• Meg Senior

Reasons your Nan will love your humanist wedding ceremony

Everyone says “it’s your special day” and of course they are right but as you are making choices about the what and the when of your big day it’s only natural to think about your friends’ and family’s take on things.

Will they be comfortable at your venue? Will they like your music choices? And what will they make of your ceremony?

It’s true that if your guests are happy and enjoying your wedding day, you in turn are more able to relax and likely to enjoy the celebrations too; so how can planning a humanist wedding ceremony help achieve this?

How is choosing a humanist wedding celebrant the key to creating your (and all your guests’) special day?

It’s kind of mad how couples put so attention into all the intricate details of their big day from the colour scheme to the seating plan, from the timings to stationary and then leave it totally up to chance to who will lead the actual wedding ceremony. The wedding celebrant, religious leader or registrar will set the tone for the first (and arguably the most important) part of your wedding day. They lead you and your friends and families through the ceremony but it is only with a humanist wedding celebrant that you personally choose who that individual is, even though they play such a major role in your big day.

As a wedding celebrant I host chemistry calls with all my potential couples. We chat, giving my couples time to decide if I’m the person they want to help them tie the knot. It gives us chance to decide if we’re a good match. A wedding celebrant isn’t forced upon you because you want to have your wedding ceremony on a certain date or at a specific venue. It’s an active and personal choice.

Once you’ve chosen your wedding celebrant you’ve got another member in your wedding team. An expert in everything relating to wedding ceremonies (and usually weddings in general!) who can help and guide you every step of the way. And because you have chosen this person you’re likely to have clicked, shared a few laughs, have a vibe. In the months before your wedding ceremony you will work together meeting face to face or via zoom to collaborate and devise your wedding script, therefore by the time the big day arrives your wedding celebrant knows you well and you know them. It’s like having another mate to share your happy day with and often your family can’t wait to meet them too, to hear your personal story and to see what a humanist wedding ceremony is really like. Trust that you’re a great judge of character, because you like your wedding celebrant, your family will like them too.

Is a humanist wedding ceremony for everyone?

In short no, but a humanist wedding is right for a lot of folk! If you want a non religious personalised wedding ceremony, yes a humanist wedding ceremony is perfect for you.

Some couples worry that when choosing a humanist wedding ceremony they will alienate people that are more familiar with a traditional wedding, like say your Nan. They want a ceremony that is relevant, not outdated. They want to say words and make promises that are true to them. However they don’t want to alienate their guests, they understand people come to a wedding with expectations of how the ceremony will go and how they’ll be asked to participate.

In fact, because a humanist wedding ceremony can take on any form they need not worry. Humanist wedding ceremonies can be as traditional as you like. Want to walk up the aisle, wear white, exchange vows, wear rings, throw confetti? No problem.

Any how, any where

Lots of people don’t know that they can have the type of ownership of their wedding ceremony that a humanist wedding offers. They know they can make any decision they like about what they wear, where they party and what everyone eats. But the actual wedding ceremony, the main event of the big day, is often overlooked and left to chance or tradition.

As a humanist wedding celebrant I work with my couples before their big day to build their unique ceremony block by block. We draw on traditions and formats that the couple love and skip any they do not.

What I believe is the very best thing about a humanist wedding ceremony is that anything goes. The couple are the creators of their own personal wedding ceremony therefore it completely reflects them, as individual and of course as a couple.

You want to have a relatively traditional wedding ceremony but don’t feel at home in a church or other religious building, fine. In fact more than fine that is exactly what a humanist wedding ceremony can be. You want something out there, quirky and distinct, one of kind; also absolutely fine. Very fine and very exciting for a wedding celebrant who will be thrilled to get creative and plan the bespoke wedding ceremony you want. There is no rule book, you can’t get it wrong, you don’t have apologise for having things that are important and special to you.

One of the other unique things about a humanist wedding ceremony is that it can take place anywhere. The venue doesn’t need to have a license. From an old theatre to a bluebell wood, a family member’s garden to a quite hillside; I’ve led humanist wedding ceremonies in a range of tiny and gigantic, indoor and outdoor, traditional and unexpected venues. Family members often love this unique experience, visiting a new place or seeing a familiar place used for such a special celebration.

It's worth mentioning that if you’re not a details person and the thought of having your own love story written fills you with dread that’s okay too. To be fair there’s lots of decisions to be made for the big day and as a wedding celebrant I can ease the load. Wedding celebrants have inspiration they can draw on and lots of suggestions if needed. The ceremony can be as straightforward or sentimental as each couple wants.

It’s a family affair

What’s truly special about a humanist wedding ceremony is that it is bespoke to that individual couple. The focus is on them, their love story, not the sanctity of marriage or legalities. So families love it because it’s all about the people they love. Like flicking through an old family photo album and unlocking happy memories while making new ones.

As a humanist wedding celebrant it is my job to find out all about the couple, how they met, what’s important to them as individuals and as a couple. Then to facilitate them to make choices of what’s included in their wedding ceremony. I write a physical script that forms the basis for the ceremony. The couple can edit and tweak this as much as they like.

When it comes to the big day, I am not exaggerating when I tell you after every humanist wedding ceremony I’ve conducted I’ve had family members and friends seek me out to tell me how much they loved the personalised wedding ceremony. They know at least one half of the couple really well and so relish the opportunity to hear personal anecdotes and to share their own. Often old family friends, loving aunties and especially doting nan’s become number one fans of their loved one’s humanist wedding ceremony saying “oh you got them just right, the ceremony was so perfect for them!” or “all those stories and memories, how wonderful to hear them again!”.

Is a humanist wedding right for you (and your Nan)?

Do you want a personal ceremony that’s individual to you?

Do you want to make vows that are personal and meaningful to you as a couple?

Do you want to include your children, your family or friends?

Have you found a wonderful venue that’s not a religious building?

Do you want to get married outdoors or in a unique place?

Whatever your reasons for choosing a humanist wedding, your family will love your ceremony because it will be unique and special. Get in touch via the contact page and we can start planning your AWESOME humanist wedding ceremony together. I can't wait to hear your Nan's opinion of the script we create together.