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The Scots word wadding (also spelled as waddin to reflect how it is pronounced) comes from the word wad, meaning: to pledge. So a wadding is a pledging.

The Scots Language Centre

Weddings and Rituals

Lindy IrvingI love weddings! I love everything about weddings! The love story, the outfits, the guests, the vows, the rings… everything!… and I absolutely adore rituals because they’re such an important and meaningful part of any wedding ceremony.  Whether it’s the beautiful exchanging of the vows, lighting a unity candle or having your hands bound together in an ancient Handfasting, rituals are the heart and soul of a ceremony.

 

And yet, so many of the ways in which a couple can be legally married are devoid of these sacred ceremonial rituals, which is such a shame because although most couples who choose a Celebrant don’t want a religious ceremony, they still want it to carry the “weight” of a religious ceremony, and Rituals are what brings solemnity and grace to the proceedings.

 

For this reason and because it’s an honour to be asked to be a part of such a special occasion, I never take a ceremony lightly. Instead, I see every couple as completely unique and so try to make sure that every ceremony is completely unique.

Below, I’ve tried to answer some of the most common questions I get asked, but if you have a question that is not addressed here, just drop me a line at: lindy@ayedoceremonies.co.uk or click here to send an enquiry form.

Will our Ceremony be legal?

Yes, if you want it to be and if your beliefs are aligned with the Interfaith philosophy. The Interfaith movement is one which supports and respects people of “all faiths and none” and Interfaith Ministers (in Scotland) are given the authority to conduct marriages for couples who hold these same beliefs. This doesn’t mean you need to become a member of any organisation or pay a fee, but it does mean you should believe that every couple, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or any other distinction has the right to have a ceremony that is right for them.

Becoming an Interfaith Minister requires you to take both personal and public Vows. In taking my public Vow I promised to “be inclusive and to serve without discriminating on the basis of race, gender, religious affiliation, ethnic background, economic status, sexual orientation or any other distinction.” My personal Vow was taken in a private ceremony at the end of a week long retreat. It took me months of meditation and contemplation to find what I really wanted to say, and I chose to say it in Auld Scots… “

“A hecht that A’m ettlin tae gang ma gait wi open hert
A hecht tae serr God wi mense, aefauldly an wi respect
A hecht that A’ll aye ettle tae see masel in ithers an thaim in me
An A hecht tae leeve a meenistry that’s joco an blithe.

Most of these words are probably unfamiliar, but there is one word that jumps out the page like a froghopper… God. 2 years ago if anyone had told me that I would be voluntarily making a public Vow to serve God, I would have loudly and firmly told you to “get tae Falkirk”. But that’s because I was brought up to believe that God was a man, or at least had the form of a man, who lived in a paradise called Heaven which seemed to be somewhere above the sky. But he wasn’t just an ordinary man. He was an all-powerful, omnipotent man, who could at any moment heal you or hurt you, save you or make you suffer. A man who worked in “mysterious ways” so that he could give a wee baby cancer or just stand by as thousands of innocent people were killed by hunger and famine, and you just had to accept that he knew what he was doing. It was all part of his “big plan”. And then there were the rules… most of which seemed to benefit men, and oppress women… and he gave power to other men (ministers, priests etc) to be custodians of these rules, and these men told children like me that God was always watching, and that if you misbehaved he would see you, and you would get punished in some way… maybe one of your family would become ill…. and that would be your fault, your punishment. Not only that but everything seemed to be a sin…..and you were warned that if you didn’t repent for all your sins you wouldn’t get into Heaven… but instead you would go to Hell (or maybe you would be lucky and would just go to purgatory and only have years of suffering instead of an eternity… yeah!) There was also the praying, and the fear of what would happen if you didn’t pray. So that if someone in your family was suffering illness or hardship, and didn’t get better, well you obviously didn’t pray hard enough. And don’t even get me started on ceremonies…. weddings where the ceremony is centred around God instead of the 2 people making the commitment, funerals where the person who has died is hardly even mentioned. Oh, and let’s not even get into the judgement around same-sex ceremonies. So, when I first signed up for the Interfaith training, and in fact throughout the whole of first year, it really got my hackles up whenever someone mentioned God.

But I did find God on my journey through the Interfaith inquiry, and it has been the most wonderful discovery. Because what I discovered is that God is not a man… or a woman for that matter. God has no gender and no form. God is just God….an ever-present awareness, an energy that surrounds us and works through us. Something bigger than ourselves. A central symbol of meaning. Something mysterious and magical, powerful and good. I can and do believe in that God.

