MATTHEW SIMPSON
Wedding Celebrant for the British Humanist Association


34 Dover Road, Sheffield S11 8RH      Tel: 07957 536248    
matthew@mjsimpson.plus.com

Humanist Wedding Ceremony

Humanist wedding ceremonies are beautiful, moving and very enjoyable occasions.  Each one is different – and personal to you.  The ceremony is created by the couple working closely with me over some months until it is exactly as you want it to be.. It is very flexible and can be as elaborate or simple as you wish.You can hold your Humanist wedding ceremony wherever you like; it does not need to have a licence for civil ceremonies. I enjoy conducting ceremonies outside, on hilltops, in gardens, hotels or any other place that you feel is appropriate..

     

As you may know, the old fashioned  law in England (unlike Scotland and elsewhere) means that this ceremony does not have full legal status, so you will still have to do that at a Register Office. But couples always see the Humanist ceremony as the time when they truly commit themselves to marriage in front of family and friends – and have an exciting and memorable time.

In a Humanist wedding,  the focus is on the humans – you both, and the people there. Because it has no religious content, there is more time to look at the story of how you came together, your hopes and expectations, how you and your friends view the nature of a long term commitment. Humanists believe that our problems can only be solved by humans, and we live our one life without religion. That said, we appreciate that many of the people at our ceremonies do believe in God, and so I usually include a moment or two of reflection during the ceremony where guests with a religious belief are invited to say a private prayer for you.

My ceremonies usually  include music and readings, and visually satisfying things like hand-fastings, exchanging rings and so on.  I can help you with suggestions about those. But all that is optional.  The element you definitely must have is your Vows – the promises you are making to each other in front of everyone there.  That can be traditional or highly individual, and again it is my role to help you with your choices, so that your Vows are unique to you.

I will be able to advise you on what works and what may pose something of a problem. I have experience to draw on both individually and across a national network.

The fee I normally charge for a wedding is £450. (2015 rate)  This is the total cost with no other extras assuming we can get together locally for all face-to-face meetings. The fee covers all my travel within a 30-mile radius of my home, and includes:

- a meeting (usually lasting about 3 hours) where I glean lots of information from you about your histories, what you love about each other, what you hope from the future (and what you hope to offer your partner), and where we also discuss matters like music, readings, what kind of ceremonial elements you want;

- my creating the first draft and sending it to you for comment;

- my revising that in the light of any changes and additions you want (this make take several exchanges of emails, phone-calls or another meeting as you prefer;

- my drafting an Order of Ceremony for your guests, setting out what will happen, and usually including a photo of you both and the words to any songs to be sung; or poems to be met.

- a dress rehearsal at your venue;

- the ceremony itself;

- a presentation copy of the whole ceremony.

I can also offer advice on venues, photographers and other practicalities.

But before I accept a commission from a couple, I always ask them to meet me in person first, so that you can be sure I am the right kind of person to be involved in your special day.  We spend half an hour or so in which I get an understanding of the kind of ceremony you want, and I outline the sorts of things I could offer.  That meeting is without charge and without commitment.  (I'm delighted to say everyone has always gone ahead and booked me!)

I conduct about 6 weddings per year. I would not want to do more than that, because I want each one to be special and different.  And that takes a lot of work!

Securing the venue is definitely your first task, as good ones get booked up well in advance.  Other matters - including getting a celebrant like me on board, and organising catering etc. - are much more straight forward, and can be left until after you've sorted the venue.

The British Humanist Association can send you a booklet entitled ‘Sharing The Future’ that will go some way to answering any questions about the ceremony; just call 0207 324 3060 or email ceremonies@humanism.co.uk

I hope this is helpful, and look forward to hearing from you again soon, but whatever you choose, very best wishes for your wedding.

Matthew Simpson

07957 536248  matthew@mjsimpson.plus.com
 

 

tel: 07957 536248