Celebrant profile:

Belinda Braithwaite

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

My work and leisure time is between Lochgilphead in Argyll and Loch Lomond. I am therefore available for ceremonies in Argyll and in the Dunbartonshire area.

My working life has always been working with people -in nursing and health care settings, running a small guest house and, since 2007, being a Humanist Celebrant.

I joined the HSS after attending a Humanist Funeral here in Argyll. The ceremony gave the opportunity to recall so many happy memories and celebrate the life of a dear friend. For me it made me realise that humanist values were what influenced the way in which I try to lead my life. Humanism is integral to my place in the wider world and helps me to make sense of day to day living. Respecting the environment and my fellow human travellers, regardless is an important part of my humanism . For me, life is not about power, money, control or divisions. Membership of the HSS led to Celebrant training in 2007 and I am now privileged to provide ceremonies at times of sadness, happiness and joy.

I think it is important for those who wish it, to be able to have some help to write and plan a ceremony for these important times in life. It is a real privilege to work with families and couples and help to create a very personal ceremony for milestone times in their lives.

Every Ceremony is special and unique - the day, setting, venue and words are all tailored to the wishes of the people involved.

In my spare time I meet up with friends, go on campervan adventures as often as possible and simply enjoy where I live.

Please do telephone or email me to discuss your plans.

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

Legal Marriages, non-legal weddings, renewals of vows - I would be delighted to conduct your ceremony whether it is to be a small and intimate or big occasion. I see my role as a facilitator. It is helpful to meet in advance of your big day so I can help you plan your unique ceremony. Many couples travel long distances to marry in this beautiful area; I find Facetime or Zoom useful if meeting up in person isn’t feasible for the planning stages.
When we meet we can discuss your ideas and plans, I usually make suggestions and guide you so I can then write a first draft.
Your Humanist wedding script should express your love and commitment in a way which reflects you as a couple and as individuals, reflecting your lives and aspirations.

A Humanist wedding ceremony can include symbolic gestures such the traditional exchange of rings and / or hand-fasting, drinking from a Quaich or lighting candles. Music that is meaningful to you reflects your personalities add to the sense of occasion.

You can choose elements to suit your style and lives.

I encourage couples to be fully involved in designing the ceremony and, ideally, to write what you love about each other, ‘your story’- about your journey together so far and plans for the future, your vows and the promises you will exchange with one another. These are woven together along with the necessary legal declarations to create a tailored and distinctly personal celebration of love and commitment.

It may sound daunting to be asked to write vows etc but your own words are so much more meaningful in the ceremony and I have plenty of examples to help with ideas!

Planning your wedding can become stressful with so many decisions to be made. No-one benefits from rush or pressure - I use email reminders and deadlines in the preparation time ahead of the wedding day so the script is ready well ahead of your ceremony day.

It is my role to guide you through your ceremony and that extends to the day itself. I always arrive early so I can meet with all the important people who will make your day so special - the photographer, musicians, those who will be speaking and the best man, so you can be as relaxed as possible to really enjoy your day

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

It has been my pleasure and privilege to conduct a few naming ceremonies now - sometimes for couples I've also married, which is a joyful link. Namings are most commonly for babies but can be for older children, for example, when the youngest is being named or when a child is being adopted into a family.

In meeting well before the naming ceremony, it is important to plan and shape the ceremony as the parents wish for the celebration of their addition to their family.

In addition to making their own pledges and promises to their child (or children), many parents also choose to ask other supporting adults to act as guide-parents.

I can assist with choices of readings, music and suggestions for symbolic gestures.

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Funeral Ceremonies

A funeral touches me more deeply than any other ceremony, it is a ceremony with a serious professional responsibility; an essential part of the grieving process and it is an immense privilege to be involved with the family at such a difficult time. An important part of a Humanist funeral is to create a ceremony that is fitting and meaningful, that celebrates the life and character of the person who has died.

I have officiated at burials, cremations, scattering of ashes and memorial ceremonies.

Before the funeral ceremony.
It is unusual for me to have known the deceased, so meeting with the family before the funeral is essential. Families quite often find this eases the pain a little as they recall past events, shared times and anecdotes that reflect the personality of their loved one and the special place and influence he or she had on their own lives.

I try to encapsulate their “being” as well as their achievements. I work to ensure that the funeral ceremony is exactly as the family want it to be, with music, poems and readings chosen by family and friends to remember their loved one and how they lived their life. I encourage friends or family members to read a personal tribute or a poem they have chosen.

The Funeral Ceremony
When conducting a Humanist funeral ceremony I hope to offer those who have been bereaved some comfort by capturing their loved ones life; their uniqueness and the stories that shaped who they were.

The funeral ceremony provides the opportunity to say goodbye and celebrate the life of the deceased in a respectful and dignified way, the bereaved can then begin to find the strength to turn back to their own life again. A funeral ceremony that reflects thoughts and feelings about a loved one is an important part of this process. It is always an honour to be a funeral Celebrant.

Funeral Planning
I am available to speak to people who want to plan their own funeral. To discuss your thoughts, whatever your circumstance, please get in touch and I will try to help plan what is best for you and your family.

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Ceremony fees:

Please note that there may be some additional costs, such as for travel.

Weddings £400.00
Funerals £190.00

Amounts shown are the fees charged by the celebrant - read more about what you can expect to pay for a Humanist Society Scotland wedding.


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