Humanist Wedding Ceremonies
Fun, Relaxed, Meaningful
Rachael Meyer - Wedding Celebrant, North Yorkshire
Fabulous, Non-Religious, Humanist Wedding Ceremonies in Harrogate, Leeds, York and the Yorkshire Dales
Bobbie and Alejandro's woodland wedding at Lineham Farm, Eccup, Leeds. Celebrant: Rachael Meyer Photographer: Mine and Thine
An evening humanist wedding ceremony in Liverpool! Celebrant: Rachael Meyer Photographer: Tim Dunk
Humanist wedding ceremony at Hazlewood Castle, Leeds. Celebrant: Rachael Meyer. Photographer: Sirastudio
Bobbie and Alejandro's woodland wedding at Lineham Farm, Eccup, Leeds. Celebrant: Rachael Meyer Photographer: Mine and Thine
Alternative, Celebrant-led Wedding Ceremonies in North and West Yorkshire
Are you dreaming of a non-religious wedding ceremony that's more meaningful, fun, relaxed and personalised than a civil ceremony? Thank you for landing on my website. I'm an accredited Humanist Wedding Celebrant, based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and I tell stories of life and love.
When you've worked so hard at pulling together an incredible wedding day with the ultimate individuality and attention to detail, why settle for a ceremony whose beating heart is anything less than totally "YOU"? I write and deliver beautiful and extraordinary wedding ceremonies that capture the essence of couples who want more than the contractual obligations of their union to be front and centre of their wedding day.
Wherever in the world you live, with you and me at the helm, your ceremony can be held anywhere in Yorkshire - whether your vibe is a luxury wedding venue, a barn, a castle, a bijou Air BNB, a hotel or inn, a village hall, a woodland glade, a tipi or a private address. Yorkshire has an array of amazing wedding destinations - both inside and outside. My usual working area includes Harrogate, Knaresborough, Leeds, Wetherby, Ripon and York areas; in the Yorkshire Dales - Skipton, Pateley Bridge, Bolton Abbey, Thirsk, Masham and Northallerton. And from 2024, I can also deliver wedding ceremonies in the Newcastle area - straight up the A1.
Hello! Is It Me You're Looking For?
The best way of understanding how your ceremony could look and feel with me as your wedding celebrant is to read the lovely reviews that my couples have sent to me. But I've also included a few videos, photos, and lots of info, to give you a head start. And then I really hope you'll give me a call or send me an email.
1. You want beauty, romance, a little kick, a little humour, laughs, tears, smiles - an emotional rollercoaster with totally captivated guests? Good. So do I! My ceremonies are story-led, inclusive, intimate, engaging, vibrant, thoughtful, insightful, and the ultimate party starter - the complete opposite vibe to a registrar-led ceremony. I don't do boring....
2. I've been a professional, creative writer for many years and I put three days of work into each wedding I write and conduct. Each of my wedding ceremonies is totally different because each and every couple is unique. There is no better story than a love story, and there is no better place to share a love story than on your wedding day. Your guests will be enraptured by it. After I've drilled down and got all the juicy bits of info about you both at a 2-3 hour very chilled meeting, I go away and write your script. When it lands in your inbox a month before your big day, you'll be amazed at how detailed, lyrical and compelling your story is.
I would never ask you to write your own love story by sending you a questionnaire - the writing and the delivery of your ceremony is what you hire me to do!! I craft your love story with emotion and humour, I write about your reasons for getting married, your commitment to one another and your hopes and dreams. From start to finish, I weave in all kinds of interesting, fun and touching facts about you as individuals and as a couple; and about your journey to your vows.
Your ceremony script will include words about love; tales of first dates, milestone events, challenges you've supported each other through, brilliant experiences you've shared, hilarious character observations and tiny details featuring your family members, fur babies or friends. I also research other components of your ceremony, such as song lyrics, poetry and readings, so that the flow of your ceremony is absolutely perfect, By the time you say your wedding vows, your guests will feel totally involved, uplifted and ready to celebrate.
3. I'm a trained public speaker and event manager. Every ceremony is delivered with flair, passion, clarity, meaning, the odd snippet of comedy, attention to detail, and emotions that will surprise, delight and keep your guests on the edge of their seats from start to finish. I liaise with your suppliers and contributors to ensure that everything is perfectly aligned, I take a few photos of you after the ceremony (I used to be a wedding photographer) to include on your final script, and... focusing on the aesthetics even closer... I even dress to tie in with your colour theme!!
4. I have no rules. No restrictions. You do you. I get to know you. You get to get to know me, and I'm very smiley, friendly, flexible, unflappable, unshockable, professional and calming, so everything is super relaxed on your wedding day. Dogs, kids, cinematic readings? Bring 'em on! I guide you through the whole process with ease.
5. The choice is yours. 50% of my ceremonies have a classic, traditional feel, with nothing but words, music and wedding vows with a ring exchange. But if you like, we can mix it up. You can include a groom team entrance; literally tie the knot, have a shot of whisky or tequila with all your guests, cut your wedding cake, plant a tree, light a unity candle or have a singalong! You can write your own vows or I can write them for you. We can have a blend of modern and traditional vows. I am here to bring ideas, guide you through every decision, write your story and perform the most magical wedding ceremony for you to enjoy. No stress.
5. I have a professional PA (busking amp) with mics, which we can use to amplify speech if you have an outdoor ceremony or over 100 guests, and play music through if your venue doesn't have mics or a sound system (or a good enough sound system). I also have a load more props that you can borrow - candlesticks, storm lantern, hand fasting chords, oath stones and quaich - all included within my fee.
