Marrying a couple is an amazing honour, but when it’s two of your good friends, it’s even more special.
Friday, 13 November 2015; 17 months to the date they had their first date.
Mike and Steve chose to get married at Stirling Castle as Steve is originally from Bannockburn and Mike has become an honorary Scotsman. The attention to detail was second to none and no expense was spared in making this a day and evening for everyone to remember.
Even the night before the wedding, Mike and Steve had arranged for lots of their friends to meet up for drinks at Hotel Colessio in Stirling, just below the Castle, as a good way of getting to meet new people and for some to catch up with old friends. Guests travelled from all over Scotland and England, and Mike’s parents Ken and Christine flew in from Portugal.
The drinks flowed that evening and the atmosphere in the bar was fabulous. As the night wore on, people said their goodbyes and were excited for what was in store the next day. Steve went to bed around 3am and Mike, myself and David (my other half) stayed up chatting until 4:30am before getting up again at 9am.
When we went for breakfast, there was a real happy and relaxed atmosphere and there was no stress from Mike and Steve – they were happy having breakfast with their family and friends and were excited about their wedding day.
The wedding ceremony was booked for 4pm and, at 2pm, there were lots of us in the bar once again, catching up and talking about what lay in store for the rest of the day. The Gin and Tonic was going down nicely for everyone bar me, as I was working and wasn’t going to touch anything until afterwards, and the time went quickly. The limousine arrived to take some guests to the Castle, however, it was too long to make it up to where the guests were to be dropped off. It was the most horrible wet and windy day, too, so nobody wanted to walk. Time was pushing on and Mike, who hadn’t touched any alcohol, and myself, started ferrying guests to the Castle, making several runs in the 4-wheel drives, to make sure they got there.
Then Mike found out that the Rolls Royce he had arranged to take him and Steve in style to their wedding, wasn’t coming as the agency had booked it for the following day instead. I found this out just as I had dropped the last of the guests off at the Castle, and it was now 3:50pm. I couldn’t let Mike and Steve down so offered to take them to the Castle myself, along with David, and I have to say, it’s the first time I’ve ever driven grooms to their own wedding! But that was all part of the fun of the day.
The guests were all seated, the harpist started playing and the flower girls, page boys, complete with trilby hats, pale blue suits and canes, walked in, followed by the best men, best maids, ushers and usherettes. Mike and Steve then walked in with their Mums, big beaming smiles on their faces.
The wedding ceremony was very personal and intimate and there was a toast to those no longer with us.
Mike and Steve chose to exchange their vows within a hand fast which best man, Jason, carried out. They then read their vows to each other which they had written themselves and had kept secret from each other.
”Steven, you are my best friend and everlasting companion.
Whatever road we travel down,
I will always be by your side.
From the first day I laid eyes on you, I knew you were the one.
So beautiful then and even more beautiful now.
In return, all I ask is that you never give up.
Never in my life have I been happier than I am at this very moment.”
“I promise to be there for you in sickness and health, through good and bad.
Always to love you, care for you and run your baths.
Since you have come into my life you have made me feel really special that nobody has done before.
You are there for me when I need you and I will be there for you, when you need me to cuddle you, make you laugh, annoy you and skelp you as instructed.
You are my Rock, and I don’t know what I would do without you. I want to spend every minute with you, grow old with you and push you around in your Zimmer.
All my Heart I give to you.”
After the ceremony had concluded, the guests were piped over the courtyard for a Champagne reception where Declan sang and played guitar. The Castle had also arranged a 20 minute guided tour for those interested, which proved to be very popular.
At 6:15pm guests were piped in to the Great Hall and seated ready for dinner. However, Mike and Steve had another surprise up their sleeves for everyone. Mike had wanted to have the band Texas play at the wedding, but Sharleen Spiteri had a concert booked in Spain for that weekend and was unavailable. When Mike called to tell me this, I suggested the Red Hot Chilli Pipers to him. He had never heard of them and watched them on You Tube. Two hours later, they were booked! When the Chilli Pipers came out to play, the room fell silent and everyone got so excited. It really set the scene for the rest of the night.
The favours on the tables were very personal too; ceramic coasters for everyone from Portugal with Mike and Steve’s wedding date, a rose and a thistle had been hand-painted on them; black Italian leather wallets for the men and pashminas for the women.
The cake was three tiers and each a different flavour; lemon, chocolate and red velvet cake. The topper on the cake was a hand-made figure of a Husky as Mike and Steve have four of their own.
When it came to the speeches, there were a total of six. One of the best men did a wonderful speech around all the safety briefings from an aircraft, and even brought a life jacket, oxygen mask and seat belt for demonstration purposes. There was so much thought and effort put into the whole day and evening.