Humanist Ceremonies

Covid-19 Legal Update 22/12/20

Ceremonies provided by Humanists UK are still permitted across the UK.

In Northern Ireland a maximum of 25 people may attend funerals or weddings, and 15 may attend namings, although individual venues may set a lower number depending on their capacity.

In Wales, at alert level four, the number of people who may attend funerals, weddings, and namings will be set by the venue.

In England, the following applies in tiers one, two and three: humanist funerals continue to be permitted and are allowed in venues and public outdoor spaces with a maximum of 30 people. Humanist weddings may be attended by a maximum of 15 people, as may sit-down receptions following a humanist wedding. Other humanist ceremonies, such as namings, may be attended by a maximum of six people. In tier four: funerals may continue with up to 30 people. Weddings are only permitted in exceptional circumstances, where there is an urgent need, and only six people are allowed to attend. Naming ceremonies are not permitted.

Our celebrants are being kept fully up to date on national and local regulations, both of which are subject to frequent change, and will be able to advise you on what is possible, including as to locations and numbers of guests, to help you plan your ceremony, your way.

Imagine a ceremony that marks a major life event in a way that is personal, sincere, and honest…

  • Perhaps welcoming a much-loved baby to the world with a bespoke naming ceremony.
  • Or celebrating a couple’s marriage in a way that is warm and genuine, that’s about the two of them and their relationship, and is full laughter and perhaps a few tears too.
  • Or a funeral  or memorial ceremony that focuses on the person who had died and the life they led – not on the idea of an afterlife – and provides a dignified and sincere way of saying goodbye.

Humanist Ceremonies™ is the growing network of over 500 celebrants qualified and accredited by Humanists UK. We work across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands. (In Scotland celebrants are trained by the Humanist Society Scotland.)

Our celebrants create, write and conduct a range of ceremonies to mark the big moments in life, mostly (but not exclusively) baby naming ceremonies, weddings and funerals.

What we do isn’t new: we’re proud of our history and know that Humanists UK members were conducting humanist funerals as long ago as the 1890s. Humanist ceremonies are not unusual either – we take many thousands each year but perhaps this isn’t surprising since half of Britain’s population say they are not religious, and indeed only a third of marriages in England are held in a church, for example.

Providing high-quality, personal, non-religious ceremonies is something we take very seriously. Our celebrants are thoroughly trained and quality-assured. They are passionate about their work and providing people with an appropriate way to mark the most important moments in their lives.

From here you can find out what a humanist ceremony is, or read more about our three main types of ceremony: namingsweddings and funerals. You can also find out more about celebrants – the people who write and conduct our ceremonies – and see who is available in your area.