Humanist weddings are becoming increasingly popular. People are more and more reflecting seriously upon their beliefs when they come to arrange a wedding and whether or not they want or need a religious aspect to the ceremony . Many come to the conclusion that even despite an upbringing which included religious rituals, their adult life does not include a God and so feel it is inappropriate to have a religious wedding . This is where a Humanist wedding ceremony is the ideal solution.
Here are a few key questions you may have :
Do we have to be members of the British Humanist Association ?
No, although we would expect you to have an understanding of the basic ethos behind Humanism. I always give couples a brief pamphlet about Humanism and our wedding ceremonies to help you decide for definite that a Humanist wedding is for you .
Where can we have the ceremony ?
It can be anywhere as the venue does not have to be licenced . Often they are held outdoors in back gardens, beaches, woods, cliff tops,etc. but they can also be held in more conventional wedding venues such as hotels, houses and stately homes.
Is it a legal ceremony ?
No – we are not authorised registrars, so in order to obtain a legal wedding certificate you should have the legal ceremony beforehand in a registry office . Most couples have the legal ceremony the day before or a short time before. You can sign a Humanist wedding certificate during your ceremony, however !
What happens at a Humanist wedding ceremony ?
It can be extremely similar to a church service only without any reference to God or it can be as far away from that as possible – it’s up to you. A typical ceremony contains vows, exchange of rings, Humanist certificate signing and has two or more readings and music at the usual key moments.
Can hymns be included ?
Personally I have no objection.
What input does the celebrant have ?
After an initial meeting where I have taken some notes I then produce the first draft of the ceremony script . This is emailed to you and it usually takes three or four amendments by yourselves and me before you have your final, perfect script (normally thirty days before the wedding date) . I attend a rehearsal the day before and then take the ceremony on the day. You will also be given a presentation copy of your wedding script for you to keep.
How much does it cost ?
My standard fee is £650 plus travelling expenses from Weymouth.
What do we do now ?
The main priority is to set a date and choose a venue if you haven’t already ! Then get in touch for an informal chat .