A little different and a lot good…

There’s nothing wrong with traditional music and readings- I like Highland Cathedral as much as the next person- but, when a pair of grooms pick music that they love and their very good friend eschews a traditional reading for something perfect for their wedding, well, it near brought the house down!

Claire | Claire the Humanist
Claire | Claire the Humanist

Happy blogiversary to me!

True to form, I missed my blogiversary by a whole 18 minutes.  That’s because I was too busy watching Empire.  That show has THE best cameos.

A year since my first truly memorable/instantly forgettable blog post.  I remember being absolutely chuffed that I had just created a website.  In my head, I was Tron or Weird Science or, at a push, Sneakers.  I was ready to introduce myself to the world, one strangers’ ceremony at a time……

I have celebrated the 365 days with a piece and jam and a glass of milk.  Rock n roll!!

Here’s a pic of me acting like a goon.  Again.


Claire | Claire the Humanist Humanist Society Scotlandhttp://www.humanism.scot

Ten Years of Legal Humanist Weddings in Scotland- Hurrah!

It’s only ten years since the Humanist Weddings were legally recognised in Scotland.  In the big wide world, that’s hardly any time at all but it’s a great big milestone in the history of the HSS.  To celebrate, we all crashed Karen and Martin‘s ten year anniversary at Edinburgh Zoo.  They didn’t seem to mind too much, the food was lovely and no animals were harmed in the celebrating of this awesomeness.

Find the tallest person in the world in this picture and I’m just in front of him.  I wore day-glo shoes and decided I was the designated safety marshall.  Damn you champagne giddiness!


Wedding – Louise & Chris

Claire | Claire the Humanist

Christmas? Done.  Hogmanay? O-ver.

Bored now.

Thank goodness for Louise & Chris and their post-New Year nuptials, possibly the most tasteful wedding in the world and definitely one of the most anticipated by their family and amazingly stylish pals.

Claire | Claire the Humanist

Cameron House Hotel has a reputation for being a bit special, regardless of the season and, in the glare of the winter sun glinting off Loch Lomond, there was no finer place.

And inside, just as gorgeous: the Christmas lights were still twinkling, the fires roaring and the mahoozive gingerbread house proving *just* too large to hide in my handbag.

Louise and Chris achieved the impossible, planning their wedding in a month. That would be hard enough for most normals but this couple are the actual hardest working people on the planet and, as they work together running a fab restaurant and bar, their wedding planning had to be slotted in amongst a full month of Christmas bookings and parties and running a stall in the Glasgow outdoor market.

Their wedding day was a day off.

Claire | Claire the Humanist
Claire | Claire the Humanist

A more welcoming and generous couple would be hard to find and there was such warmth emanating from their friends, everyone very excited and delighted to be included.

Not known for soppiness, Louise (and the rest of the room) was floored when Chris summed up his feelings about her with, ‘She’s my girl!’ And there was a wee wobble when Louise said that Chris that ‘she didn’t know who she would be without him.’ Is it wrong to admit that the wobble came from me?

One of the many highlights was Louise’s sister’s reading of Huey Lewis and the News’ The Power of Love, complete with audience participation. What made the reading so fantastic was Caroline completely got that the key to success is to give it laldy! The impromptu singing also helped….

Beautiful people, beautiful words and, when I introduced ‘the married couple’, the loudest cheer I have ever heard. Magic!

Readings: The Power of Love,  Huey Lewis & The News

Music: Bridal Lullaby by Percy Grainger, Do I Love You by Frank Wilson, Can’t Hurry Love by The Supremes

“I cannot thank you enough for your incredibly professional, bespoke and touching ceremony for our amazing wedding at Cameron House.

You made Chris and I feel so at ease, and everyone at the wedding said it was quite simply the best they had ever attended.
I was so nervous before I walked down th aisle, but seeing all of my friends, you and, of course, Chris, I was put at immediate ease.

