Dotting the “i”s…

One of the great joys of being a celebrant is that we deal with the fun bits of the wedding – meeting the couple, creating and delivering the ceremony – and the Registrars do all the painstaking (but crucial) investigative work behind the scenes – checking you really are who you say you are; checking […]

Nae fuss please, we’re Scottish

As P.G. Wodehouse once observed, “it’s never hard to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine” and it’s true that there are no words in English (or Scots) for “joie de vivre”.  I quite often meet couples who say they really don’t want “a lot of flowery, romantic guff” in […]

Are we allowed to sing?

Of course you are! Although as the ceremony is secular, we draw the line at hymns. Still, if you can find a song that’s not too complicated, everyone can join in as long as you remember to print the lyrics in your Order of Ceremony. Mind you, it helps if you’ve got a musical family. […]

Let’s begin at the beginning

Weddings always begin with the entrance of the bride. Well yes, up to a point, Lord Copper. That’s usually the case, but it really doesn’t have to be like that. Many of the women I marry have successful careers, earn more than their partners and live independent lives full of achievement and purpose. How many […]

My parents are very religious, I don’t want to upset them…

Humanist ceremonies are non-religious, not anti-religious. Humanism is about the things that unite people, rather divide them, and the most important of these is love, so it’s difficult for even the most intolerant person to take offense. I often say that “although this ceremony is non-religious, it will be entirely legal, mostly civil (slight pause […]

Order, Order!

The most important thing to remember about your humanist ceremony is that it should be exactly the way you want it. So if you’re totally chilled and like whatever, man, you probably won’t want an Order of Ceremony. On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who sets goals and can recite most […]

Is Humanism some kind of weird hippy thing?

Until they get married, or go to a funeral, most people have never heard of Humanism, so we get asked all sorts of questions by Anxious of Newtonmearns. So let me reassure you now that – unless you really want to – we don’t all take our clothes off and dance widdershins round a yew […]

Can we have music?

I’ve never done a wedding yet without some kind of music and I find it hard to imagine what it would be like. Depending on your budget and resources, you can have music of all sorts.  I did a lovely wedding on a farm where the groom’s sister and brother in law played a song […]

How long is the ceremony?

Most wedding ceremonies seem to last between 20 minutes and half an hour, which feels about right to me. Any less and it’s too quick; much longer, and the drinkers in the audience start getting restless.  It’s a good idea to follow the old theatrical rule: leave them wanting more.

What is Humanism? A Simple Definition

Humanism isn’t a religion – it’s a very old philosophy that represents the views of hundreds of millions of people around the world. There are lots of definitions  out there, but my favourite comes from the late Kurt Vonnegut, who said that “being a humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or […]