By Isabel Addison

Isabel is a celebrant in Scotland:

As celebrants, we’ve all been there. Your first wedding, and you’ve sent out the questionnaire. Nervously, you wait for the response. And you wait, and you wait, and you wait. A reminder email gets sent, reattaching the document, just in case, and it’s the waiting game again. It seems to take forever. Then, out of the blue, just as you are about to call the bride, the completed questionnaires arrive – Yahoo!

Tentatively but excited, you start reading them, and soon you realise that there is very little to go on with one-line answers and some questions left unanswered!

That’s what happened to me. As my heart was sinking into my boots, one answer stood out from all the rest:

“In the early years of our relationship, we used to give each other teddies for every special occasion, and we named them after the places we had been to. We had about 20 before we stopped doing this, and James would tuck them into bed every morning before he went to work. Before we lived together, we would take turns at staying at each other’s parent’s house, and every single teddy came. We still have them in our bedroom.”

This was the longest answer from the questionnaire, and I loved the story. James is a tall, roughty, tufty guy, into his sports and nights out with his crew. You just wouldn’t tag him as a person who would take time to tuck teddy bears in! Inspiration struck, and I immediately contacted the bride, Erin, to ask if they would like a teddy-bear naming ceremony as part of their wedding. They said yes!

It followed the same but a shorter format I would use for a baby-naming ceremony, checking in with the couple that Meldrum was the chosen name, named after Meldrum House, their wedding venue. Their guests were invited to welcome Meldrum into the family, which they enthusiastically did, and the following blessing was bestowed upon him “May you always be fluffy and cuddly; may you always be a happy reminder of today; and should you become threadbare, it is because of all the cuddles and love that have been given to you and may you be passed down through the generations to come.”


Hopefully, I will be officiating at their children’s naming ceremonies in the near future!