As you’d imagine, here at Humanist Ceremonies, we love a good wedding so we were delighted when Bekka and Gareth agreed to share their story with us.
We met online via Tinder. Our first date was in a local pub and we obviously got on well. We share a passion for travel and have had lots of adventurous holidays together since.
We’ve been together for almost 6 years.
Gareth proposed on a secluded beach on an offshore island in Madagascar. There was no ring at the time of the proposal but we found a £4.50 silver ring in a small backstreet shop that evening. It has since been replaced with a bespoke ring that I designed with a sapphire we bought in Madagascar.
We knew we wanted something outside, preferably on a beach in the sunshine, and definitely not a typical wedding venue. We didn’t quite manage to tick all those boxes but we did have it outdoors on a cliff top in Gareth’s native Cornwall.
The planning process
We started planning the wedding almost straight away after getting engaged. We were engaged in November and got married the following September. The most important things were having a wedding that was personal to us and represented the people we are, having as many of our friends and family there, and a free bar!
We found a location on the clifftop in Porthleven at a B&B called Beacon Crag. The setting was absolutely stunning, we first saw it in mid-winter and thought it was beautiful then so we knew it would be a good location even if the weather wasn’t great. Gareth is from Cornwall and we’ve both spent a lot of time there so we wanted to find a nice outdoor space with views, preferably over the sea. It was great to have the whole wedding in one place, there were no logistical challenges moving people between venues and we could enjoy the whole day as we had everything we needed there.
Why we chose humanist wedding
Some of our friends had had a humanist wedding so we already knew it was something we would like to have.
Neither of us is religious but we wanted more than just a civil wedding. We liked the idea that we could personalise the ceremony as much as we wanted so it reflected us and was truly meaningful.
We found our celebrant, Kim Baker via the Humanist Ceremonies website. We initially spoke on the phone as we live a long way from where we were having the wedding and where Kim lived. When we were next down in Cornwall we met at a breakfast place, talked about us and discussed our options for a ceremony and what it could look like. Kim was relaxed, warm and friendly and her voice reminded me of my late grandma so I felt a strong connection.
For the ceremony, we chose the music ourselves and we left the choice of readings up to the people reading them. Kim gave us some pointers and examples for our promises (vows) and made sure we both had them done in time!
Our humanist wedding ceremony
Every part of the ceremony felt personal to us. Kim gave a nice introduction to us as a couple, we had chosen some songs for everyone (including us!) to sing along to during the ceremony and writing our own promises made it very personal.
We began with a Hawaiian style Lei ceremony where we both placed flower leis on our parents and then had them place Leis on us. It was a nice way to thank and involve our parents and it was a complete surprise to them.
We also did a handfasting ceremony and we exchanged rings.
My sister and two best friends were bridesmaids and all three of our young nieces were flower girls. Gareth’s two brothers were ushers and his friend Dan (who he’s known since they were both 5 years old) was the best man.
The legal bit
We went to the registry office on the morning of the wedding. We treated it as a bit of paperwork as we didn’t want that to be our wedding, but it still felt quite emotional.
We found our photographer, Grant Lampard online. We really liked his style and had a chat on the phone and then arranged to meet to look at his portfolio. He was a friendly, open guy who also gave us lots of useful tips for the day. The photos came out great and we were really happy with them.
Advice for other couples thinking about having a humanist wedding
Go for it! If you want your wedding to feel really personal, meaningful and unique to you, then a humanist wedding is the way forward. It’s your day so you can have it however you want it.
Kim Baker is a humanist celebrant conducting weddings, namings, and funerals in Cornwall, Devon, and further afield.
Many thanks to Bekka and Gareth for sharing their story with us. If you would like your humanist wedding to be featured on our blog, please email us.