Hello! I’m a humanist wedding celebrant in Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales, writing and conducting non-religious, unique, romantic, relaxed and fun wedding ceremonies in Leeds, York, Harrogate areas, across North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.
I work with couples to write and deliver totally bespoke, heartfelt and uplifting wedding ceremonies that tell your story, feature your thoughts on love and marriage, include your music, personal and meaningful vows and your choice of symbolic acts – without the constraints of religion or civil ceremonies.
My style is smiley, relaxed, friendly, inclusive, enthusiastic and personal, with a memorable script and a natural delivery that evokes sincerity and significance, celebration, love, a sprinkling of fun and laughter, often a sparkle of edginess and usually even some tears of loveliness!
If you are looking for an alternative wedding ceremony that oozes creativity, fun and personality but with a traditional foundation, you’re in the right hands! If you want a wedding ceremony written and delivered your way, with none of the rules and regulations of a civil ceremony but with exactly the right balance of informality and formality, I’m your gal! Let’s rip up the rule book and add some colour!
How does it work?
- We meet and chat through ideas, I write your script, you give it a read and apply any tweaks.
- I provide a “contact me any time” service to chat through anything to do with your ceremony.
- I conduct a beautiful ceremony that surprises and delights your guests, gives you a warm buzz and gets your party started.
- You keep a presentation script and a whole load of amazing memories!
- Easy and totally stress-free!
Whether you’re getting married for the first, second or third time, whether you have an extended family or friends you want to involve; whether you’re humanists or not, whether your families are of different religions or cultures, or one of you is religious and the other doesn’t want a church wedding; or whether you just want to have an amazing wedding ceremony in the venue of your choice, I have a ‘can do’ attitude and a bagful of enthusiasm and positivity!
I’m a wife and a mum (I’ve lived a bit and to be honest, these days I’m pretty un-shockable!) and I’m a big fan of music, films, friends, festivals, the great outdoors, dogs, cats and red wine! With a professional background in writing, events, photography and video production for corporates, charities and communities, I’m a natural storyteller, a lover of people, a curious and sensitive listener, and a stickler for originality and detail. I love to learn. I’m a big animal lover (I’m a pescatarian with the desire but unfortunately not the willpower to be vegan). My husband and I have two kids in their early twenties who STILL live at home, a very spoilt, big bouncy dog called Luna, and two mean old moggies!
A humanist wedding ceremony is perfect for everyone wanting a religion-free, meaningful and extraordinary wedding ceremony. I’m a humanist by nature (I love people, animals and the planet, I believe in fairness and equality, I’m not religious and I believe that we only get one life), but I focus on delivering religion-free, inclusive and love-centric ceremonies that consider others’ beliefs and are meaningful to all guests. I often honour visual, meaningful, non-religious wedding traditions and symbolic acts and include them in my ceremonies – and I enjoy working with couples to create new ones. I’m open to anything, so just ask!
I love diversity in people and it goes without saying that I’m LGBTQ friendly. In fact, one of my same-sex couples made it onto a Humanist Ceremonies billboard in Northern Ireland when gay weddings were approved for legal recognition in late 2019. A proud moment for us all! I thoroughly enjoy meeting all couples and hearing their stories of love and life, and I relish the challenge of crafting a completely unique script for every wedding. Every couple is different. Every wedding is completely bespoke.
Because I’m a huge music fan, I couldn’t help but put together an extensive wedding music Spotify playlist for my couples to use as an inspiration resource, and I also have a bank of readings, poems and song lyrics up my sleeve! Click through to my main website, Rachael Meyer – Humanist Wedding Ceremonies in Yorkshire – to see these. (Then click on the ceremonies tab.)
Not just a wedding script
I have plenty of experience in planning and delivering ceremonies and other live events, and I can advise on every element of your ceremony. For couples planning an outdoor, barn, festival, woodland, beach or tipi wedding, or who need amplification of voice and music indoors, I have a fabulous, completely portable, professional PA system with microphones and 7 input channels. It’s perfect for use in a field, barn or a garden without power). And I have a few props (eg unity candlesticks, handfasting ribbons and a loving cup) that are available for my couples to borrow.
Almost nothing phases me! I have been known to be commissioned to write and deliver a full wedding ceremony with 24 hours notice – nothing is impossible and I am happy to attempt to rise to all challenges!
Above all, I feel absolutely privileged to be a wedding celebrant. It’s such a happy role that involves being allowed into the very heart of a couple’s lives for a small window – and results in a wedding day experience that they – and I – will remember forever.
Although most of my weddings are in beautiful Yorkshire; on request, I will also travel much further afield and overseas.
To check out what you can expect from a typical ceremony – together with some of my favourite readings, sample vows and ideas for music and symbolic acts, please click through to my full website here.
Ceremony and photography packages are also available. Please ask for details!
A few reviews from 2019:
Crystal and Steve: “We had previously used a humanist celebrant for another occasion, so we had experience of the dedication and professionalism we could expect. We cast our net, so to speak, far and wide and had a reply from Rachael who is close to us, based in Harrogate.
From the first contact, Rachael’s personality shone through, she talked, and most importantly, listened to what we had said, so we arranged to meet. We spent three hours with Rache, our jaws were aching and smiles beaming, we knew we had a great celebrant.
