Vanessa Smith

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

I believe that we all have a responsibility for each other, to each other, for the betterment of human kind. Life is wonderful but it is not always fair or easy and we all need human contact and the support of others...

I have had a wide variety of jobs and experiences in my life but can safely say that this is the most satisfying, rewarding and fulfilling thing I have ever done.

I live in Aberdeen with my husband, three children and two mad dogs! I am very proud of my work as a celebrant and I have met lots of wonderful people along the way.

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

I love a wedding! They are such happy occasions as people come together to celebrate the love two people have for each other. A great reminder of what it means to be human. I was married in 2006 in a wonderfully perso...

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

The arrival of a child into your life is always something to be celebrated - surely one of the greatest reasons in life to come together. A Humanist welcoming or naming ceremony to mark a new person joining your circl...

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Funeral Ceremonies

Bereavement is one of the most stressful and upsetting of human experiences. To help families say goodbye to loved ones in an appropriate and meaningful way is important and, in turn, each family I meet teaches me a ...

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Jackie Grant

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

It has been my pleasure and my privilege to conduct Humanist ceremonies for nearly ten years. Each ceremony, whether it be a funeral, wedding, naming, is personally crafted and unique.
Please visit my Facebook ...

Many people are Humanists without knowing the term. This was certainly my experience. I gave up on religion as a teenager...but was never really happy to call myself an atheist...it only said what I didn’t believe. So it was a joy for me to discover Humanism, to state positively what values are important to me.


I worked for a number of years with the local authority in Edinburgh, managing the delivery of social work services to children and families. Social work values of respect, empathy and non-discriminatory practice fit comfortably within Humanist ethics.


My family is important to me, both near and far, and spanning different beliefs and cultures. I think it is important that family and friends come together to celebrate significant life events and achievements. This motivates me as a celebrant: there is a clear need for people to have access to a ceremony that reflects their beliefs and preferences. Humanist ceremonies provide an important choice.

I particularly value the Humanist view that what unites us as human beings is more important than what divides us. Humanism is inclusive and embraces the core values of many religions. Humanists believe we can live good and worthwhile lives guided by compassion and reason rather than religion. We have just this one life, it is precious, and we must use it well.

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

Firstly, a note about Coronavirus:

With Government restrictions on social gatherings, and the Registrar General is issuing Wedding Schedules only in very exceptional circumstances. Sadly very few weddings can ...

Your wedding is a very special day when you make a public declaration of your love and commitment to each other. For me it is an honour and a pleasure to conduct the ceremony that brings you together legally married as partners for life. The Humanist Society Scotland campaigned for equal marriage and I am proud that since 31st December 2014, we can end a ceremony with my declaring you married as husband and wife, or wife and wife,or husband and husband.

Every couple has a different story, different priorities, different budget. So I do ceremonies in luxury hotels and castles, in romantic rural lcations, on beaches and in private gardens. Some weddings are large with hundred or more guests, others are very small with just the witnesses and a few very special friends.

Weddings at the luxury venues, castles and hotels need to be booked a year or more in advance (though you may get a good deal on a week-day or in the winter). It's good to book your celebrant at the same time as your venue and I'm proud to be a celebrant recommended by Heritage Portfolio (/www.heritageportfolio.co.uk) who do the events management and catering for a number of iconic venues around Edinburgh including Mansfield Traquair, Signet Library, the College of Physicians/ Surgeons and more.

Smaller and less formal venues can often be booked at short notice. It may be that all you need is the consent of the person who owns the land. I am happy to take bookings at short notice so long as you have time to get your marriage schedule from the Registrar. Please get in touch and check my availability.

What is important is that I hear from you what you want in your ceremony. If you know just what you want, then I will make it happen for you; if you are looking for advice and guidance, then I have lots of ideas and resources we can draw on. I will help you to choose the different elements of your ceremony... poetry, music, symbolic gestures and of course your personal vows... so together we construct a ceremony that is totally personal and unique and everything that you hoped and dreamed it would be.

I always charge the fee recommended by HSS and advertised on their website.
I live close to the centre of Edinburgh and meet with couples usually in my own home.
If you are at a distance we can use FaceTime, WhatsApp Video, Zoom or just talk on the phone. I am happy to meet before taking a booking to talk you through the process and answer any questions.

At approximately 3 months before your ceremony I hope to meet with you and will then prepare a draft script, which we can amend until you confirm it is just right for you.
If you wish, I will meet you again shortly before the big day either for a brief recap or a formal rehearsal at the wedding venue.
My aim is that when it comes to your big day you can be cofident and relaxed...and enjoy!

If you have not done so already, do look at my Facebook page: Jackie Grant Humanist Celebrant, https://www.facebook.com/celebrantjackiegrant/ .

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

For so many parents there is nothing more joyous than bringing a new child into the family. It is this sense of joy and wonder that we celebrate and share as we introduce a new child to our friends and family. A nami...

Your child is unique and so is the naming ceremony. I will meet with you at a venue of your choosing, usually your home or mine. If you are at a distance we can use FaceTime, WhatsApp Video, Zoom or just talk on the phone. I will design and deliver a Naming ceremony for your child based on a discussion of your thoughts, hopes and wishes.
A naming ceremony isn't just for new born babies. It can happen at any stage in the child's life. An older child may have a naming ceremony alongside a younger brother or sister. A ceremony of welcoming and recognition may be held for a child who has joined a family by adoption or foster care. Such a ceremony may be useful for children and parents who come together to form a new family, or as a secular Coming of Age ceremony. The ceremony should be fun and flexible, often involving other children.

My ceremonies typically include readings and music and parents’ promises or pledges to the child, and these may extend to friends and family making a public statement of their well-wishing, or a promise to support the child and the parents. You may also sign a Naming certificate and include symbolic gestures like thumb prints or a Well-wishing Tree. As always, your choice and what feels right for you.

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Funeral Ceremonies

A note about Coronavirus: Funerals, Memorial Services and Advance Funeral Wishes.

We are in very troubling times. Mourning a death and making arrangements for a funeral is invariably sad and often difficult, bu...

The restrictions are necessary but distressing for so may families. The Government and funeral directors advise against delaying the funeral in the hope of better times to come. The Crematoriums are seeking to help families by offering live-streaming of ceremonies. Another option is a small funeral service now with plans for a large memorial service when the Lockdown is lifeted.

At the start of the Lockdown I conducted a funeral ceremony at Mortonhall with just 5 mourners and a live video stream. I reget that for personal and family reasons I cannot conduct any more funeral services at this time. But please do get in touch if you wish to discuss planning a Memorial Service at a later date.

This pandemic also makes us all more aware of our own mortality. As a Humanist Celebrant I will work with you if you wish to give thought to your funeral, the type of ceremony you would like and how you would like their life to be celebrated. During the Lockdown I am happy to speak with you by phone, FaceTime, WhatsApp to explore options and we can record your wishes on the HSS Advance Funeral Wishes form. I do not charge for this service.
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My role as a Funeral celebrant:

At a Humanist funeral we come together to celebrate a life, to mourn the passing, to say our farewells and to offer what support and consolation we can to the family.


Each human being is unique, so each ceremony is unique. My task as a funeral celebrant is to work with you to create a funeral ceremony that pays respect and reflects the personality of the person who has died. It should be a ceremony that they would appreciate, and a ceremony that leaves you feeling comforted that you have given them the best possible farewell.

I will meet you and your family before the funeral at a venue of your choosing, usually your home. I will suggest how we might use readings and music to give structure to the ceremony and will hear your memories in order to prepare the tribute. The circumstances of a death vary widely. It may be tragic and unexpected or after a long illness; shockingly premature or after a long life well-lived. This is often a difficult and distressing time; relationships may be complicated. Many family members report that coming together to share memories is helpful in coming to terms with the loss.


After our meeting I will share the draft script with you to ensure it is accurate but more importantly to ensure the tone is right and that it reflects your wishes.

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Lara Celini

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

I live in Edinburgh with my partner and son, and work part-time for Humanist Society Scotland as their Community Engagement Manager.

I believe in our common humanity, and that it is our relationships with our f...

I have been a member of Humanist Society Scotland for over a decade, and a registered Celebrant since 2011. I love conducting ceremonies, it is some of the most rewarding and worthwhile work that I have done, and it is a real honour and a privilege.

What humanism means to me.

In short, it is about the things that bring us together rather than those that divide us. We treat this life as the only one we have, so we need to take responsibility for our actions in it. It is this acceptance that we each have only one life that makes it so very precious. Life is not a dress rehearsal and Humanism provides a positive and fulfilling life stance for making the one life we have as worthwhile as possible for ourselves and others. Above all Humanism is about being human. 

