A new anvil at a world famous wedding venue has been dedicated to same-sex couples.
The Famous Blacksmith Shop in Gretna Green, which has been host to countless thousands of weddings down the years, unveiled a new rainbow anvil on Wednesday to commemorate the legalisation of gay marriage.
The historic wedding venue had held a competition to design a new centrepiece to celebrate the new law coming into effect. The contest was won by Glasgow School of Art student Erin Colquhoun, who was inspited to create the anvil by her sister’s experiences of homophobic bullying at school.
Speaking to the News & Star, Ms Colquhoun said: “I want this anvil to send out a message of confidence and hope to anyone struggling with their sexuality that things will be alright in the end.”
Referring to her family experience of homophobia, she explained: “It has helped me to reach out to others who have gone through a similar situation. Many friends have asked me for help and advice about a time in their life that should be celebrated and remembered and not judged and disrespected.
“To celebrate same-sex marriage and diversity, I added the colours of the gay pride flag to represent men and women equally. To evoke the ‘spirit of beautiful rebellion’ at Gretna Green I made the lotus flower the main focal point of the drawing as it is known as the flower of life that is constantly changing – like Gretna Green.”
The anvil sends out not only a message of inclusivity and hope, but also emphasises the boundless limits of love.
Alasdair Houston, who own the Famous Blacksmiths Shop, added: “Erin’s colourful design for the anvil is vibrant and exciting and perfectly encapsulates the inclusive spirit of love at Gretna Green.”
One sixth of all Scottish weddings take place at Gretna, and it is hoped that many same-sex couples – from Scotland and elsewhere – will choose to tie the knot in the town in the months and years to come.
The first same-sex marriage ceremonies in Scotland will take place on 31st December.