In England, the UK Government has told us that ‘humanist wedding ceremonies may take place, with up to 30 people, from 4 July in line with guidance outlined.’ Ceremonies in England should follow the social distancing guidance, which says ‘To avoid risks of transmission and stay as safe as possible, you should always maintain social distancing with people you do not live with – indoors and outdoors. You should only have close social contact with others if you are in a support bubble with them. You should: …only gather in slightly larger groups of up to 30 for major life events, such as weddings.’
In Wales, on 20 July the Welsh Government changed the law to allow humanist weddings, provided that: no more than 30 people attend; social distancing is maintained; the ceremony is happening in a location that can be made Covid-secure (which includes it being a confined or enclosed space and having a risk assessment done); and that location is not on the list of locations that must remain closed. This means it is still not possible to hold humanist ceremonies in: restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, theatres, concert halls, museums and galleries, holiday/camping sites, hotels, and B&Bs. But it is possible in fields, parks, beaches, private gardens, community halls, town halls, stately homes, and private homes that are large enough to host such gatherings. If you are unsure about where you may hold your humanist wedding, then please talk to a celebrant. We are working with the Welsh Government to expand this range of venues.
In Northern Ireland, humanist marriages are legally recognised. Outdoors marriages have resumed and humanist marriages are subject to the same regulations and guidance as civil marriages in terms of where they can happen and how many people can attend.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, our celebrants are available to help via telephone or video calls.
Many of us who aren’t religious are looking for a wedding that is more flexible and personal than a civil or register office ceremony.
In normal circumstances, a humanist, non-religious wedding ceremony gives you the opportunity to marry where you want, when you want, and how you want. There’s no set script: it’s too personal an occasion for that. Instead, each wedding is unique. You can set the tone that’s right for you and choose your own words and music. Our celebrants are available to help you plan your perfect wedding for when the UK Government lifts the restrictions on social gatherings.Humanist weddings are perfect for couples who would like:
Our celebrants are trained, friendly, and experienced people who will guide you through the process of creating a wedding that’s perfect for you. They will:
In England and Wales, couples who want to have a humanist wedding will often go to the register office to take care of the legal formalities in the days before or after their ceremony.
Humanist weddings have been legally recognised in Northern Ireland since 2018 and in Jersey in the Channel Islands since 2019.
In Scotland, Humanist weddings gained legal recognition in 2005. Ceremonies are conducted by celebrants trained by Humanist Society Scotland.
We support marriage equality and all our celebrants are available to conduct same-sex weddings, including in Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands. Find a celebrant near you if you would like to discuss a humanist same-sex wedding ceremony.
Fees vary according to the distance travelled and what is wanted from the occasion.Humanist Ceremonies™ provides recommended fee bands, but always check fees with the individual celebrant.
You may also like to buy a copy of Humanists UK’s book, Sharing the Future. This includes information and ideas on music and readings.
Humanist wedding ceremonies have featured in many blogs and wedding websites including the following:
We’d love to hear from you if you’ve had a humanist wedding and would like to share your photos with us.