Personally I try to live a good life, guided by reason and compassion – not religion or superstition. I enjoy fresh air and sunshine, reading books, building Lego with my son, cooking and socialising.

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

It’s a pleasure to help couples to celebrate their love for each other in a way that is personal and meaningful to them, it’s simply a privilege to be part of that.

I like couples to be fully involved in s...

I enjoy hearing the stories of two people who are in love and fully committed to each other, it is simply so life affirming. I love the energy, the emotions, the creativity, and the fun and laughter that are so often part of a Humanist ceremony.

Whether you have plans for something small and intimate, a big gathering, or something in-between, I would be delighted to work with you create the kind of ceremony you want. Conventional or unconventional, formal or informal, traditional or contemporary, simple or elaborate, the choice is yours! So please feel free to get in-touch and discuss your ideas with me.

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

The arrival of a new baby or child into a family is a joyous occasion, and a "naming" or "welcoming" ceremony provides a wonderful way to celebrate it.

Our ceremonies can provide a meaningful opportunity to ga...

It is a way to introduce and welcome the child (or children) into both the wider community and into your family and circle of friends. You can use it to appoint "guide parents" or "supporting adults", or highlight the importance of family and friends in guiding and nurturing the child.

The degree of formality or informality is up to you. You can involve siblings and other family members if you wish, express your commitments to your child, re-affirm humanist principles and values, and incorporate moving symbolic gestures.  Each ceremony is unique to the child/children and the family celebrating it.

It can be held in a location of your choice, at home or elsewhere, indoors or out, whatever captures your imagination!

I am happy to advice on choice of words, poetry, readings, music, activities and symbolic gestures (such as hand, foot or finger printing, candle lighting, a wishing tree, flying a kite, signing of commemorative certificates, proposing a toast etc.)

Please note that these ceremonies can be held for older children too, several children at once, an adult changing their name, or incorporated into a wedding ceremony.

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Funeral Ceremonies

A Humanist funeral should reflect the life and personality of the person who has died in a fitting and meaningful way. It’s a way of saying goodbye honestly and without pretence, using words and music to remember wh...

Conducting funerals is some of the most important work I ever have done. Helping families and friends to say goodbye, but also to celebrate the life of their loved one, is an amazing privilege and I feel honoured to be asked to do so.

I feel that my role, in helping you to plan the ceremony, is to listen, to empathise and to respond to your needs. As well as coming to terms with the sadness of your loss, it is also important to focus on your happy memories too. The funeral is an opportunity to reflect on both of these things and my job is to pay tribute to your loved one on your behalf so that the ceremony becomes a fitting celebration of their life. 

I always offer a preview of the tribute I have prepared so that you can suggest any alterations or additions that you wish.

I can help advise on readings, poetry and music, and offer support for any members of the family or friends who wish to speak during the ceremony.

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Jane Bechtel

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

Hello!

I’ve been a celebrant with the Humanist Society Scotland since the autumn of 2005, which coincided with the start of my last year at Stirling University.

I was a full time mature student at Stir...

Before that I worked part time in marketing for a touring theatre company, with my daughters and home life in Perthshire the primary focus of my days. Retail work was a big part of my youth, and I worked and lived in the States briefly too, where I met my husband.

I listen to music and radio a lot; read, cycle, dance and play Ultimate Frisbee and have practiced Yoga for many years. I sing folk songs occasionally, but usually manage to keep them to the right occasions.

I love my work. The writing is something I really enjoy, and the families and couples I meet make it all feel less like work and more like a project with friends much of the time.

Balancing the workload can be tough at times – there are weeks when everything seems to be happening at once – but I’m pretty good at letting folk know when their wedding draft for next March is going to sit in my inbox for a week, as I know it will be better to give it my full attention when I have enough time, rather than to try and rush through reading it when my mind is on this weeks ceremonies!

I am always happy to talk about my work or answer questions on how any given ceremony might work, so if you would like further information please feel free to e-mail or call and chat with no obligation to booking.

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

There is no right or wrong way of putting a Wedding ceremony together, but this is how I usually go about things:

I meet all my couples before confirming a booking, as that way you know who you are booking with...

We would talk about the mood you want for your ceremony, as well as the content and your thoughts, plans and ideas - I'd chip in with approaches that might work.

When this isn't possible - skype is our friend! and I sometimes send out a questionnaire to help me get to know folk better before I start writing.

I'd then ask you to get back to me within a week to confirm or cancel the booking, and to send me your HSS membership number and complete an agreement form. This outlines your legal responsibilities and specifies the timings for handing documents to the registrar’s office.

I also ask for a non refundable deposit of £100, which is deducted from the final invoice, which would be £425 (2020) for the ceremony, plus any travelling expenses.

If it is at all possible I like to meet couples again for a chat and planning session about four months before their ceremony, and do the 'real' planning, after which I'd send you a draft of the ceremony, which we would take it in turns to work on, until it's exactly the way you want - be that three drafts or ten!

You are of course free to write the first draft yourselves if you would prefer, and I always emphasise that the more changes you make the better - and the more 'yours' – the ceremony will be.

You can find further information on what might be in the ceremony on the 'A Humanist Wedding?' page of my blog, however you should note that there will be no religious content at all, no hymns, prayers or bible readings.

I do charge for rehearsals, but they are not often needed, as the ceremony script will have lots of stage directions on it, and we will discuss the setting and layout of the proceedings when we meet.

On the day itself I am at the venue an hour before we start, with copies of all the readings, the liquid ink fountain pen we have to use, and my blotting pad.

It is very rare that I have more than one wedding in a day, and if I do both couples will be aware of the fact, but as a rule they will be several hours apart, so it should not put undue pressure on the 'first' couple of the day...however, I always encourage couples to be on time for their guests sake!

I always take photos after the ceremony, and add them to my collection, and like to show some of them on my blog too.

I hope this helps you get an idea of how I work, and I'd be very happy to answer any questions you have, so please just drop me a line.

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

Like all our ceremonies our Namings are written individually to suit each child and family, so it is not always easy to say what happens, but this should give you some ideas:
Namings can take place anywhere, and...

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Funeral Ceremonies

Much of my time is spent as a funeral celebrant, an aspect of my work I love, pulling together the life stories of those who are no longer with us for their families & friends to share, or at times spending time w...

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Paul Harkin

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

I have been doing ceremonies for more than ten years and it has been a very rich and rewarding experience. I have had the pleasure of helping many couples and families in times of joy and celebration and also at more ...

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

Weddings celebrate a couple's love for one another - what could be richer or more uplifting? A Humanist wedding is also a declaration of mutual respect and of the couple's willingness to share their lives together - w...

Just as every human life is unique, so is every wedding. My aim is to provide couples with the advice and support they need, helping them to shape a ceremony that is exactly what they want and which celebrates their love in the ways that are important to them.

Some feedback from couples:

"Just wanted to say a very big thank you for marrying us! We absolutely loved having you as our celebrant. Thank you for taking everything we threw at you on board so easily. You are a true professional and made our ceremony so beautiful" - Christine and Johnny, Australia. 2018

"Will and I would like to thank you for such a fantastic ceremony. It was great fun and exactly what we had hoped for. We've had so many guests commenting on how wonderful you were and how much they enjoyed the ceremony" - Will and Eilidh 2018

"We are so delighted to have chosen you as our celebrant. Supportive, reassuring and meticulous, you made us feel comfortable throughout with gentleness and good humour. We can't thank you enough" - Drew and Elaine 2018

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Funeral Ceremonies

Funerals offer the opportunity to celebrate the unique life of someone dear to us, to share our sense of loss by coming together to offer mutual support. It is a profoundly rich and moving aspect of my work as a celeb...

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Janet Donnelly

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

I never used to believe people who said that they looked forward to going to work every day and that's because until 2009 I treated work as a means to an end or rather a means to a salary. Then I became a celebrant an...

You’ll find more information about me on my website:
www.janetdonnelly.co.uk

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

Conducting weddings is one of the greatest joys of my life. You will probably already have your own vision of what you want your ceremony to be and I'd love to work together with you to make that vision a reality.

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

The arrival of a baby is a huge event in a parent's life and it is lovely to be involved in a happy occasion such as a naming ceremony. The important thing to me is to meet the parents and of course the new arrival (s...

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Funeral Ceremonies

The death of a loved one is something that we are all going to have to face at one time or another. A humanist funeral should be more than just a farewell to somebody - it should be a celebration of their life and a t...

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Penelope Hamilton

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

I love being a Celebrant! It's the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done, so much so that it hardly feels like 'work'! After I retire on 1 January 2022, I know I'll enjoy remembering many special moments spent with ...

