Rachael Meyer - Humanist Celebrant: Creative, Unique and Memorable
Wedding Ceremonies in Harrogate, Leeds, North Yorkshire and The Yorkshire Dales
What exactly is a humanist wedding ceremony?
A humanist wedding ceremony is how a wedding ceremony should be. It focuses on you, your story, your love and your commitment. It can feature all the pomp and ceremony of a traditional wedding, or it can be totally alternative and creative. Whatever style suits you, a humanist wedding ceremony is story-led and inclusive - and as far from a "fill-in-the-blanks" civil service as you can get. You and your guests will love it and remember it forever.
All humanist wedding ceremonies usually include beautiful words about love and marriage, your own unique vows, your very own love story, a couple of symbolic rituals. There is always music, one or two poems or readings, perhaps some secret words from the heart and a little guest participation if you like! Whatever your ceremony looks like, it will be totally you and and will get your party started with a buzz and a bang!
What does a celebrant do?
Ceremonies can be complicated and it's one day of your life that needs to be perfect so the first thing we do is meet - usually for a couple of hours, maybe longer. During our meeting, we chit chat over coffee (or wine) and maybe cake. I ask a lot questions about you, your relationship and your story, you get to know me, we go through some ideas for vows and rituals, readings and music, logistics and style;
I write down everything you tell me and we get to know each other. During our meeting, I can help you decide what will work best for you, we devise a plan and then the magic really happens! I use my writing skills to write you a completely unique wedding script. After you've approved it, I deliver your ceremony on your wedding day and then give you a presentation copy of your script as a keepsake. What's not to love?
Each and every wedding ceremony is completely different because everyone has their own unique personality, story and style. That's what I love most about humanist weddings. It's a real privilege to meet some amazing people from all walks of life, get to know them, write and tell their stories and deliver some incredible ceremonies, fuelled with love, meaning, fun and emotion.
Hello and welcome! My name's Rachael Meyer, I'm a full-time humanist wedding celebrant based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. I work with couples to write and deliver wonderful, bespoke, non-religious wedding ceremonies in Harrogate, Leeds, Skipton, York, the Yorkshire Dales and throughout North and West Yorkshire.
photo by altweddingco
Deepdale Barn. Photo by Ray Sawyer, Sawyer and Sawyer Photography
"Thank you once again for performing such a beautiful ceremony for us. When Paul and I reflect on the day, it is the part we love and talk about the most. You are like the Fairy Godmother of Ceremonies! We shared with you our story, and with a little magic and 'Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo' you made all our dreams come true! " - Hayley and Paul, Skipbridge Country Weddings, York, 2021
I wrote and conducted 40 humanist wedding ceremonies in 2021
(each one takes 3 days in total) and, as such, I was very excited to be asked by BBC Look North to talk on telly about the national rise in demand for them!
"Reading the draft ceremony, which was a pitch perfect mix of emotion and laugh out loud, instantly put us at ease. Rache's advantage here is her writing background, she is a gifted story writer and teller, this is the most important part of a humanist ceremony. Of course, on our big day, she also delivered it all with aplomb. 5 stars doesn't cover it, don't hesitate in speaking with Rachael. - worth every penny"
- Kevin and Vicki
Unique to You, About You, For You
If you like what you see so far, but you're still a little unsure; ask yourself these questions:
Are you looking for:
a highly personalised wedding ceremony that includes as much love and attention to detail as the rest of your wedding day?
a non-religious, inclusive ceremony that will make all your guests feel part of your journey and ready to celebrate the milestone of your lifetime commitment to one another?
A wedding ceremony that isn't like anyone else's?
A wedding ceremony that can include your family and friends?
A meaningful script that incorporates your values?
A smiley, friendly, flexible, skilled and relaxed celebrant who you know; and who will make you feel entirely confident and excited about your ceremony from the outset?
A wedding ceremony that's not boring?
A wedding ceremony that has everyone on the edge of their seats; giggling, laughing and crying sentimental tears of loveliness?
A celebrant who will also get excited about your music choice and who will be totally up for it if you want your fur-baby to deliver the rings!
If the answer is yes to any or all of the above, let's talk!
Please browse through the ceremonies section of my website for inspiration and ideas!
