Updated: May 1
According to the most recently published census, in 2018, nearly 235,000 couples tied the knot in England and Wales, and almost 7,000 of those ceremonies were between same-sex couples.
As an independent celebrant I promote the couples’ personalities in their ceremony script and Diversity and Inclusion are at the heart of my ceremonies.
To me diversity means to embrace those people around us who are of different social, cultural and economic backgrounds; and an inclusive attitude for me means to provide equal access and opportunities to all groups in our society, who would otherwise be marginalised or even excluded from certain events.
I can't remember if I have ever seen a bride or groom in a wheelchair in our popular wedding magazines or wedding website, come to think of it..!
I work with a number of venues and businesses which provide real support for disabled brides/grooms and I would really love to see this publicised more often.
Sometime ago I was absolutely thrilled when I was asked to officiate my very first, same sex ceremony and it still gives me a fuzzy feeling when I think back to this absolutely emotional, romantic and beautiful elopement ceremony. I have always thought that I am open minded and reasonably well educated, however, finding out that one of my brides would face 20 years in prison in her home country or worse for being gay and her family should never find out that she has tied the knot with the love of her life, for fear of persecution. This upset me and at same time made me proud that I was able to tell their story and that I live in a more open-minded society.
As an independent celebrant, it is very important to me that I consider the words I use and the way I present myself during the ceremony to avoid any bias comments or to avoid making assumptions of which pronouns the couple may prefer. Using gender neutral language to ensure all couples feel included is only one way to make sure I deliver a more inclusive love story and ceremony.
Including a range of traditions, symbolic gestures and styles to cater for a multicultural wedding celebration makes the ceremonies personal and special for my couples. Considering physical disabilities when asking the guests to stand up to welcome the couple or to use basic sign language to welcome guests who are hard of hearing is a great way to champion diversity and inclusion.
As an independent celebrant, it is crucial to take the time to continually evaluate how I can support a diverse range of love stories and to adapt the script accordingly. I constantly review my policies and the marketing material to ensure I comply diversity and inclusivity.
Why don’t we all take a moment and learn about others who lead different lives? I am sure our values and services would be enriched.
Thank you for reading!