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

Elopements are special! I love all weddings, but Elopements are my favourites. When you elope, you can choose your wedding spot without worrying about anyone or anything else, and you can speak your hearts to each oth...

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

Bringing up a child is a serious responsibility as well as being a joy, and it’s wonderful to welcome your new addition into her community of family and friends and celebrate together! I love the atmosphere of optim...

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Funeral Ceremonies

In the first shock of bereavement, people feel numb and confused, and there's so much to think about. I can’t take away the pain of grief, but I can ease that pain a little. It's touching and fulfilling, listening t...

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Belinda Braithwaite

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

My work and leisure time is between Lochgilphead in Argyll and the west side of Glasgow. I am therefore available for ceremonies in Argyll and in the Glasgow / Dunbartonshire areas.

My working life has alway...

I joined the HSS after attending a Humanist Funeral here in Argyll. The ceremony gave the opportunity to recall so many happy memories and celebrate the life of a dear friend. For me it also brought forth the realization that humanist values were what influenced the way in which I try to lead my life. Humanism is integral to my place in the wider world and helps make sense of day to day living. Respecting the environment and my fellow human travellers regardless of who they are or what they believe is an important part of my humanism because we are one human family. For me, life is not about power, money, control or divisions. Membership of the HSS led to Celebrant training in 2007 and I am now privileged to provide ceremonies at times of sadness, happiness and joy.

I think it is important for those who wish it, to be able to have some help to write and plan a ceremony for these important times in life. It is a real privilege to work with families and couples and help to create a very personal ceremony for milestone times in their lives.

Every Ceremony is special and unique - the day, setting, venue and words are all tailored to the wishes of the people involved.

In my spare time I meet up with friends, go on adventures as often as possible and simply enjoy where I live. I walk, sing and play ukulele - not necessarily all at the same time!

Please do telephone or email me to discuss your plans.

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

Legal Marriages, non-legal weddings, renewals of vows - I would be delighted to conduct your ceremony whether it is to be a small and intimate or big occasion. I see my role as a facilitator. It is helpful to meet in...

A Humanist wedding ceremony can include symbolic gestures such the traditional exchange of rings and / or hand-fasting, drinking from a Quaich or lighting candles. Music that is meaningful to you reflects your personalities add to the sense of occasion.

You can choose elements to suit your style and lives.

I encourage couples to be fully involved in designing the ceremony and, ideally, to write what you love about each other, ‘your story’- about your journey together so far and plans for the future, your vows and the promises you will exchange with one another. These are woven together along with the necessary legal declarations to create a tailored and distinctly personal celebration of love and commitment.

It may sound daunting to be asked to write vows etc but your own words are so much more meaningful in the ceremony and I have plenty of examples to help with ideas!

Planning your wedding can become stressful with so many decisions to be made. No-one benefits from rush or pressure - I use email reminders and deadlines in the preparation time ahead of the wedding day so the script is ready well ahead of your ceremony day.

It is my role to guide you through your ceremony and that extends to the day itself. I always arrive early so I can meet with all the important people who will make your day so special - the photographer, musicians, those who will be speaking and the best man, so you can be as relaxed as possible to really enjoy your day

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

It has been my pleasure and privilege to conduct a few naming ceremonies now - sometimes for couples I've also married, which is a joyful link. Namings are most commonly for babies but can be for older children, for e...

In meeting well before the naming ceremony, it is important to plan and shape the ceremony as the parents wish for the celebration of their addition to their family.

In addition to making their own pledges and promises to their child (or children), many parents also choose to ask other supporting adults to act as guide-parents.

I can assist with choices of readings, music and suggestions for symbolic gestures.

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Funeral Ceremonies

A funeral touches me more deeply than any other ceremony, it is a ceremony with a serious professional responsibility; an essential part of the grieving process and it is an immense privilege to be involved with the ...

I have officiated at burials, cremations, scattering of ashes and memorial ceremonies.

Before the funeral ceremony.
It is unusual for me to have known the deceased, so meeting with the family before the funeral is essential. Families quite often find this eases the pain a little as they recall past events, shared times and anecdotes that reflect the personality of their loved one and the special place and influence he or she had on their own lives.

I try to encapsulate their “being” as well as their achievements. I work to ensure that the funeral ceremony is exactly as the family want it to be, with music, poems and readings chosen by family and friends to remember their loved one and how they lived their life. I encourage friends or family members to read a personal tribute or a poem they have chosen.

The Funeral Ceremony
When conducting a Humanist funeral ceremony I hope to offer those who have been bereaved some comfort by capturing their loved ones life; their uniqueness and the stories that shaped who they were.

The funeral ceremony provides the opportunity to say goodbye and celebrate the life of the deceased in a respectful and dignified way, the bereaved can then begin to find the strength to turn back to their own life again. A funeral ceremony that reflects thoughts and feelings about a loved one is an important part of this process. It is always an honour to be a funeral Celebrant.

Funeral Planning
I am available to speak to people who want to plan their own funeral. To discuss your thoughts, whatever your circumstance, please get in touch and I will try to help plan what is best for you and your family.

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Graeme Cumming

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Funerals

I think it is important that those who live their lives without religion should be able to have some help to celebrate the important events in their lives. That's why I am a celebrant.
I have been a celebrant fo...

picture by Mark Archibald and permission of Morgan and Wil.

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

I am now in my 8th year of being a wedding celebrant and I've really been enjoying being part of all the weddings in which I've been involved. Whether it has been in a barn, a castle, a village hall, a back garden or...

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Funeral Ceremonies

At the moment other commitments are making it difficult to assist with many funerals, but please feel free to contact me.

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Mandy Evans Ewing

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

“Our celebrant for the day, Mandy went out of her way to help us design exactly the kind of ceremony that suited our style and spirit, and delivered it all with inimitable panache. We have never been more thrilled t...

“I just can’t imagine how I would have got through the last three weeks without your guidance, patience, sensitivity and loving thoughts and words. I will never forget your kindness and professionalism.”

“Thank you so much Mandy, your compassion and care through the dark days was like a light shining out over the wastelands.”

It is my very great honour, joy and privilege to help people have meaningful ceremonies and rites of passage in their life.

I am now one of the longest serving Celebrants in Scotland. I have been a Registered Celebrant since spring 2001 and was one of the first twelve to be authorised as a Marriage Celebrant in 2005. I am Humanist Chaplain / Advisor for the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian University. I have also been involved in developing Humanist representation in NHS Spiritual Care and am constantly engaged in promoting harmonious relations between people of all beliefs in a wide variety of forums. I have previously served on the HSS BOT and Glasgow Group Committee.

I live on the southside of Glasgow in a warm and close-knit community with my husband Jim.

I present a radio show on Thursday lunchtimes (https://www.camglenradio.org/index.php?id=134). 'Bringing you an eclectic ensemble of tunes and top tips; gastronomy, gardening and guests; readings and recitations; philosophy and features . Celebrating our common humanity, building community, warming your heart and lightening up your day. Welcome to The Bright Side :-)'.
I am a Board Member of Urban Roots, an award winning community led environmental organisation based in south Glasgow; Co-Director and Co-Organiser of Stanmore Social - a local community organisation; Co-Founder of The Love Alliance, a Co-Founder of The (Scottish) Constitutional Commission, supporter of Scotland's For Peace and signee of the Scottish Peace Covenant.

I ran my own business for 14 years offering Life Guidance, Coaching and Consultancy. I am a Social Worker to trade. I have also worked in the arts, including Glastonbury Festival - where I have been a Front of House Manager on an 850 capacity Theatre and Circus venue for 21 years, an annual pilgrimage for the most enjoyable festival work with a crew whom I love deeply. I previously danced with Indepen-dance, Scotland’s premier mixed ability dance company.

I am passionate about our beautiful earth, gardening, permaculture, yoga, cycling, dance, music, great food, great company and the great outdoors.

What humanism means to me
To me, Humanism means focusing on common values, and on the universal qualities, abilities and aspirations that unify all human beings regardless of creed or class, and, valuing the unique contribution that each of us makes to this magnificent mandala that is life - because we are one human family. I firmly believe - deep in my heart - that through human will and effort peace, harmony and sustainability can prevail and that another world is possible.

Peruse my testimonials and reviews here: www.facebook.com/MandyHumanistCelebrant/

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My approach to Weddings
I see my role as a Celebrant as a facilitator, to help people express themselves, their love and their life in a way which is most meaningful to them. In weddings, as with all ceremonies,...

