Every couple I work with is unique and brilliant (obviously – that’s why I LOVE being a celebrant!). But there are still some recurring themes, and indeed common worries, which regularly crop up when brides and grooms first tentatively dip their toes into the world of Humanist ceremonies. Well I’m on a myth-busting mission to tackle those frequently raised misconceptions and help you leap with both feet into creating the ceremony you deserve!
Today I’m dealing with this repeat offender:
“We love the idea of a really personal, fun Humanist wedding…but we’re worried my Parents/Nan/Great Aunt Mildred/Weird Uncle Bob will think it’s all just silly hippy nonsense!”
Wowza. Hit me where it hurts why don’t you?!
Well on face value, this is a question about whether Humanist weddings are ‘hippy-ish’ so let’s deal with that first…
The Hippy-Humanist Myth
I’ll happily nestle myself beneath the bough of a tree and marry any barefoot brides or grooms who want me to! I’m open to incense. If you want to dance -YES, excellent! I personally draw the line at wearing tie-die but by all means if you want to, go ahead. I’m fully on board! But by default, does a Humanist wedding have to be all, or any of those things? No – of course not?! It has to be exactly as you want it! It’s a celebration of who you both are!
But secondly, and perhaps most importantly, that fearful FAQ above raises another more nagging niggle…
‘Will my friends and family, of all ages, all religions, all backgrounds, enjoy my ceremony??’
YES! A thousand times YES!!
Why? Well because regardless of the style of ceremony you settle on, at its core, a Humanist wedding‘s theme is one which is universally joyful – it’s a celebration of love! What could possibly be more unifying? What’s even better; without the words that have to be shared by law in a registry office, or by religion in a place of worship, you create S P A C E . But rather than leaving a gaping hole, you fill it, you cram it, you pack it FULL OF YOU! It’s a chance to share your view of marriage, your love story, the triumphs and tribulations of a day in the life of your relationship!
Instead of a stuffy, clinical exercise in contract signing, a humanist wedding can be moving and emotional as well as fun, and funny! I regularly get cheek-ache when I deliver my ceremonies because they’re joyful, happy things! But will your highly conservative Great Aunt Mildred think it’s silly frippery? Well I can’t really say – she doesn’t exactly sound like a bundle of laughs! But what I can guarantee you is that your ceremony won’t be silly. It’s not about turning the notion of getting hitched into one big joke. It’s about marking a milestone moment in a way which is timeless and which hits all the right notes – tears, laughter, sentiment, meaning and fun!
And if the people you’ve invited to share your wedding day are the people you love, and who love you…who could possibly fail to enjoy witnessing such a personal celebration?? Your guests are in for a treat!
“My Grandad was completely skeptical when we told him we were having a Humanist ceremony – mainly because he had absolutely no idea what that meant and was therefore instantly suspicious of it. I can confirm that three months later he is still raving about it and telling anyone that will listen that it’s the best ceremony he’s ever seen in his 92 years (and I also think loving the fact that he thinks he sounds really ‘with it’ referencing humanist ceremonies!!).” JO AND ANDY
“So many of our guests commented on how much they enjoyed the ceremony, even the more traditional ones! So many of them have told us if they could do it again, they’d have a Humanist ceremony.” – RHEA AND ED
(Smiling guests image at top/Group images/Jo and Andy with grandparents: http://www.lisajane-photography.com
Woodland wedding image: https://www.dcphotographic.co.uk/
Pampas grass laughing couple / Bride touching groom’s chest/ Guests next to balcony railings: www.danisalmon.com
Venues: http://www.claptoncountryclub.co.uk/, https://www.hilltopfarmshop.com/venue-hire/)