Amanda and Dougie at Inglewood Manor

Amanda and Dougie at Inglewood Manor

Amanda and Dougie are a great couple who wanted a non-traditional ceremony, a re-imagining of the traditional ceremony format. Blending English and Celtic wedding traditions. As we got to know each other and talked about their dream wedding, I could see them beginning to get excited when the reaslisation dawned that their vision could become a reality and together we began to create a ceremony that celebrated their love and commitment to each other in ways that meant the most to them.

A Thoughtful Surprise

Waiting to marry the love of his life, proudly dressed in his traditional Scottish kilt and patiently waiting for his bride to appear when the strains of a Scottish piper playing The Skye Boat Song reaches his ears, as if he wasn’t emotional enough! Dougie had no idea that Amanda had booked a piper, in she walked on her dad’s arm, radiating happiness and stunning in a beautiful traditional wedding dress with veil.

Honouring a Proud Dad

Then it was Dad’s turn to be blown away and more than a little emotional, as Amanda had taken the opportunity, through me, to tell her Dad just how much he meant to her, “Amanda says that her dad Brian has been a solid, strong presence in her life, a wonderful Dad who is fun to be with, he looks after her when she is in need of support”. Lovely for him to hear and not a dry eye in the house.

Honouring Loved Ones

Wedding days are emotional occasions anyway and even more emotional when those we love cannot be with us for whatever reason. When parents are no longer with us, the emotion can feel extremely raw and it was very important to Dougie that we include his parents in some way. One way to honour people and to feel their presence is to light a candle, its flame casting a warm glow throughout the ceremony, symbolic of their presence and warming us with their love. It was a touching and beautiful way to remember the light that they brought to his life and to help him to feel that they were with him in spirit on his special day.  

A Beautiful Poem

Amanda’s Son Tom, proudly read an adaptation of Corinthians 13:4-8 for Amanda and Dougie on behalf of his family. Love is patient, Love is kind, it does not envy,   it does not boast,  it is not proud, it does not dishonour others,  it is not self-seeking,  it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs, Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth, It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails 

A Romantic Proposal

Everyone enjoyed listening to their story, especially the part where Dougie proposed. ‘In December last year the couple went on holiday to Iceland, and Dougie had been making plans… one of the places that he took her to was the Iceberg Lagoon, a magical place with a black volcanic beach that was scattered with chunks of ice that had broken from the glaciers. It was spectacular, the ice glinting against the black sand looked like diamonds in the night sky, ethereal and so beautiful.  Amanda sat on a piece of ice that had been sculpted by the lapping waves into the shape of a toadstool. It was the perfect moment, despite his nerves and the cold he got down on one knee in the wet volcanic sand and proposed, of course between her excited giggles it was most definitely a yes! Amanda says that it was an amazing feeling and what a place to be proposed to’. 

Unique Vows and Rings

When it comes to the most important part of the ceremony, the vows and promises that we make to each other  can be just as unique as the rest of your ceremony and you don’t have to both say them in the same way, Dougie said his to Amanda in the form of a poem. A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns, spoken softly with his Scottish accent was just perfection. Amanda wrote her own and spoke them to Dougie and hers were also meaningful, beautiful and heartfelt.  The rings had extra special meaning as Amanda’s has been made out of her Grandmas wedding and Engagement rings and Dougies has been made from his mother’s gold and some of Amanda’s. They each hold precious memories and echoes of each family’s heritage, their blending not only serves as a reminder of those they love but also the promise of a bright future and the merging of two families.  

The Ties That Bind

Dougie and Amanda wanted to honour their spiritual and ancestral roots. Both have Scottish and Irish ancestry, include English into the mix and we had the opportunity to craft a ceremony that inluded everyone’s heritage. Their cultural traditions were of the utmost importance, so we had the traditional English format for the ceremony, Rings, vows etc, blending with Celtic Customs in the handfasting and bagpipes. Their wedding stationery, which they had designed to include an English white rose, a Scottish thistle and some Irish shamrock, you don’t get much more inclusive than that… Amanda and Dougies handfasting fabric was the Scott family tartan. They joined hands and with their hands, their hearts…  looking into each others eyes, palm against palm, in a beautiful representation of their love and strength, I could almost feel them holding their breath, and holding my breath with them.