"We had so many compliments on the ceremony - it was definitely the favourite part of the day for everyone we spoke to afterwards"
- Georgia and Richard, Rudding Park, Harrogate
"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 - Nation of Shopkeepers, Leeds wedding
Here's what my lovely bride, Olivia said, after the ceremony I delivered for her and Alex:
“We can’t thank you enough for making our wedding ceremony so wonderful. You made everything about the process so seamless and enjoyable, from our planning meeting, to sharing the script, to the perfect delivery on the day. Everyone commented on the ceremony – and said it was the perfect reflection of us both – exactly as we wanted!
You made our day extra special and we’re so glad that you were part of our love story and our singalong! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”"
SOUND ON for this highlights video of Olivia and Alex's wedding at Thirsk Lodge Barn, North Yorkshire on New Years Eve 2022, which was created by the lovely James Turner Videography. It was the first time he'd ever used the narrative from a celebrant in such a way. I was very proud that he did. Words written and spoken by Rachael Meyer, Celebrant, North Yorkshire.
"The way you delivered the ceremony was brilliant - I could watch you and listen to you for hours. The whole thing was both moving, insightful and funny, but the way you told their story, with all the little facial expressions and smiles, connection and pauses showcased you as a real pro. I'm a presenter and a voice coach, and I couldn't have wished for anything better." - wedding guest, Wood Hall wedding
First things first. My wedding ceremonies don't include any religious content but you don't have to be a card carrying humanist. Humanism is simply a non religious philosophy on life, based around kindness, tolerance and happiness.
I conduct lots of wedding ceremonies for people with no religion, and for couples with differing spiritual beliefs, cultures and traditions. You might have been to a humanist wedding ceremony and decided it would be perfect for you. You may share humanist values. You may be just looking for a personalised, flexible, fun, personalised and meaningful alternative to a civil marriage ceremony.
You may be getting married for the first, second or third time. You may be young, old; of opposite sex or the same sex. Maybe the registrar just can't make it to the venue of your dreams on your chosen date!
Whatever your reason for looking into a humanist wedding ceremony, and whatever style of wedding you prefer, I'm with you every step of the way! Whatever your story, I come smiling, without templates, and with eyes and ears open. I arrive at every meeting with excitement, enthusiasm and creativity to craft your dream ceremony,
Click here to read some more reviews from my couples!
"We couldn't have chosen a better celebrant. Your words were magic"
Josh and Beth (elopement) - Swinton Park, Masham
What does a humanist wedding ceremony typically include?
Your wedding ceremony can be anything between 25-45 minutes. However long you choose it to be, your family and friends will learn your story, understand your values, witness your promises, learn something new about you both, enjoy the journey and really, truly celebrate your love by the time you walk back down the aisle as newly-weds..
I can help you decide what will work best for you, or you can come armed with anything you want to include. You can invite contributions from family and friends, or I can do all the writing and all the talking! There is no standard ceremony. I work with you in any way you want!
Click here to see what your ceremony could include and some answers to FAQs, or click on the Ceremonies tab to see a collection of wedding music, non-religious wedding readings, symbolic acts and wedding vows styles.
"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
Ceremonies Delivered Across North and West Yorkshire
With some of the most magical scenery in the UK, Yorkshire provides the perfect backdrop for any style of wedding. There are many gorgeous wedding venues in North and West Yorkshire, from tipis, hotels and country pubs to abbey ruins, tithe barns and working castles. Whether you're planning a wedding day with over a hundred guests, an intimate affair in your garden or an elopement style wedding, I'm with you all the way. Please have a look around my website and then get in touch!
I'd love to hear from you and am very happy to have a no-obligation Zoom or phone call.
I was very excited to be asked by BBC Look North to talk on telly about the national rise in demand for humanist weddings in Yorkshire! Check it out!
What exactly is a humanist wedding ceremony?
A humanist ceremony is a religion-free, story-led ceremony, written especially for you by a professional celebrant like me, who's been trained and accredited by the human rights charity, Humanists UK.
Humanist wedding ceremonies have been around for over 100 years, but with huge support from the wedding industry, they're bang on trend and becoming more and more popular! Photographers, venues and photographers LOVE them because they are so engaging and so personalised! And because your wedding ceremony is religion-free, it's about you and your story so it's inclusive for every single one of your guests.
Why choose me as your wedding celebrant?
Every celebrant has their own personality, style of interviewing, writing and presenting, On one of the best days of your life, it's important for you to choose someone who's right for you, whose work you like the look of, who has great reviews, and on whom you can depend. As a professional writer, ex event manager and storyteller, with over 100 humanist wedding ceremonies under my belt, I can share your past, your present and your future with your guests in a way that will have everyone buzzing! Guaranteed! The best thing to do to get the measure of me is to watch a few of the videos on my website, and read some reviews from couples.
"The ceremony was 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. We can’t thank you enough. A star!"
- Ruth and Dave, Harrogate wedding
Below is another gorgeous video highlights reel from one of my wedding ceremonies. Sound on! Thank you to Sabah, Neal and Midgely Wedding Films.
I'd really love to hear from you. I'm pretty fully booked in 2023, but I have a few dates left towards the end of the year, or earlier, for exceptional circumstances - please do ask.
I'm now taking bookings for 2024 and 2025 so please do have a look around my website, and ping me an email or pick up the phone. Jump on board - you'll absolutely love it!
“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