Sunday, 21 August 2016

Selina and Jed's Humanist Marriage at Broxmouth Park

Jed and Selina's was a wedding of childhood sweethearts - with a twist.


The first time they met was in their first year of senior school; Jed remembers they were hanging around with other friends at the school gates at the time. Selina’s memory is less precise but she remembers meeting Jed at school even though he was only there for a ‘brief time’ before being expelled...   


They do agree that their first kiss was at the classy under 18’s club ‘The Mission’ near Waverley station, and that Bad Touch by Bloodhound Gang was playing at the time.    


They were inseparable even though they attended different schools: Jed won the all-time lateness award from his because he insisted on taking Selina to her school every day before trekking halfway across town to get to his own.


Fortunately they both went to the same University, where they had a wonderful time, and eleven years after they first got together, they brought all their families and friends to a spectacular setting, under a Cedar of Lebanon in the gardens of Broxmouth Park.



They both had lots of friends with them: standing by Jed were his best-man Jamie and his ushers, Ally, Gregor, Garry, Max, and Ollie. Supporting Selina were no fewer than six bridesmaids: Melanie, Jessica, Rachel, Katie, Aileen, Alice and two charming flower girls, Ella and Olivia. 



I was really impressed by the openness, honesty and sincerity of what they chose to share with their guests.



Jed sent me this email when they got back from honeymoon. "We've sent you a thank you card but it's a bit small to fit everything on."



We want to thank you for all your help in making our wedding such an incredible experience. 


I feel very strongly about the benefits of a humanist ceremony because, as I said later in my speech, weddings are a contradiction in that they are a very personal celebration but also such a common occurrence. Your approach really made us think about why we were having a wedding which might seem obvious but in reality is anything but.



I feel like we had an opportunity to really articulate the way we feel about each other and I don't believe that our wedding would have meant as much to us, or our friends and family, if we had had a religious or civil ceremony; not because of the religious element but because of the generic content. We were able to say exactly what we wanted and I'm grateful for that. 



On top of this your delivery was perfect, the ceremony went like clockwork and everyone felt included. 




My grandad who is a very religious man and strongly disapproved of our premarital cohabitation told us that he thought the ceremony was perfect which is high praise indeed. 




Selina's sister Jessica gave us a brilliant reading of the tricky 'I Carry Your Heart' by EE Cummings



And when Selina and Jed spoke their vows, they adapted a verse often attributed to the famous Humanist Philosopher, Bertrand Russell, 'Today I Marry My Friend'.


 Sam and Sequoia of Mirrorbox Photography made sure they were always in the right place at the right time, and got some excellent shots: I love this one particularly because it's the reverse of the usual 'you may kiss' picture, and you can see the happy faces in the background.




 I remember being very struck on receiving the first draft of their ceremony: it was so good it was almost a final one.



Yes, it was a huge crowd and a big day, but what made it so special was the thought and imagination that Jed and Selina put into their ceremony. 



 So, thank you once again Selina and Jed for asking me to be your celebrant: it really was a joy, and I wish you both every happiness over the years to come! 

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