As a mother it is hard to put into words the impact a wedding makes. We have been planning it for two years and throughout those two years, we have been tested mightily. I know life is not supposed to be easy, I accept that fact, but it always felt unfair to me that while planning such a joyful occasion as a wedding, there were so many challenges. I wondered when it would stop. I hoped the dark clouds would move away, leaving only happiness. It’s a surprise to think we would find peace and clarity in Scotland, the land of perpetual rain, mist and fog, but we did.

When the wedding day arrived, the sky was brilliant blue, the sun shone and there was palpable joy in the air. The people of this country are part of the pleasure of this storied land. Everyone is helpful, kind, willing to go out of their way, smiling at you and spreading their joy no matter what the request. From the minute we arrived we found this to be true, the wedding itself, no exception.

So Rachel put on her gown, and her headpiece, carried her flowers in her hand and walked down the stairs of the grand hotel, piped down by our glorious piper, Brendan MacDonald, Chelsea’s boyfriend. Kiersten, dressed in the competitive kilt she wore when highland dancing, attended while Chelsea, Kelsey and I linked arms and walked out – our little family. Out of the hotel and towards her husband to be and the guests who sat waiting, Rachel went. She sparkled like the diamond she is and walked purposefully toward her groom.

The ceremony and all the details in it were of the couple’s own design. As a sign of how this modern day couple wanted to share the event, it was also live streamed for those who couldn’t come to Scotland. People from near and far participated in the intensely purposeful ceremony. The mothers of the bride and the groom were asked to do the “hand fasting” which is a Scottish tradition in which the couple’s hands are tied together. They are the only ones allowed to untie the ribbon binding them. It is symbolic of the union of man and wife that must remain together. Rachel and Mat also included a Native North American element along with more personal pieces meaningful to their coupleship.

The moment arrived when the couple had to sign the legal documents proclaiming them married in the eyes of the law. That moment remains clearly in my mind as a sparkling, brilliant image of the beauty of the human spirit.

All the while, the sun shone bright against an intensely blue sky punctuated only by the occasional fluffy cloud. Rain, which is common here in Scotland, did not fall. Once the couple was officially married, the couple and guests walked out towards waiting trays of champagne and a toast was made to their health.

Pictures were taken, stories were shared, friends and family laughed and cried together in this stunning ceremony. Sitting at the dinner table with everyone joined together as the couple wished, you could feel the tie that binds was love. Kelsey used her substantial artistic talents to create beautifully designed place setting cards, menus, banners and more, while also at the other end of the camera capturing beautiful moments. The gathering partied until well into the wee hours of the next day, falling finally exhausted into bed. No one wanted the day to end and there is something so unique about watching men in kilts dancing and twirling for their ladies to playlists created by Brendan and Chelsea, that you want it to go on!

As I turned my mind to the wedding, I thought of who wasn’t there and my heart was hurting for Chelsea as her brother and dad must surely have been in her mind, just as I missed Robert intensely, wanting him by my side. I missed my own father too, who should have been at my mother’s side. Weddings are about love, couples, romance and the thought of the promise of love will remain, quietly, hopefully in the air for the time when it will arise for us all.

In the meantime, Rachel and Mat, I wish you the wondrous joy of love for all the days of your life to come. I am humbled and proud to be your mother, and just as you pledged your love to each other, I pledge that I will be here for you in body and mind. What kind of impact has this wedding made on me? I see the strength of the two of you as a couple, your love of life and the essence of your goodness as people. You set the bar for all of us, most particularly myself, that love, despite all difficulty, is possible. I believe in possibilities once again.

Love always,
Your mother.

PS. Mr. and Mrs. Mat and Rachel Sergeant are now making their way to Paris to begin their honeymoon.