It’s that really disorientating time between Christmas and New Year (I refuse to call it Twixmas because I’m not that guy). What day is it? Who the hell knows. But I’m writing this as I have my 09:30am tobelerone that will no doubt be washed down with something that will prevent me from driving for the rest of the day. Tis the season and all that.

Anyway, I thought I would try to be productive and write a blog post. Remember that thing that I promised I would keep updated but never did? Aye that. Turns out all that was needed to force me into writing one was 10 months of a global pandemic. Who knew? But we’re here now, so get aff my back, awrite?

The whole COVID shit show has had a bit of an impact on weddings in 2020*. It’s been frustrating, heart wrenching and (probably) expensive for folk who had weddings planned this year; to say the least. But as it’s the time of year for reflection, I thought I would share what I’ve learned as I have crawled through the wreckage of plans made for 2020 alongside wedding couples. You all strapped in and sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

It’s good to have pals. I thought I was good at certain things at the start of the year. I’m a social worker to trade so I’ve always thought of myself as being good with Government legislation and what that means in the real world. COVID really pushed this to the limit and without my pals and colleagues at Humanist Society Scotland HQ; I would have been struggling to keep up to date. The legislation changed on a daily – sometimes hourly – basis and our team were on it 24/7 keeping all of us celebrants up to date. The other thing about HSS this year is that our Ceremony Promise remains intact. With pure hunners** of dates being rebooked and celebrants not being able to make new dates – Humanist Society Scotland has been there to back us all up. They are bona fide heroes.

I am wildly over optimistic. When couples in March and April were re-booking I was convinced that we would be back to having sweaty ceilidhs with pure hunners of folk crammed into roasting hot function suites by August at the latest. Clearly I was wrong. There was light at the end of the tunnel in June when the COVID numbers went down – turns out that light was another train and some couples had to re-book again. Honestly, I felt sick to the stomach for people who had to re-arrange again.

It takes more than a pandemic to stop loved up folk. For some people the idea of having to choose 20 from their combined family and friends is just too stressful; so getting married during COVID restrictions was never going to be their thing. Some couples know what they want and there aint no pandemic gonna spoil that for them. I respect that! It’s your wedding so you’ve got to do what’s right for you.

But some couples – the “f*ck you COVID – we are getting married” couples pressed ahead and 2020 has become the year of the wee wedding. It’s been stressful (Just ask Emma and Ryan who changed their wedding date with 4 days’ notice) no doubt, but micro – dare I say money saving weddings? –  have been amazing.

Weddings since June have been stripped back to what really matters for people. In a year of uncertainty and changing regulations – more and more couples took back control. Couples realised that they were getting married because they love one and other and want to make a lifelong commitment to each other – it wasn’t just about buying dinner for 200 folk or a big party.   (See previous comment about wee weddings not being for everyone – no slagging’s intended here!)

People got creative. Some, but not all, of the bells and whistles had to go. Guest lists culled and venues cancelled. But in their place came secret weddings, weddings with just the couple’s parents being in attendance, as well as some really cool venues.

(Photo by Lauren Stirling)
(Photo by Lynne Kennedy)

There were some everyday venues as well to be fair – I did more than a few back gairden weddings this year but all the stops were pulled out for them.

(Photo by Lauren Stirling)
(Photo by Lauren Stirling)

I mean, do these look like they got married in between the trampoline and the rusted BBQ??

But the biggest thing that stood out at all the wee weddings I did this year; was that everyone was so calm and relaxed. People weren’t worried about whether or not the canapés were being served, or if the cars were late. They weren’t thinking about their table plan and if the folk from work would start a rammy with the folk from uni. Everyone was just in the moment, enjoying themselves and it was spectacular. It was honestly the most amazing thing about it all. Then when the ceremony is over; the sense of sheer joy and relief that after months of uncertainty THEY WERE ACTUALLY MARRIED! What a buzz man. You just can’t beat it.

So to everyone who got married in 2020 – even the lucky ones who got married before COVID was a thing – thanks for sticking with it and thanks for being so fucking cool! And to those who have rearranged the big shindig for later in 2021 and beyond ….. Man, have I got some cracking ideas for your ceremonies!!

Which brings me to my final realisation this year. I am horrendous at taking socially distanced selfies. Having a massive heid does not help with this. I’ll work on it.

So there ye go. That’s yer blog. Same time next year then?

Goodbye forever.

*understatement and a half

** A west coast measurement that is unspecified in quantity but is believed to be a lot.