Planning your Humanist Wedding -a Useful Timeline

My guess is that you’ve already chosen your venue, and your photographer, hired a band, bought the dress, booked the makeup artist, drawn up the guest list and designed the invitations. Now it’s time to decide what kind of wedding ceremony you want, and who should conduct it.

With luck, you may already have had recommendations from friends and other suppliers. If not, go online and read the reviews; Your Scottish Wedding is a good place to start.

Draw up a shortlist, check your chosen celebrants are free on your date and can access your venue.

Choose one, and discuss the details of the ceremony.

Agree the fee and payment of any travel costs.

Return signed application form and fee to your celebrant.

Sign two copies of the Legal Marriage Form, give one to the celebrant and keep the other for your records.

Confirm the date and time, and pay the deposit to the celebrant.

If you’re working with me, do your homework – here’s how it works.

Tim's Top Tip 1

Start looking for suitable poems or prose extracts of your own, or from the collection that your celebrant will send you.

Send me the results of your LoveWork.

I will read it, comment and send you three or more handpicked ceremonies I think you’ll relate to.

Using elements from the examples where relevant, write and then send me the first draft of your ceremony.

I will read it, make suggestions if necessary and return it for further amendments.

Agree on a final script.

Three months before the ceremony
Contact the Registrar closest to your wedding venue and complete their forms: you can find much more information about that here.

During the week before
Collect the Marriage Schedule from the Registrar
If you want to, have a rehearsal; pay the balance of fee and any travel expenses.

On the day
It’s usually the groom’s job to bring the Marriage Schedule and give it to me before the start of the ceremony, but if your venue are happy to keep it in the safe for you until the day, I’d suggest leaving it with them beforehand.

If you’re exchanging rings, remember to bring them too!

Get married. It only takes about 20 – 30 minutes, so remember to enjoy it!

Have a glass of champagne with me and all your guests

Say goodbye and promise to send me some photographs!

Make someone responsible for returning the signed Schedule to the Registrar within three days of the ceremony (even if it’s only dropping it through their letterbox).

Live happily ever after…

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