* Sarah, Program Development Manager & Steven, Attorney * Photographer: Lauren McGlynn (APW Sponsor) * Soundtrack for reading: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole *
The Info—Photography: Lauren McGlynn (APW Sponsor) / Secondary Photography: Kristen from What Kristen Saw / Venue: Howie’s Waterloo Place / Celebrant: Kate Buchanan, Humanist Society of Scotland / Dress: Oxfam / Suit: Already owned (new tie and shoes though, hurrah!) /Flowers: The White Petal Company / Cupcake Cake: Cuckoo’s Bakery (Sarah’s mum made the amazing top layer of the cake though!)
Other cool stuff we should know about: We rented the most amazing place to stay in over the weekend: Edinburgh’s Old Observatory House, set on a hill above the city. The wedding itself took place in a restaurant at the bottom of the hill, which we loved as eating out together is one of our ‘things’ and it felt like the wedding was just one big meal out with friends and family. Also, we get to go back any time and have a meal right on the spot where we got married—brilliant!
Our wedding was a mixture of hand-made, already-made and recycled. Sarah’s wedding dress was from Oxfam, the same charity we registered with for gifts (for chickens! and water purifiers! and schoolbooks!) which was a happy coincidence. We made paper bouquets for the bridesmaids, and Sarah’s mum and sister scoured charity shops for weeks prior to the wedding to source a collection of vintage-y vases, sugar bowls, etc. to hold simple white flowers on the tables. We kept a small china gravy boat from that lot which we joke is our wedding china!
We tried to honor our different backgrounds as well as who we are together, and to that end we had a Celtic handfasting and signed a ketubah. Our first dance was a Scottish ceilidh dance (Strip the Willow) which involved all our guests (to their surprise), and the wedding ended with everyone in a circle surrounding us singing (unplanned!) first ‘New York, New York’, followed by ‘Auld Lang Syne’… that memory is amazing.
Oh, and even though there was a delayed start (due to an ultra-conservative rally outside our wedding venue, along with yelling anti-fascist protesters and hordes of police!), our guests were fab and simply sipped champagne while they waited, and then cheered when Sarah finally got to walk down the aisle!
Favorite thing about the wedding: This surprised us as we are both fairly private people, but the ceremony. We wrote every word, including our vows which we heard each other say for the first time that day. Our celebrant was amazing, and the whole ceremony just felt so honest, relaxed and intimate (everyone else seemed to fade away—which we’d read can happen, but didn’t really believe!).
But while that was our favourite part, our favourite thing about the wedding was the fact that even though most of our friends and family had never met they all threw themselves into having a great time together. Being from two different countries it can sometimes feel like our worlds are a little separate, but seeing all our people come together made us feel like we had united not only our own lives but a community.
One sentence sum up of the wedding vibe: A relaxed, laughter-filled, emotional day with a Scottish/American/Steve-and-Sarah theme, pretty things and good food.