Fiona Thomas

Wedding & Civil Partnership, Naming & Welcoming and Funeral Ceremonies

About

For me, humanism is quite simply a way of life, based on respecting every individual regardless of who they are or what they believe. My work as a celebrant is extremely interesting and rewarding and it is a privilege to be able to conduct ceremonies. Prior to becoming a celebrant, I graduated with a PhD and worked as a scientist for ten years at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Ottawa, Canada.

Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

I love being a wedding celebrant! It’s an honour to be part of your big day, and it’s my job to ensure your ceremony is all that you dreamed it would be.

My approach to weddings
If you decide to make a booking, I will send you lots of information including:
• Example ceremonies.
• Examples of vows - these can be adapted to suit you or you can use them as inspiration to write your own.
• A collection of readings.
• Examples of symbolic gestures e.g. handfasting, candle lighting or drinking from a Quaich.

I will also ask you to write a bit about yourselves as a couple and what marriage means to you.

About four months before your wedding, after you’ve had a chance to look at the examples, I will arrange to meet with you, usually over a cuppa! I will give you advice on all aspects of the ceremony and we will discuss what you would like.

I will then write a draft of your ceremony and email it to you so you can advise of any changes or additions.

Then all you have to do is relax and enjoy your special day!
My favourite piece of wedding poetry

I think that the choice of poetry is a personal one, but my favourite is ‘Today’ by Bertrand Russell, which is very simple yet moving.

Today I marry my friend,
The one I have laughed and cried with,
The one I have learned from and shared with,
The one I have chosen to support, encourage,
And give myself to, through all the days
Given us to share.
Today I marry the one I love.

My favourite wedding music
A string quartet or harp will create a lovely atmosphere but I also find contemporary music works really well in the ceremony. It’s up to you - if you love a particular song or piece of music, then go for it!

My advice to you
Your wedding day is one that seems to fly. It’s a day that’s filled with emotion, friends, drinks and dancing. Amongst it all, take a moment to look at each other and think about the happiness that you’re feeling in this place, in this moment. Really let it sink in.

What people have said about my ceremonies
"We just wanted to say many thanks for being a top celebrant! It was the first humanist ceremony many of our guests had attended and they commented on how much they enjoyed it and the associated personal touches. It really was a perfect day for us."

“Our ceremony was just exactly what we’d hoped for – very much from the heart, down to earth and just ‘us’ really.”

“We thoroughly enjoyed it and you got everything absolutely spot on. It really was a total highlight of our day and so many people commented on how wonderful it was. Many people said it was the best, most sincere wedding ceremony they’d ever been to.”

Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

As a mum of two young boys, I know how much love and joy a child brings to a family. A naming ceremony is a great opportunity to bring family and friends together to welcome a child into the world, and it is an honour for me to be involved in celebrating a new life.

My approach to naming ceremonies
When you first make a booking, I will send you lots of examples to help you decide what you would like to include in the ceremony. As each ceremony is unique, I will meet with you to hear any ideas you may have, and talk you through your options for the ceremony. I can advise on readings, poetry, music and symbolic gestures, so that you can have a celebration that is very personal to you. Ceremonies can also be held for more than one child, as well as for older children.

Funeral Ceremonies

My approach to funerals
Death is an inevitable aspect of life and although a funeral is a time of great sadness, I consider it a privilege to play a role in bringing families and friends together to celebrate the life of their loved one. I will meet and work closely with the family to create a meaningful and personal tribute.

Some of the things people have said about my ceremonies
“Dear Fiona, thank you for the beautiful tribute you wrote for my brother. It was just right and gave everyone a real flavour of my brother and how much he enriched the lives of those around him. You were generous with your time and your compassion and you listened to us with care and insight. You wove the stories we shared with you into a poignant narrative, peppered with funny anecdotes just the way we wanted. It was lovely to hear people’s laughter in the room”.

“Dear Fiona, just a note to thank you again for a beautiful service for Dad. Many people afterwards said how much they had liked it - how it had captured his character and personality, and how moving they had found it. I shall certainly be choosing a Humanist service when it comes to my turn.”

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