Writing & Editorial Meeting – What it is and Feedback

I meet couples for a 90-minute Writing & Editorial Meeting to write the first draft of their bespoke Humanist wedding ceremony.

Seven benefits for you from the Writing and Editorial Meeting:

  1. Your almost fully completed personal, bespoke wedding script written and edited by a professional author and editor
  2. Your first draft of your personal wedding script emailed to you soon after the meeting – a tangible product of the meeting
  3. Your lived experiential appreciation not only of the structure but more importantly the emotional feel and flow of your ceremony. (Don’t be surprised if some emotion – maybe even a moist eye – manifests!)
  4. Your comprehensive approximately 90-minute encounter with your Humanist celebrant and solemniser
  5. Your opportunity to ask any questions that you may have
  6. Your knowledge of, confirmation and reassurance about what you must do to ensure that your marriage is legally valid
  7. Your reassurance that your wedding date will be held for you until the agreed date for the Writing and Editorial Meeting, and for three weeks after it if you need time to consider, and your confidence that so long as you’re both freely choosing to marry and you both want a Humanist/secular/non-religious ceremony that I would be happy to be your celebrant.

Some Feedback from the Writing & Editorial Meeting (all feedback reproduced with permission of the couples):

‘Hi Joe, thanks for your efficiency in emailing over the draft and the links for readings etc. We very much enjoyed meeting you for the Writing and Editorial Meeting. It was a great opportunity to discuss the ceremony to give us a feel for how the day would go. It was lovely to spend time with you so that our first encounter wasn’t on the actual day itself. Your humour and wit made the W&E meeting fun and upbeat. It was very informative and I thought it was great that you discussed with us the different rituals we could put into the ceremony. It has made the ceremony planning going forward much easier and has left us with the fun stuff left to do,  pick readings and music etc !! So very productive meeting all round. I respect your experience and your talent and your time and commitment to providing a personal and meaningful ceremony on the day. Thanks very much again from an excited bride to be.’
– Kaley & Philip, W&E Meeting on 15 June 2017

 

‘Hi Joe, We really enjoyed the meeting. It was so good to flesh out the ceremony and see what it will entail and how it will look on the day. I found it exciting and it made everything feel real! Wish it was closer now!! We loved getting to meet you and get a feel for your personality and how you will conduct the ceremony. I think we were probably both a bit nervous as to what to expect but you quite quickly put those nerves at ease and made us feel very relaxed which is important to us. We both went into the meeting with very few ideas of what way we wanted the ceremony to look but your guidance really helped us identify some really meaningful and beautiful aspects to choose for our day. I would feel it was well worth it and I’m delighted we got to meet you so far in advance as we got a feel for how our day will look! 

All I can say is you have made the almost 14 months away seem very long now cause I just want it to be tomorrow!! You made it all feel very real and personal and we cant wait to see you again! Also I have to say I loved the way you made us do the vows bit!’
– Sarah & Keith W&E Meeting 13 June 2017

 

‘Hi Joe, We both thoroughly enjoyed the meeting. It made it all feel real, and we were delighted to see the ceremony take shape before our eyes. It was a lovely afternoon/evening, and we’re both delighted you’ll be our celebrant for the occasion.’ 
 – Kevin and Shelly, W&E Meeting, 24 May 2017

Sending Alice and Conor their personalised script after their W&E meeting at which an eye had moistened unexpectedly, I commented to the couple, ‘Glad that we proved conclusively that tears are a good thing!’ They responded:

‘Great to meet you Joe, couldn’t agree more about the tears/emotions. I was very surprised how useful, helpful, fun and informative it all was. Looking forward to the big day more than ever now.’
– Alice and Conor, W&E Meeting, 17 May 2017

‘Hi Joe!  Thanks so much for meeting us yesterday- we are both super excited about the ceremony now that we have met you!’

– Louise and Katie, W&E Meeting, 14 May 2017

‘Hey Joe,
Just getting some time to give you some feedback on the Writing and Editorial meeting. It was a very enjoyable experience for both myself and Niamh. It was very relaxed and comfortable to speak to you from the off . I found the information to be very useful at the beginning of the meeting and clearly pointed out all of our responsibilities for the wedding day! Going through the whole process was seamless and it was very easy to decide what rituals we would like to include or not include in our ceremony! It was a bit of craic too so that is always helpful! I suppose the main benefits we got from the whole experience was that we got a sense of who will be conducting our wedding and we can feel comfortable around you on the day. The information you provided was perfect to ease the mind on worrying too much about things and having the ceremony planned out knowing what we can expect is a very nice feeling! For both me and Niamh it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and we both wish you well in all your future ceremonies!’
 – Stephen & Niamh, W&E Meeting, 14 May 2017
 ‘Hi Joe, Lovely to speak to you last night, and thanks for staying up so late with us! As you can tell I’m a wee bit of a nervous ball of energy when it comes to the ceremony. But your chat was lovely and informal last night and also very well organised, which is just what we wanted. So thank you, we’re delighted.’
– Emma and Joe, W&E Meeting, 10 April 2017

‘Hi Joe, Thank you for such a wonderful experience this evening, I knew I wanted a humanist wedding in my head but now I know I want it in my heart! The Writing & Editorial Meeting was enjoyable, relaxed and fun. It was helpful to run through the ceremony from start to finish and to have the opportunity to ask questions and contribute to what is said and done on the day. Although it was on our list as “another job to be done”, it ended up being the most enjoyable experience of planning our wedding thus far and brought us back to what it is all about, marrying someone you love in front of the people you love.’

