Where do you work?
Anywhere and everywhere! Humanist weddings have taken place on ski slopes and hot air balloons - the sky’s the limit!
Karen lives on the border of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire but is happy to travel further.
Are Humanist ceremonies ‘legal’?
In Scotland and Northern Ireland Humanist weddings are legally binding marriages. Humanists UK is in the process of campaigning to achieve the same in England and Wales (and is part of a current review announced in Autumn 2018) which we hope will be the case within the near future.
Until then the legally binding parts of the ceremony; that is the ‘declaratory’ words (I know not of any lawful impediment) and ‘contracting’ words (calling upon your witnesses) needs to be said in a register office to recognise your marriage in law. The rest of a ‘traditional’ ceremony is purely ceremonial and can be done wherever,whenever and however you like, as part of a humanist wedding.
You can choose to mention this (for example ‘we are celebrating the marriage which took place this morning’) or not; most people don’t even notice the declaratory and contracting words are missing! You can even choose to sign a certificate of humanist wedding as part of the ceremony if you wish.
You will need to make a short appointment at the registry office separately (these slots vary by price so if you are flexible then take advantage of a midweek morning slot!)
Who are Humanists UK?
Humanists UK is the operating name of the British Humanist Association. They are a charitable company (no. 228781), formed in 1896 and incorporated in 1928, and registered in England and Wales.
They now have over 70,000 members and supporters and over 70 local and special interest affiliates to promote humanism.
They been conducting non-religious funerals, weddings, and baby-namings for 120 years. Their highly trained celebrants are the best you’ll find anywhere, and they support individuals to create authentic, bespoke ceremonies that put people and their stories at the heart of every occasion.
Choosing a Humanists UK celebrant for your wedding gives you the best possible ceremony through:
An assurance of celebrant quality; Rather than a commercial enterprise, quality is key to Humanists UK. Celebrants go through a rigorous selection procedure and our training course has the quality mark from the Open College Network. Feedback is collected centrally following each ceremony; 98% of feedback awards us 5/5!
A network of celebrants sharing best practice and the latest ceremony ideas.
Are you prepared to fit with a ‘theme’?
Often particularly creative couples choose a humanist wedding because of the freedom it enables in location, style and content. We are privileged to see some of the most original weddings in the UK!
Karen is happy to work with you to ensure any creative elements or themes are reflected in the ceremony and to discuss how she can reflect any colour, dress or other themes!
How much do you charge?
Karen’s standard fee is £600 including all of the following:
One two hour face-to-face planning meeting to work through your stories, history and aspirations for the ceremony
Script writing including reasonable review and re-editing
Phone and email support throughout from booking to the big day
A rehearsal a few days before the ceremony
Conducting the ceremony including arrival 1 hour before
Travel within 30 miles radius
A presentation copy of the ceremony
The only costs in addition to this will be mileage over 30 miles, production of order of services and additional meetings/rehearsals if required (not usually!).
Part of my fee is paid as a levy to Humanists UK; a registered charity which supports and represents non-religious people who seek to live good and responsible lives on the basis of reason and humanity.
What if we’re not sure what we want?
That’s fine - not many people have a clear idea from day one. At the first planning meeting Karen will go through a questionnaire with you to understand the type of ceremony you want. She will also provide inspiration and ideas to what can be achieved to achieve a stand out ceremony.
A proposed structure will then be provided to you - this may adapt and change as you get closer to the wedding. For this reason the full script isn’t written until closer to your wedding (2-3 months before) but you will keep in touch throughout the planning period.
What if you can’t get to the wedding?
It takes a lot to stop Karen! But if the worst does happen and she can’t attend, the Humanists UK network of celebrants support each other and take over ceremonies at short notice.
The benefit of our training is that although each ceremony is unique, they are written in a format which will be clear and easy for another celebrant to take over.