Maureen Kettle

Wedding & Civil Partnership, Naming & Welcoming and Funeral Ceremonies

About

Hi, I’m Maureen and I live in Cumbernauld with my husband, James, our two teenagers, Greig and Amy, and last, but by no means least, our mad working cocker spaniel, Murphy, who gives all my visitors the most wonderfully warm and tail-waggingly excited welcome!!

To give you a wee bit about my background ... well, I worked with the Humanist Society Scotland for around 7 years in an administrative role and that opportunity enabled me see what wonderful work our celebrants do across our range of ceremonies. Then, back in 2014, I made the bold move to train as a Celebrant and have never looked back ... I absolutely love my job!!

Since registration as a celebrant, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people along the way. Every day is different and I consider it a great privilege and honour to be a Humanist Society Scotland Celebrant.

Living in the central belt, with its fantastic motorway links, I'm happy to travel throughout Scotland to conduct ceremonies, so please check out my Reviews on my Facebook page, get in touch by phone, or drop me an email via this page if you'd like to know any more about any of my ceremonies!

Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

So, you're getting married - Congratulations! ... Gratulacje! ... Parabéns! ... Felicitaciones! ... Congratulazioni! ... Gratulálok! ... Gratulace! ... Urime! ... Čestitke! ... おめでとうございます!... 恭喜!

Wherever you are journeying from for your wedding day, (near or far), it’s my aim to help you create your perfect ceremony, and I find being a part of that process a real honour, as I just love sharing in all the excitement that surrounds a wedding.

Our first step would be to meet up and have an informal chat, (sometimes by Skype or Facetime if you live at a distance or overseas), so we can get to know each other and chat through any ideas you may already have for your special day. We'll also discuss the many options available to you - from writing your own vows, including poetry/reading and symbolic gestures (i.e. handfasting, quaich, candles, sand, etc) ... to the things you love most about each other - and even a few things your other half could improve on if you like!!

Many couples choose to meet me in my own home, so they really get to know me and get a good flavour of who I am!

After our initial meeting, and once a booking is confirmed, I’ll email you some more paperwork along with the various options we’ve chatted about, so you can consider them in the comfort of your own home. When we meet, you can opt to either tell me your story of how you met and your journey to marriage, or I can send you off with a bit of ‘homework’ and you can email your story through to me.

Lots of couples like the ‘homework’ idea, as it’s a great opportunity to sit down together and remind yourselves of the reasons why you love each other and why you have chosen to marry ... as often, it can be very easy to lose sight of that when you have venues, flowers, cars, photographers and even photo-booths all occupying your mind)!

From my notes and your 'homework', I then draft your ceremony and send it across to you ... with us working together to create the perfect ceremony; one which truly reflects both of your personalities and all the things that are important to you.

On the day of your weddng, I’ll arrive about an hour before the ceremony is due to start – giving me time to catch up with the venue staff, your photographer and/or videographer, musicians and any guests who may be involved in readings, etc, on the day – just to have a final check everything is in place.

There are no restrictions to where you can marry, or what day or time, so you may get a much better deal all round if you choose something ‘off-peak’! HSS celebrants are licensed to legally marry couples in any venue within Scotland - and so far I've married couples in hotels, castles, on a beach, at a lochside ... even in a Hawaiian wedding in the couple's own back garden – very much 'your wedding, your way'!

All HSS ceremonies are covered by our Ceremony Promise, meaning all celebrants are trained to the highest standard. We’re also fully insured, and with over 100 HSS wedding celebrants across Scotland, if for some reason I became unable to conduct your ceremony, we have a network of celebrants who could step in at short notice.

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 10% of my fee back to the HSS.

Your wedding day will be a special celebration of your love for one another – it will be unique, relaxed and meaningful, and, at the same time, fun – a day which you and your guests will remember and talk of for years to come!

Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

A Humanist Naming and Welcoming ceremony is a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of a baby and welcome them into their extended family. It's also a fantastic way to officially welcome an older child, or an adopted child into your family too.

The ceremony can be held in any location, from the comfort of your own home, to a hotel or an outdoor location!

It's a lovely chance to bring all friend and family together, and for Parents and Guide Parents (non-religious godparents) to make their formal commitments, and, of course, to have a formal naming for the child too.

My approach to Naming & Welcoming ceremonies:

I love to meet up with parents in advance (and any big brothers or sisters), and we'll have a chat about loads of things - the pregnancy, how the wee one has settled into your family and any characteristics they've already developed. It's always nice to know why/how you chose their name, and also who you have chosen to be Guide Parents and why they were chosen.

We can go through symbolic gestures which can be incorporated into the ceremony such as candle-lighting, a sand ceremony, a balloon release, etc along with music and poetry or readings for the day, with the option of family members and/or friends being involved in these. We'll also discuss the wording of the pledges/promises that will be made.

Once I have the information, I will then draft a script and send it to you for approval, and we can then incorporate any changes or additions you would like to make.

What I love most about conducting Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies:

Above all, they’re fun! You also learn to expect the unexpected, and we have to just go with the flow, as the actual timetable on the day will undoubtedly be set by your own little star of the show!

My advice to you:

Have a think about how formal or informal you’d like the ceremony to be, and who you want to be involved in your wee one’s special day.

Each ceremony is unique. Imagine this day is a destination on a map - each family reaches this day travelling along a different route, with lots of different experiences along the way, making each ceremony individual with its own special stories and adventures.

If you have any questions at all or would like to chat anything over, please just get in touch!

Funeral Ceremonies

My approach to Funerals:

Although we rightly mourn the death of a loved one, I believe that it is also vitally important that we celebrate their life too.

To enable us to do this, I would make contact with you and arrange a mutually convenient time to meet up with you and your family, normally at your home, where we would have an informal chat through the life history of your loved one. Families often find this to be a really comforting experience as we chat and remember your loved one in happier times.

I’ll be with you for around 1½ hrs, gathering as much information as possible to enable me to write a very personal and fitting tribute to your loved one. I’ll then head home and compose the tribute and either email or deliver a copy of the entire ceremony to you for checking and approval in advance to ensure you are completely satisfied.

After the ceremony you’ll receive a copy of the ceremony in a presentation folder as a keepsake.

Why I chose to be an HSS Funeral Celebrant:

It is a real privilege to be able to conduct funeral ceremonies for the families who select me.

I find it absolutely fascinating learning about your loved one - their character, their life history, what they were like as a child, how you would describe them in a sentence ... my main aim being able to capture the character of the person and reflect that within the tribute.

It's a real honour to be able to support families at a time of loss - an extremely humbling experience, which often puts my own life in context.

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