I get asked a lot what makes a humanist wedding special, and from now on I will point to Tijana and Carl and reflect on their incredible wedding day because everything about it perfectly showcased what makes humanist wedding ceremonies so totally fabulous.
Outside humanist wedding ceremony
During our planning meetings, Tijana and Carl spoke a lot about the importance to each of them of spending time outdoors. Being from Zimbabwe, big open spaces are what they grew up with. Getting outside, into the open air, connecting again with nature and greenery… it is where they find they are naturally at peace.
Living in London, they’ve found themselves drawn to the city’s parks – in particular, Brockwell Park which is opposite their home in Brixton. Therefore it was really important to them that their wedding ceremony took place outside, in a space in which they felt comfortable and which actually meant something to them.
This was a big factor in their deciding to have a humanist wedding ceremony because they wanted the flexibility to get married outdoors.
They had originally planned to actually get married in Brockwell Park but, for various reasons, this proved difficult. So, in the end, they chose Myatt’s Fields Park (a park slightly further down the road from them, in Camberwell). Myatt’s Fields proved a fabulous choice – with a cordoned off area available to hire, the space felt incredibly intimate like being in someone’s back garden.
‘Tijana and Carl see their relationship as a living, breathing ‘thing’, which will continue to evolve, as they do, throughout their lives. Almost like a garden, they understand that a healthy relationship requires careful and constant love and attention, with any niggles acknowledged and pruned, in order for the roots of their love to grow deeper and more established.
Like a garden, a relationship is never ‘finished’. It will grow and adapt, flourish and, at times, falter, but Tijana and Carl have it in their power to make their life together one that blossoms and blooms.’
Tijana and Carl have built a wonderful life in London and they wanted for their wedding day to be a celebration of the community they have created around themselves.
With the sun shining, and Pimms, Prosecco and Pinot Grigio on tap, there was a wonderful energy in the air as Tijana and Carl’s guests gathered around the two of them.
Kicking off the ceremony, I invited everyone to participate in a Ring Warming, whereby the rings passed through each guest’s hands as we continued with the ceremony (a symbolic gesture designed to incorporate the love and support of everyone into the ring exchange).
‘These rings will symbolise more to Tijana and Carl than just a token of their commitment to one another. They will also be a reminder to them that they are fortunate enough to be surrounded by the love, support and wisdom of family and friends.’
Personal and meaningful Vows
Doing this job, I get to speak to a lot of couples, and I don’t think I have ever met another pair who speak with such tenderness and warmth about each other. The language they used to describe each other and their relationship was just… beautiful. During our meetings, I found that my pen could not move fast enough to scribble down all the gorgeous things they had to say about each other.
But I captured this – what Carl said about what first drew him to Tijana: ‘I just resonated with her soul’.
I encourage all my couples to write their own wedding vows but I REALLY felt that it was important to the integrity of Tijana and Carl’s wedding ceremony that they did so. Luckily, they both agreed with me!
For Tijana and Carl, communication is fundamental to their relationship. It is the foundation upon which absolutely everything else is built. And they were grateful to have the opportunity with their humanist wedding ceremony to make promises to each other, before all their family and friends, that they themselves had decided upon.
A humanist wedding ceremony gave Tijana and Carl everything they needed to celebrate their big day in a way that felt authentic to them and it was an absolute pleasure bringing their story to life. Thank you Tijana and Carl for asking me to be a part of your glorious day!