A humanist wedding is a non-religious celebration that is welcoming, inclusive, and personally tailored to you, focusing on your love story and things that are important to you as a couple.

There were a few ‘firsts’, and a few ‘seconds’ last week.

For the first time in our lives, we had been invited to a humanist wedding ceremony. And for the first time since his accident, Pádraig got into a ‘proper’ jacket and shirt, tie and all. It was brilliant and another step towards another level of normality, another level of what is possible.

To be honest, I had no idea of what to expect. It was an absolutely weird and wonderful experience with a loving couple at its centre, their parents, families, and friends celebrating with them what must have been the biggest and happiest event in their lives so far.

But not only was it what I would have considered an alternative ceremony (but isn’t any longer, it seems), it also took place in an alternative venue.

We had booked into a yurt, to allow Pádraig some time between ceremony, drinks reception, and dinner.

I called the yurt ‘romantic’. Light came through a little clear plastic section in the roof, there were a few beds and a stove, and we were immediately joined by two (love?) birds who had sought shelter in the stove. A few metres up the garden path was the toilet, shower, and hand wash basin hut. Luckily, the rain held off.

Following a rest, we joined the happy couple, their guests (about 165 of them), and the celebrant in the Tin Chapel for the wedding ceremony. This turned out to be a ‘second’. The couple had lost their patience during COVID lock-downs and had got married – but they had decided to go through the whole ceremony again, now with all their loved ones and friends present. I agreed: it must have been so much more fun in the company of all of us.

Next came the reception. We had thought we might not know anybody at the event, except the couple and some of their family. But it turned out that quite a number of Pádraig’s old school mates attended. They all came over to say ‘hello’ and to share the latest news and gossip with him, which was extremely nice. Even the bride and groom spent a lot of their precious time on this most important day with Pádraig, which made the day very special for him too.

Finally, for us at least, dinner in what looked but did not feel like a converted barn. The place was buzzing. We were so happy to be there and so grateful to the bride and groom that they had included us in their very special celebrations.

We left at around 9pm, following the dinner and some outstanding speeches.

The schedule shared with us prior to the event showed that this was the time when the real fun was about to start: band, followed by DJ, followed by a free stage for everybody who felt like it to join in. There was no end.

We had to leave, unfortunately.

But we left with the feeling that there are no limits to what is possible.

And if anybody tells you that there are, tell them that they are wrong.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be embarking on my last leg of this year’s #IronMonth Challenge.

This coming Saturday, we will all meet in An Saol in Santry for an Open Day with BBQ and some music to finish off this year’s #IronMonth Challenge which we started a few weeks ago with the craziest und best ever TRYathlon, with huge enthusiasm and in pouring rain.

The #IronMonth is not only the best all inclusive community event, it is also the An Saol Foundation’s annual fundraising even. It’s not too late to join the fundraising team and help out with a donation.

Please come and join us this coming Saturday, 10:00 – 12:00 in An Saol if you are around. All that is required is to register here. All welcome.