If you were just about to enter this search on Google (other search engines are available), I might be able to help you. When I started back in 2005, there were just over a dozen humanist celebrants authorised to conduct legal marriage in Scotland. Today, you have the choice of hundreds. Where do you start?
Speak to the Wedding Team at your venue. They have the hardest job of all, which is to make sure your big days goes as planned, so they have a well-thumbed list of people they can rely on.
Speak to your photographers. Good photographers go to weddings every weekend, so they’re well placed to suggest someone great for you.
Speak to your videographers. Like photographers, they see everyone, but unlike photographers, they have got to listen to whatever the celebrant has said when they’re editing. That gives them a particular angle that’s well worth checking out.
Another great source of advice is the band – not the one at night, but the musicians who’re going to play during your ceremony.
When they’re not playing, they’re listening, so ask them who they like too.
Ask your friends: not just the ones who got married recently – the ones who went to a wedding last week – and last month and the month before that (you know how they seem to come all at once!)
Read the reviews. The Scottish Wedding Directory was good, because it allowed you to sort your search by several criteria: Random; A-Z (and vice-versa), Newest First and Most Reviews. Sadly the publishers DC Thomson killed the title not long after I wrote this article, but fear not; from its ashes has arisen Your Scottish Wedding, a glossy new title that’s doing everything SWD did but better, and you can see who the most popular celebrants are here…
If you have an independent Wedding Planner, ask them too. They work with lots of venues and other suppliers, so they have both the experience and the knowledge you need.
And finally, if you really want to know who I recommend, it’s simple. My friends and colleagues at Celebrate People. It’s led led by my old friends Susan & Gerrie Douglas Scott, who are standard bearers for equality and humanism in Scotland.
Susan was awarded a CBE in 2019 and Gerrie has recently been appointed the first ever paid Humanist chaplain in the NHS in Scotland: they are an example to us all, and if you’re getting married anywhere left of Linlithgow and South of Sauchiehall Street, they’re definitely your go to people!
I have three colleagues in what we call, ‘The East Clan’. The wonderful Sharon Campbell is one, The brilliantly named Lenny Love (and yes, that is his real name!) is another, and the list would not be complete without the gorgeous Susan Mathieson (and in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that a) we are married and b) she is and always will be ‘Mrs M’ to me!)
Bear in mind that that not every celebrant will be available for your date. At his recent talk at The Hub, Oskar told his audience that after the venue, the celebrant and the photographer are the two most important people on your to do list, so if you haven’t found either of those yet, have a look at my recommendations page where you can see just some of my favourite venues, photographers, videographers, musicians, wedding planners and – of course – celebrants.
Good luck – I hope you have the most wonderful day when it comes!
PS – the beautiful image of Mansfield Traquair was taken by Ricky Baillie at Jill & Chris’s wedding which you can read about here.
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