When most couples dream of a beach wedding, they picture a stretch of pure white sand in the Caribbean.
But for one Edinburgh couple, their ideal destination was a little closer to home.
Alan Beattie and new wife Sarah Harrison tied the knot in a Scottish-themed humanist ceremony on a blustery Portobello beach yesterday.
And groom Alan said he had no doubt it was the perfect place to wed after the couple got engaged in November 2014.
“Sarah’s parents live on the prom and we [his family] live in Bellfield Street, so it just seemed right,” he said.
“We both have really good memories of spending time at the beach and I think it was funny to see people’s reactions when we told them we were having a beach wedding. They were expecting somewhere exotic and when we told them it was Portobello beach, they were maybe a bit surprised.
“It was a bit windier than we were expecting but generally the ceremony was perfect. It was just a really nice day, people were laughing and enjoying themselves. Neither myself nor Sarah are at all religious, so a humanist ceremony just felt right. I think the celebrant was a bit surprised at our choice of location too, but she understood how much it meant to us, so she was fantastic.”
Celebrant Fiona Flanagan said this was the first ceremony she had conducted on Portobello beach, though she had presided at others in outdoor locations including Arthur’s Seat and even in someone’s back garden.
She said: “The ceremony lasted about half an hour. Alan is quite a patriotic Scot so he wanted some Scottish elements.
“They had the handfasting and the drinking from the quaich. This was one of the most relaxed weddings I have conducted.
“Grooms are generally quite nervous when I turn up but Alan was fairly laid back. They had both written their own heartfelt vows which sounded gorgeous.
“They are such a lovely couple and it was great to see people stop and watch the wedding.”
The couple, who live in Restalrig, are due to jet off to Thailand on Monday for their honeymoon.
Alan manages a sports shop while Sarah works as a nurse.