WHAT IS AN INDEPENDENT CEREMONY?
Firstly, an Independent ceremony or wedding is a celebrant-led ceremony that is very personalised. Typically, an independent celebrant conducts it. You can throw any rule book away, as it is entirely hand-crafted. This way, it reflects your personal beliefs and values. Whats more, the celebrant who conducts the ceremony shares your beliefs and values.
ENGLISH LAW FOR CEREMONIES
Generally, in England the church conducts religious ceremonies. Alternatively, a registrar conducts civil ceremonies. Each are conducted with specific rules. Furthermore, both are recognised as legally binding. However, in England independent ceremonies are currently not recognised as legally binding. As a result, they have no rules. So, independent ceremonies and weddings have no rules about how they are conducted. As a result you have complete flexibility to craft your unique independent ceremony. Specifically, it reflect your beliefs, values and personalities.
INDEPENDENT OR HUMANIST CELEBRANT
Country house grandeur
To begin with, you set your own rules. Most importantly, your format and your style. Generally, in any room at Huntsham Court. For example, in the grandeur of the Great Hall. What about the book lined Library. Or even the main oak stairwell. This way, you make the rule book about how, when and where your ceremony happens.
INDEPENDENT OR HUMANIST CELBEBRANT
Here, our gardens have panoramic sweeping countryside views of Devon. So, you can create your ceremony anywhere. How about, you nestle under the canopy of a 300 year old Spanish Chestnut. Or even, inside our garden dovecote. Or, you are on our wide lawns with the sweeping view as the backdrop.
WHAT IS A HUMANIST CEREMONY?
So, Humanism is a school of thought and philosophy within independent ceremonies. But, in itself, it is non-religious. Importantly though, the independent celebrants we have experience of at Huntsham, Court are often happy to merge both religious and secular content. It’s their USP. Typically, neither the church nor registrars can really do this. So, an independent celebrant can deliver a humanist ceremony. But really they emphasise the independent, personalised ceremony factor.
CEREMONY LEAD BY FAMILY OR FRIENDS
Ordinarily,you write your own rule book with an independent ceremony. This way, you can engage a celebrant to lead the proceedings. You can even ask one of your close family or friends to lead the celebrations. Plus, if you are renewing your vows or have children of any age – they can even be the celebrant! In summary – it’s your day, your way – no compromise.
CANDLE LIT OR AFTER DARK CEREMONY
To begin with, an independent ceremony, unlike church or civil ceremonies, can be done anytime, anywhere. So, why not after dark by candle light or even outdoors under the stars. Firstly, your rules. Secondly, your style. Lastly, your day or night!
STAND ALONE CELEBRATION
OR TO COMPLIMENT ANOTHER CEREMONY
Ordinarily, an independent ceremony can be a stand alone celebration of marriage without a church or registrar service. However, some couples who have had a wedding elsewhere (or a smaller marriage celebration during Covid restrictions) have an independent ceremony. They mark their marriage in their own way. So, why not renew your vows, in your own style surrounded by your friends and family.
YOUR INDEPENDENT CELEBRATION ACCOMPANIES A CHURCH WEDDING
For some couples having a legally binding church marriage is important. Sometimes though, they also want to have a more informal ceremony element that embraces their wider beliefs and values. This way, they add a humanist or independent ceremony during their stay. As a result, it is a personal way to mark that celebration. Generally, this can be lead by a recognised independent celebrant or even by close family, friends or children.
YOUR INDEPENDENT CELEBRATION ACCOMPANIES A CIVIL CEREMONY
Usually, civil ceremonies have various rules about where, when and how a marriage is marked. But, some couples like to compliment the legal formality of a civil ceremony with a second more personalised humanist celebration whilst staying. This way, even close family, friends or children can be lead your ceremony. Or, if you prefer, a recognised independent Celebrant can.
CONTACTS FOR INDEPENDENT CELEBRANTS
So, if you are thinking of humanist or independent ceremony, here’s a list of some humanist and independent celebrants that have conducted ceremonies at Huntsham Court: