So, here it is, a Saturday and I’m not talking about a movie. Yeah… well, this is more important. I’m going to tell a story. Hang on, okay?
On September 2, 2014, we had been in Edinburgh for two nights so far. We’d walked the Royal Mile more than twice, drunk whisky (not whiskey) and beer more than a pint or glass or two, and eaten some great food. We had a great night sleep. We got up and wandered down to the dining area and had a bit of eggs, haggis, toast, black pudding, and breakfast tea or orange juice. We were definitely satisfied and so it was time to begin.
We both went back up the creaky – but classy – staircase and into our corner room in this 17th Century (parts of it as old as 15th Century) structure known as Dalhousie Castle in a quaint country setting in Cockpen, Midlothian, just outside of Bonnyrigg which is about 8 miles from Edinburgh. She took her freshly steamed garment with accouterments with her as she kissed me, told me that she loved me and that she would see me in just a bit. I watched her go out the door, stood for a minute and breathed a heavy sigh. It was time.
I grabbed the tuxedo-like shirt and put it on, only buttoning it part way. Next was the kilt hose which I pulled up past my knees and then attached my flashes and rolled the tops of the hose down to conceal the flashes’ bands. The Ghillie Brogues weren’t simple but I managed it. I put my Sgian Dubh (skee-an doo: a decorative knife) inside my right kilt hose. I was getting closer.
I buttoned the top button of my shirt and put on the bow tie. Then the came time for the pièce de résistance. I brought the nine yards of woolen fabric in its beautiful deep red, lush green and powerful blue print and wrapped it around my rotund navel area and secured the buckles. I attached the sporran and chain to act as a belt and pocket and then put the kilt pin on at the bottom. The last piece was the Prince Charlie jacket. I stood in front of the mirror and looked at myself. Did I look good enough to meet her downstairs? Was I worthy of her? Was I good enough for her? I was going to try my darnedest. I put my room key, money clip, and phone into my sporran and exited our room.
I went downstairs to the Library Bar and awaited my witness and our planner; they were a package. I removed my jacket to get more comfortable. I was offered a drink and chose my favorite libation of them all, Grand Marnier. It came in a quaint snifter and was warm and sweet and allowed me to close my eyes for a second and take in the situation. George, my witness, and his wife Kimmie, our planner, came in and introduced themselves and told me how things were going to work. Kimmie had me put a Boutonnière in the jacket lapel. I was then met by the registrar who went over the pertinent info and explained what to expect. I nodded and agreed.
It was approaching noon local time. A wonderful gentleman by the name of Andrew came in the library carrying an imposing set of bagpipes. He talked with me for a second, had me put my jacket back on and blew in the bag and began to play the pipes, walking me down the stairs of the castle and into the gun room where the registrar was standing. Andrew left and arrived a few minutes later, piping as he entered the room followed by the most gorgeous sight I’ve ever witnessed. There she was, in a beautiful dress with her hair done in a fancy style and carrying a carefully arranged bouquet of flowers. I have always told her I can’t say that she’s the “girl of my dreams” because I don’t really know what that means, but I know she is the kind of girl I’ve always dreamed of being with.
She followed Andrew down the steps and he stopped at the bottom and turned to her. She was still on the landing. He asked her questions, which I’m not really sure what he was saying. She agreed and he piped her to my side. We stood, staring at each others’ eyes, neither wanting to cry but feeling like we might. It turns out it was the registrar that cried a little when I recited my vows. We both exchanged lovely, heartfelt words and signed the manifesto of our promises to each other. We took the most incredible pictures in the lush green fields and areas around Dalhousie Castle. Then, we ate canapes and changed into street clothes. We spent the rest of the day wandering on the Royal Mile, taking in the hospitality of the amazing Scottish citizens and pub owners before heading back to Dalhousie and having dinner in the dungeon (seriously). A most magical day ending.
Our faerie tale started four years prior to this day but this is truly where the “living happily ever after” moments started. Not a day has gone by since that I don’t look in the mirror and tell myself how lucky I am to call her my wife, my life’s partner. There are not enough words – in any language – to describe my happiness. That doesn’t mean I don’t try, every day, to show her that happiness and what she means to me.
Stephanie. My “beautiful close personal ‘friend.'” My love. My partner. My everything. The past
three seven years have been some of the best of my entire life and I’ll not hide the fact that I’ve had a great life. Three years ago today, you made me the luckiest man on the planet, officially. Happy Anniversary to you and may our lives be as rich and vivid as the memories I have of that day and as lush as the sprawling green fields we stood in outside of that old and magnificent castle. I love you so very much.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“All that I am I give to you. All that I have I share with you, for the whole of our life together.” – Tim Beeman