Scott and Paula have been meaning to get married for ages and yesterday, on the sunny banks of Loch Lomond, they finally did it! Their wedding was on a shingle beach at Milarrochy Bay near Balamaha and, for the first time in forever, the sun shone, absolutely perfect for a very informal and fun wedding.
‘They chose to be married on a beach, surrounded by water and hills, the wind (and possibly rain!) whistling in our ears because this is where they are happiest. It’s also a pretty good metaphor for their relationship- nothing is forced, it’s all very natural and easy and, individually, every element is amazing but, together, it’s something unbelievably special, breathtaking at times.’
Scott and Paula have two girls, eight year old Robyn and Grace, who’s five, and they have been involved throughout the planning and during the ceremony too. As well as being beautiful bridesmaids, they were happy to (very loudly) give their blessing to Mum and Dad, blew bubbles for the people who couldn’t be at the wedding, in particular Paula’s late father, and, right at the end, Robyn led the toast and introduced her Mum and Dad, for the very first time as, ‘Mr and Mrs MacDonald!’
After Scott and Paula made their vows to each other, they both made a promise to their daughters,
‘Robyn and Grace, you have always been the most important part of mum and dad’s life and we are so proud of you both. Today we are making a promise to one another. It is a promise that whatever may happen, good or bad, that we will always be there for one another.
This promise is also a promise to you.
We love you with all our hearts, and no matter how big you get or where life takes you, we want you to know that that‘s forever.’
Scott and Paul painted their names and their wedding date onto a fairly substantial wee boulder (!) which was then passed round all their guests as the ceremony went on, much like a band warming. After the bride and groom had signed their Marriage Schedule, Scott, with the Grace’s help, launched the rock into Loch Lomond, a permanent reminder of their wedding day and a really fun thing to do.
Paula and Scott’s wedding was really special as it was a proper reflection of them and their girls. It was relaxed and fun, their guests were happy and truly delighted that their twenty year wait was finally over!
Congratulations, Mr and Mrs MacDonald!
Things to consider if you are thinking of a similar wedding:
Shingle beaches = knackered shoes. Anyone wearing high heels was in trouble yesterday; trying to manoeuvre over the stones was extremely difficult and the pebbles weren’t kind to the shoes either. Lots of shredded heels.
Having the permission of the Loch Lomond Rangers is not sufficient. You MUST have requested permission from the Duke of Montrose if you want to be married on his land. Contact the National Park for more info.
You cannot release balloons. They might kill ducks or cause the sea plane to crash. Yes, really.
You cannot drink alcohol on the east side of Loch Lomond, not even for a toast at a wedding.
Scott and Paula brought several bottles of completely alcohol-free fizz for a toast to close the ceremony but it wasn’t long before the police rocked up to check we were following the rules.
There are always other people on the beach. Some are content to stand and watch your wedding from a polite distance, others actively try to photo bomb it. People are walking their dogs, traffic trundles along in the background, kids are running around screaming, dogs charge through your guests, jet-skis roar past……. It’s never as secluded as you would like but hopefully you will be so caught up in your own moment that you don’t even notice everyone else.
Shelter and seating- we were lucky as it stayed dry but you need to have a back up plan in case the weather turns. Also, your guests are hanging about for an hour or so; a few folding chairs never go amiss.
Lastly, when your eldest bridesmaid steps on her dress and rips it from hip to hip along the waist, don’t panic! Speak to your celebrant. I carry a sewing kit (amongst other things) and I am pretty nifty at emergency lochside repairs. Same goes for balloons that suddenly require a string…..
“We have just about come back down to earth after our big day. We absolutely cannot thank you enough. Your smiley face stood out to us on the HSS website and we immediately agreed we would try and tie you down to the date. Our first meet sealed the deal for us, you’re funny, witty and warm personality was exactly what we wanted for our ceremony. None of this, however, could have prepared us for the ceremony itself. You completely blew us (and our guests away) with the delivery of ‘our words’ which you gently coaxed from us.. Every single person commented on the stunning service. Your real genius came out when you sewed up my teary 8 year old daughters bridesmaid dress which she had torn climbing a fence (why did I let that happen!). Really there are no ends to your talents. Thank you so much for everything, you contributed in more ways than one to making our day blooming perfect!”
Readings: ‘I don’t believe in marriage’ (An excerpt from the wedding toast for Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego from the film, Frida) and Carrie’s Poem (from Sex and the City)