Chic Queer Wedding Ceremony with The Affirming Celebrant!

Sara & Abiah’s happy marriage ceremony at The Westmill, Derby

Queer Affirming Celebrant at a unique wedding!

Sara & Abiah got in touch with me 18 months ago and told me that even if i had cost £6k they would have paid me because i was exactly who they wanted. They had seen me in action at Abiah’s brother’s wedding and knew that I was the person for them.

I asked them what they would have searched for if they had not known me already. Their answer? “Queer Affirming Celebrant”. They told me “there aren’t many out there”. I loved that phrase and now I have adopted it. If you are looking for a Queer Affirming Celebrant, apparently I’m it! Find out more about my story and approach here:

“We were looking for a Queer Affirming Celebrant

A lesbian couple stand in an embrace. they have a backdrop of a river, a tree and a church tower. One bride is wearing a burgundy suit with a bow tie and a white shirt, the other is wearing a backless elegant gown in blush pink with sequins. both have dark cropped hair
Sara and Abiah embracing on the banks of the Derwent in industrial Derby

Spiritual Orphans, Sara & Abiah’s ‘Spiritual but not Religious’ wedding ceremony.

Sara and Abiah are from Christian Backgrounds. They have not lost their faith. Their communities have lost them instead. This happens a lot to Queer people and anyone who doesn’t conform. Some Religions are unable to encourage free thinking and expression. It is a topic close to my heart. I also come from a religious community and I also miss mine. In some ways I left for similar reasons. I wasn’t able to be fully my non-conformist self in Church. It stifled me and I couldn’t be fully realised as myself. I also couldn’t stand by and watch as homophobia was seen as acceptable. In the end for Sara, for Abiah and for me…being ourselves, whatever that meant for each of us, fully and unapologetically was more important than doctrine. Arguably it is also more Holy, because after all, Holiness is connected with the concept of ‘wholeness’.

Abiah stands with her back to the camera, you can see her white skin and her black cropped hair. it is a sex dress celebrating her figure. Sara is facing Abiah she has a huge smile and dimples and is captivated by Abiah. they are surrounded by trees and industrial architecture. it is a cold february light.
Abiah and Sara enjoying being themselves
Powerful setting. Gay weddings in historic venues

Seeing two women marry in an historic setting where previously women wove cloth during the industrial revolution got me thinking. The floors were shining with the footsteps of countless women who walked there before us. Most would have been churchgoers and all would have been economically deprived. Few would have had rights, not to vote, not to divorce and certainly not to have lesbian weddings. The world has changed immeasurably since those times. Those communities would have found our ceremony and gathering there astonishing. Places become layered with meaning and for those people this was a place of hardship and industry and what has beautiful patina now was borne of the appalling working conditions then. I don’t think they would be able to imagine two Christian women marrying each other with bible readings and prayer without a priest in what was then a working mill! I like to believe they would be cheering us all on, feasting on gorgeous food with the rest of us.

shining light on brick work where shiny with footsteps of hundreds of weavers. a circular dried flower display with pampas. boho style
The Westmill wedding ceremony room

“Places become layered with meaning and for those people this was a place of hardship and industry and what has beautiful patina now was borne of the appalling working conditions then. “

We all agreed early on that their Christian heritage and beliefs should be honoured and so we said a prayer beforehand and we had an erotic poem from the Hebrew Bible read by another member of the Church who felt unable to remain in the community. It was really powerful.

attentive guests savouring Abiah and Sara's story. Seven flat lights illuminate the industrial space. The architectural space is evocative of times gone by and women's stories through the Industrial revolution. the backs of 5 people mainly wearing blue are captivated by the occasion. there is shine on all the surfaces and a pampas grass backdrop
Ceremonial Space at the westmill. Celebrant led weddings create a space to affirm everyone

My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my fair one,
    and come away,
11 for now the winter is past,
    the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth;
    the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree puts forth its figs,
    and the vines are in blossom;
    they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
    and come away.

Song of Songs 2:10-13 NRSV
Spiritual readings are for everyone not just the pious

It is important to remember that spiritual readings belong to us all and not only the pious. If you want to sing a favourite song or read a favourite reading from a Holy text working with a celebrant will enable that. All of these things are about reclaiming and affirming your human value. This can be very important emotionally in helping to heal wounds brought about by Spiritual rejection or Spiritual abuse. Ceremonies really do affirm human life.

For more brilliant Wedding Readings check our Rock My Wedding for their ideas.