What I love most about conducting weddings .... The feelings of such joy, meeting so many beautiful and wonderful people dressed up and looking gorgeous and happy, the new experiences, the champagne, and, most of all, the satisfaction of helping people express their love, commitment and good intentions for one another.

My advice to you ..... Love is patient and love is kind.
My favourite piece of wedding poetry .... There are so many wonderful things to choose from, of every ilk – deeply moving, funny, irreverent, tremendously thoughtful, and more. My favourite changes.
I always particularly like this . . .

From WHERE WE BELONG
Then you rose into my life
Like a promised sunrise.
Brightening my days with the light in your eyes.
I’ve never been so strong,
Now I’m where I belong.
(Maya Angelou)

I would advocate highly that you to seek out a truly wonderful, and slightly longer, piece called ‘The Invitation’ by Orion, Mountain Dreamer.

And I have always loved this for any occasion:
May the sun bring you new energies by day;
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away any worries you may have
And the breezes blow new strength into your being.
And then, all the days of your life,
May you walk gently through the world
And know its beauty.
(Apache Blessing)

My favourite piece of wedding music
Och, self-indulgence . . .
1) ‘Breathe Easy’ – The Sugababes
2) A medley of Waterboys tunes played on the flute by an adorable girlfriend
3) ‘Celebration of our Love’ (tune: Cwm Rhondda)
4) ‘Fields of Gold’ by Eva Cassidy, sung beautifully by Alison

My most unusual location for a wedding .... So hard to decide between so many ... someone’s front room, halfway up Goat Fell on Arran or the stunning beach at Eriskay, a historic location where Bonnie prince Charlie first stepped foot on his return to Scottish soil and the film ‘Whisky Galore’ was sited!

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

My approach to Namings
I feel deeply honoured and privileged to do this work whatever the nature of the ceremony. Our words, our intentions and our actions are important things that shape lives so a ceremony to ...

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Funeral Ceremonies

My approach to Funerals
“Death is the one thing that connects us all. It reminds us that what's really important is who we've touched, how much we've given. It makes us realize that we have to be good to one a...

I feel very strongly, that as far as is humanly possible, the death of someone we have known and loved should be marked in a way that is inclusive for all those who gather to lament a death and celebrate a life. This final rite of passage allows us to acknowledge and reflect on the significance of a person’s life within their circle of love and existence, and on the gifts and lessons from knowing and loving them.

“Every blade in the field, Every leaf in the forest, Lays down its life in its season, As beautifully as it was taken up.” (Henry David Thoreau).

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John Howieson

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

Originally from Dumfries, I lived in Edinburgh for a while before settling on the beautiful Isle of Skye in 1998. I'm a husband, father and grandfather, and each role and each different person in my life has enriched ...

I believe that humanity has evolved to be gregarious and collaborative, and the major challenge for our species in the future is that of finding a way of all getting on together, so that each person has the opportunity to fulfil his or her potential, and to live a happy life which enriches the lives of others. As the world becomes ever more secular, I can see humanism stepping into the gap left by the old religions – and unlike them I think it has the power to unite rather than divide, to heal wounds between people by emphasising our common humanity.

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

I'M STILL ACCEPTING WEDDING BOOKINGS FOR JULY AND AUGUST 2018, but no other times. Why not consider a Sunday? So far, it's been the day of the week least in demand, so lots available!

It's a privilege to be pa...

We’ll meet together or use email, skype and/or phone, and discuss the ceremony. I can suggest things that have been successful in previous ceremonies - including symbolic gestures and readings. I can write the script or else I'm happy to work with you on what you have written. I’ll ensure we cover all legal requirements, but otherwise I’ll take my lead from you. There are lots of ideas and advice I can pass on, but you will make the decisions. My role is to see that the ceremony is what you want and feel comfortable with, and to ensure that you are calm and prepared, so that your day is happy and memorable.

Have the ceremony you want – not the one anyone else might want you to have! Enjoy the day, be yourself, delegate as many tasks as you can and have a wonderful time.

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

Namings aren't so common yet! I completed my namings training a while ago, and have so far done one naming. As I'd expected, it was great fun - a joyous occasion! The wee chap was warmly welcomed into the circle of fa...

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Funeral Ceremonies

It is a privilege to be asked to speak on behalf of families in what can be a very stressful situation. In times of grief, people may find it difficult to say what they are feeling. My job is to help them find the rig...

My role is to produce a ceremony which the family feels accurately reflects the life and character of the deceased, and which says all they want to have said. The family set the tone for the funeral with their recollections and stories about the deceased. The ceremony is a celebration of the life of their loved one, and so while there may be sadness, there may well also be laughter, and hopefully those present can leave feeling that the person they have lost was accurately remembered in a fitting tribute.

Some comments about my funerals:
"thank you for the lovely tribute you gave to my dad ..... last week, it was just spot on. It was a pleasure to meet you. " 20.3.14
"Special thanks for providing the comforting humanist ceremony that he had wanted." 28.12.12
"He would have loved that." 6.9.12

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If there are amusing stories that will help you remember your loved one with fondness, don’t feel for a moment that these will be inappropriate. Love and respect don’t die with a person’s death; they just change, and they’re still there.

Bhithinn deònach Gàidhlig a chleachdadh, nam biodh sin freagarrach dhuibh.

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Kate Buchanan

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies

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At the moment, I am taking bookings only from couples and families for whom I have previously conducted ceremonies.
Please...

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For me being a celebrant means exactly what it says: that I can help other people celebrate being human and humanism gives voice to what I do believe rather than what I don't: that all people matter and deserve respect and love, whatever path in life they have followed.

I trained as an English teacher but quickly realised I enjoyed working with young people who were seen as 'difficult'. I worked in specialist schools and retrained as a social worker, specialising in Child Protection and then in Fostering and Adoption work. Having 4 children myself, one of whom has an autistic spectrum disorder, took me into the home full time and into being a celebrant part time!  I'm Stirling based but with links in the Far North so I'm happy to travel or to connect you with one of my lovely colleagues.
I'm also a puppy walker for Guide Dog Scotland and have a rescue collie, so the rest of my time is spent walking and hoovering up piles of dog hair!

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

At the moment, I am taking bookings only from couples and families for whom I have previously conducted ceremonies. Please get in touch via email or phone if you'd like me to help.

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

At the moment, I am taking bookings only from couples and families for whom I have previously conducted ceremonies. Please get in touch via email or phone if you'd like me to help.

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Lorraine Montgomery

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

Before becoming a celebrant, I had 33 years experience in paediatric nursing which I enjoyed enormously. I love spending time with my family, particularly my four beautiful grand daughters. Since leaving nursing, I ca...

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

My approach to weddings.
The 1st step is to have a meeting with the happy couple to have an informal chat soon after the initial request. This will hopefully give both parties a feel for how their big day could ...

What I love about weddings.
I love the great outdoors, non convention, surprises and informality. So if you happen to be getting married in a field in wellies, or in the Lost Valley in Glencoe or even in your garden or front room, then I would be delighted to be part of your day. Having said that, weddings held in more 'conventional' venues are definitely not off limits. Also, to expect the unexpected which can add some drama if not fun to your day. There is, rightly so, some need for formality during the legal part of the ceremony, but basically the rest is up to you. As long as it is dignified and safe for all, then there should be no worries. Thank you for taking time to read this profile and I wish you all the best for your future together.

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

My approach to the naming ceremonies.
The 1st step is to meet with the proud parents and of course "The star of the show" and i thoroughly enjoy hearing the stories of this life changing event for you. We then p...

What I love about naming ceremonies.
The unexpected! Rarely do things go to plan on time but if you already know this there is nothing to stress about. I love that we have the luxury of creating the day to individual wishes, therefore making it a very personal, fun and special event specifically for your family.

Thank you for taking time to read this profile.

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Funeral Ceremonies

My approach to funeral ceremonies.
The first step is for me to arrange to meet with the family at a time and location that suits all concerned; usually as soon as possible. When we meet we discuss who your loved...

What funeral ceremonies mean to me.
I feel deeply privileged to be asked and to be part of and trusted with, this very personal part in you and your loved one's lives. I take this role very seriously and strive to make this ceremony a celebration of the life of someone who contibuted to the lives of others.

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George Caldow

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

I have decided to 'retire' from 6 April 2021 unless I already have a connection with the family.

Don’t panic! Don’t panic! Not quite what you wanted to see but perhaps quite truthful. The thought of be...

I have been conducting ceremonies since 2009 and there is more information on my personal website www.georgecaldow.co.uk which includes a 2.5-minute video on weddings. I limit the amount of ceremonies I do as I believe you cannot make each one individual if you are doing two or more a day, so one a day and a maximum of six per month. I also have a blog, which I need to update but designing the next ceremony takes precedence.

