Got a question?
You have made a choice for your special day to be fabulously different - hurrah!
Choosing your own Celebrant is a really special and unusual approach. And you probably still have some questions about how it all works... hopefully you'll find the answers here!
WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
I'm based in Cambridge but I travel all over the UK (and internationally) to deliver wedding ceremonies. Although it's lovely having face to face meetings with clients, a lot of the background work can be done over Skype and email. So it's not an issue if you're further afield.
WHAT DO YOU CHARGE for your ceremonies?
I charge £1000 for a bespoke wedding ceremony and £350 for a naming (UK based).
Do you charge travel?
Yes. I charge 0.50p per mile. If I can get the train (and it'll be easier for me/ cheaper for you if I do), then I do that instead.
why did you become a celebrant?
I became a humanist celebrant in 2016 after attending the humanist wedding of two university friends. The whole day was amazing, but it was their wedding ceremony, in particular, that really captured my imagination. It was incredible. Unlike other ceremonies I’d attended, which had seemed standardised and traditional, this humanist wedding was totally centred around my friends’ love story and their hopes for their future together. Everything about it was custom-fit for them and, as a result, their ceremony was beautiful and funny and totally captivating… I was just annoyed I hadn’t thought to have one when I’d got married a couple of years previously. I’d never heard of humanist ceremonies and (wrongly!) assumed non-religious couples had to go down the civil service route! So I decided, right there and then, to become a humanist wedding celebrant myself and spread the word about these amazing ceremonies – and look, here I am doing just that!
What do you do when you're not 'Celebranting'?
I hang out a lot with my husband, our son, and our two unruly dogs! I also love listening to early naughties music and dancing around my bedroom like a mad woman, belting out Christina Aguilera hits into my hairbrush - KARAOKE QUEEN - both of which I can regularly be seen doing on Instagram!
Are you insured?
Yes I have full Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance through my association with the Humanists UK Celebrants Network.
WHAT IS HUMANISM?
A non-religious philosophy, based on liberal human values - Little Oxford Dictionary
Humanists and those who have a religious belief often share the same values, but Humanism does not rely on a belief in a god to justify the principles and standards it advocates. Humanists believe in the good within human beings and in the individual’s right to freedom of choice in all decisions between birth and death. My take on Humanism is this: we have one short life... so we should live it to the absolute FULLEST; collaborate with each other and cherish our relationships. Celebrating those major milestone moments in our lives - in a way that feels meaningful and relevant, and truly reflects their significance - is a massive part of that. Ain't nothing more important in this world than love, love, love! I represent Humanists UK who have a long history of campaigning for equal rights for those with non-religious beliefs. I am proud that a proportion of the fees my couples pays me goes back to Humanists UK to support this work... so couples that book me get to feel warm and fuzzy about helping out this charity organisation too! Humanists UK has loads more great information about Humanism, if you want to find out more.
Are Humanist weddings legal?
Unfortunately, humanist weddings are still not legal in England and Wales (I've written about this here). Humanists UK is campaigning hard to change that but, at the moment, you would need to have a separate civil service, in addition to your humanist ceremony. You can get married at your local register office for as little as £48 if you go for the very basic service. Often couples will have their civil ceremony a week or so before the big day to deal with the paperwork. They usually save all the 'fun stuff' - the dressing up, the vow exchange, the rings, THE PARTY - for their humanist ceremony.
do you allow religious content in your ceremonies?
Humanist ceremonies are non-religious but there are many rituals from other cultures that can be incorporated. I often work with mixed-faith couples, for example, who want to include elements from their respective cultures (e.g. Jewish ritual of glass smashing, Chinese tea ceremonies) - and I'm totally happy to do that! Equally, for baby namings, I understand that the term 'godparent' is one that is more culturally familiar than the alternatives. However, I draw the line at actually referencing any religious material myself. For example, I wouldn't read any passages from the Bible in a ceremony.
what does a wedding ceremony 'typically' involve?
Every ceremony is totally different and is written specifically for the couple! There is no 'typical' ceremony, or set format. Some couples will want a ceremony that feels quite traditional in its content and set up. Others are determined to throw traditions out of the window and do something really offbeat. Every ceremony I work on is hyper-personalised and tells the couple's story through a combination of words, readings, music and symbolic gestures. They are usually between half an hour and 45 minutes long.
There are no registrars available for our WEDDING date and we just want a replica civil ceremony. Do you offer that?
This scenario crops up a lot... and you should see it as a great opportunity! You can now have a much more special and personalised ceremony than you would have otherwise got with a civil service. If you really want to stick with the pared-back approach you would get with a civil service, then I suggest getting in touch with another Celebrant because super-duper, bespoke ceremonies are my jam - and I want to work with couples who really want that!
do we have to write our own vows?
I always encourage couples to write their own vows for two reasons: firstly, a humanist wedding is not a legal ceremony so you can say whatever you like to each other - you aren't limited to the legal wording of the traditional vows. Secondly, the words you say about each other, the promises you choose to make for yourselves, will always surpass whatever I have to say about your relationship. They will just be so much richer. Lots of couples are uneasy about the idea of writing their own vows - I get it! You might not know where to start, or maybe you just feel a bit icky about laying your feelings on the line if you're not that type of couple! I'm here to help you write them. And trust me, every couple who has written their own vows has told me afterwards how grateful they were for having done it! Having said all that, if you're totally adamant you want to use traditional vows, we can do that too!
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE MOULIN ROUGE TRACK?
Elephant Medley, of course!
How soon should I get in touch?
ASAP. I often get booked for weddings two years in advance and I don't want you to miss out!