Northern Heart and Soul Weddings
Karen Hewitt Wedding Celebrant
Do we have to be Humanists to book you?
No, you don't! Though many people find that they have Humanist beliefs with realising it.
If you are non-religious and look to science, reason, empathy, and compassion in order to live an ethical and meaningful life, then you’re in the right place: you’re amongst those with a humanist outlook.
Most Humanists are open-minded, creative, inclusive and independent thinkers, very much like the type of people who book celebrant led weddings!
What is the difference between a registry office and celebrant led ceremony?
Registrars perform legal wedding ceremonies in licensed venues.
Celebrant led weddings can be held anywhere; a beach, nightclub, cinema, forest, your back garden and of course all the usual places. The only limit is your imagination, and the English weather.
A celebrant, in contrast to a registrar, will take the time to get to know you before your wedding. They will create a bespoke ceremony, that nobody else but you has had, or heard before.
You'll have a friend, who has 'got your back' standing with you and your partner as you make your commitment to each other in front of your family and friends. We always have a secret stash of tissues too!
Do you conduct same sex weddings?
Will it feel like a 'real' wedding?
It definitely will. Guests often comment afterwards that the occasion was much more moving and meaningful than other weddings they’ve been to, because it was so personal.
Image: Lucy Alexandra Photography
Is there a lot of work involved?
It definitely takes more time and thought to create a bespoke ceremony than a standard church or civil wedding, but it’s well worth the effort. You will end up with a ceremony that reflects the two of you, what you value and your hopes for the future, and an occasion that is truly unique and personal.
Most couples find the planning process interesting and fun too. You'll learn things about your partner and probably yourself that you never knew before.
Can our children/family be involved in the ceremony?
Absolutely. Everyone should feel included and part of your special day. Children are fun and spontaneous, and they love to be involved.
Do we have to write our own vows? I'm worried about public speaking, and that I might cry.
Please don't worry about this. My job is to offer help if you need it. I have lots of examples of vows that I can share with you. I will be guided by what you feel comfortable with at all times. If you're very nervous the vows can be short, they will be just as meaningful.
A personal wedding is an emotional occasion and it’s not at all unusual for there to be both tears and laughter during the ceremony. This is fine, it’s a big moment and you’re allowed to show your feelings!
Is a celebrant led wedding legal?
Humanist weddings are legally recognised in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Jersey. Unfortunately they do not currently have legal status in England, Wales, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man but Humanists UK continue to campaign for this.
Other celebrant led weddings do not have legal status either.
However, many couples take care of the legalities at a local register office and consider their celebrant led wedding their real wedding. And there really are some advantages to our weddings not having legal status. For example, there is no restriction about what can or cannot be included and where you can or cannot marry. It makes the whole occasion much more flexible and so much more personal.
When you get the legal part done is up to you. Many couples will have taken care of the paperwork at the register office in the days before their ceremony, perhaps just taking a couple of people along as witnesses.
Others do this on the same day as their wedding ceremony, making it all part of the celebration, while others leave the legalities until after they have had their 'proper' ceremony.
Some couples say they don't want to have to get married twice, this is a common concern, and I look forward to a time when humanist and other celebrant led weddings are legally binding. That said, a register office wedding to legally register your marriage doesn’t have to be long or expensive and you can do this without making a big deal of it if you choose.
What do you charge?
My fee is £550. This covers meeting up (usually around 3 times before the wedding), writing the script, attending the rehearsal and of course delivering the wedding ceremony. We would also be in regular contact by email throughout the process and you will be given a high quality print of your wedding script to keep.
10% of my fee is donated to the charity Brides Do Good, which works to end child marriage.
Image: Mindy Coe Photography