Mandy and David’s Humanist Wedding in their garden

Mandy and David’s Humanist Wedding in their garden

Happy second anniversary to Mandy and David who tied the knot on 28th May 2017 in their garden. There was a beautiful atmosphere as Mandy was walked up the aisle by her son Glen while her other son Owen played guitar. After the welcoming words They chose to give a gift of flowers to their mums, this represented a blending of the families and their mums’ were delighted.

I then told Mandy and David’s story which started with a disastrous first date which brought them close together and they fell in love. Two of their friends Rob and Tracy delivered the funny poem ‘He always leaves the seat up’ which kept the guests amused. They said their heartfelt traditional vows to each other, and after they were declared married they showed their unity by drinking from a Quaich.

Mandy said this about their wedding day:

“The ceremony was in our home and garden, the sun shone all day and we loved the informal feeling, we chose a humanist as neither of us are religious and had both been married before the humanist ceremony allowed us to do what we wanted to do and not be tied to other traditions. Both David and I loved having Caroline conduct our service, she was a fantastic help with lots of options for our wedding and we both loved getting to know her before the big day, that made us very relaxed and confident on the day. She is lovely with a beautiful smile who made our day very special. I have and would always speak of Caroline positively to anyone looking for a humanist”.

Mairi and Tom’s Humanist Wedding at their lovely flat in Edinburgh

Mairi and Tom’s Humanist Wedding at their lovely flat in Edinburgh

Mairi and Tom’s wedding was beautiful. The perfect setting was in their beloved flat in Dalry in Edinburgh that has such a special place in their hearts. The two of them are very creative Mairi is a children’s book publisher and Tom is a children’s book illustrator. The interior is funky and the flat is decorated in a warm grey with accents of blue and their charity shop finds of mid century furniture and wonderful collections of books.

Their wedding ceremony was so personal they had their friend Emma reading a John Hegley Poem

A Declaration of Need
By John Hegley
I need you like a bully needs to boast.
I need you like an ocean needs coast.
I need you like a doggy needs a lampost
I need you like a copper needs a crook.
I need you like a cranny needs a nook.

I need you like a lookalike needs somebody to look like.

I need you like a zoo needs a giraffe.
I need you like a psycho needs a path.
I need you like King Arthur needed a table
that was more than just a table for one.

I need you like a novel needs a plot.
I need you like the greedy need a lot.
I need you like a hovel needs a certain level of grottiness
to qualify.
Like acne cream needs spottiness.
I need you.

Oh yes, I do.

Like a calendar needs a week.
Like a colander needs a leak.
Like humans need to seek out what life on Mars is.
Like hospitals need vases.

I need you like a kiwi needs a fruit.
I need you like a wee wee needs a route

out of the body.
I need you like Noddy needed small ears,
just for the contrast.
I need you like bone needs marrow.
I need you like straight needs narrow.
I need you like the broadest bean needs something else on the plate
before it can participate
in what you might describe as a decent meal.
I need you like a cappuccino needs froth.
I need you like a candle needs a moth
if it’s gonna burn its wings off.

They also had ‘May you always’, by Alexander McCall Smith read in both the English and Gaelic by another friend.

They had a friend singing in the ceremony, another friend Hamish was on the bagpipes and after a lovely well -wishing, they had ‘Let’s Get Married’ by the Proclaimers played on their vintage record player! Friends  Ollie Hughes and Sheila MacDonald took the photographs.












The couple said this: “Thanks to Caroline, we were able to have the most personal, perfect ceremony in our own home in Edinburgh. Caroline was just the loveliest celebrant and such a nice person to spend time with in the lead-up too. She led us through the process step-by-step and made it so easy and clear. We felt in safe hands, with lots of space to personalise the ceremony to our hearts’ content.

Lots of our friends read, sang and played, and with Caroline there it felt like we had another friend to support us and share the day. One of our friends wrote, ‘I would have walked from London and back for these twenty minutes of ceremony. One of the best weddings ever.’ Can’t thank Caroline enough, or recommend her highly enough to other couples wishing to make their day truly special.” Tom and Mairi Morgan-Jones


Chris and Matt’s Humanist Wedding – Archerfield House

Chris and Matt’s Humanist Wedding – Archerfield House

image courtesy of Bluesky Photography

Matt and Chris had a wonderful celebration of their love at Archerfield House in East Lothian.
When they first met each other in London -they knew they belonged together, Matt was brought up in rural Australia and Chris in Aberdeen. Chris had lovely memories of North Berwick as a child growing up and when Matt visited the area they found the perfect place to have their wedding. Matt says this about the ceremony: ”

