First, we need to meet! It is important to choose a Celebrant you are comfortable with and who you feel can reflect your personalities and tell your story your way. We can arrange an initial, obligation-free meeting which can be online, over a coffee or at my own tiny wedding venue. This is a chance to chat about your wedding ceremony ideas and to answer any questions you may have.
If you decide to choose me as your celebrant, apart from being totally overjoyed, I will regard this as a huge honour and will work with you both to create a unique bespoke ceremony that can be as romantic, elegant, informal, or crazy as you want! This is your wedding!
First, we need to complete the initial paperwork; legal marriage notices if your wedding is within a year, booking form, and a contract. You need to also register your impending wedding with Humanists UK.
Things can be a little quiet for a while until about a month or two before your wedding when I send you a few sample scripts. These will give you an idea of format and possible content. You’ll be amazed by the ideas! A couple’s informal and fun questionnaire is also sent along with the sample scripts. Your answers provide the content for your wedding script and capture your personalities, your story as a couple and some lighter moments to share with family and friends.
If you need a little inspiration with poems or extracts from books I have a huge file of carefully curated samples that I can send you. I can also send you lots of sample vows and will help you write your vows if it feels a little scary!
With all of the stories and choices gathered I will start writing your wedding script and together we will produce your personal and bespoke ceremony.
I never limit my time with couples and invite them to call, text , email or even drop in for a cup of tea or coffee whenever they need to.
After we are all happy with the working script, I like to ask couples and a couple of friends or family down to my tiny venue. This is a fun afternoon where I feed you amazing home baking and you can enjoy a glass of fizz. It’s a time to get to know one another even better and to finalise your wedding script.
As The Rocks is a venue you can look at the resources we have here such as ideas for readings, poems or vows if you need still need inspiration. You can also have a look at symbolic gestures available such as handfasting, sand blending, unity candles, the list is long, but we have many options for you to explore!
Wedding day is nearly here and I am happy to have a rehearsal in the days before your wedding. I like rehearsals as they are a great way to ensure the smooth running of your big day and great for dispelling last minute nerves!
In the two weeks before your wedding, you must pick up your Marriage Schedule from the Registrar.
At last, wedding day! On the day of your wedding, I arrive 30-60 minutes before the ceremony to check everything is in order. I will also speak with the people you have chosen to be involved in your wedding to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Hooray, you are married! After your wedding, I will leave you with a boxed presentation script as a memento of your wedding ceremony.
I often get asked what should a humanist ceremony contain. The short answer is that it can be whatever you wish as long as you accept one another as husband or wife.
Typically a ceremony will start with a welcome, it will talk about love and marriage and what it means to the couple. After this a piece of poetry or music or favourite words to a song can be included.
A humanist wedding also typically tells the story of the couple which can be fun filled, romantic or sentimental. Whatever form it takes it will tell your story your way and reflect you both as a couple. You may wish another piece of poetry or music before your vows. The vows and ring exchange can take many forms and I am on hand to steer you through this. You may wish a symbolic gesture such as handfasting. This is a wonderful example as it tells a great story, can involve family members as they lay ribbons and last but not least it makes a great photo! After you have been pronounced married then the marriage schedule is signed and you are then presented as the newly married couple by whatever names you wish to be addressed by or just simply and happily presented as married’!
Finally, hooray you are married! After your wedding I will leave you with a boxed presentation script as a memento of your wedding ceremony.
Ann Pinkerton Wedding Celebrant
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