Chris’ parents and my Dad said that they were so overwhelmed by how personal and warming your words were and hilariously funny too.

You have found your calling, you are absolutely brilliant at it and I will be advising everyone who is planning to get married (our clients included) to give you a call.

I wish we could do it all again and we are both still on cloud 9…”

Cheers pals! Oh and this wasnae me, by the way….

Claire | Claire the Humanist

Wedding- Ian & Liz

Claire | Claire the Humanist

I’m just gonna say it…..I love a winter wedding. Ten years ago, I was married in November and one of the nicest things was being able to shrug when people said, ‘But the weather! What if it rains?’ So what? It’s Scotland! It could rain anytime! One less thing to worry about, to be honest (although it was a nice surprise when I awoke to the first frost, clear blue skies and a good excuse for a furry coat).

Ian and Liz booked their wedding for that wee lull between Christmas and New Year, and invited their family and best pals to join them for the weekend, and a party, at the stunning Lodge on the Loch Lomond.

Claire | Claire the Humanist

When I first met Liz and Ian, they booked me with the phrase, ‘….and you seem like the right kind of nutter to marry us!’ Takes one to know one, that’s all I’ll say…

Ian & Liz’s ceremony was a belter! They have a great life together, full of laughs and adventures and their hopes for their future together were simple…..more of the same.

Claire | Claire the Humanist

Liz was accompanied by her daughter, Lauren who later read a poem with her sister Pamela and Ian’s son, Neil. When the poem finished, Ian and Liz ‘tied the knot’ with Marshall and McKenzie tartan ribbons, and I don’t know who was more delighted by the knot, me or Liz, who loudly exclaimed, ‘Oh well done, Claire!’ much to everyone’s amusement.

Claire | Claire the Humanist

Ian’s grandsons, Aly and Harry were there to spontaneously lend a hand with the rings and, promises made, vows said and declarations announced, Ian and Liz had a great big kiss to enthusiastic cheering from their guests. And then they had another one when I said, ‘You may now kiss!’ Just couldn’t wait, apparently!

After signing the schedule, Liz and Ian enjoyed a succession of drinks from their quaich, an apt ceremony to celebrate their union and one particularly appreciated by Ian, I think.

And the weather was beautiful.

I did that 😉


A lot of us celebrants have blogs but we rarely write about funerals. I think the assumption is that most people who are casually browsing for happy wedding inspiration have no wish to suddenly be confronted with a ‘Hellooooo! Everyone dies!’ post!

But, in real life, it’s Humanist funerals that seem to resonate with people the most. ‘They’re just so personal’ is the most common compliment but my favourite is the ‘I really enjoyed it…well, as much as you can enjoy a funeral…..I mean, it was really good fun……God….well, not God…..oh crap. I’ve totally myself in a hole I can’t get out of….a lot like Auntie Morag….HELP….ME.’

I conducted a funeral this morning for a lady with a lot of best friends and a very talented sister and, between them all, they created a ceremony that could only have been for Joan. The hall was dressed with candlabra and rose petals, all Joan’s friends wore leopard print and red ribbons and, rather than bring in the flower-covered wicker coffin, each ‘pallbearer’ carried in a photograph of Joan looking gorgeous with the broadest, most generous smile in each one, and they placed them on a display at the front. It was beautiful.

I led the tributes from her friends, another friend spoke of their good times together and between the stories, the projected images and the music, it was gloriously ‘all about Joan’.

Isn’t that how funerals should be? All about the person who died, their good points and their bad taste? Admittedly, sometimes, it’s not so straightforward- there’s been a few family visits where there’s been a reluctance to explain a substantial gap, maybe 3-5 years, in their dear brother’s life. My advice? Don’t worry about it, EVERYONE KNOWS ALREADY!!

We left the Crematorium today to the strains of the theme from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t ‘energise’ but you can’t have everything. A nice man told me it was his first time at one of these funerals and he’d thoroughly enjoyed himself…well, not enjoyed himself…oh crap.