Having had a wedding celebrant perform our wedding in 2016 I wanted to get in touch with a Devon based celebrant who provided a similar service that my husband and I chose. Here is where I found Maria Thorne – humanist wedding celebrant and she was happy to answer some of my questions to inform brides and husbands to be what her service provides.
When did you realise you wanted to become a humanist wedding celebrant?
The first wedding I ever performed was for my best friends. Standing at the front of a fairy-light laden teepee, with the rain pattering on the roof and a nervous, but elated Paul and Bruce walking up the aisle together towards me with big smiles on their faces, I realised I’d found my professional ‘home’. On that occasion, I managed to hold it together until the very end when, having pledged their lives to one another, they walked away from me to greet their guests, and I felt a warm tear of emotion roll down my cheek. What a tremendous privilege it is to help people celebrate their most joyous moments in life. True love is always worth celebrating!
How did you get into being a devon wedding – humanist wedding celebrant?
Having realised that celebrancy brought together many of my skills, I soon embarked on training with Humanists UK. This is a process not for the faint-hearted, but it’s worth it! The network of accredited humanist celebrants from across the UK is very well regarded and subject to a high level of professional standards. I’ve not looked back since.
Tell me a little about yourself and your business.
I’m based in mid-Devon, where I live with my young family and a menagerie of animals in a small country village, but I cover most of the south-west. I offer both wedding and vow renewal ceremonies, with my most recent ceremony having been a 20th-anniversary vow renewal at the Harbour Hotel in Sidmouth, overlooking those iconic red cliffs. My ceremonies are often inspired by the natural world, reflective of the season.
What are the ceremonies like?
Working with couples who want a non-religious wedding befitting them and their lives and aspirations, makes my job really varied. I meet with each couple to create a bespoke ceremony, which can be as traditional, informal, fun or creative as they wish. No two ceremonies are the same. There are no ‘set words’ or ‘order of service’ and I can always help by making suggestions about things like readings, vows and symbolic acts. Being a musician (I’m a choir director and play and sing in both rock and folk bands), I’m always up for using music in ceremonies and can even lead a sing-a-long if you like!
A humanist wedding can take place pretty much anywhere and – in addition to teepees – I’ve also performed weddings outdoors on farms, in private country houses, pub gardens and, of course traditional venues.
Meeting the couple for a chat.
The uniquely wonderful thing about a humanist ceremony is the opportunity it offers me to tell the couple’s story. When I meet with them prior to the big day, I ask a range of questions designed to elicit memories of their relationship to date. These are woven into the ceremony to the extent that I’m often asked, at the end of a wedding, “So how long have you been friends with the couple?” by people who have assumed I’ve known them for years! Stories can be touching, funny or surprising but they’re always celebratory and, somehow, act as the glue that really brings the ceremony together.
If you’d like to meet up with Maria for a (socially distanced) chat over a cuppa to hear more about how she might be able to help you celebrate, get in touch via email: maria.thor[email protected] or phone 07341 953442.
or via her website https://humanist.org.uk/mariathorne/
You can find out more about humanist ceremonies on the Humanist Ceremonies website https://humanism.org.uk/ceremonies/
So if your looking for a unique Devon wedding with a humanist wedding celebrant then why not add a truly unique bespoke handmade wedding dress to the list. Check out my portfolio page for more inspiration. https://countycouture.co.uk/wedding-dresses/