Our next guest blog has been written by one of our wedding suppliers, Dawn Rees, who is a Celebrant.
Some one asked me the other day “So what, exactly, is a Humanist wedding ceremony?” It didn’t take long to explain and it led to a long conversation about what makes a meaningful and memorable wedding. Tradition. Family. Surprises. Ritual. Readings. Music. Laughter. Tears!
Humanist ceremonies are perfect for couples who are looking to have a tailor-made, authentic and deeply personal wedding, without reference to religion and not limited by the building in which it takes place, nor does it have a time limit.
Humanist ceremonies give you the opportunity to have your wedding where you want, when you want and to include what you want. It’s your wedding, your way. Each ceremony is written just for you, and your celebrant will spend time building a relationship with you so that your ceremony unique and meaningful. A key element is building a relationship of trust with your celebrant so that when it comes to the day, your wedding is delivered by someone who you know and who knows you!
Humanism is an ethical non religious stance that emphasises living the one life we have to the full, without the need for religion. It is true that at the moment in England and Wales, Humanist wedding ceremonies are not legal, but they are in Scotland, Northern Ireland and in Jersey. We are waiting for legislation to make it happen here. But this is no barrier to you having the ceremony you want.
Most couples who have a Humanist ceremony simply choose to have a very brief legal ceremony at the Register Office before or after their wedding day (the couple plus two witnesses). Many do not know that this is possible, and that vows and the exchange of rings do not have to be part of a ‘legal’ wedding – actually, only 35 words and signing the certificate are necessary for a legal marriage. Not something that most Register Offices will tell you!
So what does a Humanist wedding look like? Well the fact is that no two are the same because each ceremony is unique to the couple. Most include readings, music and the involvement of family and friends. Many couples choose an ancient ritual of hand fasting (the tying of the hands together with ribbons, and the origin of the term ‘tying the knot’) as part of their ceremony. There are many other elements that can be included and your celebrant will meet with you to build the ceremony content into a unique and lovely event that reflects who you are and how you live your lives.
Humanist ceremonies can take place on the beach, in your garden, a wedding venue, in a forest – in fact anywhere. This gives you enormous scope to plan your very special day. I have conducted weddings on hotel lawns, glamping sites, at music festivals, in the couple’s garden, in wedding venues, in a teepee, in a castle, in stately homes. One memorable ceremony started off as a request for a baby naming but in the end included a surprise wedding for the guests afterwards. Not a dry eye in the house! Humanist ceremonies are unique, memorable and fun!
Image courtesy of Dawn Rees from www.boomarshallphotography.com