What Humanism means to me?

Like many,I came to realise I was a Humanist, through my experiences of life. I have never believed in any divine being. I believe, it is not the shell or label which defines a person but their inner self and actions. Thus, the moral and ethical values of the Humanist movement fit my own philosophy.

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

Whilst it is a privilege to be asked to be involved in a couple’s special day, I do stress that the ‘legal’ parts are just as important as choosing the right flowers. So, do submit the appropriate forms on time...

I suggest we begin designing your ceremony at least six months before the actual date. This means we have the time to work on it, before other pressures of the wedding come into play. The ceremony itself should reflect your wishes and personalities so it can be quite traditional or a bit more relaxed. It is about your love for each other. You set the tone. I assist you to design the ceremony that is right for you, not for your family who may have other beliefs. I have conducted many such ceremonies and the response has been, it ‘was so personal’ or ‘so inclusive’. You can then bask in the warm glow of love from your guests as they are blown away by your ceremony.

My piece of advice for after your wedding is simple. Remember that the courtship doesn’t end with marriage. When each allows the other to continue growing, your dreams will be achieved.

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

A Naming is an opportunity to show off your latest arrival by bringing all the family and friends, who will, in the years ahead, be ones to help guide your child. It is a great occasion to cement family ties and have...

The ceremony is about the love for the child and their future. It is full of fun and laughter (especially if other children are there behaving - well, like children). We work together to design the ceremony from the materials I provide and/or with those from you and your family.

The ceremony will be remembered for years to come so let’s make it fun but not embarrassing, meaningful and truthful (vows and pledges).

My favourite piece of poetry for naming which has more meaning now whenever my grandchildren leave is this.

Handprints
Sometimes I might upset you
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls
But every day I grow a bit
And soon I'll be so tall
That all those little fingerprints
Shall be so hard to recall
So here's a special handprint
Just so that you can say
This is how my fingers looked
When I placed them here today

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Funeral Ceremonies

Death is a part of life and instead of being sorrowful, we should celebrate that life, remember them in their character, their stories and the memories they have left behind.

The family visit is often a stres...

It can be challenging especially when the person has an illness such as dementia which totally changed their personality. Remembering the person rather than the illness which deprived them of that person is perhaps the best gift of all as many families discover their 'real' parent again.

Whilst there are no bible readings nor hymns, we play the music that meant so much to the deceased, not funeral dirges. I have had some that I could not classify as music to quite a few comedy ones. The choice is yours.

Some of the responses I have had at my funerals have been, ‘at least we knew who’s funeral we were at’ to ‘dad would have loved that’!

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Jess Fitzgerald

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

I have been a Humanist Society member for about 16 years and a humanist celebrant for 14 years and have had the pleasure of conducting some of the first legal humanist weddings in Scotland. After all the years I stil...

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Hopefully I can give you the best of my experience to contribute to your perfect day. My style is relaxed but with enough quiet and dignity between the laughter that will honour your momentous occasion. You are cen...

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

To welcome a child into a family and this world is such a pleasure to do especially when I have married mum and dad! I usually conclude my naming ceremony with these words:
"And now may our hearts be open to all...

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Linda Britton

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Funerals

I have been a celebrant since 2005 and have enjoyed this work more than anything else I've done previously. Humanism is about equality and respect, what we share rather than anything that might divide us, about making...

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How I feel about being a wedding Celebrant
I love it! - it's a privilege to be part of your special day. I enjoy meeting people, discussing your plans with you and ensuring it all comes to fruition.

My ap...

What I love most about conducting weddings
Being part of your day, making sure that you are calm and prepared, saying the things you want to say to family and friends and ensuring the day is happy and memorable

My advice to you
Enjoy the day, be yourself, delegate as many tasks as you can and have a wonderful time.

My favourite piece of wedding poetry
Finally, I have found a place into which I fit,
Perfectly, safely and securely, with no doubts, no fears, no sadness, no tears.
This place is filled with happiness and laughter,
Yet it is spacious enough to allow me to move around,
To live life and to be myself.
This wonderful place, which I never believed really existed,
I have found. Finally - in your arms, in your heart, in your love.
(Author unknown)

My favourite piece of wedding music
"Lovely Day", by Bill Withers

My most unusual location for a wedding to date
A youth hostel, a beautiful old house with spectacular grounds.

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Funeral Ceremonies

A Humanist funeral ceremony should reflect the life and personality of the person who has died in a fitting and meaningful way. It's a way of saying goodbye honestly and without pretence, using words and music to reme...

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Brian Hawkins

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

Hello from the glorious Aberfeldy in northernmost Perthshire. I trained as a humanist celebrant in May 2009 and my ceremonies are light-hearted, relaxed and I hope it is OK if we have a bit of a laugh because it's all...


What humanism means to me
It is inclusive, it embraces the core values of many religions: it is based on respect, tolerance, goodness, kindness, a concern for the natural world and a recognition that every individual deserves to be valued for who they are. I am a scientist and I believe in a rational world but I respect that others have the right to hold their own beliefs.

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

Your wedding ceremony or Civil Partnership ceremony is the most important day of your life, a day that you and your family and friends should remember forever. That is where I start when working with you. Your guests ...

My wedding and Civil Partnership ceremonies are relaxed and light hearted, your guests should be more than spectators and should part of the special moment in your big day. Humour is one of the best ways to engage with people but, at the same time, your ceremony should have heart. So, we’ll do the meaningful bits seriously because, although it is a celebration, marriage is a serious commitment.

I usually meet with couples to start planning their ceremony about 4 months before (although I’d be delighted to meet before then). At that meeting I’ll listen to your ideas and walk through what might happen in a ceremony with you both integrating your ideas and giving you loads more. The best way I find to get your input is to ask you to do some homework after the meeting, don’t worry this does involve a bottle or two of wine! When you’ve done that, I’ll send you Brian’s Handy Handbook, which is full of ideas and examples of ceremonies, readings, and symbolic gestures, which you can include (like handfasting, sharing a Quaich or a band warming, although there are many more). I then work with you as you want. Either I can put your ceremony together for you or you can. In reality, it’s usually a bit of both, and we work together until you have the ceremony you want.

One of my couples sent me the following after their wedding: "We just wanted to also let you know how fantastic our ceremony was. It was truly personal and it was without a doubt my favourite part of the day. Our guests (many of whom had never attended a Humanist ceremony before) were blown away by it. They loved how quickly you put them at ease with some humorous remarks and I believe that you created a relaxed and happy feeling that lasted throughout our whole day (and night!). You were wonderful and I cannot thank you enough for making our wedding ceremony so memorable with the perfect balance of laugher and tears!"

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

I just love conducting Naming Ceremonies. They are the most flexible of all the ceremonies we perform and I will work you creatively to produce a very special day for your little one. You tell me the tales and stories...

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Funeral Ceremonies

I take my role at a funeral as a serious responsibility and I work to ensure that each ceremony is exactly as the family want it to be. 
The most rewarding aspect of the role is to see the family after the ceremony...

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Neil Anderson

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

Hi - thanks for checking out my profile and I look forward to working with you. Helping to create, craft and deliver unique and personal ceremonies is a joy and it is such a privilege and a gift to be able to assist ...

I live in Newburgh, Fife and so ceremonies anywhere in Fife, Tayside, Angus, Kinross and Edinburgh are close - although I am often asked to venture further afield.

Over the years I have travelled extensively and have had a varied career in the law, in theatre, in sociology, in travel and in the environmental movement. I have been a Celebrant since 2009 and Celebrant work is undoubtedly among the most enjoyable and rewarding work I have ever done. In 2015 I became President of the European Humanist Professionals based in Antwerp.

My wife, Tricia, and I have been happily married for decades! (40 years and counting!) … and we have 2 fab grown-up sons....I conducted my elder sons's wedding in September 2017... such fun. My passions and hobbies include music, renovating old houses, organic gardening, walking, travelling, cooking (and eating!) environmental studies, writing and reading.

What humanism means to me ...
For me, humanism is integral to who I am and my place in the wider world/cosmos and is a positive approach to making sense of day to day living and about trying to live a congruent and ethical life. Respecting the environment and my fellow human travellers regardless of who they are or what they believe is an important part of my humanism. For me humanism is about what helps bring us together, what we share and what we hope for – it is not about walls and flags and tribalism and divisions. As a Humanist Celebrant it is a real gift and a privilege to be in a position to help and guide so many people through some of the most challenging/exciting/ daunting/uplifting events of their lives ; see some testimonials below…

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

WEDDINGS

I love being part of what is one of the most joyful and important days in a person’s life…and it is such fun. I like the adventure of meeting and spending time with couples well in advance of the w...

