Celebrating Valentine’s day in Northern Ireland

This article looks at some of the statistics about how we in Northern Ireland like to spend Valentine’s day. Sadly, the origins of Valentine’s day are lost in midst of time, but as a romantic I’ve some interesting facts to share with you too. I’ve uncovered some little known facts about that too and provided some thoughts to get you in the mood for the most romantic day of the year. So, let’s dive in!

What are your plans for Valentine’s day?

If you’re planning to get engaged on the most romantic day of the year, then you might consider a humanist wedding. Read on, and I’ll tell you why a humanist celebration might be just right for you!

And also to spread the romance a little bit more, I’ve picked 7 of my favourite quotes about love and sprinkled them through this blog. I’m hoping that this will all help to get you in the mood for all of the hearts and flowers.

Valentine’s day is definitely our most romantic day of the year. I love it! But I think love should be celebrated every day,  not just on 14th February each year. Why should it be just one day of the year? That’s just not enough! Let’s spread love on all the other days of the year too.

Statistics for Northern Ireland

It seems like the those of us who live in Northern Ireland are among the most romantic in the world. According to research 73% of us here in Northern Ireland will be celebrating with our partners on Valentine’s day.  We seem to be the most romantic bunch in the UK, so how lovely is that?

How to spend Valentine’s day in 2021

Chocolate a traditional gift of love

For many of us finding an excuse to eat chocolate is always welcome.

My personal favourite is strawberries dipped in rich dark chocolate. Yum. Whether you are choosing a duvet day, a brisk walk in the fresh air, or cooking up a storm in the kitchen? You’ll still have is lots of great things to choose to do together.

That’s the great thing about where I live, we are never very far from spectacular scenery. Therefore, take a walk in the park together, or along a beach with the waves crashing beside you. There are plenty of lovely options.  After a walk there’s something special about time spent cosied up by the fire.  Of course, some couples may forgo a walk in favour of finding a new series to binge watch together.

For some, food is the way to the heart. Many couples will be looking forward to their favourite takeout. Others will be cooking special meals for their sweetheart, making something with love.

Humanist outlook on love

Valentine’s day reminds us to appreciate just how special love is. A humanist philosophy is that we create our own meaning, and family and friends lies at the heart of everything. Valentine’s day is special, but so is every other day of the year too. It’s important to spend a little time every day showing people you love, know how special they are.

Make each day a happy day!

Firstly, as humanists, we choose to lead a rational and kind life. Humanists make the most of our time in the world making it a better place. Humanists care for everyone and the creatures we share the world with. I firmly believe we can make the world a happier place by letting people we care about know they have a place in our hearts.

Some people roll their eyes about the commercialism of Valentine’s day, however I really love this special day. I am a sucker for hearts and flowers and romance and luuuurve at anytime. So, of course I’m going to celebrate the day. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a cheapskate. I’ll be making some lovely food for my hubby and my family (or perhaps they’ll be making it for me)! It’s absolutely not about how much you spend, it really is the thought that counts.

Proposals on Valentine’s Day

Over a fifth of married couples say they got engaged on Valentine’s day. I personally can’t claim that (we got engaged on the spur of the moment on 13th February)!

If you are better at planning than me, and considering a marriage proposal on Valentine’s day, good luck. I hope the answer is whole-heartedly ‘Yaaasss’. One of the first things your family and friends will want to know, is when your big day will be.

Planning your wedding

The fantastic thing about choosing a humanist wedding is that in Northern Ireland they are legally recognised. If you are opting for a non-religious wedding ceremony, then choose your celebrant carefully. Those celebrants accredited by Humanists UK like me, will provide the kind of wedding ceremony you have dreamed of.

Choosing a humanist wedding celebrant In Northern Ireland also means you can get married where you want. You can choose to marry when you want and in the way that you want! What could be better?

Since October 2020 your wedding doesn’t only have to be in licensed venues. Humanist weddings can happen in your favourite place wherever that is in Northern Ireland. (Of course you will need the land owners permission). In order to have a legal wedding you also need at least 28 days to register your intention to marry. It’s really as simple as that!

HERE is a list of all the humanist celebrants in Northern Ireland. Before you book, double check that they are accredited by Humanists UK and can actually provide a legal wedding ceremony.

Choosing your wedding venue

Have you dreamed of getting married in a castle, on a bridge by a river, a waterfall? Maybe you have imagined saying “I do” in a woodland glade, or on a beach? That’s no problem at all. Thinking about Northern Ireland’s weather, perhaps you’d rather choose somewhere indoors? A favourite restaurant perhaps? Or a stately home, or a council flat, a theatre or a pub? Wherever suits you best i,s now definitely an option to consider.

A humanist wedding day

Choose where and how to have your wedding day!

Is having a non-religious wedding sounds like something you would be interested in? Then feel free to have a chat with me about your wedding ideas. You can book in a slot to chat with me without any obligation. I’ll be happy to answer questions at anytime. Remember, you can get in touch at anytime, before or after you choose your venue or set a date. Just remember that popular dates can book up quite quickly.

In my experience, couples check my availability before they even ask about price or my style as a celebrant.  My mission is to make everything as hassle free as possible. I have created an easy way for you to check my availability HERE.

History of Valentine

Every February, gifts and sweet words are exchanged between loved ones as part of the tradition of Valentine’s day. It’s very probable that February and the beginning of spring has always been a time for love. Like every good story, the history of Valentine’s Day lies shrouded in mystery. There are at least three possible Saint Valentines.

With that in mind, let’s look at the possibilities. One story, claims that Valentine was a priest in third century Rome during the time of Emperor Claudius. Apparently Valentine defied Emperor Claudius (who had outlawed marriage for young men). The emperor thought to make better soldiers without wives and family and in response, but Valentine continued to perform marriage rites in secret. On discovering Valentine’s actions, Claudius condemned the priest to death.

Legend says that Valentine sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting. The story goes that whilst in prison Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. Before death, he sent a letter to his love, signing it ‘From your Valentine’. And this expression is still in use today.

We may never know who Valentine actually was. Unfortunately, his identity is lost in time but whoever he was he strikes us as a romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Valentine cards

By early 1700s lovers exchanged handmade cards and around a century and a half later Valentine cards became mass produced. Valentine’s day is the second most popular time to send cards. (Christmas being the most popular time of the year to exchange cards). Interestingly, approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women.

Spreading the love

Of course I wish you much happiness whatever Valentine’s day holds for you. Whatever you do on the most romantic day of the year, do make you and those your love happy. Remember to take time on 15th February as well. Find a little time on every day to show those you love just how special they are.

Share a favourite brew with someone you love.

Take a moment each day to do something special for each other.

Write a love note and leave it on the fridge,. Leave a chocolate on the pillow,. Bring a cup of tea back to bed, and have a snuggle before you start your day.

Think of ways to let your partner know you love and appreciate them. Let them know how important they are to you. It doesn’t have to be just your partner, but your parents, your children and your friends. Celebrate each day and spread the happiness! 

Some wise words on love

  • ‘Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.’ ~ Oscar Wilde
  • ‘I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.’ ~ Marilyn Monroe
  • ‘It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.’ ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
  • ‘Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.’ ~  Lao Tzu
  • ‘Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.’
    ~ Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
  • ‘Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.’ ~ Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember
  • ‘Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.’ ~ William Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well

I am a full time humanist celebrant creating amazing personalised ceremonies throughout Northern Ireland and beyond.