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Celebrate Your Day
Your Way

Celebrate Your Day Your Way

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Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming nuptials!

Your ceremony is the very heart of your Big Day, so let me put you at the heart of your ceremony. Whether your vision is for a traditional wedding ceremony with your own individual twist or you envisage a more sentimental approach, which illuminates important shared values and beliefs whilst giving expression to two peoples’ personalities, either way, I will help you, bring it to life! So, start wedded bliss on your own terms, in your own style and to your own rhythm.

Your “love story” is also unique, so amongst other things we will have a pre-wedding chat (or two) about that, and together we will create your very own bespoke ceremony, with vows that reflect who you are as a couple and with readings, music and symbolic rituals that truly resonate with you both.

After this ceremony consultation, I'll compose your first ceremony draft and with your assistance, I will ensure that it is scripted to your satisfaction.  All of which, I can deliver within a setting of your choice, be that a delightful venue, a serene lakeside or dramatic cliff-top location.

As a fully trained Humanist Association of Ireland accredited celebrant and a HSE Registered Solemniser of Marriage, I am able to conduct all the legalities and join you in matrimony on your Big Day. I'll also be available throughout the ceremonial planning process and on the Big Day itself, I'll be there an hour before your ceremony starts, to liaise with you, your wedding planner, the venue, photographers, videographers and musicians to make sure that your humanist wedding ceremony is everything you had hoped for - and more!

Ealish Whillock
Legal Celebrant

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Get in touch
with me

Please feel free to contact me to check my availability, get a quote or simply find out more information.

And please be sure to book a humanist celebrant as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

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The lovely things
my couples say...

“All our guests commented on how lovely the ceremony was, you made it very relaxed and light-hearted, which is exactly what we wanted."

Gillian & Andrew

“Our guests couldn't stop talking about you and how great you were. They said it was lovely how personal it was."

Tracey & David

Weddings
Tips & Advice

What Happens During a Humanist Ceremony?

A humanist wedding ceremony is typically made up of an entrance (traditional one if you wish), a welcome and introduction, words on love and marriage, music, readings delivered by family and friends, a symbolic ritual or two, legal and personal vows, exchange of rings, marriage declaration and the all-important kiss! signing of the register and closing words – you can personalise your ceremony to suit you.

How Can We Personalise Our Ceremony?

There are many ways we can personalise your ceremony. For example, I love the art of storytelling so together, we will create your “love story”. This story celebrates your unique relationship to date. And for me, this is one of the most important elements of your ceremony as it captures the endearing, heartfelt moments of magic that you have shared, be they, your first impressions of each other, your first date or your proposal. Typically, this story evokes a lovely mixture of chuckles and ahs from your guests and it tends to put them at ease early on.”

Your own vows can also be personalised along with any of the various symbolic enhancements or rituals you choose to include.

What Wedding Ceremony Enhancements or Rituals Can We Include?

There are many different symbolic gestures or enhancements that can be sprinkled throughout your ceremony - normally 2 to 3 and all of which can be personalised. You should choose rituals that resonate with you both. For instance, you might want to include the Sand Ceremony because maybe you’re both from coastal towns, got engaged on a beach or you have a child together and this is a nice way to include them in your ceremony.

Perhaps you would like to celebrate your two families coming together in marriage by having family members light your outer Unity Candles or have your Rings Warmed before you exchange them with the good wishes of your guests.

There is the Hand Fasting which symbolises you “tying the knot” or you could incorporate the Love Lock ceremony - this signifies that you have found the keys that fit your locks and locks that fit your keys or you could seal your very own Anniversary Box.

Some of the other rituals I offer include the Oathing the Stone, Coin Ceremony, Tree Planting, Wine Ceremony, the Quaich, Rose Ceremony for Significant Others or Gift Ceremony for the Couple. There are many more and if you have any cultural or family traditions of your own, we could look to develop those.

Can Our Children, Friends or Family Members Take Part in Our Ceremony?

Yes, they certainly can. There are many ways in which your loved ones can take part in your ceremony. Be they your own children, friends or family members I will guide you through the various meaningful ways in which they can be included.

Some of Our Significant Family Members are Deceased, and We Would Like to Remember Them in Our Ceremony - Can We?

Yes, it is quite common to acknowledge, early in the ceremony, that there are loved ones who are no longer with us and some couples remember them with love by lighting a remembrance candle. We can discuss the different approaches you could take.

