Naomi: You'll have likely seen plenty of humanist wedding ceremonies here on Rock My Wedding (and we have a round of up them linked at the bottom of this article if you want the inspo). But have you ever thought about having a humanist ceremony yourself? We know that there are scores of different types of wedding ceremony, both religious and non-religious. You can get married in a place of worship that means a lot to you, you can hire an independent celebrant for your wedding day or you can opt for a Humanist wedding ceremony. And that is not an exhaustive list of ways to say your nuptials.
What is a Humanist Wedding Ceremony?
A humanist wedding ceremony is a non-religious celebration that is welcoming, inclusive, and personally tailored to you as a couple. It is designed for you and conducted by a trained humanist celebrant. We've asked Humanist Celebrant Kathyrn (a Rock My Wedding Recommended supplier) to cover some reasons why you may want a Humanist wedding ceremony.
Why Consider A Humanist Wedding Ceremony
I create feel-good, fabulous, unique Humanist weddings for couples who are ‘just outside the box’ - couples who love different bits of lots of wedding styles, without fitting neatly into one - couples who are getting creative and making wedding choices that suit them.
More couples are thinking carefully about their wedding and are looking for a unique ceremony that reflects their values, their love & their story. A Humanist wedding ceremony gives you the opportunity to have a bespoke wedding and start your day your way.
You Can Have Your Wedding Absolutely Anywhere You Like
Always dreamed of getting married on a hilltop? Want to hold your wedding at the coffee shop where you met? Want a relaxed wedding ceremony in your garden under your favourite tree? With a Humanist wedding ceremony, you can do just that.
Perhaps you want to say your vows in a beach wedding ceremony or maybe your gran isn’t well enough to travel so you want to get married in her garden. With a Humanist wedding ceremony, you can have your wedding ceremony exactly where you want.
You Get a Truly Personalised Wedding Ceremony
With a civil or religious ceremony there are certain ‘prescribed words’ that have to be spoken and responded to by both of you and you will usually be given a choice of a couple of standard ceremony scripts to choose from with little or no ability to amend them. Some couples find that these ceremony options don’t suit them.
A Humanist wedding ceremony is the opposite. Your wedding ceremony will start as a beautiful blank canvas and your celebrant will write every single word just for you and each element will be chosen to reflect your relationship. Your ceremony can be formal, informal, include wedding rituals or be pared back, it can truly reflect you. Most of all, a Humanist wedding ceremony will be fun, feel-good and fabulous, kickstarting your wedding celebrations!
Involve Family, Friends & Fur-Babies In YOUR Humanist Wedding Ceremony
While your wedding day will definitely focus on the two of you, there may well be other loved ones that you really want to involve in different ways.
Perhaps you want your Schnauzer to be your canine ring-bearer or both sets of parents to add ribbons to your handfasting wedding knot. You might even want your friends to lead a wedding sing-a-long! All of these things (and so many more) are possible at a Humanist wedding ceremony.
Fancy a Sunrise Elopement Or Midnight Wedding?
Did you know that in England & Wales you can legally only have a wedding between the hours of 8am and 6pm? It’s thought these rules date back to when you had to get married in church. The vicar couldn’t marry anyone before concluding morning prayers and no services could happen after Evensong. Even now these rules persist.
With a Humanist wedding ceremony, you could plan a ceremony that rolls into your New Years Eve Party and see in the New Year on honeymoon. Or if you’re morning people, perhaps you want your wedding ceremony as the sun rises over your favourite cliff-top view. A Humanist wedding ceremony gives you the opportunity to have your wedding when it matters to you.
Your Wedding Ceremony Will Celebrate You As Individuals
A Humanist Ceremony is not legally required to include specific wording, so it’s much easier to reflect your values and celebrate diversity, without leaning on those cis-hetero-normative or patriarchal tropes that often crop up in standard weddings.
- Want to walk down the aisle together with all your parents? Amazing!
- Want to involve and honour your chosen family in a fitting way? Fantastic!
- Want a ceremony that doesn’t assume that a wedding equals children? Definitely!
- Want to announce your new, blended surname in a big-reveal? Let’s do this!
Lots of the ‘standard wording’ in civil or religious ceremonies are still very traditional, and while not deliberately exclusive, it definitely doesn’t really reflect the values of some couples. You deserve a ceremony that fits you both perfectly - no compromises or crossed fingers. Your wedding ceremony, your way.
Is a Humanist Wedding Ceremony Legally Recognised?
At the moment, Humanist wedding ceremonies are sadly not legally recognised in England or Wales. They have been recognised in Scotland since 2005 and are now legally recognised in Jersey and Northern Ireland. But don’t despair! You can still have a feel-good, fabulous personalised Humanist wedding ceremony. It does mean that you will need to pop to a registry office at some point to say the legal words. A celebrant can advise on how you can obtain a statutory legal registration from your local register office for usually around £50. You say all the legally required words, but you don’t have to include any of the ‘wedding-y’ bits unless you want to. Then on your chosen wedding day you're free to have Humanist wedding ceremony where we can go to town on making it exactly the celebration you want.
Naomi : A huge thank you to Celebrant Kathryn for writing this. Hopefully, you now have a better idea of all of the possibilities available when having a Humanist wedding ceremony. If you want to read even more reasons why you might want to consider a Humanist wedding ceremony then head over to Celebrant Kathryn's article on that very topic. And if you want some real Humanist wedding ceremony inspiration (including some beautiful handfasting shots) then have a look at the articles linked below.