This last year has been a particularly memorable one for me as not only was I asked to be the celebrant for my very best friend Marie and her partner Chris in an intimate family gathering in Scotland, but I was also granted special permission by the Scottish Humanist Society to do so! This was my first wedding since the birth of my son Gabe and I couldn’t have been more grateful to be involved.
As some of you may already know, it is entirely legal for Humanists to conduct wedding ceremonies in a number of places already including Scotland, Northern Ireland, Guernsey and the Republic of Ireland. In gardens, fields, sacred natural places and well, anywhere a Bride and Groom set their minds to, a Humanist ceremony can take place and it was such an honour to do this legally for someone who I’ve known and loved since my Uni days.
Over the Solstice weekend, a very small group of friends and family gathered near Conway and dressed a small marquee in ferns and flowers picked from the Groom’s family’s gorgeous garden. A vegetarian feast was prepped and cooked by the niece of the Groom and entertainment was provided by a revolving cast of family musicians. It really a small and heart-full event and one of the loveliest weekends I’ve ever spent, proving beyond a doubt that love, good food and good company is all you need to make a wedding unforgettable.
In parts of the world were Humanist ceremonies are legally binding the percentages of couples choosing them over traditional church or registry office ceremonies has increased drastically (of course!) There has been a lot of lobbying on the part of Humanist celebrants and Humanist supporting couples in the UK to make these ceremonies legal here also, but as of yet the Government have failed to see the relevance of such legislation. It seems entirely illogical, and somewhat medieval if you ask me, not to support Humanist ceremonies and to continue to block them in their efforts to provide non-religious couples with weddings of their own choosing. Humanists are a resilient bunch though and will keep trying until the UK government catches up with the rest of the 21st century.
It is truly only a matter of time.