Ed Hardy


Organising a funeral or memorial ceremony for someone you love can be hard. Not only are you unlikely to have much experience of the process, but you’re probably not in the best frame of mind to give it the time and thought it needs, either. What kind of ceremony is right? Where should you hold it? What should you say? Who should be involved? What about music, poetry, readings? Are there rules about how it should all be done? I’d welcome the chance to talk you through the options available: just call me on 07753 679050, or email ed.hardy@humanistceremonies.org.uk.

Most people start the ceremony planning process by choosing a funeral director to work with. This can be the easiest option as a good one will make sure all the paperwork is done properly: you can find your nearest funeral directors by searching online. There are plenty of resources available online to help you, and a good place to start is the Natural Death Centre.

Once the basic legal requirements are taken care of, the rest is completely up to you – and this is where I can help. I’m experienced in all sorts of humanist and non-religious ceremonies from those at traditional crematoria to woodland burials, and from ashes interments to joyous celebrations of life held in venues as diverse as village halls, public gardens and art galleries. I’ll work closely with you to create the perfect ceremony, making sure you achieve just the balance of celebration and commemoration that you want.

Call me at any time on 07753 679050, or email ed.hardy@humanistceremonies.org.uk – or ask your funeral director to contact me, if applicable.




I live in Liphook in Hampshire with my wife and two children. I was born in Nottingham, grew up in Torquay in Devon, and went to University in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. My ‘first career’ was in advertising and marketing agencies, working with businesses all over the world – but for the last ten years I’ve been dividing my time between marketing consultancy, freelance journalism and my work as a humanist funeral and wedding celebrant.

I conducted my first ceremony more than twenty years ago, then over the years found myself being asked to do more ceremonies for friends and family. I found the process of meeting people and creating ceremonies so rewarding that eventually I trained with Humanists UK and am now a fully accredited funeral and wedding celebrant.

I’m constantly amazed by how powerful just talking can be as a part of the process of coming to terms with the death of someone you love – and I never forget what a privilege it is to work with people when they’re experiencing such challenging and difficult times.





“Thank you so much for today, you were superb. You have been fantastic from the moment we first spoke, and we really appreciate all your work and help. Everyone has been saying what a wonderful celebrant you were, and how well you spoke, so thank you.”

Charlotte Cullinan


“I just wanted to drop you a line to say a heartfelt thank you for all that you did at my mother’s service yesterday. It really was very much appreciated. With all that was going on at the beginning of the process, I was unsure where to begin, what to do and how to weave it all together. However, with your support, the day began to fit into place. The home visit made such a difference and that showed through in the delivery on the day. The tone you set was spot on; her spirit and personality were captured beautifully. We had lots of positive comments on your readings, both from those attending in person and online. You made a sad goodbye so much easier.”

Ineke Kuyken


“Thank you for the beautiful and gentle way you held Mum’s ceremony together.”

Jacky Beagley


“I just want to say how grateful I am for all that you brought to Alan’s service today. I now know why you were just the person to honour Alan and I know he would have been so pleased with the service; as pleased as we all are. I was so moved by your words and how you rendered him with such tenderness, clarity, and truth. Through your words and your presence you brought him to life again for a brief moment. I am especially grateful too for reading my words to him as you spoke them in a way that expressed me as well as I could  have expressed myself. And the same is true for the poem, I really felt through your reading of it that June and Alan were brought together in the ceremony. I know from my own experience it is not only the words that are spoken but how they are spoken and the intention that is held – and that is what I am most deeply grateful for. Thank you for giving Alan, our family and all those present a beautiful and lasting memory to carry us through our grief. “

Cindy Wilde


Thank you for leading the tributes to Tony yesterday. It is not an easy task to speak about a person that you have never met, but you spoke with ease and your words painted a clear picture of Tony and the  many facets of his life. I have received many comments on the substance of the service, all of them complimentary. It means so much to me that he had a ‘good send off’ and you were instrumental in helping me achieve that aim.”

Christine Davis


“David and I would like to say a big thank you for all you did to make Dad’s funeral service a true celebration of his life. Although you never met him, you still conveyed a real sense of his character and made the service a truly humane experience. Many thanks for all your hard work and attention to detail.”

Alan and David Whitney


“I just wanted to take this opportunity to say a big ‘thank you’ from us for yesterday. We had so many comments from people about the delivery of your service. The ceremony was personal and struck just the right chord for Dad’s character. You really reflected the occasion in the way we wanted and it was a fantastic celebration of the life Dad had lived. Thank you from all of us.”

Kate Payne


“I just thought I would pass on to you my sincere thanks for yesterday. You really helped make the occasion what it was; a fantastic celebration of Judy’s life and an opportunity to say goodbye to her. You provided a beautiful, balanced and appropriate set of proceedings. It was also evident as to how much attention to detail you had given to our conversation and in the way you translated that into what you communicated during the service; that made the difference, because even though you had not met Judy, you really managed to get her character across – I could see my family nodding a lot along with what you were saying.”

Charles Axon


“I just wanted to say thank you for the service yesterday. From start to finish it was lovely. You made us feel so at ease talking to you.”

