Zena Birch


Zena Birch

I was inspired to train as a Humanist celebrant after being asked to marry two dear friends of mine in California. They asked me to both write and conduct a ceremony for them. The fact they trusted me with such a free rein for something so important and meaningful to them was daunting, but indeed a great honour. It proved to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life to date.

After the ceremony so many of the guests thanked me and commented on what a wonderful job it must be to be able to help make somebody’s important day so special. Which was when I realised, that yes, indeed it was an important job and one that I very much wished I had. Eight years later, more than 520 individual peoples’ stories have been celebrated and I can now more than happily declare that this is not just my job, but my vocation. I feel extremely lucky that it is.

Humanist ceremonies have the unique ability to be about the people themselves. The ceremony can be as formal or informal as you like, they can be held in any venue from the traditional (a registered venue) to the imaginative (a forest/beach/back garden/theatre) to the absurd (a hot air balloon, abseiling, canoes in the Arctic) and it can be as long or as short as the proverbial piece of string. What Humanist ceremonies have in common is the personal touch. The ceremony whilst never isolating those with a religious belief unites everyone in a common goal, to celebrate and to witness the occasion of those involved.

I offer to create a ceremony that is personal and friendly. Whether you require the light hearted touch and humour that your guests would expect from you or a solemnity of service to honour the seriousness of the occasion, I will be happy to deliver a ceremony that sits best with your approach to life.

A ceremony should reflect who you are, that is why everyone will have gathered to witness your commitments and as such I will endeavour to make sure that the ceremony I write and the style with which it is delivered is in keeping with your hopes and wishes for each other.

I strongly believe that a wedding ceremony shouldn’t just be a standard religious or civil ceremony with your names placed in the gaps. I also believe that a non-religious ceremony doesn’t have to be without the rituals and traditions that make an occasion familiar or special. So the ceremonies I write have the possibility to draw from a wealth of traditions according to your tastes and personal beliefs. But most of all, your ceremony should be filled with storytelling and jubilation. It is always my pleasure to make sure that happens!

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Zena Birch