What is a humanist wedding?
“A humanist wedding is a celebration of shared commitment
based entirely on unique aspect of the relationship of the couple.
Couples have the freedom to write their own promises to each other.”
Explains Stephen Fry, our esteemed patron for Humanist Ceremonies
Why choose a humanist wedding ceremony?
Humanist weddings are personalised and unique to you. They give you much more flexibility and choice. Humanist weddings are inclusive of all people, and are designed to be meaningful and poignant to everyone present, whatever their beliefs.They are chosen for a lot of different reasons. They can be as traditional or as extraordinary as you wish.
An increasing number of humanist weddings are being chosen because people wish to mark their marriage with a bespoke ceremony that their friends and family can enjoy with them.
Why choose a Humanist Ceremonies’ accredited celebrant?
I’m accredited with the largest network of humanist celebrants in the UK, the British Humanist Association (now known as Humanists UK), which is part of a national charity that campaigns on behalf of non-religious people for equal rights and other important issues. This means that we have had extensive training, continued professional development and public liability insurance.
A percentage of my fees goes directly to them.
Humanist Ceremonies has been providing non-religious ceremonies since 1896. It trains and accredits a limited number of celebrants per year. All new celebrants are assigned an experienced mentor and there is a large network of celebrants that help each other with advice and suggestions. This means that you can be assured of the high quality of the service of your celebrant. In addition, professional indemnity and public liability insurance mean that if I trip up during the ceremony, and knock over your 5 tiered wedding cake, then I’m insured for the accident. It also means that if I were hit by a bus, the large Humanist Ceremonies’ network would be able to find an accredited celebrant as a good substitute. I hope that neither of these imagined accidents ever happens but it’s reassuring to know that there is a central body which you can contact.
Firstly, we have an initial meeting (in person, on the telephone or via Skype), where you can ask me as many questions as you like, regarding humanism, or my work as a celebrant, or your wedding, so you can decide if you wish to proceed with me for your ceremony.
Then, if you choose me, we organise a private creative consultation to find out the details of what you would like and how you envisage the ceremony to be; this is usually in person but sometimes Skype is a good solution to people’s busy lives.
We’ll talk about your wishes for your perfect ceremony, your personalities, perhaps your story (how you met, the proposal, what you love about each other). We can also consider the ways in which we can make your ceremony inclusive. You may want suggestions for songs, rituals or readings, which I can research for you. You may want advice with the venue, or location, or the registrar, all of with which I can help.
Further to that meeting, I will do some further research and send you some ideas and the notes from our meeting. At this point, I’ll request a 50% non-refundable deposit. I’m happy to discuss a payment plan that suits you (perhaps in thirds).
Having done the research and consulted with you at length, I’ll write the first draft of your wedding script.
You can ask for as many changes, amendments or further suggestions to this draft as you like. This is your wedding ceremony, your script, your day.
We also can have further meetings or phone calls, until the final draft has been agreed.
Prior to the ceremony, a rehearsal is usually a good idea, especially if many different people are involved, or the ceremony is in an outdoor location.
On the day of the ceremony, the preparation will all be in place, which makes it as relaxing as possible for you, and any other key people who are involved.
Unlike registrars, who are often in a rush, I only ever plan one ceremony in a day. This means that I can completely focus on your wedding ceremony on your wedding day and there are no concerns about timing, as far as I’m concerned. I’ll be there an hour before the wedding ceremony and on hand to help in any way I can. I tend to stay, if invited, for half an hour after the ceremony, so I’m on hand to answer any questions from your bridal party. However, I’ll take your direction and make a polite, quiet exit whenever you wish.
I create a special presentation script for you to treasure. I also organise ribbons for hand-fasting, a certificate if requested, and I have a big white portable blue-tooth speaker and microphone for outdoor locations.
UK Channel Islands: 07734 581184
International: 0044 7734 581184