Paws for love

When it came to planning their wedding, Zoe and Andrew’s top priority was ensuring that their five (yes five!) precious dogs were involved – Charlie the labradoodle, Chester the cockapoo, Korra the labrador, Brodie the German shorthaired pointer, and Pippin the jack russell.

So they had to ensure that their suppliers were equally comfortable with their fur babies. Humanist Society Scotland celebrant Karen McLaughlin’s mention of dogs in her online profile on their website was undoubtedly a huge plus. On meeting Karen, Andrew and Zoe were made to feel very comfortable too. Bonus!

Why did you want a humanist ceremony?

We are not members of any religious churches. Humanism was a good fit with our own non-religious beliefs. We want to treat everyone with kindness and empathy.

Bride & groom standing with their celebrant with guests looking on

Where did you choose to get married and why?

We chose Lochgreen House Hotel in Troon. I [Zoe] am from Troon and a large number of guests were coming from this and the surrounding area, so Lochgreen was convenient for everyone. It’s also a beautiful venue AND dog friendly!

When and how did you two meet?

We met via online dating five years ago. We were both nervous about it but we agreed to meet at MacCallum’s Oyster Bar in Troon. This is where our journey began.

Bride & groom holding each other in the gardens of the venue

When and how did the proposal happen?

Andrew proposed on 15th November 2020 at another venue close to us – Dumfries House. He had been visiting my [Zoe’s] dad the day before which I thought was strange. During a wet walk around the grounds, I stopped to admire the new pagodas in the walled garden and when I turned round, he was down on one knee. He was very nervous and half cried, half stuttered, but I got the message. It was the perfect moment to overshadow the angst of the covid pandemic and the restrictions that were placed on us all. 

What was your favourite part of the wedding planning?

My [Zoe’s] Godmother made my wedding dress so it was exciting seeing that come together.

Bride & groom walking with four of their dogs and one other dog being carried by the bride

What was your favourite part of the ceremony?

Having our dogs involved in the ceremony was one of the most important parts of our day. They walked down the aisle with their ‘handlers’, who were all family members, and witnessed the proceedings before joining us for photos.

What was your favourite part of the whole day?

We enjoyed the whole day. Having everyone together after such a long period of separation due to covid was especially memorable.

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

We chose Emma Sanderson Photography. Emma had photographed us and our dogs on numerous occasions in the past. She is very calm and professional and especially knows how to work with the dogs. Having known Emma for a while, we were very comfortable around her and it seemed easier to pose for wedding photographs.

Bride's torso with her hands clutching her bouquet with paw prints on her nails and a bone shaped sign reading 'our humans are married'

With hindsight, is there anything that you would have done differently?

We would maybe have had a few more decorations but not having those things certainly didn’t take away from the day.

And finally, any advice for other couples?

Enjoy your day. Take time to absorb the atmosphere. And remember, it is your day so don’t let anyone try to make decisions for you.

Huge congratulations Mr & Mrs Chan, and thank you for choosing Humanist Society Scotland!

Bride & groom seated at the signing table with a floral arrangement in the foreground

Links to all suppliers recommended by Andrew and Zoe

Two male adults and three children waving and celebrating

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