Deciding whether to choose a humanist ceremony?
Congratulations on your engagement! If you’d like your ceremony to be one of the best parts of your big day then you’ve come to the right place.
Humanist weddings offer bespoke and meaningful non-religious ceremonies, led by a celebrant. They are full of emotion and tell your story as a couple in the way you want. Your celebrant will get to know you and will write a special ceremony just for you.
As well as being wonderful, memorable ceremonies, there are more benefits to choosing a humanist ceremony.
- Humanist weddings can take place anywhere. That might be somewhere special to you, somewhere with spectacular views or somewhere that suits your budget.
- Humanist weddings are incredibly flexible, so you can have exactly the type of wedding you want.
- You can incorporate as many – or as few – traditions as you wish.
With a humanist wedding you choose the location, style, length and content of your ceremony, giving you the chance to have the wedding you’ve always wanted.
There are no strict rules when it comes to a humanist wedding ceremony. You can have something that suits you as a couple, whether that’s getting wed in a forest, a hotel or on top of a cliff. Your ceremony can include traditions and rituals, if you wish. While your humanist celebrant won’t lead any religious aspects of a ceremony, you can include things which are of significance to you.
You can also involve your nearest and dearest in your humanist wedding. Your mum could walk with you down the aisle, your best friend could give a reading or your children could be part of a hand-fasting. Your celebrant will help you put together a meaningful and memorable humanist ceremony that is just perfectly you!
Humanist wedding celebrants
Your humanist celebrant will spend time getting to know you so that on your big day, they can tell your unique love story in a meaningful way.
They will help you choose the order of the ceremony, the words, music, and any rituals you would like, such as a handfasting or candle ceremony – or something of specific cultural significance to you. The celebrant will take what they have learned about you as a couple and will use it to write a bespoke script for your wedding.
Why choose a Humanist Ceremonies celebrant?
The Humanist Ceremonies Celebrant Network is the most experienced network of professional celebrants in the UK. Our members pioneered non-religious ceremonies in 1896 and have been conducting award-winning, inclusive, love-filled weddings in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Channel Islands ever since.
Each of our celebrants is trained to the same high standards and all are members of our Celebrant Network. This means that if your humanist wedding celebrant were to experience an accident or illness on the day of your ceremony, a colleague will step in to seamlessly deliver your ceremony.
Find a wedding celebrant
If you’re planning your wedding now, then contact a celebrant as early as possible.
Not only will they be excited to meet you and discover your love story, they can also share their expertise and experience with you. Use our map to find your local celebrant who will be happy to discuss your ideas and answer any questions you may have.
Legal status of humanist weddings in the UK
In the UK, marriage is a devolved issue: humanist marriages enjoy legal recognition in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Jersey, and Guernsey (and humanist marriages which take place in these locations are legally recognised everywhere), but not in England and Wales. Couples who have a humanist wedding in England or Wales will also need to attend a register office for the marriage to be legally recognised. This can be done before or after your humanist wedding ceremony and can take as little as thirty minutes.
Getting married outdoors
If you want to have your wedding outside – from intimate garden gatherings and wonderful woodland weddings to beautiful beach ceremonies – you name it, we can do it. With a humanist wedding there are no restrictions on when and where you hold your ceremony.
Find out more about humanist weddings
Plus, you can read our wedding blog for features ideas and inspiration, top tips, and real-life humanist wedding stories.
The Little Book of Humanist Weddings is full of inspirational quotes and poetry, perfect for a humanist wedding.
Humanist Ceremonies in the media
Alex Miller, Alexander Crane, Roo Stain, Sawyer and Sawyer Photography, and Ross Holkham.