Humanist Ceremonies

Latest news

In Wales and Northern Ireland, a ‘modest’ number of friends and family are now able to attend ceremonies, though are asked to continue to respect social distancing guidelines. The regulations set out a maximum of 30 people, though individual venues will set their own maximum allowed number of attendees, which may be lower than 30. Please see the individual funeral, naming, and wedding pages for more details and any restrictions.

In England, ceremonies (including namings, weddings, funerals, and memorials) conducted by Humanists UK celebrants continue to be legal and are allowed in venues and public outdoor spaces with up to 30 people. The legislation makes clear that ‘significant event gathering[s]… of no more than 30 persons’ can go ahead in all venues and public outdoor spaces except ‘private dwelling[s]’. Humanist celebrants are allowed to conduct ceremonies under this legislation as the definition of ‘significant event gathering’ is conditional on ‘according to their religion or belief’. Receptions following humanist weddings are therefore also allowed with up to 30 people, though celebrations following namings, or wakes following funerals are not. Although ceremonies in most areas with strict local lockdowns are unaffected, please contact one of our local celebrants to double check.

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.