Symbolic Acts at a Humanist Wedding | The Cut-out Heart Race

Symbolic Acts at a Humanist Wedding | The Cut-out Heart Race

With a humanist wedding from Humanist Ceremonies, you can have your wedding ceremony wherever you choose – even in a woodland glade. You can also write your own vows and choose your own symbolic acts.

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be featuring a range of symbolic acts chosen by some couples as part of their humanist wedding ceremonies. Here’s Chloe and Josh’s favourite.

The cut-out heart race

The ‘cut-out heart race’ is an old German wedding tradition that involves a race to cut out half a heart shape which has been drawn on a bed sheet by the couple’s friends who hold the sheet for the couple to cut before walking through the heart. Some friends give the couple small scissors, such as nail scissors, to make the task more difficult, symbolising ‘overcoming the first challenge of their life as a married couple’.  Thankfully for Chloe and Josh, their friends weren’t so unkind!

Some people say that the winner then gets to be the maker of the large decisions in the marriage, but we couldn’t possibly comment!

Josh and Chloe’s friends and family got really involved, cheering them on, and it added a fun element to the wedding which everyone enjoyed.

Humanist wedding

Guests at a humanist wedding

Humanist wedding - symbolic act

Guests at a humanist wedding

Guests at a humanist wedding

Cut-out heart race - wedding tradition

Getting married can mean taking a step into the unknown – but it’s a step you take together, hand in hand, supported by all the people you love the most. The cut-out heart race brings that idea to life and creates opportunities to create roles for loved ones on your special day. A perfect option for couples who want to give their siblings and close friends some special responsibility on the big day.

Whether you want your wedding to be very traditional or something a little different, with a humanist wedding, the choice is yours.

Part of the joy of a humanist wedding is their sheer flexibility; they can take place anywhere that is significant to the couple and are free to incorporate ideas from other traditions that add up to a special occasion for all involved.

Humanist celebrants  can also work with couples to help them develop or invent rituals that help to tell their unique love story.


Humanists are non-religious people who believe that this life is the only life we have, that the universe is a natural phenomenon with no supernatural side, and that we can live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. They have trusted to the scientific method, evidence, and reason to discover truths about the universe and have placed human welfare and happiness at the centre of their ethical decision-making. Stephen Fry explains it beautifully.

A humanist wedding is ideal for couples who want a totally flexible non-religious wedding that is unique, meaningful and personalised to them.

Not sure if you’re a humanist? Take our quiz and find out.


Jennie Hermolle


Alex Miller

Thank you Chloe and Josh for sharing your beautiful photos with us! 

'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.