What is a Humanist Wedding?

The simplest definition of a humanist wedding is that it’s a non-religious wedding ceremony. A humanist wedding is centred on the love and commitment between two people and nothing else matters; from the colour of your skin to your gender, or from your cultural heritage to your sexual orientation. A humanist wedding lets you marry where you want, who you want and how you want. And you don’t have to be a humanist to have a humanist wedding.

We can’t find the answer to our question, what should we do?

Please contact me, I would be happy to answer any questions you have.

What will you pronounce us as?

Husband and Wife Wife and Wife Husband and Husband The Happy Couple The legal words that marry a couple during a church or register office wedding are called the ‘Contracting Words’, there are no contracting words in a humanist ceremony therefore I can pronounce you as anything you wish.

What kind of venue or location can we have?

Having a humanist ceremony means you can choose anywhere you wish, you are not restricted to a licenced venue. Let your imagination run wild and pick the location of your dreams. You may like a woodland setting, a sunny beach, farm land, canal boat or yacht, your favourite restaurant, half way up a mountain, your own home – the possibilities are endless. Whilst humanism does not follow a religion, it is also fine if you want to hold your wedding in a religious building, as long as you don't want me to carry out an act of worship. You need to ensure the venue is happy to host your ceremony.

What happens if we cancel our wedding?

My fees are non-refundable, I would conduct the service on another date if possible. Any additional fees incurred would be discussed in full with the couple prior to the date being rescheduled. Many couples take out wedding insurance. I cannot recommend policies as they are all different and I am not an expert in that field. Look at the policies closely as some offer much better benefits than others. As with any insurance check you are not already covered as you don’t want to buy a policy unnecessarily.

What happens if our chosen celebrant falls ill?

If anything should happen to me and I can't deliver your ceremony, I will make every effort to find another highly-trained and experienced colleague to take my place, at no extra cost to you.

In the event that another celebrant could not be found you would be issued a full refund. There are many celebrants who work closely together in our accredited network, and we all share similar values helping each other to provide excellent ceremonies.

Do we have to have a registry office wedding?

Only if you want your marriage to be recognised in the eyes of the law. Many couples have a very small registry office wedding, perhaps with just the witnesses present. They then choose to have a separate wedding ceremony, tailored just the way they want for all their friends and family.

Can you help us write the Vows or Promises?

The vows or promises are perhaps the most personal and important part of the ceremony. You may choose to write your own vows, or you can tell me what you would like to say, and I’ll write them for you. Some couples read their vows from a card, some repeat them after me, while others choose to memorise them (remembering them can be quite stressful). Some couples like to rehearse the vows, whilst others wish to keep them a secret until the big day. Whatever you prefer to do, I will help to ensure you are both comfortable.

Do friends and family have to join in the ceremony?

You can choose to involve your friends and family, as much or as little as you would like. Involving your friends and family can really help give your ceremony a personalised touch, I can help you decide how things will fit into the ceremony.

Can you help us choose readings and music?

Yes certainly, I’ve collected together a range of poems, readings and music ideas over the years and will be happy to provide you with these during the planning process.

How long will the ceremony be?

There is no set time, however a humanist wedding ceremony usually lasts between twenty and thirty minutes: the former for a simple affair and the latter for something more varied, with readings, music and maybe symbolic gestures of some kind.

What are your ceremony fees?

My fees for 2021/22 start from £550 and I ask for a non-refundable booking fee of £275 on appointment. Unusual requirements which would require more of my time to plan or deliver, can be discussed and I will provide you with a bespoke fee proposal.

Travel is calculated at 45 pence per mile if I am driving, or I’ll pass on travel expenses at cost if I’m using other forms of transport. (Parking fees will also be passed on).

My fees include the following:

-A planning meeting on appointment via video or phone call.

-My time to prepare a bespoke wedding ceremony script, that is unique to you as a couple.

-Support and ideas to write your own vows and other special content you wish to include.

-Suggestions for poems, music, and symbolic gestures if you would like to include these.

-A rehearsal wherever possible at a mutually agreed time and location (for summer weddings this is usually a few months in advance).

-A keep sake certificate for you to sign on the day if you wish.

-A presentation version of your ceremony script.

-Professional indemnity and public liability insurance for my own actions.

-A high quality service as defined by the Humanists UK accreditation scheme and professional code of conduct.

I contribute a yearly fee to Humanists UK to maintain my accreditation and support the Humanists UK Ceremonies network.

What are your personal values?

I hold "Humanist" values, the term “Humanist” is used today to mean those who seek to live good lives. Humanists base their moral principles on reason, shared human values and respect for others. They believe that people should work together to improve the quality of life for all and make it more equitable. Humanism is a full philosophy, “life stance” or worldview, rather than being about one aspect of religion, knowledge, or politics.

What do celebrants wear?

I always seek to reflect the couples specified dress code, I will present myself smartly, unless an alternative request is made.

What is a vow renewal?

A vow renewal is a ceremony where a couple re-commits to their relationship by expressing their love for one another. A vow renewal allows a couple to commemorate an important milestone, such as a significant wedding anniversary or important personal milestone.

Are celebrants different to registrars?

Yes, registrars will often have a limited choice of what they can include in your ceremony. You can ask for certain words, poems, and readings to be included, but there will be restraints on time and around what can be said. A Celebrant creates a unique ceremony every time and no two ceremonies are the same.

Will we be legally married after our humanist ceremony?

At present, Humanist wedding ceremonies are not yet legally binding in England but we are hoping that they will be soon. Many couples have a very small registry office wedding, to complete the formal legal requirements, perhaps with just the witnesses present. They then choose to have a separate humanist wedding ceremony, saving their vows and other meaningful symbolic rituals until then. Most couples view their humanist celebration as their ‘real’ wedding, with all their loved one's present.

What happens if we have to postpone our ceremony due to COVID?

Due to COVID19 The Celebrant is happy to move dates free of charge within 6 months from the Couples booking date (the date the contract is signed) if the venue and script remain the same and the Celebrant is available.

Before agreeing on a new date with the venue, the Couple must check the celebrant’s availability. Zero monies are refundable if this is not checked, and the Celebrant is not available.

The booking fee is non-refundable in all circumstances.

Why has this clause been added?

The Celebrant recognises the importance of the Couple’s special day and wishes to do everything possible to accommodate the Couple’s needs. Moving ceremony dates does however have financial implications for the celebrant.