Humanism champions the rights of the non-religious. It believes in the inherent good in people, and our collective power to do good when we come together. It celebrates what is unique about every one of us, and holds social ethics at its heart.
There are many different kinds of humanists, who all have their own beliefs, principles and sense of spirituality.
A Humanist wedding or partnership is a wonderful, life-changing experience that is created to suit your style and beliefs. Every ceremony is different.
We work together to decide the structure of the ceremony. You choose the venue – ceremonies can take place almost anywhere. You choose the music, and the readings.
You can write your own vows, and you can mark the moment of partnership in any way – with rings, an exchange of gifts, engravings, or hand fasting – there are so many possibilities.
You might have hundreds of guests present, or none. Your ceremony can be just a few minutes long, or can take hours!
As your celebrant, it’s my role to translate the things that are important to you, in to a meaningful ceremony. We’ll have an initial phone conversation, meet up to talk through the options and find out more about you, and you’ll be able to edit the ceremony before the day.
Having met with you to understand more about you as individuals and as a couple, I will write and lead a ceremony that is meaningful and solemn, yet warm, romantic, funny (if that’s what you want!) and above all personal .- reflecting your hopes and aspirations for a stable, lifelong relationship together.
A ‘typical’ ceremony
Not everyone will be thrilled at the idea that so much of a humanist ceremony can be customised!
If you’re looking for guidance in creating a ceremony, a typical ceremony might include a welcome to the guests; some background to your relationship (why you have decided to get married at this time and place); your views on marriage; some readings by friends or family; your vows; an exchange of rings; the signing of a certificate; and a non-religious blessing.
If that’s the ceremony you want, I’d be delighted to help you create it – but equally, if your dream is of a ceremony that takes place as you walk up a mountain, with poems every 500ft and a ukelele duet at the summit, that’s great too!
The legal bit
In England, Humanist weddings are not (yet) legally recognised civil marriages. Many couples choose to start their wedding day with a discreet, short registry office visit to sort out the legalities, before going on to enjoy the main event – the real wedding! And indeed, if legal recognition isn’t so important to you, you may choose to have only your humanist celebration.