Can we have a humanist wedding?

Can we have a humanist wedding?

Humanist weddings are personal, meaningful, and unique. Each ceremony is individually created specifically for the couple to tell their love story. No two ceremonies are ever the same!

Humanist weddings are perfect for couples who would like:

  • A meaningful ceremony that isn’t religious
  • To marry outdoors or at a location that isn’t licensed for civil weddings
  • The flexibility to create a personal ceremony that is unique to them
  • To get to know the person who will be conducting their wedding
  • To celebrate their marriage with family and friends but without legally registering – for example, when the formalities have already been conducted abroad.

Humanist Ceremonies celebrants will guide you through the process of creating a wedding that’s perfect for you. They will:

  • Get to know you and what you want from the occasion
  • Share their ideas and draw on their experience
  • Write a unique ceremony tailored just for you
  • Edit the script in response to your feedback
  • Conduct the ceremony
  • Give you a presentation copy of the final script.

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, but not yet in England and Wales, where couples who want to have a humanist wedding must go to the register office to take care of the legal formalities.

Humanist weddings have been legally recognised in Northern Ireland since 2018 and in Jersey in the Channel Islands since 2019. They will gain legal recognition in Guernsey in 2021.

In Scotland, Humanist weddings gained legal recognition in 2005. Ceremonies are conducted by celebrants trained by Humanist Society Scotland.

Same-sex weddings

We support marriage equality and all our celebrants conduct same-sex weddings, including in Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.

Find out more about humanist weddings

You can download our weddings leaflet , see our Frequently Asked Questions, read a sample structure of a wedding ceremony, or look for celebrants who conduct wedding ceremonies in your area.

'My humanist ceremony was the most special day of my life. All my family were blown away. Both my parents said that they'd never been to a wedding that was more personal or heartfelt.'
Madeleine, 34


Read our wedding blog for feature ideas, inspiration, top tips, and real-life humanist wedding stories.


If you're planning your wedding now, then contact a celebrant as early as possible.