top of page

Updated: Jan 24

Hello, Hola and Hoi!


Having grown up speaking Welsh and English at home, and then studying French at uni (along with some rusty school-girl Spanish!), I just love working with couples and families who are looking to include more than one language in their ceremony.


Suitable for both humanist weddings and baby naming ceremonies, here are some of my top tips for creating a personal and inclusive ceremony that celebrates your culture and heritage:

  1. Readings & Music - the easiest way to incorporate a second language into your ceremony is by including readings and/or music in both languages. For a more inclusive experience for your guests, you could provide a written translation or summary for them to follow (translations of famous songs and poems can be found easily with a quick online search).

  2. Promises & Vows - whether you're a couple making vows to each other, or a parent making a promise to your baby, you can definitely say these in the language of your choice. If you're learning a new language for your partner, it can be really romantic to say a few words in their mother tongue!

  3. Avoid Repetition! - it's very tempting to repeat every part of the ceremony in both languages to make sure all your guests understand what's happening. But your ceremony could potentially double in length, and it can be a little frustrating for your guests who understand both languages. One simple way around this is a written order of service with a translation into the other language for each section. (For example, where one partner is saying their vows in French, an English translation can be included in the order of service for guests to follow along and vice versa).

  4. Your Celebrant - on the Humanists UK Celebrant Finder, you can search for a celebrant who speaks your desired language (for example, I speak Welsh and French, with lots of other languages spoken by other celebrants!) But even if your chosen celebrant doesn't speak your language, they'll often try and learn a few key phrases to introduce the ceremony, and will make sure your ceremony is as inclusive as possible for all your guests.

  5. Embrace It! - it can feel like quite a daunting decision to include your mother tongue as part of your ceremony. You might be thinking: 'What if our guests don't understand what's going on?' Whether or not your guests will have understood every word, they'll be sure to enjoy the beauty of your language and its meaning to you, and they'll remember your ceremony long after the big day.

If you're looking for a bilingual humanist wedding or baby naming ceremony in French or Welsh - please get in touch! Merci and Diolch for reading.




12 views

Did you have a small wedding last year under Covid restrictions? Are you looking to hold a larger celebration of your marriage in the near future, but you’re not sure how to make a ceremony ‘fit’ or what vows to say this time around? Then read on!


We're planning to hold a second wedding, but what should we call it? We’re already married, so calling it a wedding doesn’t sound quite right for us, and we're not religious so we don't want to call it a blessing either.


While of course you could call your larger celebration a wedding, you could also call it a:

· Wedding Celebration

· Re-Wedding

· Vow Renewal Ceremony


We already exchanged vows at our legal wedding. What could we even say this time around?


The things you’d like to promise each other might not have changed all that much since your first wedding ceremony, but there are ways to adapt your vows to reflect what you have already accomplished in your marriage and your hopes for the future.


Think of words like: still, keep, reaffirm, once more:


“I, Rachel, keep you, Louise, as my wife.”

“I still promise to make you smile every day and to seize the moment, wherever it takes us.”

“I reaffirm the vows I made to you one year ago.”


If you're lost for words, then I can help you craft your own personal vows.


We exchanged rings last year and we don’t want to do it again for our second ceremony. What can we give each other or do instead?


Some alternatives to exchanging rings during your ceremony can include:


· Exchanging a present linked to your anniversary. If you’re celebrating your first anniversary, why not give each other a copy of your favourite book to symbolise a paper anniversary, or put a present in a keepsake wooden box for your fifth anniversary?


· Exchanging plants or a single rose stem: “Ali, I give you this rose as a symbol of our marriage. The rose’s bud represents the beauty of our relationship, and may its thorns remind you I’ll always be there for you throughout life’s challenges. I promise to work together with you to tend to our marriage and allow our family to blossom and thrive.”


· A symbolic action, such as handfasting, lighting a unity candle or a sand blending ceremony. More information on handfasting is available on the Humanists UK website here .


A handfasting ceremony, with multicoloured ribbons.


Whether you got married last year under Covid restrictions or you’d like to bring the family together for a vow renewal after a long time apart - do get in touch to arrange your personal and meaningful humanist wedding celebration, re-wedding or vow renewal ceremony!

2 views

Whether you’ve got a young baby together or you share grown-up children between you, there are lots of ways to make children of all ages feel included in your humanist wedding ceremony.


Here are some ideas below:


1. The Ceremony Wording

There are plenty of opportunities to give a special shout-out to all your important people, including your children - you can reflect on their importance in your life as a couple too.


“When Jane and Chris first got together, Jane said that she came as a package with her two boys, Ollie and Sam. Although Chris found it daunting at first to try and win over two teenage boys, he says it’s been a privilege to watch them grow up into kind young men (and have someone to play on the Xbox with!)”.


You could also include a commitment to your children/stepchildren in your vows to each other:


“I promise to be an equal parent to Ottilie and work with you as a team to raise her”.


2. Readings


If your children are a little older, you could ask them to give a reading for you (if you have more than one child, they could do this together – for example, by alternating lines or verses).


They could read a poem, or you could ask them to say a few words about you both.

Similarly, if your child is a talented singer or is learning to play an instrument, you could also ask them to perform a musical item as part of the ceremony.


3. Certificate Signing


As humanist wedding ceremonies are not legally binding in England & Wales, there is no age restriction for any witnesses you might choose. So, if your child is old enough to sign their name, why not ask them to be your witness and sign your certificate with you?

You could then frame the certificate as a reminder of your day and of the commitments you have made to each other and as a family.


4. Sand Blending Ceremony


Why not have a sand blending ceremony to seal your vows and demonstrate your commitment as a newly formed family?


Each parent and child would have their own colour sand in a smaller container (something like a shot glass or a miniature milk bottle would work well), and would then take it in turns to pour their sand into a larger container (such as a jar, vase or even a decanter).


All the different layers of sand combined together symbolise the individuals of the family joining together as one new unit. You’ll then be able to keep your sand container as a permanent decoration for your home together.




5. A Naming Ceremony


If you hadn’t had the chance to hold a naming ceremony for your child after they were first born, why not hold a naming ceremony for them as part of your wedding to welcome them into the family? There’s no upper age limit for naming ceremonies, with older children welcome too.


If you have any more questions about including your children in your humanist wedding, then please get in touch!

21 views
1
2
bottom of page