– Kayde and Damien, W&E Meeting, 4 April 2017

‘Hi Joe, We really enjoyed the meeting. We feel that your approach, personality and humour is exactly what we would love for our ceremony. The meeting was extremely informative. Whilst we were confident that we wanted a Humanist ceremony, we were unsure of everything that was involved. We are delighted that the rituals for our ceremony that you helped us pick are so related to us and our relationship. It was really lovely to reflect on different parts of our relationship and the people important to us. Having looked through our ceremony script today, we both commented on the amount of preparation work you had carried out before the Writing and Editorial meeting and the amount we worked through during the meeting. ‘

–  Jenny and Padraic, W&E Meeting 28 March 2017

‘Hi Joe,

The writing and editorial meeting was very useful to us, especially as an introduction to a Humanist service. We’d both be more familiar with church services but were sure that a religious service wasn’t for us. Having you there to talk us through all of the options was very helpful. The meeting itself was enjoyable, especially as it was our first step down the road to marriage, the little touch with the “I do’s” was particularly nice! More importantly it was great for us all to meet in person and to establish that personal connection. It was very relaxed and informal but businesslike and to the point at the same time, no time was wasted. Sharing of a few anecdotes etc. for the ceremony reassured us that there will be that personal touch and also some fun to the ceremony. We really did enjoy it so you’re doing a great job! ‘

– Siobhán & Graham, W&E Meeting, 21 March 2017

 ‘Hi Joe, Thanks so much for meeting us on Thursday, I really enjoyed it. I found the meeting really positive. You had all the information that we needed and you were very prepared for the meeting. I found it very practical as in we got down to the details of the actual ceremony straight away and now we really know what to expect in August. The meeting was relaxed and fun and it was lovely to actually think about the two of us and what it means to get married after all this time together. I heard of some of the rituals before but you really made them meaningful by explaining them to us and we are really happy with the ones we chose for our ceremony. I don’t really have anything that I would change, I found it a good balance of relaxed and also getting down to business and getting lots of “work” done. I think it is definitely a good idea to have a writing and editorial meeting well in advance of the ceremony as it really focuses the mind on the ceremony.’

– Sarah and Charlie, W&E meeting 16 March 2017

‘Hi Joe, We enjoyed the Writing and Editorial Meeting. It was very productive and helpful. We were surprised how much humour can be fitted into a solemn occasion. We are really looking forward to our ceremony. And value for money too – you can’t put a price on perfection!’
– Arran & Jill, W&E Meeting, 14 March 2017

‘Thanks a million for last night, we both thoroughly enjoyed talking to you and found it very reassuring to see exactly how the ceremony will proceed. It made it all feel very ‘real’ (in a good way!) and has only added to our excitement about the big day now. Thank you for all your time and enthusiasm, we really appreciate it.’

– Maeve and Bertie, W&E meeting 13 March 2017

‘We really enjoyed our evening!’

– Laura and Andew, W&E meeting 7 March 2017

We found the writing and editorial very helpful. We were delighted to know what was going to be happening on our big day and be involved. It was great to chat to you and we really enjoyed it.’

– Sinead and John-Paul, W&E meeting 27 February 2017

‘We thought it was an extremely useful session where we came away from it with a much clearer understanding of how our wedding will unfold. We really liked your writing style and your approach to eliciting the information from us. We found it a very enjoyable experience and would have no hesitation in recommending it so thank you very much! We can’t wait for the big day.’

– Eimear and Daniel, W&E Meeting 24 February 2017

Thank you so much…We think it’s fair to say that we hit it off straight away and shared the same values. We can see that your great online reputation is well deserved, and it would be our pleasure to have you as the face and voice of our wedding. We really enjoyed the meeting and thought it was extremely helpful as we now know the layout of our wedding. You made us feel very relaxed and you went through everything in just the right detail and we left with no unanswered questions. Keep up the great work.’

– Jenai & Paul, W&E meeting also 23 February 2017.

‘It was a pleasure to meet you and we are very happy to have you as our celebrant. We found the meeting a very enjoyable one but more so informative, we really hadn’t a clue. We now have a clear picture of what we need to do and the time frame to do it, so a big thanks for all your help.’ ­

– Donal and Loretta, W&E meeting 23 Feb 2017.

‘Thank you for last night. You really put us at ease and it’s made it all the more real and exciting!’ And, some days later they added: ‘Your conversation and ceremony draft has become nearly therapeutic for us during all the madness of wedding planning! I can’t help but revert back to it as a mental reminder of why we are doing this! All the bells and whistles of the day are just fluff, this is what really matters!’

– Hazel & Andy, W&E meeting 8 Feb 2017

‘It was great meeting you on Monday. You made us both feel so comfortable with everything.’

– Jack and Louise, W&E meeting 6 February 2017

‘Thanks for meeting us last week. We’re both very excited about the ceremony.’

– Daniel & Ana, W&E meeting 2 February 2017