Moreover, when we stop to look at all the faiths that exist in the world today, we find that it is this central symbol of meaning that is at the heart of them all. And this is also what is at the heart of Interfaith Ministry, the idea that everyone who follows a faith path is just trying to connect with the God of their understanding. But the biggest difference with Interfaith Ministry is that while most ministers will/can only support you if you follow and adhere to the teachings of their specific faith path, an Interfaith Minister stands up for and welcomes everybody. No rules, no restrictions, no interference, no judgement… just love.

And whoever you are, you are very welcome here.

And for anyone wondering about the translation of my personal Vow, this is it…

 

“I pledge that it is intention to walk my path with an open heart.
I pledge to serve God with integrity, responsibility and respect.
I pledge to always try to see myself in others and others in me.
And I pledge to live a ministry that is creative and wild.”

Rev Lindy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a Humanist?

No, and this is an important distinction to make because while I do hold many of the principles found in Humanism (the value of human life, and the importance of living a good life), I’m also a spiritual person, which for me means that I don’t believe in a God who has any form, or a God who sits on a cloud watching and judging everybody. I don’t believe in a God who sits back and lets people suffer. I don’t believe in a God who says it’s wrong to fall in love with someone of the same gender. I don’t believe in literal resurrections or virgin births. I don’t believe in the eternal fires of hell. I don’t believe any of the holy scriptures are divine. I don’t believe ministers, priests, imams, rabbi, or any other type of clergy are able to have any more of a direct relationship with God than any other person. In short, I don’t believe or support any of the man-made nonsense that exists in organised religion and has been the cause of so much pain & suffering in the world, and I think we should be speaking out against it at every opportunity. But I do believe in magic and mystery. I believe in parking angels & fairies, witches & wizards and I definitely believe in UFOs & Jedi Knights. I believe in something beyond this world that we don’t have words for, a feeling of something bigger than us that we just can’t explain, a presence that exists within and around us that we don’t have the language to describe, but that pulls us in and allows us to see the world, and humanity at it’s very best.

 

However, there’s no place for this kind of spirituality within Humanism. This means that if a couple wanted to include any kind of spiritual content, it would at best be frowned upon but perhaps tolerated (don’t allow anything in your ceremony to be be “tolerated”!), and at worst it wouldn’t be allowed at all. That just doesn’t sit right with me. I believe a couple should be able to include whatever is right for them. Additionally Humanists believe we humans have one life and that there is nothing beyond death. I’m just not sure this is true. No-one knows what happens to us after we die… it’s all speculation. And so again, I’m just as uncomfortable with people saying they know there is “nothing” beyond death as those who say the know there is “eternal life”. Let’s just wait and see 😉 However, I do know some lovely Humanist Celebrants who are excellent at what they do.

Can we have an input into our ceremony, and include things like poems, readings and personal vows.

Yes, absolutely and I happily encourage this! My ceremonies are written to ensure I capture the essence of your relationship, and what this special day means to you both. You can choose to have a romantic service, a sentimental service, a lighthearted and funny ceremony, or you can have all these combined. Many couples choose to include friends and family as part of the ceremony, through readings, poems or even songs. Your ceremony should be the talking point for the rest of your day, and through my script writing experience and professional speaking skills, you can be sure friends and family will be talking about your ceremony for days and weeks to come.

Can we have a Civil Partnership?

Yes! Civil Partnerships are now available in Scotland.

Do you conduct Same-Sex Ceremonies?

Yes!.. yes….a thousand times….. YES! I LOVE Same-Sex Weddings! As far as I’m concerned ‘Love is Love’ and people should be free to marry whoever they choose, regardless of gender.

What is a Commitment Ceremony?

A Commitment Ceremony is very much like a wedding ceremony but it has no legal standing. Sometimes a couple will choose to have a Commitment Ceremony if one (or both) is still legally married, and going through a lengthy divorce but they want to make a commitment to their new partner.

Do you travel?

Yes! I’m happy to travel! If a ceremony is within a 50-mile round trip then the mileage is included. If it’s over this, a mileage charge will be applied. If you are having an overseas wedding and you would like prices, just drop me a line at: lindy@ayedoceremonies.co.uk or click here to send an enquiry.

If we have children, can we include them in our Ceremony?

Yes! I love when children are part of a ceremony because they are so natural, and they bring a real sense of wonder and magic to events. And there are many different ways for children to be included… from Handfastings and Sand Ceremonies to delivering readings or including a fun game, your children can be a wonderful and memorable part of your day.

 

 

Can we have Religious/ Spiritual content within our Ceremony?

Lindy Irving, Celebrant, WeddingsAbsolutely! It’s your day and you can whatever you want in your Ceremony. So, you can choose to have a prayer or a hymn, or you can include a spiritual ritual such as Handfasting or a Sand Ceremony. The most important thing is that it should reflect who you are as a couple, and I’m happy to incorporate whatever that might be. 

