A Christmas engagement | Next steps for wedding planning

A Christmas engagement | Next steps for wedding planning

If you had a Christmas engagement or a New Year proposal, you’ll want to know ‘what comes next?’ Here’s our handy guide to wedding planning for 2023/4.

Christmas engagement

Did you know?

‘Christmas is the most popular time of year to propose. Between the 24th December and 1st January, there are more proposals and engagements than at any other time of year.’ The Marriage Proposal Survey

You’re engaged!

Congratulations! But, what comes next?

Proposal at Christmas

The first question your friends and family are likely to ask is, ‘Can I see the ring?’

The second is, ‘Have you set a date yet?’

You may not have thought that far ahead, but if you want to get married in 2023 or 2024, you’ll need to get your skates on! Most wedding venues and celebrants take the majority of their bookings between January and March.

And, don’t forget, there are lots of people who’d planned to marry but had to postpone during the pandemic. So, if you want to get ahead of the game for a wedding in 2023, here are our top wedding tips:

1. Choose a humanist wedding

Well of course we’d say that! But seriously, humanist wedding ceremonies are ideal if you would like a meaningful ceremony that isn’t religious – and you want a ceremony that is unique and personal to you.

A humanist ceremony can be held anywhere, which gives you ultimate flexibility in finding a venue or outdoor location on the day of your choice. It can open up a wealth of wedding venue options to you and you can choose to hold your wedding ceremony somewhere that really suits you.


2. Struggling to find a date? Have a weekday wedding!

By being more flexible on the day of the week, you are much more likely to find a celebrant and a venue that will be available. Plus, some venues are less expensive on a weekday than on a Saturday so you can make your money go further.

Humanist celebrants offer flexibility on both the day and time of the ceremony, so you can have a Monday morning wedding if you’re that kind of person!

Photo with kind permission of Sally Elvin

3. Book a twilight ceremony

Remember we said humanist weddings were flexible on time? How about a romantic twilight ceremony with candles and fairy lights?

Most Humanist Ceremonies celebrants are more than happy to take ceremonies in the evening and into the night if necessary – and you’re less likely to get a clash of bookings.

Photo by kind permission of The Humble Photography Company

4. Have an outdoor wedding

You can avoid booking a wedding venue altogether by having a humanist wedding ceremony outdoors. With a humanist ceremony no licensed premises are necessary – you do the legal bit before or after (whenever suits you).

Talk to your celebrant about a beach, castle or woodland ceremony, or an intimate wedding in your garden. Moving your ceremony outdoors means you can celebrate nature and have a stunning backdrop for your vows and those all-important photographs!

Humanist weddings can be held outdoors. Photo by Alexander Crane.

5. Find your local celebrant

Our celebrants are part of the Humanist Ceremonies network, so if one’s not available on your chosen date, they can help you find a colleague who is. All of our celebrants are trained and accredited by Humanists UK, so you can trust that you’ll get a gold standard ceremony. You can find your local celebrants using on our online map.

Humanist wedding celebrants NI
Some of our humanist wedding celebrants in Northern Ireland. Photo by Simple Tapestry.

Humanist wedding ceremonies

Find out more about humanist weddings. You can read our humanist wedding FAQs or check out our blog for real weddings, ideas and inspiration.

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We’ve teamed up with our patron Stephen Fry to explore humanist ideas about some of life’s big questions. Over four videos, Stephen Fry examines life’s biggest questions and brings to light how a humanist perspective grounded in rational thinking and kindness can be empowering, motivating, humbling, or even liberating.

How do you know if you’re a humanist? Take our quiz to find out.


'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.