This was the moment that meant so much, the moment in which their hearts, already joined, became as one…  spoken words of love, commitment and devotion, souls joined for all time and beyond… their ceremony ended with cheers and congratultations as the piper piped them out to what else but Flower of Scotland.

Hi Liz, I’ve got a few comments for you from our guests, everyone thought the wedding was amazing !! They especially loved the service which had everyone in floods of tears! They loved “ our story “ part of the service and of course the beautiful hand fasting. Most people were unsure when I told them we were having a celebrant to conduct our service, even Dougie, but after they had seen it for themselves everyone said what a wonderful truly meaningful service it was, that was very personal and moving. My favourite part was Dougie reading his poem/vows and the hand fasting. Dougie of course enjoyed the piper which was the hardest secret I’ve ever kept.
I can’t thank you enough for conducting our service it was more than I could of ever imagined, and were both still over the moon with the whole beautiful day xxx
Amanda and Dougie Scott

Wedding Testimonial

Thank you

To Amanda and Dougie for being easy to work with, for opening their hearts and sharing their innermost dreams,

To Mark Lloyd – Pure Pictures for the fab photo’s

To Phil McConnell – Bag Piper

The team at Inglewood Manor for just being great

Liz Thompson is a Family Celebrant based in Manchester in the UK and working across the North West of England, Liz creates unique and personal ceremonies and services for life events such as Weddings, Civil Partnerships, Baby naming, Vow Renewal and many more. 

Chloe and Paul at Broncoed Uchaf

A beautiful autumn wedding

Chloe and Paul’s wedding took place on a beautiful day at the beginning of October. I became involved when I was contacted by Patricia Harrison from Gift of a Wedding to tell me that Chloe had been told that her illness had progressed, Chloe’s Dad suggested that they get married which is when Gift of a Wedding stepped in to help. Gift of a wedding are a charity who gift wedding services to people who have a terminal or life-shortening illness. They do this by bringing together wedding professionals who are willing donate their services for free.

Chloe and Paul wanted an outdoor wedding and as many couples do they decided to do the legal bit in a quick signing at the Registry Office and have a celebrant for a personalised, more meaningful ceremony.

When Patricia asked me I was more than happy to offer my services for free because I support Gift of a Wedding and what they stand for but also because I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to have the wedding ceremony of their dreams, a ceremony that is personal and meaningful, whatever their circumstances.

“It was an honour and a pleasure to plan Chloe and Paul’s wedding. We’re delighted that we were able to fulfill their wedding dream and create some wonderful memories for their family and friends”

Patricia Harrison – Gift of a Wedding

Creating their ceremony

Celebrant Manchester| Personalised Weddings| Handfastings Manchester |Unity Ceremonies When I met with Chloe and Paul and their dogs Henry & Buddy for the first time in their lovely home, Chloe told me that she had always wanted a vintage/rustic wedding, we talked through their thoughts and wishes for their special day, I explained about symbolic ceremonies and the couple decided that they would like to have a candle lit at the beginning of their ceremony to honour and symbolise the presence of Chloe’s Mum Jan who had passed away in 2006.

Paul liked the sound of the handfasting ceremony. In the hand-fasting ritual, the couple’s hands are bound, to symbolise their lives being joined together. It is an old Celtic tradition and is where the saying tying the knot came from. The handfasting cord itself was symbolic I made it for them and sourced the Buchanan Tartan in homage to Paul’s Scottish heritage, and also wove in the pastel colours that Chloe wanted in her ceremony, pink for unconditional love and nurturing, and green for balance and harmony, I also wove through it a golden thread to symbolise the quality of their love for everyone who was sharing their day with them.

