Humanist Weddings & Partnerships

You’ve decided to get married. You might even have booked a venue. That’s fine: I’m happy to work with your chosen venue to ensure we seamlessly slip the wedding ceremony into the big day. About the only thing that I insist on is a ‘technical’ rehearsal (normally the day before) to make sure the ceremony runs smoothly.

My role is to help you design your own, personalised, wedding as well as facilitating the ceremony itself. In our discussions before the event, we’ll talk about the joys of your relationship and what your hopes are for your future. This discussion will help to clarify what you want to say and do on the day. The aim is to arrive at a wedding ceremony which is unique in that it’s specifically designed to celebrate your love, commitment and future together.

The weddings I arrange are serious occasions but not solemn ones. As they are also celebrations, there will be music, songs, readings, and laughter. Applause, cheers and sharing joy in any other appropriate way are par for the course.

My weddings tend to last between 20 and 45 minutes, depending on what you decide to include. Here is an idea of what a humanist ceremony might comprise, although every humanist ceremony is unique, and I welcome fresh thinking:

  • Arrival of the couple (individually or together)
  • Introduction and welcome
  • Readings, poems, songs and music
  • About the couple and what marriage means to them
  • Audience participation (e.g. ring warming)
  • Meaningful symbolic acts (e.g. hand fasting)
  • Aspirations, vows and commitments
  • Exchange of tokens such as rings
  • Pronouncement as married
  • Wishing the couple well
Please note that, in England and Wales, humanist weddings do not yet have legal status. If this is important to you, you will need to have a brief civil ceremony – normally shortly before the wedding – so that the legalities are covered (Dorset Registration Offices).

I charge £500 for wedding ceremonies. This includes all meetings, preparing the script for the day, and attendance at a rehearsal – as well as the day itself. I ask for travel expenses if I have to travel more than 20 miles. I give couples a presentation copy of the script as a memento.

Humanist Weddings Dorset