My first experience of humanism was at my own wedding ceremony. When my husband and I started planning our big day, we discussed our ceremony options and with neither of us being religious, but looking for something more than just the legal vows, we discovered humanism. The caring, loving, and respectful philosophy sat comfortably with our views. Along with the idea that you have the freedom of choice and creativity to celebrate life just they way you want to.
The combination of our ceremony experience and my love for people inspired me to go on and train with Fuze Ceremonies to become a celebrant. The joy it brings to me to be able to guide my couples into injecting their personality and relationship into their ceremony is incredible! My ceremonies are all about the couple, and every single word within the ceremony script is crafted with them in mind. I get to know my couples and help them find personal vows, meaningful readings or symbolic gestures that reflect them. Everything I suggest, is just that, a suggestion as ultimately this ceremony is about what the couple want, and I adore giving them the freedom to be as creative as they wish to be.
My couple Stella and Kirsten got in touch with me when they needed a fun-loving celebrant to help them create a personal ceremony with a few twists on traditions. This well-travelled couple were planning on a Scottish wedding at the charming barn venue of The Rhynd. Like myself, they wanted a ceremony that reflected them and stumbled across humanism. With Kirsten being Scottish, she was familiar with the term humanism but for Stella who is from New Zealand, it was a brand new word. Nevertheless, after chatting and explaining everything I do as a Humanist celebrant, they were happy and keen to plan their ceremony with me.
One of my favourite moments through the whole process with my couples, is hearing all about their journey together. I am a sucker for a first date tale and of course the marriage proposal story – and it can be a lot of fun to hear both sides to these stories!! With Stella and Kirsten, there was a key moment in their story which they wanted to recreate during their ceremony. They decided to make their entrance their own.
They explained that four years earlier, they had arranged to meet in a bar and both Stella and Kirsten had used different doors at the same time and met in the middle of the bar and the instant connection was significant. So we came up with the plan that instead of the traditional walk down the middle aisle, Stella and Kirsten would both be accompanied by their Dad’s and walk in tandem down either side of their guests and meet up in the middle at the top of the aisle as to reflect their first date. Such a simple and unique idea, but it gave the ceremony its individuality from the get-go.
Stella and Kirsten’s story was full and a delight to share! Together they had soaked up many cultures and experiences from their travels all around the world, but it was very important to both of them that they included Scottish symbolic gestures. They wanted their family and friends who had travelled far and wide to experience what a Scottish wedding had to offer.
Stella and Kirsten decided to include the most popular Celtic tradition of Handfasting. It was easy for Kirsten to include a family tartan for this gesture but for Stella, it was a much bigger task to track down some Scottish roots. She did eventually discover that her Mother’s Grandmother’s Great, Great, Great, Great Grandmother was indeed from Ayrshire and tracked down her own family tartan.
Another Scottish addition they included, was drinking from the Quiach together, as their first act of sharing life together as a married couple.
As a celebrant, Stella and Kirsten’s ceremony was vibrant, fresh and so much fun to be part of. Not only did they have their own entrance and Scottish symbolic gestures, they also choose to include their wonderful story, their own personal vows, two heartfelt readings, exchange matching rings and have Kirsten’s adorable Nana as ring bearer and finally had three amazing friends (who had never actually meet in person) sing Celine Dion Capella style during the signing of the marriage schedule!
Stella and Kirsten were a dream to work with as they had an idea of what they wanted and with a little bit of my celebrant magic and a lot of work, I was able to give them their day, their way and that is all I can ever hope for in my role as a celebrant.
A massive thanks to Stella and Kirsten for sharing their story and amazing pictures by Photographs by Eve