A Humanist wedding in Hoxton. In a fabulous Grade II Listed pub – The Stag’s Head – on an auspicious day – Chile’s Fiesta Patrias and to Simon and Natalia’s very flexible timetable!

Simon’s dad said there was no rubbish in it – it was all love and heart and that was good enough for me, and his lovely comments just about sums it up!

We melded New Zealand and Chile throughout the ceremony – and started the ceremony a good two hours early with a ‘pre-party’, empanadas, pisco sours and ceviche.

We started much later than we had planned but what did that matter? We had the whole afternoon and evening (well actually till about 02.30 the next day). The pre-party was full of noise and music and colour and food, and Nat and Simon were having so much fun mingling with their family and friends and catching up with news.

The ceremony

We finally got going about 16.00 after I’d managed to calm everyone down a bit – it was crazy out there – sufficient for Nat to make a gorgeous entrance with her dad Hugo. There were gasps as she emerged as totally and absolutely Nat – in her green dress and with a flashing red flower in her hair. Gasps turned into whoops and hollers that drowned out Neil Young !

Nat and Simon wrote their own vows and I surprised them with what they love about one another (secretly emailed to me) and never expressed before. There were tears! The exchange of rings also had a surprise, because just before the ceremony, Simon asked me to hide a second ring that his mum had brought over from New Zealand – a ring that his dad had given to her when he was born.

Simon’s proud ma and pa

And then the handfasting, with ribbons laid over their hands by Simon’s three friends, Nat’s sister and Simon’s best friend. The knot was tied and everyone cheered.



They chose readings from Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez,

Terminaron por conocerse tanto, que antes de los treinta años de casados eran como un mismo ser dividido, y se sentían incómodos por la frecuencia con la que se adivinaban el pensamiento sin proponérselo, o por el accidente ridículo de que el uno se anticipara en público a lo que el otro iba a decir. Habían sorteado juntos las incomprensiones cotidianas, los odios instantáneos, las porquerías reciprocas y los fabulosos relámpagos de gloria de la complicidad conyugal. Fue la época en que se amaron mejor, sin prisa y sin excesos, y ambos fueron mas conscientes y agradecidos de sus victorias inverosímiles contra la adversidad. La vida había de depararles todavía otras pruebas mortales, por supuesto, pero ya no importaba: estaban en la otra orilla.

and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Berniere

Love is not breathlessness, it is not
excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion.
That is just being in love, which any fool can do.  Love itself is what
is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art
and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love have roots
that grow towards each other underground, and, when all the pretty
blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one
tree and not two.

and To Love is not to Posess by James Kavanaugh

To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another–and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.

These were read by friends and family members. We had a handfasting with multi-coloured ribbons, which finished with these words, and then the real party began!!

And finally..

.. from this moment forward you will never be alone. You will carry with you the love of this person, giving you a completeness and renewed lightness. May your life together be immersed in love and excitement as you strive to enrich one another in every possible way – and may you work to bring the peace that you find in one another, to this world….