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