Frequently asked questions
Where can we have our humanist ceremony and will you travel?
I’ve led humanist ceremonies in people’s homes, a zoo, 5* hotels, woods, on a boat… almost anywhere. Usually I work in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire but I will consider travelling anywhere in the UK/abroad.
What is a humanist ceremony?
At its simplest level, it’s a ceremony focused on the people at its heart. I often say my humanist ceremonies are ‘humanist in nature, not in name’ by which I mean I’m not trying to convert anyone, I’m simply focused on creating the very best bespoke experience for them I can.
Are humanist weddings legally recognised here as they are in Scotland?
No, but it’s a simple enough to resolve. Most couples sort the ‘paperwork’ at the Registry Office separately and regard their humanist wedding ceremony, or ‘humanist wedding blessing’ as many people tend to call it, as the ‘real’ thing but there are other options I can talk you through.
Will you include religious content in what you write?
I adhere to the same principles of content as I do in my humanist ceremony work, focusing instead on the people I am writing about and for. All my writing is non-religious.
Do you perform any of these bespoke written elements?
I’m afraid I only perform whole humanist ceremonies I’ve created with clients, details of which you can find on my main ceremonies page.
Can you advise us on our whole ceremony if we want you to?
Absolutely, albeit with certain conditions attached. It’s a great way to tap into all my humanist ceremony experience and intuitive sense of ceremony design, construction and impact.
How are your commissions different from your ceremonies and Consultancy Service?
All my writing is inspired by one unique creative method, but in each case is used differently: I design, write and lead humanist ceremonies; my Consultancy Service clients import written elements into their own ceremony, event or celebration without my being present on the day and my commissions result in a text you then do what you want with.
What form do the final versions of commissions take?
That is really up to you and your imagination. Depending on the size of text clients might take theirs and then frame it, perhaps as a gift; use it to complement a photo shoot they’ve got coming up or create a photo book with it.
Do you put the text into the final format we want?
I leave any choosing, organisation and purchase of a final presentation copy of your commission to you. I simply provide the actual text.
You are an ‘Celebrant, Ceremony Consultant and Writer’, what does that mean?
The term ‘Humanist Celebrant’ distinguishes the nature of my ceremony work from that of a vicar or a Registrar. I originally trained with the British Humanist Association (now Humanists UK) ten years ago and I am currently registered with them, though my business is my own. I am also comprehensively insured. Having enjoyed my humanist ceremonies so much, more and more people have been asking me to write for them in other ways and this has led to the natural growth of the business into a consultancy service and bespoke commissions.
How much does it cost to hire you?
I price every ceremony, consultancy booking and commission individually if I can. I also offer flexible payment options where possible. So just get in touch and we’ll crunch some numbers.
What is humanism?
Because people are sometimes unaware of what humanism actually is. They tend to fill in the blanks and assume it’s some sort of ‘New Age’ cult or something. It really isn’t.
If someone says they’re a humanist all they’re indicating is their perspective on life. It represents those who believe there is no higher power determining our fate, this is the life we have and it is up to us to make the most of our opportunities and skills, helping one another along the way. In fact, when people hear my explanation, they often comment ‘it’s just common sense’.
Humanism has been here since the earliest beginnings of philosophy and in order to answer the questions we all have it turns to reason, science and human experience. When asked in buffet queues I say ‘It’s for atheists who’d rather say what they do believe in instead of what they don’t’. Seems to do the trick!