Monday, 25 January 2010

An Early Humanist: Robert Burns

As Burns wrote to his friend Robert Muir, “These, my worthy friend, are my ideas. . . It becomes a man of sense to think for himself; particularly in a case where all men are equally interested, and where, indeed, all men are equally in the dark.”

Today is the 251st anniversary of his birth; when he died at the age of 37, 10,000 people attended his funeral.

Thanks to the Freedom from Religion Foundation for reminding me.

And you can sign up for their "Freethought of the Day" here.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Can I Marry You?

This isn't as dumb a question as it may at first appear.

This week, I've been tracking the enquiries I've had from couples who wanted me to marry them at some point over the next 12 months, and I've had to apologise to two thirds because I am already fully committed on the date in question.

That's NOT to say that I can't take any more Saturday bookings this summer - I can.

But most people want to get married at some point on a Saturday afternoon during the summer, and as there are only 16 Saturday afternoons available, it doesn't take long for them to go.

What makes it even more of a challenge is that as more and more people want to have a humanist wedding ceremony, there are still only 58 celebrants across the whole of Scotland authorised to conduct them.

So I've got a few suggestions.

First of all, when you've decided on a date, look for a celebrant at the same time as you look for a venue.
If the date isn't absolutely critical, be flexible; a wedding can be just as wonderful on a Friday or a Sunday.
If you can, marry on a weekday; many venues charge a premium for weekends and you may find they're very glad of your custom.

Finally, I've got a question.

Would you like to be able to enter your date and time into a web form, and then see which celebrants in your area are free and able to conduct your marriage ceremony?
I've created a little poll on the right hand side of this blog, so if you can spare two seconds, please let me know.
It's something I'm working on and I think it could be a big help to us all.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Fiona & Michiel's Humanist Wedding at the Merchants' Hall in Edinburgh

Although it's almost two months ago, I remember this ceremony as though it were yesterday.

Fiona & Michiel both lived in Holland when they met, but moved back to Fiona's homeland a couple of years ago, so it was a Scots-Dutch crowd that packed into the elegant Merchants' Hall on Hanover Street.

One of the many things I enjoyed about the ceremony was that they decided to have two songs, one in Scots by the Proclaimers "I Wanna Be (500 Miles)" and one in Dutch, called “Zij Geloof in Mij” which means ‘She believes in me”. So we decided to make it a sing-off between the two sections of the crowd, home and away. Guess who walked the floor with the opposition?

No - it was the Dutch - Uitstekend! Thanks to Fiona & Michiel - and to of Gerlof Griesel of Geebz Photography for the shots.

It's time to celebrate, people!

I'm delighted to announce that from now on, I will be a celebrant with Celebrate People , a new Humanist organisation led by two of Scot...