Wedding Testimonials

Thanks so much for leading such a wonderful ceremony - everyone was so moved by it, and really loved the relaxed and very personal feel, while still having real gravitas. It was definitely the right thing for me and Tom. Claire & Tom
The Midland Hotel / Morecambe

Humanism is a philosophy of life and ethics, based on a concern for humanity and the natural world.  Humanists believe that morality comes from within us and is about unselfishness, kindness and consideration towards others.  We look to their fellow men and women for fulfilment and mutual support.

 

More information about humanist ceremonies from Humanists UK

What is a Humanist Wedding?

A Humanist Wedding Ceremony is non-religious and offers you the opportunity to celebrate your relationship in a personal and unique way. Each ceremony is written individually so it conveys what is important to you, expressing your life and values.

Why choose a Humanist Wedding Ceremony…

Many couples do not want a traditional wedding at a church or temple as they feel it would be inappropriate if they do not hold religious beliefs or if they do, they are different. They may also feel that a Civil Ceremony is not personal enough to convey the meaning they would like reflected in their marriage ceremony.

Civil ceremonies that are conducted by a registrar are governed by laws, which strictly control what can be said and done, and are designed around a standard framework. As well as having limitations in regards to the content of a ceremony, there are also restrictions on the time and place. A civil ceremony can only take place at a registered or licensed venue and it is currently not possible to be legally married out of doors.

With weddings becoming more commercialised, many couples are looking for something that is special and unique to them. They would like the marriage ceremony to be central to their wedding day and express their individuality and personal values.

Legalities…

Couples who choose to hold a Humanist Wedding Ceremony regard it as their real celebration, expressing their commitment to each other in the company of their family and friends. However, it does not form a marriage contract in the legal sense. Therefore, most couples also attend a Register Office, usually a day or two before the humanist ceremony, to deal with the legal formalities and obtain a civil marriage certificate. It is not necessary to exchange rings at the Register Office.

A Suggested Outline for a Wedding Ceremony

Welcome

  • A general outline of what the ceremony will involve
  • Housekeeping points and an invitation to guests to participate in your ceremony

Bride or Couple’s entrance

How would you like to enter – together or separately?

The bride with her father?  It is up to you!

Introduction

Your story as a couple

This provides some background to your wedding and can include:

  • How you first met and what you first thought of each other
  • Significant milestones, such as buying your first house
  • An important part of your relationship, for example, common interests and hobbies
  • When and how you got engaged
  • Your hopes for married life

Thoughts on Marriage

This includes the more serious aspect of getting married and you making a commitment to each other

Commitments

You can make your commitments to each other in a variety of different ways.  Vows can be repeated a line at a time or you can agree to a commitment that I read out,  alternatively, you can read your vows from a hand-held card.  You can keep your vows secret from each other, but it is important that you share them with me.

Ring Exchange

Often at this point in the ceremony, an explanation is given of the significance of the wedding ring.   Commitments made whilst exchanging rings are usually repeated a line at a time, after me.

Joint Commitment

Guests are asked to make a joint commitment to promise to support and encourage you in the future

Declaration of Husband and Wife / Partners for Life

Moment of Quiet Reflection

Guests are invited to think of you and your hopes and dreams for the future and of absent family and friends.  This is also the opportunity for those who have a religious belief to have a silent prayer if they wish.

Closing Remarks

  • Wishing you well for the future
  • Signposting guests as to what is happening next – throwing confetti, drinks, photographs, a toast?

For further information: Wedding Ceremony Outline WORD  /  PDF