Having a humanist, non-religious wedding gives you freedom from the traditional conventions of church or civil ceremonies. There’s no set script: instead, each wedding is completely bespoke. You set the tone that’s right for you and choose the words and music. Your ceremony is unique and created especially for you.

You may want to keep it traditional, but if not, you have the freedom of alteration and customization; you can make it as quirky and unconventional as you like. It’s your day, and for you to decide how you mark your commitment to each other.

I work with you and together we create your ceremony. Some couples come with formed ideas and readings and poems in mind; some do not, but just know they would like a relaxed, informal yet meaningful wedding. Some couples have very religious families but are not religious themselves. For some it can be very important to have the perceived gravity of a traditional religious ceremony, but they would just choose to leave out the deity.

If you’re still not sure what you want, do not despair, we will discover it! It can be a process of elimination – once you understand what you don’t want, what you do then becomes very clear.

The evolution of the ceremony goes something like this; we have a face to face initial meeting (where possible) and I ask you lots of questions about yourselves, what weddings you’ve liked (or hated), and what or who you’d like to include in the ceremony. If you’re not in the same country or a meeting is inconvenient, we can have this call by skype, and if you need time to think about some of the questions I ask and maybe do some research, we can have as many follow up calls as you need. I go away and write, send you your script to review, and we then arrange to talk again to work on your script and finesse and change as you need.

It does mean that it takes a little more time and input to create it this way, but it doesn’t have to be the enormous time commitment that it can sound like.

I find starting to write the script a few months before the wedding, and having once a month email updates or refresher calls to make sure the script is still relevant is the perfect, relaxed way to create together. It is important for you to know that your wedding doesn’t have to be read from an ‘insert bride/ grooms name here’ template, if you don’t want it to be.

Having this open flow of contact gives the couple complete peace of mind at the day approaches. They know that I am there throughout the process, and I find this gives them the confidence to find their voice. This makes for a relaxed, present and smiling couple on the day. Maybe a little nervous still, but who wouldn’t be?

It’s my passion to guide you through this creative process; so please don’t be daunted if you are not sure yet what you want. We will find the words to express your love and commitment to each other; your stories, what you love in life, what you love in each other, and your hopes for your joint future.

Symbolic actions have been used in rituals and by religions for centuries to mark the union that is marriage. Traditionally couples in the West exchange rings, but most religions have beautiful gestures of togetherness that you may also want to use; you could light candles, mix sand and pebbles, smash plates, or have a traditional Celtic hand fastening. You may choose to write your own vows and can involve as many or as few friends and family as you want.

Location wise, there are no restrictions on where you can choose to hold a humanist wedding, unlike traditional church and civil ceremonies. You can choose to get married on a mountain, in a boat, in a garden, in a pub, or in another country … or maybe even in your wetsuit. Of course, there may be some practical issues with ferrying your guests to and from the coral reef you’ve now set your heart on, but whatever means the most to you as a couple can be the place you marry.

Humanist weddings tend to be fun, funny, absolutely relevant, and ‘human’. Your life has not come about from a template – why should your wedding?