jolanda & jason’s prestonfield house wedding

Asking Monika to officiate our wedding was a no-brainer for our elopement. We've known each other for years through my work, and when we found ourselves in the unenviable position of organizing a wedding in two months, we figured we'd give Monika (even though she is about as far from Edinburgh as one can be) first right of refusal. To our delight she did not.
From Zoom discussions to a very timely subtle reminder to pick up our marriage license that genuinely nearly got forgotten in the chaos that was the run up to our wedding, Monika has been a pillar of calm, knowledge, and support. There have been many back and forth emails about running orders, vows, rituals, and the ceremony, things we'd never have considered ourselves, but with Monika's help came together beautifully in a day that will go down in the story of our relationship, and now marriage, as perfect. The ceremony was beautiful, personable, and tailor-made for us as a couple. It fit like a glove - just like Monika's presence in our very small company did. We wouldn't have had it any other way.
jolanda & jason
jolanda & jason
It is always a special privilege to be asked to be the celebrant at the wedding of somebody you know very well. Jolanda and I have been working together online for many years and swapping our usual conversations about Social Media for discussing wedding rituals, and vows was truly enjoyable. Their chosen venue was the Garden Room at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh and it was always clear that it would be a very musical event as Jolanda and both her friends and witnesses are involved in opera. I knew Pianist Ailsa from another strand of my online life too, so all six of us who met on a lovely but thundery September afternoon in this stunning venue had some connection, which contributed to a very intimate atmosphere.
The bride entered the room to Jamie singing ‘Liebesbriefchen’ (Love Letter) and after the welcoming words Jolanda sang at Jason – my first ever singing bride! Witnessed by their close friends and their lovely big dog Cerby what followed were some poetry, song lyrics, reflections on their story up to their wedding day, and then the big moment of rolling the dice to see who would go first with the vows. A quirky choice that made total sense to a couple who love Dungeons & Dragons! Jason & Jolanda’s promises to each other were personal and heartfelt and totally befitting to this very personal setting. And then after the I do-s, exchange of rings, and signing of the marriage schedule a humorous final rolling of the dice to determine the likely success of the marriage – I’m glad to say it looks good for their future! 
With music such a key theme in this wedding I had been determined to choose a poem for my final words that honoured Jason’s more technical job – ‘Scaffolding’ by Seamus Heaney seemed a perfect match, especially as Jolanda had talked about the walls of their house in her vows:
Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.
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