Congratulations on your engagement and thanks for looking at my blog!

Congratulations on your engagement and thanks for looking at my blog!

How to use this blog

PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM NOW COMPLETELY RETIRED, SO I'M NO LONGER TAKING ANY WEDDING BOOKINGS. I'M LEAVING THIS BLOG ONLINE IN CASE IT'S OF ANY HELP TO YOU IN PLANNING YOUR WEDDING, BUT I WON'T BE MAINTAINING IT, SO APOLOGIES FOR BROKEN LINKS OR OUT OF DATE INFORMATION! This blog is structured as a series of questions and under each posting, I've provided what I hope will be helpful advice for you in planning your humanist wedding. All of the posts are on one page, but each one has been condensed in size, so to read the full details, just click on the post title or 'read more'. When you get to the end of the post, just click on 'home' to get back to the full page of posts or 'older post' to move on to the next post. If you're interested in a particular subject, you can also click on the list to the right or you can do your own search by using the box below.

I've started with a wee video, so happy viewing, happy reading and happy wedding planning!

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How can we involve wee ones (and fur babies) in our ceremony?

Couples who have children often see their wedding ceremony as a way of celebrating not just their marriage but also their family life together. The first thing to stress is not to worry about any of the wee ones moving around or making a noise during the ceremony. Humanist weddings are often very relaxed in style (mine certainly are!) and in any case children often say or do something cute to entertain everyone!

(toddler Jacob finds harpist Iain Hood fascinating at Glenskirlie House)

By the way, I always make a few announcements before or at the start of the ceremony - to tell your guests not to worry about the wee ones, unless they get really unsettled, in which case they should feel free to wander about with them or to take them out for a while. It's a good idea to have some toys for the kids to play with during the ceremony (maybe not noisy ones though!) and something for them to eat and drink. And if they're your own kids, think about having someone else to look after them during the ceremony - although it is of course fine if they want to join us at the front! I'm very relaxed about and around children!

(in the lovely courtyard at Monachyle Mhor)

(at Fingask Castle in Perthshire, picture by Jenni Browne)

They may of course just want to roll about on the red carpet and entertain themselves!

The Humanist approach certainly includes celebrating family values and couples with children often want to know how they might include them in the ceremony. Whether it's your own children, nieces, nephews or the children of friends and family, there are lots of ways to involve them. By the way, whatever you decide to do, it's always a good idea to rehearse with them at the venue (if possible) so that they know what they're doing - or at least show them the room the night before or the morning of the wedding. And don't worry if they don't 'perform' on the day, we'll go with the flow (you kind of have to with kids eh?!) 

Anyway, here are a few ideas for involving them:
  • You can include them as flower girls, junior bridesmaids, the 'Princess of Honour' (rather than the Maid of Honour), page boys, mini ushers or the 'Best Boy' (rather than the Best Man)!
  • Flower girls or page boys can scatter petals before the bride's entrance - and depending on how old they are and what sort of mood they're in on the day, that can be hilarious of course!
  • They can carry one of those 'Daddy here comes Mummy' banners - or how about these two cuties:
  • I've also seen children give out Orders of Ceremony and confetti to the guests as they arrive.
  • You could give the children bubbles to blow during the ceremony - or hand them out during the signing so that they can create lots of bubbles as you make your grand exit as a married couple.
(Can I have one of those bubble guns please?!)

By the way just watch it if the page boy has access to a skean dhu! And yes, this one looks as if he's about to stab someone, but I can fortunately report that no bridesmaids were hurt in the making of this particular marriage!

  • If you decide to include handfasting in your ceremony, the children can help by bringing the ribbons or tartan forward and/or helping to tie the knots. You can even include ribbons in their favourite colours and tie them into the handfast binding along with your own tartans/ribbons.
  • If you're drinking from a quaich during your ceremony, you could use something non-alcoholic so that your children can share it. Good old Irn Bru comes to mind (watch that dress though girls!)
  • A particularly confident child might like to read a short poem for you. There are lots of lovely poems that are suitable for children to read and I can give you help and examples.
(photo by Dave Hunt

  • Even very young children can act as ring bearers with a bit of help - as long as you make sure that the rings are totally secure anyway. But beware boisterous page boys with ring cushions, especially if they're identical two year old twins like Elliot and Murray - aren't they the cutest though?! 
(Photo by Jenni Browne)

Matthew here was a bit older and completed his duties splendidly well: 

And how about Louis, looking seriously cool as 'Ring Security' at his mum and dad's wedding at Glenbervie House Hotel:

  • I'm sometimes asked if children can act as witnesses and they can, but not until they are 16 years of age (if you still count them as children at that age!)
  • Couples with children sometimes want to have a joint wedding/naming ceremony and there are all sorts of ways to do this. For example, you can make promises to your children during the vows, have readings about parenthood or ask your witnesses to be Guide Parents. There are lots of ideas and I can help you to decide what would work best for you.
  • Of course, 'the wee ones' in your family might not be human (although if they're anything like most of the dogs I've owned, they probably think they're human!). 
  • Cute little doggie ring bearers have been featured elsewhere in this blog (see my 'exchange of rings' post) and it'll come as no surprise that I love them! Ashley and James had their adorable pooch, Moose, involved in every aspect of their wedding at Kinlochard Village Hall and yes, he totally stole the show!

Basically, as far as I'm concerned, if you want your dogs to be there on your wedding day, go for it - and I'll be at the front of the queue to make a big fuss of them!

(how handsome are these four?! This is Daniel, Callum, Nelson and Ben at Comrie Croft snapped by Francis J Smith)

Don't forget that the two of you can be big kids of course! If you want your ceremony to be a bit daft, that's great and although there is a serious element to every wedding, I'm always happy to consider fun and wacky ideas! 

(Star wars fun pic by George Lammie at Natural Wedding Photography and jumping for joy pic by Emma Gray Photography)

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