Falkirk humanist celebrant marks 500th wedding milestone

It was a proud day for Falkirk humanist celebrant Melanie Leckie as she marked her 500th wedding ceremony milestone.

By Charlene Wilson
Tuesday, 2nd July 2019, 12:27 pm
Falkirk humanist celebrant Melanie Leckie with her 500th wedding couple Jason Fraser and Nikki Wilson who were married on 1 June at Glenskirlie House
Falkirk humanist celebrant Melanie Leckie with her 500th wedding couple Jason Fraser and Nikki Wilson who were married on 1 June at Glenskirlie House

The happy couple she married were Jason Fraser and Nikki Wilson who tied the knot at Glenskirlie House on June 1.

Melanie, who lives in New Carron, said: “I first qualified in 2011 to do humanist funerals and after I conducted 30 funerals I was allowed to apply to do weddings.

“I conducted my first wedding at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh in 2012 and haven’t looked back – I absolutely love my job. It is so rewarding and to be honest I don’t actually think of it as a job at all because I enjoy it so much.

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“It is such a personal thing to be invited to be part of one of the important days of a couple’s lives and each and every wedding I have officiated at has been unique and special in their own way. I remember every one.”

A humanist wedding can be as unique and personal as the couple would like it to be. There are no set rules so it can be held wherever, in whatever way.

Prior to being a humanist celebrant Melanie worked in HR and also as a team leader for a communications company.

She said: “It was when my sister got married in 2009 that I first started thinking about changing career and maybe doing this as I have always thought humanist services were special and personal. I spoke to my sister’s celebrant and asked him how to go about getting into the profession and it just went from there really.”

Although Melanie believes all her wedding ceremonies have been special she says she is especially proud of the fact she conducted the very first same sex marriage at Stirling Castle in 2015.

“I married two gentlemen – one from Bannockburn and one from England – it was a real privilege to be part of history in such a poignant way.”

Melanie also conducted the ceremony of the 50,000th person to be married by Humanist Society Scotland in 2017.

Melanie said: “Other weddings have been themed. One memorable one was Harry Potter-themed where I was asked to use a wand to pronounce the couple man and wife. I’ve also officiated at a wedding at Linlithgow Palace for a couple who met at the Moulin Rouge in Paris when they were both dancers there.”

Melanie, who also conducts civil partnerships and naming ceremonies, finds herself busy all year round.

“I have found over the years that because I do a lot of weddings the relatives of the bride or groom often get back in touch with me – you do almost become the family celebrant. It is lovely when this happens because it means my service touched them in some way and that makes me feel very proud.

“A particularly proud moment for me was when I recently conducted the wedding of Michelle Cuthell and Bruce McKinlay in May at the beautiful Logie Country House in Inverurie.

“I have known Michelle and her family for years as I often work with their funeral business, Thomas Cuthell and Sons Funeral Directors, so for me to be asked to be part of her special day, and their pre-wedding dinner on Friday night, was an absolute honour.”

Melanie can be contacted via her website at www.melanieleckie.co.uk and also via www.humanism.scotDemand for Humanist weddings in Scotland has grown significantly since the charity secured the right for Humanist weddings to be legally recognised in 2005.

Last year the number of Humanist weddings overtook the number of Church of Scotland weddings and on Valentines Day 2017 HSS was granted legal parity with the Churches, when it became the only non-religious organisation to be prescribed by the Scottish Parliament to solemnise marriage.

Scotland is currently the only part of the UK where such marriages have legal recognition although there are campaigners fighting for this to be changed.