ByChenai's Guide to the Aisle: Humanist Ceremony and working with a Celebrant
With more people opting for personalised wedding day celebrations that are non denominational, in non conventional spaces , we've seen a rise in humanist services which are conducted by a celebrant . Lucky for you I know one of the best. In terms of personality and approach Katie the Celebrant
1. You gotta like your celebrant
Katie believes that the big one when choosing your own celebrant is making sure you really like them. That sounds really obvious but you spend a lot of time in the lead up to your wedding crafting a personal ceremony with them, and obviously, they will be representing you/ holding your hand on the big day so you want to be very sure they're your kinda person and you're going to be delighted to see them beaming at you as you make your way down the aisle.
2. Homework !
Katie always advises couples that having a tailor-made humanist wedding ceremony requires a much greater time commitment than they'd otherwise need to commit with a traditional civil ceremony or a church service. That's because they need to share much more information about themselves and get involved with selecting all the different elements of their service. Katie usually starts working with couples about six months before their wedding, when she sends them a fairly lengthy (but fun!) couple's quiz to complete. Couples would usually then have a few meetings to get into the nitty-gritty to give her enough to go on to create their one of a kind wedding script (and aim to have their ceremonies all done and dusted about a month before so no one is worrying about it!).
Know that a humanist wedding is not 'legal'. Not in England and Wales yet anyway - but (and not many people know this!) all register offices offer a basic wedding service for £48. They don't all advertise this as an option on their websites though (sneaky!) so call up and ASK! Most of Katie's couples do a basic civil service the week before to get all their paperwork done, and then treat their humanist wedding as the 'real deal', where they exchange vows and wedding rings.
4. Humanist weddings are non-religious
That doesn't mean that symbolism and ritual (tea drinking ceremony, glass smashing etc) is off the table - not at all - but incorporating overtly religious material is. If you want to include religious elements in your ceremony you're better off working with an independent celebrant rather than a humanist. 5. Cost Vs making the ceremony significant
Having a humanist celebrant is an additional cost, both in time and money! But Katie believes that it's priceless in terms of the ceremony you end up with and the memories you take away from the day. So often the ceremony is the boring bit of the day that everyone forgets about. That just doesn't happen with a humanist wedding ceremony. They are designed around the couple and reflect everything about the moment that's important to them, so absolutely everyone in the room is invested in and cares about what is being said! For most people in the room it'll be the first humanist wedding they've attended and they'll undoubtedly come up afterwards and say it's the best wedding they've ever see. Who wouldn't want that response for their wedding ceremony?.