Creative couple Rachel and Harvey wanted a rustic wedding on the family farm and the freedom to make their vows personal and sentimental. As a non-religious couple, a humanist ceremony fitted the bill perfectly!
Harvey tells us all about their big day and working with humanist wedding celebrant Hannah Bryant.
We both work in the film/TV industry making prosthetics and special effects. I grew up in the Worcestershire countryside and Rachel is from Malta, but moved to the UK when she went to university. We now live in Hertfordshire with our cat Frank, who is basically the centre of our universe.
We very specifically did not want it to be an overly traditional occasion. As neither of us is religious, having a humanist ceremony fitted the bill perfectly — and it gave us the creative control to make it as sentimental and personal as we wanted without having to conform to any set scripts.
We had our legal ceremony at the register office a few days before our humanist wedding. But, for the main day, we wanted something very different!
The wedding ceremony and reception both took place outdoors in a wood that my dad had planted.
We had a sand ceremony, which was a really nice way to involve both our families. We had each collected small bottles of sand from places that were important to us. The bottles were emptied in turn, into our ceremonial bottle, with the separate layers clearly visible. We now have a lovely reminder of our wedding day which we see everyday — as the bottle sits on a shelf in our kitchen!
From the start, our humanist celebrant Hannah Bryant was nothing short of fantastic, and it was obvious that she wanted to make our day as perfect for us as she could.
Hannah completely understood the vibe that we wanted to achieve and she went ‘above and beyond’ to write a script of how we’d met and to fit in the readings we’d chosen. In order for her to fully understand the film references we’d asked her to include, she went as far as to watch each film!
We could not recommend humanist weddings highly enough for being so welcoming and inclusive to everyone’s beliefs (or lack thereof) and really getting to the heart of the matter, which is bringing people together.
We’re now one year on from our wedding and we still have regular conversations about just how glad we are that we went with a humanist wedding.
Hannah was one of our best wedding-planning decisions, and we feel like we’ve made a friend for life.
Many thanks to Harvey and Rachel for sharing their story with us! If you’d like your humanist wedding featured on the blog, email us today.
Roo Stain is an award-winning wedding photographer based in the West Midlands. He was recently awarded ‘West Midlands Best Wedding Photographer 2020’ at The Wedding Industry Awards.
Hannah Bryant is a humanist wedding celebrant based in Birmingham. She conducts ceremonies across the West Midlands and further afield.
You can find out more about humanist weddings on our website. For inspiration for your humanist wedding, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
How do you know if you’re a humanist? Take our quiz and find out — or watch this short video where Stephen Fry explains humanism.
If you’d like a humanist wedding, you can find your local celebrant today.
Your ceremony will focus on your love story. It can include unique vows, readings, poems, and any symbolic acts you choose.
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There are exciting times ahead as you choose your humanist celebrant and plan a personalised wedding that's unique to you.