Kate Stoddart – Wedding Celebrant
An exceptional wedding ceremony can brilliantly mirror the lives and values of the couple, affirming their love and future intentions to their friends and families.
Rather than following a standard script or religious ritual, a humanist wedding ceremony can be a personal and creative act; our words, thoughts, and ideas can translate into an extraordinary day.
Making the decision to get married is a significant one; now you are ready to make that commitment to each other, you’ll be looking for someone who will help to create a bespoke wedding ceremony that reflects and celebrates who you are. Someone who will be by your side to take you through to the day itself and help to keep things calm, so you can relax and enjoy every moment. That is the role of the celebrant. That’s me.
I work with all kinds of couples on all kinds of ceremonies, including weddings, civil partnerships, elopements, and vow renewals.
My partner and I organised our own wedding ceremony several years ago, with the help of family and friends. We made our own vows, found our own readings and poems, and shaped the ceremony. As a celebrant, I am here to make this an easier and more enjoyable process.
Working as a celebrant dovetails with my work as a curator and arts producer. The skills of writing, listening, and taking the raw ingredients of your ideas and your story to create a script with you. One that feels absolutely right.
I am based in the middle of the UK and I am happy to travel. I am accredited with Humanists UK. New to humanism? Find out more here.
Wedding ceremonies are the heart of the wedding day – they can be traditional and inclusive of cultural rituals or they can be creative and reinvent the idea of a wedding ceremony. From a long time in the planning – careful and intricate in every detail of the production – to a last-minute elopement, whichever you choose, it’s about gathering together the vows you want to make, with the music, poems or readings you want, and creating a script which reflects you.
You may already know about humanist ceremonies, but here are the answers to some of the questions people often ask.
What is a Humanist Ceremony?
It is a ceremony which is not religious. It gives you complete freedom to marry where you want and how you want.
It’s all about you, and your story. The focus is on what you want to say and the vows you want to make before your friends, family, and community.
Where can a ceremony take place?
You can get married anywhere that feels right for you – in a calm interior or in a windswept field, a city square or in your own garden. You do not need a license, although you might need the permission of the owner. Currently, the law states you need to register your marriage at a registry office to be legal, although there are indications that the law will change.
How long do they last?
The length of your ceremony is flexible – within reason! They usually last about 30 to 45 minutes.
Does it have to include anything in particular?
Your ceremony can be serious, funny or spiritual – or a combination of all three. Vows can be made, poems can be read, songs sung, and music played. It can incorporate old and new traditions, borrowed ideas, alongside your own.
Sarah & Alissa
Alissa and Sarah wanted to get married under the blue skies of Greece, a special place for them. The wedding party hired a small boat for the day, and the ceremony took place on board, in a cove with beautiful rock formations and transparent water. It was important for them to mark the ten years they had been together, as well as making vows for the future. The readings and poetry captured their love of travel and adventure, as well as of each other.
Indian Wedding Blessing
Now we feel no rain for each of us will be a shelter to the other,
Now we feel no cold for each of us will be warmth to the other,
Now there is no loneliness for each of us will be
A companion to the other
We are two bodies but there is one life before us and one home.
When evening falls, I’ll look up and there you will be,
I’ll take your hand; you’ll take mine and we’ll turn together
To look at the road we travelled to reach this the hour of our happiness
It stretches behind us, even as the future lies ahead.
A long and winding road whose every turning means discovery.
Old hopes, new laughter, shared fears -
The adventure has just begun.
“Kate is just the sort of person you would want to be your celebrant – with her empathy, humour and knowledge of some wonderful poems and texts. She gave us food for thought, words and ideas for our vows.”
Alissa & Sarah
How it works
The ingredients of the script are your story and what you want to say to each other and those around you. I do an initial draft and help weave it together and then lead you through it on the day.
My ceremonies sometimes involve those close to you. You may like to bring your guests into the ceremony in some way – there are lots of different ways to do this.
Your ideas come first, and I can suggest artists or musicians who could compliment those, from a growing library of poems, literature, and music from around the world and a great network of creative people, locally and regionally.
Weddings don’t have to cost the earth, financially or environmentally. My fee is £650 (2020/21) which includes an initial planning meeting to talk through your ideas, writing and editing the script, a dress rehearsal, and my role as a celebrant on the day. I do not charge for an informal meeting or call to see if we are right for each other.
If you have more questions and want to meet, please get in touch. I am available at weekends, in the evenings, and during weekdays too. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow me on Instagram at @artfulcelebrant