I have been fortunate to have seen weddings from so many angles that I have become a sort of "wedding planner"! This experience allow me to guide couples on all of the positives and the politics and the pitfalls. I encourage couples to be fully involved in shaping and crafting the ceremony and, ideally, to write part of the story themselves. Having said that I find most couples are looking for templates and suggestions so after I have met with a couple I usually prepare a draft script which we then evolve and improve together by email. I am also strong on reminders and deadlines…on the day, don’t forget the Marriage Schedule!

People fascinate me and hearing the tales and stories of two people who are in love and fully committed to each other is always life affirming. I relish the challenge of turning those tales and stories into a fluent, personal, ceremony which expresses all the couple want to say on their wedding day… and I love a good laugh – I defy anyone not to have a good laugh (and often a wee weep) at a wedding. And together… we will produce and perform the most memorable wedding ceremony. As one of the guests at a recent wedding said to me “You turned it from being a ceremony into an experience”…

My initial advice to you ...

If it all seems a bit scary and your minds are a blank at this stage – don’t worry… when we meet we will go through everything in fine detail and together we can explore a host of various ways to craft the very best ceremony possible…and with phone calls and emails keeping us in touch we’ll all have a great time.

In my role as a Celebrant I have had more cards and emails of thanks than in all of my other careers put together!!...here are a selection of some recent ones –

“Hi Neil,

We just wanted to say thanks very much for such a personal and beautifully executed ceremony last weekend. We can’t thank you enough for delivering it so well and in a way which was personal to us.

To say the task of ‘writing’ our own ceremony was daunting at first is an understatement. But you were absolutely fantastic from start to finish and made us feel so welcome and relaxed each time we were in your home (which is beautiful by the way).

The day itself could not have gone any smoother and we had simply the greatest day of both of our lives so far. You played a massive part in helping us to achieve that so thank you so very much for doing so.

As non religious people, humanism was our only option but we were still uncertain at first as to how it all worked, even after being at a humanist wedding last year. But you were simply amazing from the moment we first met with you and helped us to deliver and achieve exactly what we set out to in the beginning.

We will defiantly be recommending yourself to any family and/or friends who are considering having a humanist wedding in the future. Thanks again and I hope our paths cross again someday. All the best,

Scott & Amy” September 2019

“Hi Neil!

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for giving us a fantastic service at our wedding. Everyone was so impressed and loved it, especially us! Thank you much for travelling all the way to Fyvie too! We really enjoyed our day, it was over in a flash. As you know we are not overly lovey dovey people but you made us feel so relaxed.
Thanks again

Jenni and Scott” August 2019

“Good Afternoon Neil,

Chris & I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you for being our celebrant for our wedding! We have received so many compliments and comments on the ceremony and your delivery - everyone absolutely loved it! The personal theme of the script and vows really resonated with the guests! We loved it too; I felt so relaxed and calm throughout the whole ceremony! So thank you once again - it was an absolute pleasure to have you as part of our day. I've attached a couple of photos of the ceremony that the photographer sent through! All the best,

Chris & Frances” June 2019

Neil,

Thank you for conducting our wedding ceremony on 15 June. The ceremony was everything and more than we could have imagined and we are so grateful that you were able to make and be part of our wedding day. You gave us one of the best gifts we could have asked for by announcing us as Mr and Mrs!
Love
Fiona and Steven” June 2019

Dear Neil,

Thank you for conducting such a fantastic wedding ceremony for us. We loved our wedding and all of the personal touches that were included in the ceremony – thank you for all your help and inspiration. You made the whole process very easy and enjoyable. I have lost count of the number of people who said our ceremony was the most enjoyable, relaxed and personal one they had ever been to. Hopefully our paths will cross again in the future at someone else’s wedding. All the best

H and M” May 2019

“Hi Neil

Hope you are well. We are just getting round to emailing everyone now to say Thank you so much for conducting our wedding ceremony. You were absolutely perfect for the occasion and really got us! We have had so many lovely comments from our guests about how much they enjoyed the ceremony and the way you conducted it. (my Granny was asking if you also did funerals!!). Thank you also for keeping us right with all the forms. We are so glad that we chose you as our celebrant and thank you for contributing to our unforgettable day. All our best wishes

E & M” May 2019

“To Neil – We hope you are well! Thank you for ensuring that our ceremony was such a big success – it was entirely down to your guidance beforehand and steady hand on the day. Many people have, without prompt, said it was one of the best ceremonies they’d been to! With our warmest wishes

D and A” April 2019

“Hi Neil,

Thank you again for leading our ceremony, you did a fantastic job and we are still reliving all the happy moments – the tears, the laughs, the sunlight coming in, everyone looking so happy.

I keep remembering how it felt when I walked into the Granary, I could really feel the joy! And it just got better and better! And I knew I could just relax because you had everything under control. Many of our guests commented on your delivery and sense of humour, we are so grateful to have met you.

Your advice and guidance and support, your patience and kindness and enthusiasm, in creating the script was incredible. We are both so grateful for having created something so special together. Thank you again,

J and A” March 2019

“Dear Neil,

Thank you so much for being our celebrant. The ceremony was perfect and we did indeed have our guests both laughing and crying. In particular, our Irish friends and family said it was the most personally meaningful marriage service they’d ever experienced. Thank you for your support and guidance through the whole wedding planning process. With very best wishes

F and D”

“Good evening Neil,

Now that we're just about settled back into reality we just wanted to take the chance to get in touch and say thanks for all your help and work over the last 18 months and particularly on the day itself.
Between issues with the speakers, the microphones and E. managing to forget the marriage schedule (!) we threw just about every obstacle at you but you were great at keeping Ewan calm and keeping everything on track.
The ceremony itself was absolutely fantastic and we loved every minute of it. Having had our practice run in your front room and all the emails in between, we knew what to expect and there were no nerves. The ceremony is the part of our wedding day which we've had most compliments about over the last couple of weeks, it was such a big hit with family, friends and everyone else.
We really can't thank you enough for playing such a key part in our day.
Thanks again and take care. E. and B.”

“Dear Neil,

“Just wanted to say a huge ‘Thank you’ for all your help and support at our wedding. The ceremony was perfect!. It was so nice we managed to keep everything local too – we greatly appreciated your flexibility – and calmness!! Best wishes, J. and J.” .

“Dear Neil,

I never got the chance to thank you on Saturday. As the proud parents of the groom both V. and I thought your ceremony was absolutely perfect. It summed up Jess and Craig so well and was delivered in such a lovely way. Thank you also for putting us and all the participants at such ease before speaking. We received no end of compliments on what a perfect ceremony it was, and it just set the whole day up so well to be the triumphant success it was. Thank you. Kind Regards. G and V”.

“Dear Neil,

Just a quick email from the new Mr. and Mrs. S to say thank you again (so, so much!) for helping to shape (and deliver with aplomb!) such a wonderfully unique and intimate wedding ceremony! Everyone present thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience - the words "amazing" and "emotional" were in common parlance! 🙂 The ceremony really did set the tone for the type of weekend we we're aiming for. It was everything we hoped for and more! The marriage schedule is back with the registrar, the wedding cards are on the sideboard and the cat is blissfully uninterested in his basket!
Thank you! Warmest regards and best wishes, M and H”.

“Neil – We just want to say a huge thank you for all your help! From our initial meeting to the final ceremony, we couldn’t have asked for more. We had SO many compliments on the ceremony from our guests, who loved the relaxed and personal style that you gave it! Thank you so much for all your knowledge, advice and support throughout the process and for keeping us calm on the day. Love Hugh and Rachel”

To Neil – Just a wee note to say a HUGE thank you for giving us the most perfect ceremony! I think almost all of the guests said it was the best ceremony they have ever been at. There were so many laughs, all the way through, along with tears and lots of love. It really was the most amazing start to the best day. We have watched it over and over on the video and I’m sure we will continue to for years to come. Thanks again for everything. Sarah and Bill xx”

“Neil – We wanted to send you a heartfelt thank you for making our ceremony so amazing and personal. It was relaxed just as we wanted and with laughs thrown in, it was just perfect. We received so many compliments as some guests hadn’t been to a wedding like it and loved how personal it was to us. From our first point of contact you were friendly, helpful and provided much guidance to help us have the ceremony we hoped for and will remember fondly. Again, many thanks. Mr and Mrs J.!” .