Mandy Willcox


“Thank you for your work today and your help in preparing the service.  You were compassionate and sincere, and the service was moving. We appreciate your support”.

Keith Berriman


“Ed, thank you so much for being our celebrant at Dad’s memorial service. So many people that attended have told us what a good choice you were. You quietly and unobtrusively brought dignified calm to our day whilst understanding that we did not want anything stuffy. You were the perfect combination of professional and relaxed and you had us covered when copies of readings were forgotten and were a particularly reassuring presence just before when we were especially nervy. I found you really easy to communicate with throughout the whole process and very willing to be led by us without ego or judgement. You were discrete and clear and reliable and have a lovely sense of humour. You have inspired at least one of the attendees to become a humanist celebrant too! “

Sam Cole


“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for your contribution to my mother’s service on Tuesday. Everyone I have spoken to, including those who watched over the web cast, thought the service went very well and that it was completely appropriate for my mother. I really thought that your words set absolutely the right tone for the service . Thank you so much for all the help you gave us with the organisation of the service and for your role as master of ceremonies. If you are ever asked for a reference or recommendation, we would be delighted to provide one.”

Richard Grant


“We wanted to thank you for making Friday so special for us. The service was exactly what we wanted to celebrate Mike’s life and to remember him. We really appreciate that you ‘got us’, and understood exactly what we wanted. Your expertise and support was invaluable: we’ve all watched the Webcast many times and will treasure your script.”

Wendy Adams


“Thank you so much for doing such a beautiful service for our mother, Imogen. You made a potentially very difficult day so easy with your kindness and lovely eulogy. Our family and friends commented on how personal and special the service was.”

Sophie Smallwood


“Now that I’ve had time to recover and get my breath back I want to thank you very much for everything you did to make Dad’s funeral exactly as I wanted it to be. You put the words together perfectly and your suggestion for using a verse from the song on the Order of Service was absolutely right. Thank you again for all your help and support.”

Becky David


“I just wanted to thank you again for officiating at my mother’s funeral on Friday. Now I’ve had time to process a bit I’m so pleased we had a funeral full of music and flowers, with contributions from different family members, and with some properly significant thought-provoking content from you. I also appreciated your emotional engagement.”

Kaye Godleman


“We really can’t thank you enough for the way you helped us give Dad the perfect send-off today. You appealed to everyone, whatever their faith or belief system: everyone told us they thought the combination of  the content of the service, you as celebrant and the location really did Dad justice. Thanks also for the beautifully bound copy of the ceremony script; a lovely surprise which we’ll hold close to our hearts.”

Andrew Morris


“I wanted to thank you once more for the excellent service you wrote for mum’s funeral. So many people came up to me afterwards to say how much they had appreciated it, and for me personally I feel we gave her the best possible send-off. Your delivery and pacing of the service was just right, but also your diligent research into the finer details of mum’s life made for a really interesting story. The printed transcript of the service was an extra detail I wasn’t expecting, and very much appreciated – such a lovely touch.  I would not hesitate in future to recommend you to any friends or family looking for an alternative humanist funeral or wedding service.”

Viveca Koh


“Anne and I would like to thank you so much for officiating at the interment on Friday, it was just perfect. Also, a huge thank you for all the work you did for the funeral. You were so kind and thoughtful in your words, it just captured mum and dad’s lives perfectly. Having never attended a celebrant service before we were all very impressed by it and will certainly recommend anyone who is undecided, to you. You were brilliant, thank you! “

Joy Steel


“Just a note to once again thank you for yesterday. We all thought it was a lovely service and that you were brilliant.  You did a great job in presenting the service and we could not have been more pleased.”

Angus Kinnear


“The service was all that I had hoped it would be. Ed made it humorous and worded the eulogy with much thought. A smile rather than tears for everyone.”

Pamela Chandler


“Thank you for your central role in yesterday’s cremation service for Charlotte. We all agreed that you were just the right person to take us through a heart-breaking but memorable service. You added just the right mix of gravity and understanding – we could not have been blessed with a more suitable celebrant.”

Ian Garnett


“Thank you for all your hard work and kindness at what became an increasingly difficult time for us all. Many people of all ages and backgrounds at the reception commented on how perfect they thought the service was and how well they thought you carried out your role, delivering such a sincere and touching ceremony.”

Karen Humfress


“Thank you for all you did yesterday: it was, as my Dad would say, a ‘first class performance’. Thank you once more.”

John Conner


“I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for conducting the ceremony for us. It meant so much to us to have somebody who had clearly listened so well to our recollections of mum, and represented them in such a well phrased, balanced way, with more than a hint of humour too. I would also like to particularly thank you for the delivery of my daughter’s poem, which, to me, felt just right.”

Tina Harris-Ross


“Thank you so much for being the perfect celebrant. Your balance of gravitas, emotion and warmth was exactly what we needed, and we loved it.”

Marc, Matt and Vi Eldridge


“Your ceremony was quite lovely. Great choice of readings, and a perfect tone.”

Tim Corrie



Call me at any time on 07753 679050, or email ed.hardy@humanistceremonies.org.uk – or ask your funeral director to contact me, if applicable.