Walking my daughter down the aisle on a beautiful Scottish day, was yet another magical and joyful moment for me as a father of four daughters.

In my speech I said:

“For a father, having daughters is without doubt a mysterious adventure. It’s a bit like trying to solve Rubiks Cube without precise instructions, and it wouldn’t matter if you had those instructions because the colours on the cube keep changing anyway – but even though a father of daugters can never solve the puzzle, the journey is truly miraculous and well worth taking – for nothing can make a father more fulfilled, happy and proud as to give his daughter away to a wonderful man.”

The Happy Couple – Nicky and Alan

Without doubt I am the luckiest man in the world, with a wonderful wife, four amazing daughters, four precious grand-daughters and a self-assured big hearted grandson. And each of my sons-in-law love and cherish their wives and children.

Weddings have always been the staple of novels, and experiencing them as a parent and author it is obvious why. The grandeur, passion, generational differences, personal differences melt away with the joy of the occasion.

Or not.

Sometimes those differences can be the source for old rivalries and family disagreements to billow up again in furious arguments that will never be resolved, especially with the injection of large amounts of alcohol, but I can say that this Scottish Wedding, in a beautiful part of the country, was fabulously relaxed, fun and exciting. Whatever differences there may have been were buried and forgotten.

My daughter did not choose a Religious ceremony, but rather a Humanist ceremony, which was wonderfully inclusive, relaxed and enjoyable without losing the importance of the occasion.

In true Scots tradition, the men wore kilts, a strange dress for most Americans who think Kilts are skirts. They are not. A Kilt is made of at least eight yards of handwoven, hand sewn 15oz wool; the colours (Tartan) representing a clan, complete with a “sgian dubh” (pronounced ‘skin doo’ – a small very sharp knife) tucked into the right sock.

Sgian Dubh

The kilt is heavy and makes you want to square your shoulders with pride and take on ‘all-comers’.

Kilts make you proud of your Scottish heritage; proud to be a man, and adds to the pride you feel as you walk your daughter down the aisle. The feeling that your ancient ancestors are following your every step, and it is their tradition you are passing down to the next generation. Scottish Pipers wore their kilts when leading men into battle in the First World War because it stirred their hearts and gave them courage, and there is nothing more stirring than the sight and sounds of a massed pipe band marching under the lights on a parade ground, with Edinburgh Castle in the background.

That beautiful day last week is immortalised in photos and videos, but the feelings will always live on in my heart as I watched my four daughters and five grandchildren laughing, joking and enjoying every moment.

But there is one person to whom I owe so much. A person who, as step-mother to my children, has given them and me so much support and love, and without whom I am a mere shadow. She is my heroine, my wife, my love, my editor, my conscience, my strength, and that makes me even luckier.

My wife Krystyna and I