As a couple who do not belong to any one religion, it was a natural step to choose a humanist celebrant. We wanted the service to focus on our relationship and celebrate the love we have for each other and tell our friends and families the story of us.

image courtesy of Bluesky Photography

Caroline captured our story perfectly and made everyone laugh and cry along with us when describing our journey. The service was incredibly personal and by choosing a humanist celebrant we were able to meet with Caroline and talk candidly before the big day. Caroline brought a sense of familiarity to the service, which made everyone feel included.

image courtesy of Bluesky Photography

The highlight for me was seeing everyone laugh along with us. It’s a high pressure and very emotional time in anyone’s life and Caroline handled the guests perfectly with her humour and humility. It truly was as though a friend was marrying us.

image courtesy of Bluesky Photography

Caroline’s kind nature and unyielding commitment to us on our big day is something that we will treasure always. I recommend her wholeheartedly for any special occasion and hope she knows what her input meant to us.”

Readings in the ceremony

They chose three people who were close to them to do readings for their ceremony and this was one of them that summed up how they felt about each other when they met:

Ordinary Morning by Joyce Grenfell

It felt like an ordinary morning,

It began in an ordinary way,

And then, without warning

Ordinary morning became extraordinary day.

Hadn’t the slightest sort of inkling,

No-one said love was on its way.

And then within a twinkling,

Without the smallest inkling,

It became an extraordinary day.

For there you were,

And the whole world stood still.

There you were,

I loved you then, and I always will.

At first an ordinary morning,

Began in an ordinary way,

And then my heart was beating

At this ordinary meeting

And we both knew

This was not an ordinary day.


Jen and Graeme’s Humanist Wedding – Thomas Morton Hall

Jen and Graeme’s Humanist Wedding – Thomas Morton Hall

Jen and Graeme celebrated their marriage in style in the building on Ferry Road in Edinburgh which houses the old Leith Theatre and Thomas Morton Hall.

Their ceremony was beautifully personal and they incorporated a hand-fasting and jumped the broom to seal their vows at the end of the ceremony.

They took a DIY approach to decoration and the building was adorned with amazing personal touches.

Here is what Jen thought about the experience of having a humanist wedding:

“So there I was, standing at the top of the stairs, and I was ready… FINALLY I was ready. Time stood still as everyone around me fussed and flapped, and for the very first time I felt calm and the nerves melted away. For the last 8 months I had been wedding planner, project manager, mediator, crafting wizard and online bargain hunter. I had lived, eaten, breathed our big budget DIY wedding and finally the madness was over. I never set out to be “that” kind of bride, but at times I probably was!

Right from the beginning we knew we wanted our day to be personal to us. We wanted the opportunity to make every little detail our own – for our day to be special and meaningful – to represent our personalities, just as much as our beliefs. As a staunch atheist, it was really important for Graeme to have a non-religious ceremony; and as a strong Christian, it was really important for me to have one that didn’t conflict with my beliefs. So we decided we would have a secular wedding and a church blessing later.

The social values of humanism held true for us – being good, honest people; living our lives to the fullest; and taking care of those around us – and the humanist celebrations we had been to before had been so warm and personal, so picking a humanist ceremony was really easy. We found a big list of celebrants online who all seemed really great, but we chose Caroline because we felt we probably had the most in common. We were right – it was an instant click!

Right from the start Caroline instinctively knew what we needed and how best to help us. There are lots of choices for a humanist ceremony, which is just what we wanted, but that also means that there can a lot of decisions to make and readings to pick! Caroline had ready-made options to help us see how it could hang together, with a fabulous pick-and-mix library of options and readings that we could swap in and out, but she was just as happy to let me come up with my own ideas and write our own words and readings. To say we felt safe in her hands from that day onwards was an understatement.

Over the following months Caroline and I met, emailed and spoke over the phone. She was always understanding, organised, and supportive, but she was also great fun to work with, which was just perfect for us! She was always excited to hear about our plans and ideas, and see how it was all coming together.

On the day, Caroline worked with our other suppliers; welcomed our guests and kept us all in place and running to plan. Our ceremony was filled with chuckles, stories and quirky touches, including a ring warming and jumping the broom. Somehow, all of the words we shared and the promises we made had managed to perfectly sum us up and how we felt about each other – it had all come together perfectly and it felt great. We just couldn’t stop grinning!

It’s so important to have someone on the journey with you all that time that you trust and connect with. It makes the planning more enjoyable, the day less stressful, and the moments somehow more special. It was great working with Caroline – we are so glad we chose her and we will never forget the magical day she helped us create.”

Photos courtesy of David McNeil