How a wedding celebrant gets married – Mary Docherty shares her special day
With Mary Docherty being a Humanist celebrant, she had a very clear idea of how her and husband Jim’s wedding ceremony would be.
While the couple took a while to decide on the look and vibe of their big day, one thing Mary was certain of was their desire to involve their children.
From her 14-year-old son Leo walking her down the aisle to Jim’s sons Iain and Alasdair performing usher duties, and having her sister Kate and three girls Molly, Olivia and Rosie as bridesmaids, this truly was a family affair.
The look of love
Mary has been an optometrist for over 25 years and the couple first met when Jim was her patient.
“We were friends first,” she smiles. “I always looked forward to his annual eye test when we got to catch up.”
The couple had been together for five years when Jim proposed during a weekend away in Edinburgh.
“We were going to a special Supper Club at the chef Tony Singh’s house,” says Mary.
“I knew Jim was up to something but as usual he had thought of every detail and made me feel like the most important person on the planet.”
Mary and Jim were originally due to marry in May 2020 but like so many other couples had to delay.
A change of date also meant a change of venue and they fell for The Corinthian with it’s light and character.
“Also, it was city centre and I’m a Glasgow girl at heart and could picture our wedding photos walking through the streets of Glasgow,” says Mary.
Go your own way
Mary looked stunning on her wedding day in her colourful Needle & Thread dress but reveals this wasn’t the first gown.
She had done the whole bridal shopping experience with her four children first.
“I fell out of love with my previous dress and decided I needed to feel really ‘me’ on my wedding day, even if that meant it wasn’t to other people’s taste,” she says.
She ordered her dress with its gorgeous dragonfly and hummingbird embroidery online and immediately felt more like herself. “I tried it on in my room with all four of my children there and they were all like ‘Yes! This is really you mum!’”
From the heart
Given her vocation, Mary had naturally been considering her and Jim’s ceremony for quite some time.
“I think since I became a celebrant over two years ago, I’ve always imagined what I would say at our wedding,” she smiles.
Everything about their day was planned with family at the heart.
The couple rented a six-bedroom house in the West End and enjoyed time with all their loved ones in the run up to the wedding.
On the morning of the big day as everyone else left for The Corinthian it was just Mary left with Leo and she remembers it as an incredibly special time, sitting chatting together.
Leo actually did his mum the honour of walking her down the aisle.
“I was aware that I would be holding his hand and he never lets me do that in public anymore (he’s 14),” she says.
“I was savouring that moment. I couldn’t wait for Jim to see me, and vice versa, because for the first time in forever I felt truly beautiful.”
While Mary asked her friend the Fuze Ceremonies celebrant Evelyn Robertson to conduct their ceremony, she had actually written it herself.
“I gave all of my children their own parts to read and they did an incredible job,” she smiles.
“For me, they made it. It was of incredible importance the children were a significant part of the service because they mean the absolute world to me.
“Also, I wanted them to know that this was about all of us joining together and not just me and Jim.”
The couple naturally wrote their own vows and Mary was emotional hearing what Jim had written to her.
Her friend Vicki owns spiritual retreat Lendrick Lodge and she gave a speech during the ceremony entitled “What is Love?”
The service concluded with three couples offering their words of advice for marriage.
“That was really fun and touching to hear what they said to us,” says Mary.
Another huge part of their ceremony was having GeO Gospel Choir sing the song You Will Be Found from the musical Dear Evan Hansen.
And Mary walked down the aisle to the choir singing Running Home to You by Grant Gustin.
“The words were really important to Jim and me because he had sent it to me early in our relationship,” says Mary.
“We believed every word of the song was true.”
You can read Mary and Jim’s love story journey, as written in their ceremony script, on the Fuze Ceremonies website here
A quiet moment
Following their beautiful ceremony, the guests were entertained by The Kilted Caricaturist while the couple slipped away for their photos.
“I decided I wanted them to be meaningful so we went to The University Café on Byres Road,” says Mary.
“I’ve been going there my whole life with my mum and dad (who have both passed away) and with my own children.
“We sat in the seat I used to sit in as a wee girl with my parents and shared a Knickerbocker Glory.
“It was so beautiful and poignant and fun at the same time as everyone we passed was congratulating us and telling us how great we looked.”
Back at The Corinthian they treated their guests to a beautiful wedding breakfast and then Jim pulled off a big surprise for his speech with a collaboration with Gerad from the gospel choir, describing their love story in songs.
“It was such a surprise he had gone to so much effort!” says Mary.
“Of course, not to be outdone I gave a speech too – no-one was surprised at that!”
Now that it’s all over Mary looks back and remembers the “sheer joy” of their day.
“Also, I have never felt so much love from anyone other than my children as I did by Jim that day.”
From the expert
As a celebrant Mary is used to being part of her couples’ big days but being on the other side she can now offer extra insight to to-be-weds.
“It’s most important to be totally true to yourself in everything,” she says. “From what you wear to what you include in your ceremony to what photos you have taken.
“If it feels right, then do it but if it doesn’t then nothing on your wedding day should make you feel uneasy.”
And she says it’s important that you have some connection to your suppliers, so they understand your vision and what you want, from the florist to the photographer and, of course, the celebrant.
“They should be totally bringing your dream for the ceremony alive and be on the same wavelength as you,” she says.
“But mostly, take in every single second because it really is true what they say – it’s all over in the blink of an eye!”