Open-air humanist wedding in Kelston clump (likely not the first or last)

It was a great joy and privilege to host Anna and Owen’s wedding on the summit of Kelston Roundhill. It was a simple and natural ceremony, conducted in the open air in the middle of Kelston clump.

Refreshments were served at a reception afterwards a couple of hundred yards down the hill in Roundhill Barn. The combination worked really well.

The ritual was designed and led by the eminent humanist celebrant Isabel Russo. It included the tradition of tying the knots as a series of vows were made. It’s hard not to imagine these same Celtic traditions begin carried out in the same special location many centuries ago, before the Romans and Christianity.

It was interesting to learn that Catholic orthodoxy declares marriage a “mutually administered sacrament”. Priests are all well and good, but they’re not actually required for a marriage to be valid in canon law. Note however that English law (unlike Scottish) requires a venue to be licensed for weddings to be valid in UK law, and Kelston Roundhill is not licensed in that respect.

Isabel Russo lives locally and is happy to help with births and namings marriages and memorials at Roundhill Barn. People are welcome to hire Roundhill Barn for a variety of purposes: see here for details. It’s a simply equipped off-grid venue with kitchen loos and shower. It’s not a fully-serviced location, so don’t think hotel or pub. It’s akin to an empty secular church building, sitting in hundreds of acres of own natural space in the middle of a working farm (with all that entails).

After the festivities and feasting the wedding guests planted a new row of saplings so all can have a growing memory of the occasion every time they see the Roundhill. The elm saplings are bred to be dutch-elm-disease resistant (would that Kew Gardens could breed them deer-resistant as well).

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