WHAT IS A HUMANIST WEDDING?
The number of humanist weddings has nearly doubled in the past three years – but what’s it all about? In this blog post, we take a look at what’s involved in a humanist wedding and weigh up the pros and cons…
So, what exactly is a humanist wedding?
A humanist wedding is, well, anything you want it to be! Basically, you are in charge of where the ceremony takes place and its content so there is much more flexibility than there would be at a church or civil ceremony. There is no set script or specific format that you have to adhere to, instead, you can tailor the ceremony to you as a couple and get the tone just right.
Your ceremony will be conducted by a celebrant who will guide you through planning the perfect ceremony for you both. You’ll be able to chat through what you both want from the occasion and they’ll be able to share with you their experiences. This will allow you to create a ceremony that is based on exactly what you want, rather than following a mandatory format.
The result? Humanist weddings are incredibly personal and intimate and a true celebration of the couple. While a humanist wedding is secular, it is welcoming to guests of all backgrounds and faiths. And while humanist weddings might sound like a relatively new concept, the philosophy of humanism is actually ancient with many people considering the Greek philosopher Socrates as the founding father!
What are the benefits of having a humanist wedding?
- Non-religious: If you’re not religious then it might be important to you that you have a meaningful ceremony without any religious overtones.
- Get married anywhere: You’re not limited to locations which are licensed for civil weddings
- Be creative: Build a bespoke ceremony that is unique to you as a couple and throw away the script.
- Set the tone: There are no formalities or obligatory aspects so you can set the tone to whatever suits you, whether that’s romantic, funny or down-to-earth.
- Know the celebrant: Get to know the person who will be conducting your wedding beforehand.
Are there any drawbacks to a humanist wedding?
- Can cost more: A humanist wedding ceremony can be more expensive than a secular wedding as celebrants can sometimes be more expensive than a registrar. However, this reflects the amount of time they spend helping you to create your perfect ceremony.
- Not legal: Unless you’re in Scotland, a humanist ceremony isn’t considered a legal marriage in the UK. Most couples get around this by having a short and simple legal civil ceremony before their ‘real’ humanist wedding.
Top tips for planning a humanist wedding
1. Decide if you are having a legal ceremony too
If you are going to get legally married as well you need to decide how you want to approach this. You could have a simple civil ceremony a few days before or afterward, or some couples like to do it on the day of the humanist wedding. How you go about this will depend on your personal circumstances and who you would like to attend.
2. Let people know
You don’t have to make a big song and dance about the fact you’re having a humanist wedding if you don’t want to; however, if you are planning a civil ceremony and a humanist wedding on the same day (with the same guests) you’ll have to let them know the plan.
3. Be true to yourselves
If you have decided to go for a humanist wedding, it’s likely because you want the day to be a true reflection of you as a couple. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box and plan a day that is perfect for you both.