Before you choose your celebrant, you probably want to know a little about them. I always think it's better to hear from others about their experience, which is why I've included so many kind reviews and pictures that couples and photographers/videographers have sent over the last few years. All the comments, kind words, photos and videos on this website are from weddings I have conducted - not from styled shoots. Thank you to all my couples and some fab suppliers for letting me showcase them.
But also, here's a bit of an elevator pitch on me and what I can offer!
In a nutshell, I've been trained by, and am accredited with human rights charity Humanists UK. I'm part of its national network of humanist celebrants, I undertake much CPD each year to keep on top of my game, I mentor and review other celebrants and my professional background is in writing, photography, video production and event management (I have studied and delivered storytelling in all ways).
Above all, I'm a people person, a story teller, I'm a big smiler and a dog and cat person. I'm very chilled, I'm passionate about music and making the most out of life; and I hate cleaning. I have lived a little so nothing fazes me! I'm a massive advocate of romance and marriage (I've been married for nearly 30 years). I LOVE words, pictures, stories, films, gigs, live events, parties, family, friends, animals and holidays and I especially like weddings!
"Just a little note to say a HUGE thank you for making our ceremony and wedding day so special. The resounding feedback was that it was so personal and filled with love and that’s all down to you in writing such a wonderful script.
We loved your energy, happiness and smile on the day. You have a wonderful way of making everyone feel calm and relaxed. Thank you again for writing the most perfect script and for being genuinely fabulous!”
Sarah and Phil – Tithe Barn wedding, Autumn 2021
You may have been to a humanist wedding before, and decided it would be perfect for you; you may be looking for a meaningful, creative, romantic, fun and flexible alternative to a civil marriage ceremony, you may have always wanted a humanist wedding as it fits with your values, or perhaps the registrar just can't make it to the venue of your dreams on your chosen date!
You may be getting married for the first, second or third time, you may be non religious, from families with different religions or cultures, you may be of opposite sex or the same sex, you may want to include friends and extended family in a big wedding with over a hundred guests, or you may want just the two of you and a few important others in a gorgeous intimate wedding ceremony. With your dog....
Whatever your reason for looking into a humanist wedding ceremony, and whatever style of wedding you prefer, you can guarantee that your ceremony will be beautiful, warm. memorable, surprising, engaging, meaningful and totally captivating for you and your guests.
Inclusivity and Diversity
Love is love. It's what holds us together as humans. We are diverse. Let's celebrate that. Whatever spiritual or religious belief you and your families hold; whatever shape, size, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity you define yourself as (if any) and however blended your family is, the wedding ceremonies I write and deliver are a wonderful, special and totally inclusive way to mark, celebrate and remember one of the most important days in your lives. It's a day of togetherness.
"We received endless compliments throughout our wedding day about how the ceremony was so special, engaging and unique, with many saying it was the best they’d ever been to! There was the perfect balance of fun and laughs along with the ‘serious stuff,’ but Rachael’s ceremony set the tone for a perfect day." - Helen and Will
You can keep to tradition or be as creative as you like and the great thing about a humanist wedding is that you can have it anywhere - there is no need for the venue to be licensed. This means that your wedding will be even more unique and special to you. You can hold it in your garden, in a woodland glade, on a beach, in a marquee, at a festival themed wedding in a field or in your favourite pub - which can save you money as well as making the whole day easier for your guests to navigate!
Our ceremonies still aren't legally recognised (don't get me started on that....) although things are definitely starting to happen on that front. At the moment, you will need to register your marriage and do the legal documentation separately with your local Register Office. Just think of it as the necessary paperwork - it doesn't need to be shared with your guests and it doesn't affect the feeling you get on your big wedding day. I promise!
As an experienced humanist wedding celebrant, I will be there to smile with you, and guide you every step of the way. Have a look around my website, ping me an email or pick up the phone. Jump on board. You're going to love it!
The ceremony was an absolute success and so meaningful to us both, it suited us as a couple down to the ground. I’m so grateful to Rachael for doing an incredible job and I would 100% recommend her without reservation - what a wonderful thing to be able to do for others on the most special day of their lives. Dave and I can’t thank you enough. A star!" - Ruth and Dave
“Thank you for putting together and delivering our ceremony – it was perfect for us and we absolutely loved it. It was the best way to kick off the day and was everything we wanted it to be.”
Laura and Karl – Ripley Castle wedding, Winter 2021