Humanist wedding planning. You want a celebrant. You don’t know how it works! You just know you want an extra special wedding day and for people to remember it as unique, fantastic, memorable, thought provoking. Where do you start? Read this and also refer to my FAQ page.

Well, you must have found me because you are reading this, so that’s a start! Here are some common questions couples ask me.

How do we know what we want from a Humanist wedding? It’s your wedding. You talk to me. I start with you, who you are, where you are, why do you want this wedding, why are you choosing a Humanist ceremony. I don’t start with the structure – I start with you. You and your partner are the reason why we are having this ceremony.

When will we have our Humanist wedding? It’s your wedding. And to be honest, usually you’ve already set the date and you’ve contacted me to ask whether I am free. But we can talk about what time – if the venue you have chosen is ok with it, we could perhaps have an early morning wedding as the sun rises, or an afternoon wedding as dusk falls, or an evening wedding. Indoors or out, always consider the lighting (from a photographer’s point of view), where the light will fall, the nature of the light, the colour of the light. One of the loveliest weddings I did was at Halloween at nearly midnight, in the woods. The photos were spectacular, but for it to be so, we needed to plan it together.

My dad and I are not talking, can I walk in without my dad? Of course you can. It’s your wedding. A Humanist ceremony will not take convention as the first base for planning. We could think of 100 ways of walking in – on your own, with a friend or relative, with your mum, grandad or grandma, together, with your dogs. And with your dad if you have time to make up!

We’re two woman and we’re not sure how our very straight relatives are going to take this. It’s your wedding. You don’t have to compromise, and the way we plan it will nearly always bring people onside. People are pretty reasonable really – the way we structure the ceremony could include some of the cultural and family references that will reassure them (sometimes people are more worried that they won’t understand what’s going on because its not in church, than because you are two women!). Friends and/or family could have a special role to play such as readings, music or handfasting.

We are both divorced with children how does that work in a Humanist wedding. It’s your wedding. How can we draw our children into the ceremony? It’s your wedding. We can do this in so many ways – you could walk in with them, or out with them, they could perform, or read a poem; they could write something for you, or be included in handfasting or other symbolic gestures during the ceremony. I can include them in the wedding script and name them. So many ways!

What’s the process when we engage you as a Humanist celebrant? It’s your wedding. We do it in whatever way is most comfortable and most convenient for you. Usually I will meet you at least twice face to face, the rest of the time we will communicate by email, Facetime, Skype etc. I’ll get to know you and your story and then start writing. I’ll send drafts to you for comment and we all agree on the content over time. Obviously this works easily when we have plenty of time but some weddings are last-minute bookings, planned and delivered over two or three weeks. The only thing I ask then, is that we communicate very quickly and efficiently!

Hope this gives you some ideas about what I do. ‘It’s your wedding’ is the key message. Talk to me about it!