A wedding that was personal and authentic to them as individuals was very important to Simon and Martyn. Their chosen venue, Lochnell Castle, was very near to where Martyn grew up. The couple chose their humanist celebrant Gail because of her passion for making sure their story and personalities shone through in their ceremony.  

When and how did you two meet?

We met online and had our first date in Glasgow. It was October 2013 and a typically wet and miserable Autumn evening. Luckily the date was anything but miserable and the rest is a happy story!

When and how did the proposal happen?

It happened on a beautiful empty beach on the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides. It was October 2020, seven years to the day after our first date. Martyn proposed with a ring he’d managed to hide from me [Simon] and it was the perfect moment. Martyn had always felt this beach was special to him, having had many happy memories there throughout his life. He wanted to add a special memory for both him and I [Simon] in one of the most stunning spots.

Simon and Martyn stand outside in a scenic garden, looking at each other and laughing.

What was your favourite part of the wedding planning?

We enjoyed most parts but the anticipation of actually marrying the person we loved was the highlight. We also loved organising all the details and surprises we knew our nearest and dearest would love while celebrating with us.

Why did you want a humanist ceremony?

As non-religious people, humanism greatly appealed to us. We were attracted to the idea that we could have a ceremony that was about our love for one another in the presence of our family and friends. Having a personalised ceremony that embraced who we are as people is something we’d recommend to anyone.

Which celebrant did you choose and why?

We chose Gail Brack as our celebrant. We knew immediately upon meeting Gail via Zoom that she was the one for us. Her passion seeped into every sentence she spoke and her keen interest to know all about us and our story was apparent from the beginning. Gail was so informative and, given we were clueless, was able to offer welcome suggestions as to how we might structure the ceremony. Her guidance was invaluable and given with good humour and warmth.

Simon and Martyn stand with arms linked as their wedding celebrant Gail carries out the handfasting ritual.

Where did you choose to get married and why?

Lochnell Castle by Oban in Argyll. We chose to get married there because it’s a beautiful venue which had all the elements we were looking for. It also happened to be very close to where Martyn grew up.

Simon and Martyn stand with their arms round each other. The castle is in the background where their guests look on.

What was your favourite part of the whole day?

The part where we were announced as husbands! And surprisingly the first dance which Martyn had insisted up until a few days before wasn’t happening. We chose ‘Take my Hand’ by Skerryvore as our first dance song and having had no practice dances, just went for it having the best time spinning each other around!

What was your favourite part of the ceremony?

Our personalised vows. Gail was great at making sure they were balanced but hearing the other person’s vows for the first time during the ceremony was an emotional moment.

Simon and Martyn reading their personalised vows at the ceremony.

Your photographs are absolutely fabulous. Who did you choose and why?

We chose Lauren Stirling – we loved her style immediately. She seemed to capture not only the big moments but the smaller intimate moments and candid moments. She was very clear that formal wedding photography wasn’t her thing. This really resonated with us as we didn’t want to feel like we were posing all day. Her images were also so vivid and really captured the atmosphere in the moment which is not an easy skill to master.

Simon and Martyn holding hands and smiling.

We love your video too. Who did you choose and why?

We chose Armelle Films. Armelle seemed to be able to capture all the moments that make the wedding day and piece them together into a seamless video. She seemed to capture beautiful landscape effortlessly with her drone footage which added drama. Alongside the intimate moments of us, she also captured our guests.

And finally, any advice for other couples?

Enjoy the planning as it can be really fun. When the day itself arrives enjoy every moment as it passes so quickly. Also use as much help as is offered – you’ll need it! It’s great to have had such a personalised day but we couldn’t have done it without our tribe of family and groomsmaids who were all amazing.

Huge congratulations Simon and Martyn, and thank you for choosing Humanist Society Scotland!

Simon and Martyn walk through brightly coloured wedding confetti. Wedding guests look on smiling.

Links to all suppliers recommended by Simon and Martyn:

Two male adults and three children waving and celebrating

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