You might have heard the term humanist wedding or celebrant-led ceremony during your wedding research and if you’re wondering what the heck it’s all about then this is the post for you!
Quite simply, a humanist wedding is a ceremony without the presence of a religion or the requirement of specific words. It’s a ceremony that can be whatever you want it to be…
In fact, it’s more than likely you’ve been to a wedding with a humanist celebrant as between 2004 and 2016 these kinds of ceremonies increased by a whopping 266%!
Lauren Stone Weddings, humanist wedding celebrant, is here to explain in some more detail.
Notes from a Humanist Wedding Celebrant
Hi, I’m Lauren and I’m a humanist wedding celebrant, accredited by Humanists UK.
I started my business 2.5 years ago when I realised I wanted to branch out from my job in radio sales, and do something different that plays to my strengths and that I’m really passionate about.
I now create wedding ceremonies that are completely bespoke to each couple, written only after getting to know my brides and my grooms, so we have something really personal, really different, that is memorable not only for the couple themselves, but also for the wedding guests.
What’s A humanist wedding all about then?
A good humanist wedding should feel unique and like it really reflects the couple, their sense of humour, their passions and their relationship with each other.
And it does not have to be the boring part of the day! I hate the thought of guests just ‘sitting through’ the ceremony bit to get to the party… Not on my watch! My ceremonies are full of laughter, I encourage heckling, and can get your guests involved if that’s what you’d like.
Humanist weddings are non-religious, but we remain very respectful about everyone’s beliefs. I’ve had some sceptical religious parents in the past, but by the end they’ve been in tears and overwhelmingly surprised by how much they loved the ceremony.
We can also create some beautiful symbolic actions, in addition to the exchanging of rings. This could be ring warming, hand binding (literally tying the knot!), whisky drinking or recently I had a couple who each took a bite out of an apple – long story, but basically we can create a meaningful moment that will really stand out.
And because I am accredited by Humanists UK, I am part of a network of over 400 celebrants, meaning if I was to break my foot the day before the wedding we can easily find a replacement to read the bespoke script that’s been written.
My secret goal for each wedding is to make the guests laugh and cry in equal measure – some crowds are tougher than others. I love including kids in my wedding ceremonies too, that can lead to some cute moments.
Are humanist ceremonies legal?
Humanist weddings are not legal in England (YET, we’re working on it) but they are in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Jersey. My couples go to their local registry office usually the week before, with 1 or 2 witnesses. This means that there are no restrictions for the location of the humanist ceremony; we can have this outside, in a field, on a beach, in a forest, wherever works for the couple and their chosen venue!
The current coronavirus situation has changed business for all wedding suppliers, but one positive and lovely thing Celebrants have been doing is hosting mini-ceremonies via video call to celebrate couples who have had to postpone, on their original wedding day.
When this Pandemic is over, we can help by offering an alternative to registrars, who often have multiple wedding ceremonies in one day and therefore can be more restricted by time.
Once you’ve got a new date confirmed with your venue, you can still have your wedding at the time you want it, and with a lot more personality!
If you’d like to chat about humanist ceremonies and whether it could be right for you, please do drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.