“Hi Neil,
Just want to say thank you for Saturday. The ceremony was amazing. There were loads of compliments and everyone was really impressed with you and how you conducted the ceremony. Thank you again. Shona”

Hello Neil,
Hope you are well, and still keeping busy with all the weddings! We are back in Shanghai now and back to normality again. The wedding seems like such a long time ago, but we do have so many fantastic memories from the day! Just wanted to say, a massive thank you for making our special day unbelievable! We loved every moment of the day, wish it could've gone slower LOL. We are both so pleased with the preparation and organisation from your side, especially doing it all from Shanghai/Scotland, we couldn't have asked for anything more. All of our family and guests had a fabulous time during the ceremony, you made it serious, yet light hearted and kept everything flowing so smoothly! You have a special talent for this, thanks for all your energy, passion and calmness, we were certainly freaking out inside, when the big moment was happening LOL. Hope to see you again soon, next time we visit Scotland. Much love Chum & Claire

Dearest Neil,
Many, many thanks for making our special day a truly memorable event. Your ceremony was beautiful and we will carry that memory and treasure it for the rest of our lives together. All the best and hoping to meet you again soon. David and Camille”

Dear Neil
Just a note to say thank you again for making our ceremony so special and memorable. It really was just perfect and was everything we wanted it to be. Thank you also for keeping us right on the run up to the big day with all the paperwork etc.…we wouldn’t have had a clue. All the best, Louise and Jamie.

“Hi Neil
Just wanted to say a massive thank you for a wonderful ceremony. You were very calming and professional and delivered the service with humour and emotion. We couldn’t have asked for any better. It was so special and you received so many compliments from the guests. Thank you so much again. Louise and Shaun

“To Neil
Thank you so much for composing and carrying out our beautiful ceremony. It was everything we dreamed of and more. Many of our guests had never been to a humanist wedding before and they loved how personal it was, we did too. Thank you for everything you did on the day and for making us feel relaxed, we were so nervous. Everything was perfect. Thank you. Lots of love. Mr and Mrs McIntosh.

“To Neil
We just wanted to say a huge thank you for being our celebrant at our wedding. You immediately put the room at ease and provided us with a relaxed ceremony which made it truly memorable. Many of our guests complimented us on it and how much it related to us. Thank you for making it so special
Christine and Robbie”

“To Neil,
Can’t thank you enough”. You have taken us on a brilliant journey – from looking at your profile; to choosing you to be our celebrant; to meeting you at your splendid home, planning our wedding; giving us homework; and finally conducting our ceremony. We had so many comments regarding the excellent quality of the ceremony. Thanks for keeping us right throughout. Kareen and Brendan.

“Hi Neil, myself and Claire would just like to thank you for the perfect ceremony! We are so delighted we chose you and couldn't be happier. We have your card and 110% will be recommending you. Everyone couldn't believe how good the ceremony was. When our photos arrive we will send some down to you. Thank you again for everything and all the best for the future. Scott and Claire

“Dear Neil,
Thank you very much for all of your time and skills in being our Celebrant for our wedding. We both enjoyed the ceremony SO much and feel that you understood us and our humour to a T. So many of our guests came up to us later and said it was the best ceremony they had ever been to – many of them never having been to a humanist ceremony before. Mums and Dads both enjoyed it too. We really cannot thank you enough for being such an important part of our special day.
Best wishes Stuart and Shonagh

“Good afternoon Neil,
I just wanted to thank you so much for the marvellous wedding ceremony you conducted for our daughter Hayley and Richie last Friday. It was very personal, moving and also amusing and so many of our guests have commented on how much they enjoyed it. We were all delighted to see them so happy and relaxed. I know that the father and brother of the bride also really appreciated your guidance about the music and running order too. Thanks again.
With best wishes
Alyson”

“Neil,
Thank you so very much for being our celebrant for our wedding. We cannot thank you enough for helping us to have our perfect ceremony, which would not have happened without your guidance, patience and support. THANK YOU! We wish you the very best and brightest of futures – keep in touch.
Jo and Stefan”

“To Neil
Thank you very much for conducting our ceremony at the wedding – it went so quickly, but we thought it was perfect and exactly how we had hoped! Everyone commented on how good it was and loved how personal it was. We had a really great day and hope you enjoyed the ceremony too.
Thanks again for giving us a great start in our married life – we are very excited about our future together!
All the best
Sohyla and Alasdair”

“Dear Neil,
Hamish and I want to thank you for being our celebrant. You really made our ceremony so special. It was so personal and really brought out who Hamish and I really are. We could not have been happier with how it all went.
From our first meeting on Skype to you welcoming us in your home – you made us feel so special and comfortable.
Our wedding was perfect and our ceremony magical and wonderful. Thank you for being a part of it and for everything you did to make it so lovely.
All the best xx
Kristen and Hamish”

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

Naming or Welcoming Ceremonies are such fun! Kids running about – some of them aged over 40 – friends getting together, families congregating >>> big or small, a Naming Ceremony is a fantastic opportunit...

One of my very favourite things about a Naming Ceremony is the chance it gives to be creative, even wacky, and to involve some or all of the guests in art, music or just plain laughing.

There is no strict format to follow and so this allows the freedom to involve others, whether they be grandparents, siblings, guide parents or even the entire guest list...

Readings, poetry, sand mixing, singing, music, tree planting, handprints, wish lists - there are so many things you can do to make your child's Ceremony meaningful and memorable and unique.

I also enjoy preparing a certificate of the event to be signed by the parents and also, if appropriate guide parents… and while the ceremony should be fun and relaxed there is an element of gravitas at the point where all of the guests join in the official naming of the wee one/s… yes, you can have a double ceremony and even combine a Naming Ceremony with a Wedding Ceremony…all up to you!

If you are considering a Naming Ceremony the best way forward is to drop me an email or give me a ring and we can talk things through and then arrange to meet up either at my home or yours or somewhere in between!

Some recent testimonials –

“Just want to say thank you so much for Emily’s naming day ceremony Neil. We were all very relaxed and had a lovely day – just what we wanted. Thank you. A, K and Emily.” August 2018

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Funeral Ceremonies

Conducting a funeral is a real privilege and a huge responsibility. It is such a rewarding thing to be able to do and, paradoxically, it is life affirming. Every time I am asked to help a family through what is often ...

Helping you to grieve in your own way and to begin to say goodbye in a way that feels right for you is my aim - and if I get it right for you then that is almost reward enough. If I can make you and your fellow mourners smile and even laugh that is a bonus – it all helps in the grieving process.

The period before the funeral can be an emotional roller coaster – and so it is often best to stay busy and occupied; there is a lot to do and think about and I always make myself available to families so that they can call me if they have any queries or worries in the lead up to the ceremony. It’s a great cliché that life is not a dress rehearsal and this is certainly the case for a funeral and so it is vital to have the ceremony you really want for your loved one – you only get one chance to say a formal goodbye, so together we have to make it special.



Some recent testimonials…

“Neil – now it is over I wanted to thank you again. What you did you did brilliantly. Everyone felt he had a respectful and lovely send off. You are brilliant at this difficult and stressful event. The pitch and what you said was just right and helped me a great deal. Truly grateful Thank you Neil. John”

“Dear Neil,
My Dad and I want to thank you for conducting my Mum’s funeral service last week. After meeting you, we felt reassured that her service would be in safe hands. And it really was. You gave us the dignified and personal tribute we had hoped for and you pitched it absolutely right for my Mum.
We are sincerely grateful for your calm and gentle expertise and the comfort we gained from the service being done so well.

With heartfelt thanks
Susan and Bert”

“Dear Neil
On behalf of my Mum, S., D., A. and myself we would like to offer thanks for conducting such a beautiful tribute to our Dad/Husband and brother on Friday. As difficult as it was we took such comfort in the service which was such a wonderful celebration of his life. We would also like to thank you for taking the time to spend with us getting to know our wonderful Dad. We are all in agreement that had Dad met you we think you two would have got on really well. Many thanks again. Wendy”

“Hi Neil
The script is perfect – you have captured Mum’s character and personality perfectly. There are no changes to be made whatsoever. It really is beautiful. The poem you have chosen is also very touching. We can’t thank you enough. It really is beautiful. Thank you so much. Sara”

“Dear Neil,
I just wanted to send you a quick email on behalf of my mum and all the family to thank you for all you done yesterday at my dad’s service. We all appreciate your kind words about my dad and he would have been very proud. Thank you again.

Kind regards
Ashley”

“Neil,
Please accept the heartfelt thanks of S. and myself for the thoughtful and very professional way in which you prepared for and conducted R’s funeral. You have made a frankly unimaginable time a bit more bearable.
With best wishes.
P.”

