will feel no rain
For each of you will be shelter to the other
Now you will feel no cold
For each of you will be warmth to the other
Now there is no more loneliness
For each of you will be companion to the other
Now you are 2 bodies but there is 1 life before you
Go now to your dwelling place
To enter into the days of your togetherness
And may your days be good & long upon the earth
So, Finally, if you would please: be upstanding and join me in one last round of applause and congratulations for the new Mr and Mrs Hamilton.!!!!