What about this as the backdrop to your wedding ceremony?
This was the view on the stunningly beautiful Seacliff Beach just outside North Berwick in East Lothian this morning where I had been asked along, not only to shadow, but to be an official witness at an elopement that was taking place on these very sands.
My celebrant colleague Candice had asked me a couple of months ago if I'd like to take part in this very special day and, of course, I jumped at the opportunity.
...and what a fantastic experience it was! We met the couple in the beach car park and they both looked stunning in traditional Scottish wedding attire - a beautiful full-length white gown and gorgeous bouquet for her and the full kilt with tweed jacket and waistcoat for him.
The wedding was set for 11.30am, and I think we originally thought there might only be us and a few dog walkers on the golden sands, but this mini heat wave (it was around 25 degrees by this time) had brought families out in their masses to this secluded little beach and there must have been a good 200 to 300 folk there as our little wedding party walked along to the spot which had been chosen. It was lovely to see folk stop and turn round as they realised there was a bride and groom walking along the beach!
The ceremony ,which was written and conducted by Candice, was heartfelt, touching and deeply personal - which is exactly why the couple had chosen to celebrate their union in this way. In their own simple but meaningful words, which were used at the start of the ceremony, "our love is not performative, but made up of small, shared moments of truth and connection." And that's exactly what this wonderful ceremony delivered! I even got to be the ring bearer, and had to pass them each their wedding bands at the appropriate moment!
It was an honour and a privilege to be a part of their special day, and an experience that has strengthened further my resolve to be the best celebrant I can be.
Thanks to the couple, who I've chosen not to name in honour of their wishes to keep this as their own special day, to the photographer - who was the other official witness (you must have two, by law) and to the lovely Candice for inviting me.
Here we are with the Bass Rock behind us just after we'd said our farewells to the happy couple (and I'd taken off my tie!).