Is a Humanist Wedding a Legally Binding Ceremony?

Yes, celebrants accredited by the Humanist Association of Ireland are all HSE registered solemnisers of marriages and therefore, may legally solemnise your marriage without the need for you to have a separate registry office wedding. If you are looking to have a legal wedding ceremony, you should look for a Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) accredited celebrant as some other celebrants may not be able to legally marry you, and therefore you will have to go to the registry office for the legal component.

If you want to get married in Ireland, you must give notice to a HSE Registrar’s Office of your intention to marry in Ireland. Please refer to:  Click Here. The notice period is 3 months unless exceptional circumstances apply.

What's the Difference Between a Ceremony Conducted by a HSE Registrar and a Humanist Celebrant?

These approaches are similar, in that, they are both legal and non-religious services, however the HSE only offer their services from Monday to Friday, while a Humanist wedding ceremony can be conducted on any day of the week. Another important aspect to keep in mind is that the venue you choose does not have to be on the list of approved venues – approved by the Registrar General. For humanist celebrants the venue just needs to be open to the public and have a registered address. So, this means the type of venue options and outdoor locations increase considerably when choosing a humanist ceremony!

Also, humanist wedding ceremonies are becoming increasingly popular because they offer couples a wonderful opportunity to celebrate their love and commitment to each other in a very personal and meaningful way. You see, each humanist ceremony is composed and created in close consultation with you - the happy couple.  And with one of the tenets of humanism being a tolerance for others who hold different belief systems - everyone feels included during a humanist ceremony.

Can My Same-Sex Partner and I Be Legally Married in a Humanist Wedding Ceremony?

Yes, you certainly can. Humanists believe in equality for all, so I would be delighted to legally marry you both and I look forward to discussing wedding ceremony ideas with you.

Can I Get Married Outdoors?

Yes, provided that the ceremony takes place in a venue open to the public and is clearly identifiable by an address. According to the Amendment of section 59D of Principal Act “(1A) In subsection (1) a ‘place that is open to the public’ means—

(a) a building that is open to the public, or

(b) a courtyard, garden, yard, field or piece of ground that is open to the public and lying near to and usually enjoyed with the building referred to in paragraph (a).

I can advise you as to the suitability of your proposed venue/location. Another import aspect to keep in mind is that the venue does not have to be approved by the Registrar General (i.e. the HSE) for humanist celebrants/solemnisers to legally marry you - they just have to be open to the public and have a registered address so this means that the type of venue options and outdoor locations increase considerably!

Can I Get Married in My Parents’ House?

If you want a humanist ceremony that includes the act of legal solemnisation of the marriage it cannot take place in a private location. If the house is a private home and not usually open to the public, then a legal wedding ceremony may not take place there. You can however opt to have a symbolic ceremony in any location, and I can advise you about the options available.

On What Days of The Week Can I Get Married?

On any day - Humanist celebrants are not restricted with regards to the time of day or day of the week.

How Long Does a Humanist Wedding Ceremony Take?

The duration of the ceremony will depend on the amount of content you choose to include. The more readings, music, and other elements you include will increase its duration, but it typically lasts about 25-35 minutes.

I Live Abroad – How Do I Organise My Wedding in Ireland?

You can obtain a form from a registry office which allows you to give notice of your intent to marry by post – Click Here

How Much Does a Humanist Wedding Ceremony Cost?

Typically, you can expect a guideline fee in the region of €470 - €550 (this includes a €70 contribution to the HAI). Fees may vary from celebrant to celebrant, particularly if the celebrant needs to add expenses such as travel, and possibly accommodation costs. Some celebrants, who exceed the VAT turnover threshold set by the Revenue Commissioners, are required to charge VAT at the standard rate of 23% in addition to their fees.

We Have Just Become Engaged! – So, How Do We Book Your Services?

Firstly, as a couple you should consider when and where you wish to get married and only provisionally book a venue until you have secured a celebrant’s services. Please feel free to contact me at any stage - I will be happy to explain all the processes involved, provide more information and check my availability for you.

Disclaimer: Please note that these topics are for general information purposes only. The answers are correct to the best of our belief and knowledge at present but are not definitive. Different HAI accredited celebrants take slightly different approaches, so please speak to a celebrant directly if you have a query or concern.