I’m very excited today; an old friend just gave me a wonderful idea.

It’s 16 years since the Registrar General of Scotland allowed humanists to conduct legal marriage. The intention was to allow couples to write their ceremonies in their own words and ever since then, I’ve been asking my couples to do their ‘homework’ as the basis for what we might say on the day.

The task is a simple one; to remember their stories, to look at what made them realise that this is the person they trust with their lives and to think about what it is that marriage means to them.

The process works really well, and since then it’s helped more than a thousand couples to create unique, memorable and inspiring wedding ceremonies, but I’ve never liked the word ‘homework’.

For most people, homework has more negative associations than positive ones.

It’s something you’ve got to do, not something you want to do.

It takes up time you’d rather use for fun things.

It’s something on which you’re going to be marked or judged.

This morning I had a meeting with Liz and Al, who are getting married next July. It was the first time I’d met Liz, but I’ve known Al for a long time. We worked together in advertising at several different agencies, we did some award-winning work, and we always had a lot of fun. Al has since gone on to found his own creative agency, working with some of the world’s most famous brands, and he’s absolutely at the top of his game.

So when I said, “I’ve always had a problem with the ‘homework’ word,” it took him about six seconds to come up with a much better one.


Like all the best ideas, it says what it does on the tin.

My guess is that Liz and Al will love doing their LoveWork and I can’t wait to read it.

I’m pretty sure that you’re going to love it too!

  1. Turning an idea into a reality - Tim Maguire left a comment on December 13, 2021 at 10:39 am

    […] If you’ve read my blog at all over the last 12 years or more, you already know that Lovework is at the heart of the creative process I ask all my couples to undertake when they’re wondering what to say about why they’re getting married. I used to call it homework, as I explained here. […]

  2. The Heart of the Matter - Tim Maguire left a comment on February 13, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    […] that what works for one couple won’t for another, which is why this exercise is part of the ‘LoveWork’ I ask my couples to do long before they attempt to write their […]

  3. […] I remember what Roz said when she sent me what I was still calling their ‘homework’ in those days. (It’s now called LoveWork and you can read about why I changed the name here. […]

  4. […] Gordon and Komi decided to ASK them. They chose several of the reasons they’d given in their LoveWork and asked the audience to guess who said […]

  5. Planning your Humanist Wedding -a Useful Timeline - Tim Maguire left a comment on June 18, 2022 at 10:18 am

    […] Send me the results of your LoveWork. […]

  6. Camille & Baptiste's Humanist Marriage at Finlarig Castle - Tim Maguire left a comment on December 5, 2022 at 11:33 am

    […] be honest. Not everyone wants to get married. And when Camille sent me their LoveWork, she told me a little secret about […]

  7. Hannah & Kees's Humanist Wedding at the Byre at Inchyra - Tim Maguire left a comment on February 14, 2023 at 3:57 pm

    […] more than one lesson in what Kees and Hannah did. The LoveWork is designed to get you to remember everything that’s brought you to the realisation that this […]

  8. The Way I Work - Tim Maguire left a comment on April 19, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    […] will give you an assignment.   Since I wrote this post, I’ve renamed this assignment as ‘LoveWork’ but the aim is the same and this is how it works.   When we decide to ask someone to marry us, […]

  9. Ian & Bridget's Humanist Wedding at The Union - Tim Maguire left a comment on June 11, 2023 at 9:51 am

    […] and helpful. We knew what to do and when. Second, he guided us with his own formula – we had our ‘Love Work’ – and then our ‘date night’ – and then he provided us with the inspiration to create – […]

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