Rachael came back to us with the script, she’d captured so much of our personalities, the ceremony was so ‘us’. To say we were excited was an understatement. She added many ideas into the ceremony which were all in keeping with the occasion, we were getting married, outdoors, in a clearing in woodland, everything she was involved in was perfect.
Rain and a yellow weather warning were issued for our big day. Rachael contacted us and offered help ensure the venue had thought of everything, she spoke to the venue and took some of the weight off our shoulders.
The big day arrived, rain poured, Rachael arrived, she immediately started checking the ceremony location, liaising with venue staff, spoke to the friends who were involved in the ceremony and made the groom feel relaxed. A lovely text to the bride assured here that everything was under control.
Rachael’s stories were poignant and funny, laughter and love flowed, each section of the program linked into the next. The delivery was professional beyond words. Both Bride and Groom loved the occasion, but even more impressive was the reaction from our guests.
So many compliments to what was in effect a 40-minute service about two people in love, stories, ring warming, secret words, sunflower ceremony, readings, smiles, laughter, tears, hand fastening and we had a lot of rain. It was perfect, we wouldn’t change anything, and that’s probably a lot to do with Rachael.
We would wholeheartedly recommend Rachael to bring the ‘A Game’ to any occasion.
Vicki and Kevin: “Looking around for a celebrant, you’ll find a sea of sameness, in a good way! But then we found Rachael. Meeting up was easy and the process a breeze. What mattered most to us was the balance of love and fun Rachael created for us. Reading the draft ceremony, which was a pitch perfect mix of emotion and laugh out loud, instantly put us at ease and also meant no effort for us. Rachael’s advantage here is her writing background, she is a gifted story writer and teller, this is the most important part of a humanist ceremony. Of course, on our big day, Rachael also delivered it all with aplomb. 5 stars doesn’t cover it, don’t hesitate in speaking with Rachael.
She’s a lovely person that makes you feel completely as ease and the script and story that she created was warm, funny and very romantic. The experience was really enjoyable. Meeting Rachael and being interviewed was like meeting an old friend and she made it really fun. We had plenty of time to review the words without pressure but Rachael made sure we were on track with timings. When planning we met Rachael at the venue and as she has a background in events she was able to liaise with the venue on the finer details to make sure that everything ran smoothly. Rachael and her husband also did our photography, this made the whole process really convenient, it limited the amount of different suppliers we had to deal with, and they had a really good understanding of how we wanted the day to work. The ceremony itself was a real treat.
We had kept it a secret from our guests so to see a sea of faces smiling as Rachael spoke was lovely. We have had so many fantastic responses about the ceremony, they really felt they had played a part in our day as many were mentioned in the ceremony. I also appreciated receiving the folder with all of the ceremony detail in afterwards. It is a really lovely touch. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Rachael, she did such a sterling job and made the planning much more enjoyable too!”
Kayleigh and Lisa: “Where to begin, this amazing lady managed to turn our visions into reality, neither of us were great at articulating what we wanted, we were disorganised and teeny bit stressed! We met with Rachael and everything changed, she put us at ease instantly, and managed to get in to our heads to find out what we wanted seemingly effortlessly. She offered lots of advice and ideas and we left the pre-meet buzzing with excitement.
Within a few days, she had written the most beautiful script and picked up on so many things that we forgot we’d discussed, she really listens and takes everything in. What she’d written captured us and our personalities perfectly, all of our guests commented on how personal and beautiful everything was. It was delivered in such a natural way, everyone was really engaged in this unique ceremony, it’ll be remembered for years to come and not just by us. By choosing Rachael as your celebrant, you can throw out the rule book and make a truly personal ceremony. Rachael – Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us and for making our day so special, you are incredible!!”
Helen and Will: “Where to begin?! Rachael was an integral part of making our wedding day as special as it was – from our first conversation through to saying our goodbyes at the end of our ceremony, she was warm, welcoming and truly treated us as friends rather than clients. We had a wonderful meeting with her ahead of our wedding, where we had a lot of laughs together and she created a beautiful, bespoke wedding ceremony that perfectly captured us and our story. We received endless compliments throughout the rest of our wedding day about how the ceremony was so special, engaging and unique, with many saying it was the best they’d ever been to!
There was the perfect balance of fun and laughs along with the ‘serious stuff,’ but Rachael’s ceremony set the tone for a perfect day. We are so pleased we pulled the plug on our original wedding arrangements and chose Rachael instead – she has a beautiful, poetic way with words and is so kind and considerate, she’s looked after us so well from start to finish. Just amazing!”
Matthew and Lisa: “My wife and I started planning our wedding ceremony in early 2019. A small gathering in Yorkshire. We didn’t want a religious ceremony, so we decided to look for a Humanist celebrant. My wife found many people who provided this service, but one caught our eye, so we decided to arrange a FaceTime meeting. Rachael was absolutely wonderful from start to finish. From the moment we first made contact to the actual ceremony itself, we never doubted her professionalism or her ability to deliver exactly what we were looking for. Indeed, our expectations were exceeded many times over, and we would have no doubt in recommending her to any of our friends, or whoever may require her services. The script she wrote was exactly the right tone, and it managed to say everything we wanted saying in front of our families. The intimate wedding we had felt really special and it will live long in everybody’s memories who attended.”
Want to know more?
- Please call or email me for a very informal chat.
- Please click through to my full website for answers to FAQs, blogs and other stuff!
- Read what people say about me here: Testimonials