Getting a feel for one another

As a Humanist Wedding Celebrant, the first meeting with my wedding couples is all about getting to know one another. What differentiates a celebrant from a Registrar or a Vicar (with the exception of a legal ceremony – which often happens before or after a Humanist ceremony) is the amount time we spend with couples before their wedding. This is much less to do with finding out ‘information’, and more about working on the ‘feel’ of the couple. Who are they, what makes them special, why this relationship, this wedding, why now? Information is dry and factual. Getting the ‘feel’ starts with building rapport and locating the core of who they are and how they live in their world. It is so much more than finding out ‘information’. Couples say time and time again how much they appreciate spending time with their celebrant in order that their ceremony is unique, memorable and tailored to them.

How long does a first meeting last?

Normally a first meeting will last between one and two hours – enough to settle in, relax, open up the sense receptors and start weaving some magic. With Adam and Laura it was all this and more. After three hours and a bit, we were still talking as we parted – me marching left through St Mark’s Kennington churchyard to catch the Tube, them marching right with Pudding the dog, for a walk in Kennington Park.

How did it go?

In between? The dog paced, then slept under my notebook on the love-seat whilst Trystbert the cat (who has a prefix added to ‘Bert’ every birthday, Tryst being her 12th) guarded her spot on the arm of the sofa with an imperious stare and a lightning-strike paw. We inspected the chewed door (Pudding was anxious today); Trystbert and Pudding had a little territory spat. We talked. And talked. Philosophy. Travel. Music. Wellbeing. Studying. Writing. Houses. Family. Books. Rothbury. Ireland. School. Friends. Love. Luck. Music. Dogs. Rowing. Cats. House Sitting. Ferrets. Travelling. Ferrets? Well, that bit will be a surprise for another blogpost. Let’s just say, ferrets will feature in the near future.

In between we drank tea, ate banana cake and laughed. And laughed. We felt like old friends although we had previously had only one Whatsapp meeting.

Adam and Laura’s ceremony is at College Farm in Thompson. A very special venue for a very special couple. Can’t wait for their wedding in May. There will be surprises. #watchthisspace