As your humanist celebrant, I would work with you to design exactly the wedding or partnership ceremony that you want. Humanist wedding and partnership ceremonies (sometimes called ‘non-religious services’) can happen anywhere (within reason!) and at any time, unlike most ceremonies which have to be held in specific licensed places. They are based on your thoughts, your stories, and your hopes for the future. Humanist weddings and partnerships are non-religious celebrations of the fact that you and your partner want to make a commitment for life.
A typical ceremony might contain any or all of the following elements:
- the story of how you met, how you feel about each other, and what your hopes are for the future;
- your commitments and promises to each other;
- the exchange of rings, and the speaking of vows;
- readings of prose or poetry which is important to you, which can be done by yourselves, by family and friends, or by me as celebrant;
- music, either recorded or live, chosen because it means something to both of you;
- various symbolic acts, such as the lighting of candles, “handfasting” (an ancient tradition from which the term “tying the knot” comes), asking your guests to “warm” your rings with their hopes for you, and so on;
- the active involvement of the guests in whatever you – or they – want
I can give you advice on all these elements, sharing examples of how other couples have approached their ceremonies, or developing something entirely new with you. As humanist ceremonies are not yet legally recognised in England, in order for your wedding or civil partnership to be legally recognised you would need to have a civil ceremony. In my own case, we made a virtue out of necessity and had a small register office ceremony in the Midlands near to elderly family members who would not have wanted to travel, and a humanist ceremony combined with a party in the function room of a restaurant on the beach in Brighton. Humanist weddings are legally recognised in Scotland, Jersey, the Republic of Ireland and many other countries around the world.
If you are interested in having me conduct your wedding ceremony, see the ‘contact’ page for details. If after an initial discussion you want to make a commitment to using me, we would set up a longer meeting at which I can find out more about you, and what kind of ceremony you want. I would then develop a script as the basis for making amendments and developing ideas, until it is just right.
Chris and Vicky
We wanted to say a massive thank you for everything you did to make our wedding ceremony so perfect. Very early on in the planning stages someone said, take the time to make your service personal as that’s what people remember of the day and it was so very true. We were overwhelmed with the number of people who said it was one of the nicest services they has been to in their lives. For us, it had the right amount of solemnity, laughs and the personal element. Your delivery was spot on, and we really appreciate the time you gave us.
Jennifer RogersI wanted to write to say how special the ceremony was on Saturday. Many many people have contacted me to say they have never been at such a special event, I think my entire family (and there are lots of them) were in tears and will never forget this experience. Thank you from my heart for all your work and attention to detail in making their ceremony so personal and wonderful – beautiful, thoughtful and funny in turns.
Carlos (speaking about his & Charlotte’s Star Trek infused wedding)The service was more than I could have imagined, the quotes, the way you presented it and told our story and the spock quote in particular was amazing. We couldnt have asked for anything more.
Please click through the slides below to see some examples of ceremonies which I have performed.