Celebrant Manchester| Gift of a Wedding|Outdoor Weddings |Unity Ceremonies

Lottie Elizabeth Photography and Claire Basiuk Photography

A wonderful wedding under nature’s canopy

So the day dawned and I set out on the drive to Wales, it couldn’t have been more perfect, blue skies and such a beautiful setting, Broncoed Uchaf in the Flintshire countryside is stunning and the perfect setting for Chloe and Paul’s wedding ceremony, all of the suppliers worked so hard to make every detail of their day perfect for them.

Celebrant Manchester| Gift of a Wedding| Outdoor Weddings |Unity Ceremonies

Lottie Elizabeth Photography and Claire Basiuk Photography

You could almost feel the crackle of excitement as the guests waited under a beautiful copper Beech Tree, Paul was very handsome (and a little nervous) standing shoulder to shoulder with his best man Chris as they waited for Chloe to arrive, and she made a stunning bride walking down the aisle of autumn leaves to the music ‘One Day like this’ with her Dad, following her gorgeous bridesmaids and Buddy and Henry too! Paul was so proud to be standing there with Chloe by his side.

the candle was lit, it’s warm glow a reminder of her Mother’s love, her dad gave her away and Chloe’s brother Richard opened the ceremony by reading a poem for them,

These I Can Promise

by Mark Twain

I cannot promise you a life of sunshine; 
I cannot promise you riches, wealth or gold; 
I cannot promise you an easy pathway 
That leads away from change or growing old. 

But I can promise all my heart’s devotion; 
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow. 
A love that’s true and ever growing; 
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.

The couple and their guests were touched and amused to hear their personal story after which, completely lost in each other they spoke their vows to one another and exchanged rings, time for another poem and then finally with their eyes locked, and hands linked, I bound their hands in a beautiful binding of love and total commitment.

Celebrant Manchester| Gift of a Wedding| Outdoor Weddings |Unity Ceremonies

Lottie Elizabeth Photography and Claire Basiuk Photography


Celebrant Manchester|Gift of a Wedding|Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies |Unity Ceremonies

Lottie Elizabeth Photography and Claire Basiuk Photography

The guests cheered their congratulations as they walked back down the aisle as Mr & Mrs Tibbott, surrounded by the love of their family and friends, a truly lovely couple who will always hold a special place in my heart

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in)

by e.e. cummings

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)

I am never without it

(anywhere I go you go my dear; and whatever is done by only me  is your doing, my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)

I want no world (for beautiful, you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing, is you…

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky

of a tree called life;

which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

Check out this video of their big day – by Barry Davies at creative Videos

Kind Words

Thank you so much again for everything, it was so beautiful and lots of people have said to me how much they enjoyed the actual ceremony, Chloe and Paul

The rest of the team who gave their time, skills, services & creativity

to make Chloe & Paul’s perfect wedding day are…

Gift of a Wedding

Lottie Elizabeth Photography

Claire Basiuk Photography

Broncoed Uchaf

Creative Video’s

The Jolly Good Vintage Company,

Cambridge Event Bars,

All Undercover Marquee Ltd,

Fodder in the Field,

Di Shackson Flowers,

Cheshire Cat Cake Company,

The Flower Room Monton,

Ultimate Hair ltd,

Lovelies Delights,

Lottie Elizabeth Photography,

Wirral Tool Hire Mold.

The Owain Glyndwr Inn

Music was by a group of musicians brought together by Amy Chalmers

About the Author

Liz Thompson is a Civil Celebrant based in Manchester in the UK and working across the North West of England, Liz creates unique and personal ceremonies and services for life events such as Weddings, Civil Partnerships, Baby naming, Vow Renewal and many more

You only get one chance to have your ceremony and as ours is not yet a regulated profession anyone can call themselves a Celebrant. Any professionally trained Celebrant will be more than happy for you to check that they are qualified to do the job.  I trained with The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants, see my About Liz page for more information.