Ceremonies come in all shapes and sizes nowadays. Even your ‘typical’ church or registry service can be full of personal touches from readings to the music you choose and your vows.

If you want to go really personal then it’s worth considering a humanist ceremony. We had one for our wedding (we just did the ‘official’ registry bit a few days before). I’ll be honest, when a lot of our friends and family heard about it I think they thought we’d lost the plot slightly but they all loved the hugely personal ceremony that was all about us. I’ve put contact details for our celebrant at the end of this booklet. She’s fantastic and put us both completely at ease with everything.

Photo tip – it’s worth having a chat with your vicar/celebrant about photography before your day. Sometimes they have set places they prefer photographers to stand during the ceremony. I’ll always introduce myself to them before the ceremony too when I arrive at the venue.


I’ll be honest, we found this one of the hardest parts of the ceremony – there are SO many readings out there and so many ideas. It can feel overwhelming trying to find something that your guests may not have heard before as well as making it personal to the two of you.

A few ideas are:

  • A paragraph from your favourite book
  • Song lyrics that mean the world to you
  • Letters of Note. This is not only a fascinating website it’s also a great resource for unique readings. We had a letter that Johnny Cash wrote to June Carter Cash during our ceremony
  • Dr Seuss or Edmund Monkton – funny, heartfelt and oh so lovely. It’s worth having a look through the work of these guys
  • Neil Gaiman – for a science fiction writer Neil has a beautiful way with words of love.

If you’re really struggling for ideas then pass the buck…ask your reader to surprise you with something!