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Contact

Marbeth Boyle

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

Hello and thank you for reading my profile.

I have been a celebrant since November 2008 and it has been an experience and a privilege, in my previous life I had a job I enjoyed greatly but being a celebrant is ...

I have met many people at really important times in their lives and with such a variety of tales to tell. Being able to help them find the right way, for them, to celebrate or to grieve, is both humbling and rewarding. Every ceremony is important, every ceremony is special.

My working experience, over many years, was with children with significant physical difficulties and I have some insight into the challenges they, and their families face.

The greatest lesson I learned was that these children and young adults were people first, with strengths and potential. Yes, they have problems, but they also have dreams and aspirations, we all have.

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Check My Availability

Busy Limited Available

Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

You are to be married, congratulations! I’d be delighted to be part of your big day as the Celebrant to conduct your Humanist ceremony.

The days ahead will be filled with lots of discussions, decision and fu...

One of the great advantages of a Humanist ceremony is that it is entirely up to you what to include. The legal requirements and formalities take only about 5 minutes and can be completed at any stage of the ceremony. The legal declarations are mandatory and I cannot allow you to change those. However, apart from that and as long as the ideas and suggestions are safe, dignified and consistent with Humanist principles, the content of your wedding ceremony really is up to you. However I'll be there for you every step of the way

Sometimes people wish to write their own vows and so on, others wouldn't want to sit down with a blank sheet but I have lots of examples you can use if you wish.

However, I shall be there at every step of the process to help and to guide you through the process and together, we’ll craft the ceremony which you want to have.

We’ll start of with a chat, usually by phone or Skype, sometimes in 'my' Costa! If you wish to book me, we can either meet and do the booking together, or by post. When we next meet depends on timing, if your wedding is coming up quite quickly we'll meet very quickly!

However, if time allows, I’d normally meet you again quite a few months before your wedding to start planning your ceremony. I think it is important to do this when you are not in the final run up to your big dayand so busy that you don't have time to think.

When we arrange to have the planning meeting I will send you out your ‘homework’, a note of all the things you have to choose for your ceremony and examples for you to consider. These are your 'starter for ten', there will be lots of opportunities for you to come up with your own ideas.

When we meet we will discuss what you want included in your ceremony and decide who will write your ceremony. I am more than willing to do it but, if you feel more comfortable writing your own ceremony, I am happy for you to do that provided I check the contents and the legality of your legal declarations. However we do it, together we shall achieve the ceremony which is perfect for you.

When you plan your ceremony, you can be as creative and innovative or as traditional as you wish. Your wedding will be as formal or as informal as you want, include as much or as little humour as you want, perhaps involving your guests, your parents or your children and achieve the perfect balance of all those ingredients to make the recipe for a perfect day, your perfect day.

Wedding Ceremonies are a mixture of light hearted and solemn moments but yours is about you, the couple, is very personal and aims to make your big day one to remember.

By choosing an HSS celebrant, you will be contributing to the extensive charitable work and campaigning the Society supports, both through your membership fee, and I also donate send a % of my fee back to the HSS to support this work.

All our ceremonies are covered by our Ceremony Promise, meaning all celebrants are trained to the highest standard. We’re also fully insured, and with over 90 wedding celebrants across Scotland. If for some reason I became unable to conduct your ceremony, your ceremony can be retrieved from our server and forwarded to one of our network of celebrants who could step in at short notice. We promise that the ceremony you have planned will be delivered for you on the day.

When all the work is done and the decisions made and the 'big day' arrives a special moment in every wedding is when I pronounce a couple married. They look at each other and realise that they have reached the place they set out to arrive at, they are married. They burst into big smiles and reach out to each other.

I would love to have the privilege of declaring you married. I hope to hear from you but good luck.

Please look me up on FaceBook, I usually put up pictures of my weddings, if the couple agree, and sometimes little snippets of my life!

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Funeral Ceremonies

Our initial training is for funerals and I have met so many families who invite me to be part of their grieving and, really importantly, their celebration of the life of the loved one they have lost.

It is a re...

A little flutter of anxiety is the 'dugs'. Hand on the front gate or doorbell and, what happens next?

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Contact

Lorna Hanlon

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

Since 2010, I have been in the privileged position of being a Registered Celebrant of the Humanist Society Scotland, based in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, and I conduct weddings, partnership ceremonies, funerals and naming...

I try to live a good life as a Humanist by making my ethical decisions based on reason, empathy, and a concern for human beings and the natural world. I also believe that, within the one life I have, I can act to give life meaning by seeking happiness in this life and helping others to do the same.

For me, this includes looking out for and helping others in need in the same way that I would hope if I or my family or friends were vulnerable or in need, that someone who could do so might be looking out for them. We are all part of one human community, and if we all helped each other and co-operated to create a better world then a lot of the world's problems would be able to be improved to a significant degree.

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Check My Availability

Busy Limited Available

Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

I am delighted to be able to offer couples the personal type of ceremony which can be provided in the structure and ethos of a Humanist wedding. As a qualified linguist, I can write and conduct parts of ceremonies in...

How I feel about being a wedding Celebrant
Being a wedding Celebrant is a great honour, and it is exciting and humbling to be performing such an important part of what is such a meaningful day for the couple involved.

My approach to weddings
Within the Humanist wedding structure and ethos, I want to help each couple create an individual and unique ceremony which they and their nearest and dearest will be able to recall with affection and happiness long after the wedding day has passed.

What I love most about conducting weddings
Meeting the people involved in planning what can be one of the happiest days of their lives and sharing in the exciting process of becoming a married couple, as well as the emotional and practical involvement I have in each ceremony.

My advice to you
A Humanist wedding is an affirmation of a belief in your future as a couple together as Humanists, and it is also a way to express your love and unity in a very special and individual way - so I would say it is important to listen to what your heart tells you when making decisions - it is YOUR day, and should be true to the sort of people you are.

My favourite piece of wedding poetry
I was married in a Humanist Ceremony myself, and we had a lovely poem by Roy Croft called "Love", which I read as it said a lot about how I felt about my husband.

My favourite piece of wedding music
There is so much music to pick from, but I had a beautiful piece by Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham called "Violet Tulloch, Queen of Lerwick.", which I felt really connected back strongly to my own Shetland roots.

Comments on wedding ceremonies;
"Just sending you a little note to say thank you for the lovely ceremony that you conducted for us on Saturday,it was exactly what we wanted and we had so many people commenting on how lovely if was.We both had a fantastic day,which began with your lovely ceremony and finished with a big knees up!!"
"We want to thank you again for making our wedding on Saturday such a memorable and special occasion. A number of our guests commented on how much they enjoyed the ceremony and how personal it was. It clearly made a big impression on them and set the right tone for the rest of the day."
"We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for the beautiful ceremony you conducted. Our guests spoke very highly of the ceremony and the celebrant...thank you for making it exactly as we wanted and for all your help and advice."

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

Naming ceremonies are very important in honouring and welcoming a child into the family, and I consider it a privilege and a delight to be able to offer this very personal type of ceremony to families. It is a real j...

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Funeral Ceremonies

I feel that I am in a very privileged position, and always take my responsibilities extremely seriously - to the bereaved family, the Funeral Directors, the Crematorium and Cemetery staff and most importantly to the p...

What I find most rewarding about conducing funerals
It is a privilege to be invited by a bereaved family to conduct their loved one's funeral. I always feel moved and humbled when I hear that I might have helped a very difficult day become ever so slightly easier to endure.

My favourite piece of funeral poetry
Joyce Grenfell has written some very concise, comforting poems which are very fitting for funeral cermonies. Anne Bronte's "Farewell" is also a beautiful verse which says a great deal in a very few words.

My favourite piece of Funeral music
For me it is "Vide cor Meum", by Patrick Cassidy. It is written in a combination of Latin and Italian, and the last words translate as "I am in peace. See my heart".
As a Modern Languages Graduate, I can write and conduct funeral ceremonies or parts of them as required in German and Spanish, as well as writing and reading in Italian and French.

Recent comments:
"Once again, thanks you for everything, you have a beautiful voice and a gracious, quiet and sincere manner, we were very pleased that mum took this path"
"You carried it out to complete perfection and that means the world to us... many people commented on how lovely and uplifting it was... you are definitely in the right job and will be my first thought and recommendation to others"
"An email to say how complimentary everyone was yesterday about the way you conducted his celebration""The whole family wish to say many thanks for the wonderful tribute you did for him...The comments we received were all good."
"Indeed a number of people said they would now consider a humanist funeral as it made much more sense to them than many religious ones they had attended."
"Once again thank you for your time and oration, you did the family proud."

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