Can we have a themed wedding?

Lindy Irving, Celebrant WeddingsYes! You absolutely can! I love themed weddings. So far I’ve conducted ceremonies or services where I’ve been Batman, a Scottish Ellen De Generes, and Princess Leah but I’m open to pretty much anything!

Why should I choose a Celebrant?

Having a celebrant-led wedding gives you the freedom to hold your ceremony wherever you like, and at any time of day. In addition to traditional wedding venues, I can conduct weddings in picturesque forests, breezy hilltops, stunning Scottish lochs, pubs, village halls and really anywhere else you can think of! You may choose a completely non-religious wedding, or you may want to have a bible reading or a hymn included.
You can include the traditional elements such as saying “Aye do!”, or you might want to write your own wedding vows or special words. You can choose your own music, readings and poems, and decide where in the ceremony these will be read. You might want to have a handfasting, or another symbolic ritual, or even create your own new tradition. You can choose to wear traditional dress, or you can dress up like Batman. It’s completely up to you. However, I have lots of ideas and am happy to help you create your own unique ceremony.

Are there any hidden costs?

If you are planning a rehearsal, I charge an extra £75 + mileage, but outwith that there are no hidden charges.

What happens if we book you and then something happens and you cannot conduct our ceremony.

To date this has never happened, but if it should, you would be offered a replacement Celebrant, or if you prefer, a full refund so that you could choose another Celebrant. As well as being part of the Interfaith Foundation and a member of the Institute of Professional Celebrants (IPC), I have a number of Celebrant colleagues throughout Scotland who I can rely on should I be unable to conduct your Ceremony for any reason.

What happens in the run up to our Ceremony?

Once you have decided to choose me as your celebrant, and have returned the booking form and deposit…

  • You will receive a Booking Receipt, a ‘What’s Next?’ Booklet and a copy of the ‘Aye Do Guide to Putting Together your Ceremony’.

  • A face to face (or Skype if distance is an issue) meeting will then be arranged so that we can get to know each other, and get started on your preparations. The sooner we can do this the better.

  • 3 months before your Ceremony, we will arrange to meet for 2 hours, to allow me to gather all the information I need to write your Ceremony (we may meet in between this time if we think it’s necessary). Before this meeting you will be given access to a private area of this website, where you can see examples of some of my ceremonies as well as poems, readings, vows, ring exchanges and rituals so that you can build up an idea of what elements you like best.

  • 4 – 6 weeks before your Ceremony, you will be emailed the first draft copy of your ceremony and invited to add/remove or make any changes. We then just go back and forward via email until your are completely happy and in love with your Ceremony!

  • 2 – 3 weeks before your Ceremony, we will have a final pre-ceremony check (often at the venue) to iron out any creases and make sure everything is in order. It is my aim that by the time your special day arrives, you will feel you are being married by a friend, rather than a stranger and that I have written and delivered a script that reflects both your love for each other and your continuing journey together.

  • How do we book?!

    Great! Just click here to send me a few details about your Ceremony and I’ll get back to you faster than a Scotsman chasing a five pound note down the street!

     

     

    Please click on the links below for more information.

    Lindy Irving, Celebrant

    Handfasting

    Click here to find out more about the ancient ritual of Handfasting.

    Lindy Irving, Celebrant

    Oathing Stone

    Click here to discover more about the beautiful Oathing Stone ritual.

    Lindy Irving, Celebrant

    Quaich

    Click here to find out more about the very meaningful ritual of a Quaich Ceremony.

    Lindy Irving, Celebrant

    Clootie Blessing

    Click here to find out about the Clootie Tree, an 'Aye Do!`` original ritual

    Lindy Irving, Celebrant

    More Rituals

    Click here to find more rituals.

    Lindy Irving, Celebrant

    Poems & Readings

    Click here for a selection of readings that can be included in a Wedding Ceremony.

    Lindy Irving, Celebrant

    Fees

    Click here for information on our Ceremony fees.

    Lindy Irving, Celebrant

    Celebrant Training

    Click here to find out information on how you can become a Celebrant.

    Lindy Irving, Celebrant

    Enquire

    Click here to enquire about your own Wedding Ceremony or Ceremony Ritual.

    • Most couples who come to me do so because they want a relaxed, laid-back, fun and meaningful marriage ceremony. And so from the moment I start working with my couples, I am already planning how to create the right energy in the room before the......

    • Yesterday, hundreds of people gathered in the beautiful Grand Hall at the Bushey Academy in Hertfordshire, where I and 29 of my student colleagues were ordained as Interfaith Ministers, and it was the most beautiful ceremony possible. This came at th...

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