Today was a special one! I had the honour and privilege of marrying two members of my extended family from Germany!
Frank and Bianca have been together since 2007, and neither one was particularly interested in getting married, preferring to just be happy together in the knowledge that they love one another and are very content together.
However, when Simon and I were in Germany visiting my Auntie Gitti last October I had recently qualified as a wedding celebrant and the seed was planted in Bianca's mind that it would be fun to come to Scotland and for me to conduct a wedding for her and Frank! And soon after our visit the wheels were set in motion...
Over the summer we worked together to create a unique ceremony featuring both Scottish and German wedding traditions. So, as well as drinking from a quaich (Pomegranate San Pellegrino and fresh orange juice, poured by Simon and Gitti!), they also "tied the knot" in a handfasting ceremony...
And to represent German tradition they wore blue cornflowers in their corsages (expertly made by Simon)...
Bianca placed a 1 pfennig piece in her shoe (as required of a German bride, to bring money to the marriage)... and then after the ceremony they worked together to saw a log in half (this represents the first of the difficult tasks facing them as a married couple that they must work on together to overcome).
And, naturlich, I conducted the ENTIRE ceremony in German! Now, my Deutsch is strictly limited to conversational chit-chat, so all I can say is thank goodness for Google Translate! Thankfully, I came through it relatively unscathed - although there were tears streaming down our faces last night as we had a practise run through for my pronunciation and I solemnly told Frank and Bianca that they must love each other and wash each other!!!! (as opposed to grow together, which is what it would have said if i'd said it correctly!).
But we had a fab morning, and the wedding was held in our garden here in Dalkeith (and thankfully it was sunny and stayed dry for they whole time). Frank decided to embrace the local culture and wear the full kilt ensemble - his first time in a kilt! He and Bianca both looked stunning, as did my lovely Auntie...
Gitti was the ring bearer, and both she and Simon placed the handfasts over the arms of the happy couple, so everyone had a role to play. Even Nova got in on the act, wearing a fancy wedding ribbon and looking very chuffed with herself!
We celebrated after by drinking coffee and eating freshly made German Quetschenkuchen (plum cake) made by Gitti with plums from the tree in our garden. This evening we're going out to celebrate in a local Italian restaurant.
A wonderful day all round, and such a treat to be able to conduct the wedding of two people who are so close to me.
Thanks to Simon for all of his sterling efforts over the past few days to help get everything in place. Husband extraordinaire!!! (...and doesn't he scrub up well too?)
Our visitors are here for the rest of this week, so plenty of time to show them more of Midlothian, Edinburgh and the surrounding area.
One very happy, but shattered, Celebrant!