Roslyn & Kevin’s Humanist Wedding at the Civil Service Club in Perth

It was about a year ago I first heard from Roz & Kev. They’d been to the wedding of friends back in 2016 and they’d loved it so much that when the time came for them to tie the knot, they got in touch.

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.

Kev and I wrote our stories in our wee books and we shared them over a bottle (maybe 2!) We’ve finally gotten over the hangover and typed them up. 

We had such a laugh and a cry writing and reading these to each other, so it was a wonderful gift for us, thank you! ❤️

It was spectacularly good reading! As I wrote to Roz, “I’m glad you had a hangover. You deserve it!”

The LoveWork is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – only the couple and I ever get to read it. The ceremony, however, is in public. Usually mum’s going to be there, so I always tell my couples that they don’t need to share everything – or indeed anything – that they’ve written.

One thing Roz said in her homework that didn’t make it into the ceremony was, “flirting has never been my forte in life.” I beg to differ… but you can decide for yourselves!

In the ceremony, Kev and Roz told us they’d met at a gathering at her sister Hannah’s house. It was Hannah’s idea that they should meet, even though Kev and Roz had both made it clear “they weren’t looking”. Kev had brought his puppy Marley with him so of course he caught Roz’s attention. She gave Marley a hug and said, “we’ll have a special relationship one day pal”, and guess what? She was right!

On their first date, Kev brought his daughters Olivia & Sophie with him, along with a bunch of red roses for Roz, and he’s bought her flowers every Friday ever since, so they now have “Flower Friday”.  

They had that first date at the Ice Rink in Perth, so it’s literally true that Kev fell head over heels for Roz because he took a dive! It didn’t take long before they both admitted that they were in love.

This was A BIG WEDDING! There were lots of guests but they were almost outnumbered by the bridesmaids. I had to count them because I’ve never conducted a wedding with so many before. Luckily for Roz, there were 13 and they all just about managed to get onto the stage!

After I told their story, Roz and Kev spoke the vows they had written directly to one another.

One of the reasons humanists campaigned for so long to give couples the freedom to make promises in their own words was that we realised that we’re much more likely to remember them when they’re based on reality. That’s why a recent survey showed that humanist marriages are four times less likely to end in divorce.

I loved their vows! Among the other things that Roz said was, “I promise to be the best mum I can be for the girls, I feel so lucky to share them with you.” 

And (among other things) Kev said, “I promise to always be honest and open with you. I promise always to listen to you, and I promise to always rub your feet when we watch TV.”

After they exchanged rings and I pronounced them married, their mums joined us to sign the Marriage Schedule. I think that’s always a lovely thing to do. Mums never got much of a look-in in old-fashioned marriages, and witnessing the signing gives them a photo that they’ll treasure forever.

I got this email from Roz just the other day.

“How has it been 2 months!? I think we’ve just come back down to earth now. We’re delighted to be Mr & Mrs McLernon! 

Our ceremony was perfect and we can’t thank you enough! So many people said that they really enjoyed it and how personal it was to us. My only regret was how quietly I spoke, wish I’d got microphones ( a tip for future couples for sure!) 

I was convinced the venue was small enough that I wouldn’t need them but didn’t estimate how quietly my nerves would make me speak. Nonetheless I was able to share my promises with guests later in the day. The whole day was everything we wanted, if anything it went too quickly.”

Roz makes a good point, which I always bear in mind. Speaking your vows directly to one another is a wonderfully powerful thing to do, but when you’re getting married, your voice doesn’t work quite as well is it usually does, for some reason…

That’s why it’s a good idea to print your vows onto cards. They can be passed around the tables over dinner, so that the people in the seats furthest away can read what it was you said.

In truth, it doesn’t matter as much as you might think. We’ve come here to see how you feel, and the emotion that’s preventing you from speaking says more than words can ever say.

So, thank you so much, Roz and Kev! I really loved being a part of your wedding because you embraced it so completely. And it was lovely to catch up with Kerry & Rick, whose wedding at Orocco Pier was the catalyst that brought us together! My thanks also go to Kerry Steyn, whose lovely photos really captured the mood so well.

I wonder if one day, someone who was a guest at your wedding will ask me to conduct theirs? One thing’s for sure, I’ll let you know!

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