What is a humanist wedding?

In recent years, you might have found yourself hearing more and more about ‘humanist weddings’. But what are they? Why are they more popular than religious weddings in Scotland? And what is the link between humanist weddings and long, happy marriages? A humanist wedding is a non-religious celebration that is welcoming, inclusive, and personally tailored […]

Humanist wedding | Jaspal and Lucy’s fusion wedding

Fusion wedding - Humanist wedding

Humanist ceremonies are a popular choice for couples planning a fusion wedding — a multicultural wedding ceremony marrying together elements of each of the couple’s cultures and traditions. If, like Jaspal and Lucy, you’re planning a fusion wedding, our celebrants will have ideas on how to include and combine different customs and traditions seamlessly into your ceremony.  

Top ten tips for an outdoor wedding

Whether you’re planning a small, socially distanced wedding for later this year, or a larger, more traditional affair in years to come, some planning tips are universal. Wedding celebrant Ginny Collins shares her top ten tips for an outdoor wedding.

Handfasting at a humanist wedding

Handfasting at a humanist wedding

As part of our series on symbolic acts chosen by couples as part of their humanist wedding ceremonies, today, we’re taking a look at handfasting ceremonies.  Handfasting dates back over 2,000 years and, unsurprisingly, there are many variations to the binding together of hands as a symbolic act of unity. Using ribbons, lace, or cord, […]

Tying the knot in a humanist wedding ceremony

As part of our series on symbolic acts chosen by couples who’ve had humanist weddings, today we’re looking at the act of ‘tying the knot’. To many people, the expression ‘tying the knot’ means to get married, but did you know that the expression originates from a Celtic, pre-Christian tradition that literally saw a couple […]

Humanist wedding | Paul and Mark

Same-sex humanist wedding

When couples aren’t religious and don’t want a traditional church wedding, preferring instead something that reflects them and their values, a humanist ceremony is often the perfect fit. That was the case for Paul and Mark. Paul shares their wedding story with us in his own words.

Symbolic Acts at a Humanist Wedding | Lighting a Unity Candle

Humanist wedding ceremonies may include symbolic acts of your choice, and one of the more popular amongst couples in recent years has been the lighting of a ‘unity candle’. In this modern non-religious ritual, a couple takes a lighted candle and together light a larger candle to symbolise ‘two becoming one’. Rituals don’t have to […]

Four funny poems to read at your wedding vow renewal ceremony

When planning the ceremony, you may find that you have favourite poems that you’d like to read to one another, or something you’d like to invite someone else to read to you both. But, what if you like the idea of including a poem and don’t know which to choose..?

That’s where your humanist celebrant comes in! 

Vow renewal poems for couples who’ve overcome difficulties

If you’ve faced serious illness, time apart, or other stressful situations as a couple, and are now wanting to celebrate your relationship with a renewal ceremony, your humanist celebrant can help you find a poem or reading that expresses how you are feeling about renewing your vows and what you mean to one another.

Three classic love poems for a wedding vow renewal ceremony

Many classic romantic poems, such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s ‘How Do I Love Thee’ and ‘Love’s Philosophy’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley, feature religious references and may, therefore, not be first choice for humanists for their vow renewal poetry reading. However, fear not because our celebrants have a selection of classic and modern love poems for you to peruse. Here are a few for you to consider…

‘A Red, Red Rose’ by Robert Burns, ‘Love is Giving’ (Anon), and ‘Fidelity’ by DH Lawrence.

Six modern love poems and readings for a wedding vow renewal ceremony

When planning your wedding vow renewal ceremony, you may decide that you would like to include a poem or reading. Although enormously popular, classic love poems or humorous poems aren’t everyone’s cup of tea — and if you’d prefer something more modern at your ceremony, our celebrants have plenty of suggestions. Here are just a few ideas. Your celebrant will be able to provide many more!

Everything you need to know about humanist wedding vow renewal ceremonies

A wedding vow renewal ceremony is an ideal way to celebrate your marriage — and you get to say ‘I do’ all over again. Renewing your marriage vows means declaring your love and making a commitment to one another in front of those you hold dear. Each ceremony tells a unique story of what the couple has achieved and experienced together through the years. 

Top ten tips for a wedding vow renewal ceremony

ceremonies are individual and humorous but they include a touch of gravitas where needed – just to remind everyone that the ceremony is marking a momentous occasion. An experienced celebrant and longstanding member of the Humanist Ceremonies network, Dawn agreed to share her top ten tips for planning a wedding vow renewal ceremony.

Why renew your wedding vows?

Happy couple

What motivates a couple to renew their wedding vows inevitably varies from couple to couple. Celebrant of the Year, humanist wedding celebrant Jane Blackman looks at the many and varied reasons for couples to renew their wedding vows. 

We Still Do! | What happens at a Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony

After ten or twenty years or more, maybe a couple kids, several house moves – and everything that life throws at you in between – your wedding may seem like a distant memory. Your wedding photos might look dated, and perhaps it wasn’t the kind of ceremony you’d choose today. Maybe you don’t like the dress anymore, and some of the guests you hardly see at all these days. Don’t worry! One of the great joys of life is that we continue making fond memories – and that’s why at Humanist Ceremonies we think couples should continue to celebrate enduring love.

Humanist wedding celebrant Lauren Stone is here to tell us what happens at a humanist wedding vow renewal ceremony.

Combining your wedding anniversary celebrations with a vow renewal ceremony

A wedding anniversary is the perfect time to reflect on the years you’ve spent together as a couple and to remember the vows you made to one another on your wedding day. And what better way to combine the past, present, and future than with a wedding vow renewal ceremony on your wedding anniversary?

Which flowers to use at your vow renewal ceremony

We all know that traditionally, each wedding anniversary has a different gift associated with it, but did you know that there are also different flowers associated with each anniversary?

If you’re thinking of combining your wedding anniversary with a wedding vow renewal ceremony and are interested in learning about the tradition of flowers for different anniversaries, our handy (lighthearted)  guide will help! 

An emotional, surprise wedding vow renewal ceremony 

After 21 years of marriage, Steve Parry wanted to renew his wedding vows to Tracey as a public demonstration of his love for her. To make it all the more special, he planned the vow renewal ceremony in secret and held the ceremony as a surprise, enlisting the help of humanist celebrant Dawn Davies to help plan the renewal of vows. 

Janice and Darren’s humanist wedding by the sea

Oh, we do love to be beside the seaside — and so do Janice and Darren! They like being by the sea so much, that they chose a beachside hotel for their humanist wedding ceremony. Janice tells us how she and Darren met and why they chose a humanist wedding.

Are humanist marriages legally recognised in the UK?

Marriage law is different in different parts of the UK and crown dependencies. Let’s take a look at the differences. Humanist marriage in Scotland Humanist marriages have been legally recognised in Scotland since 2005 and are performed by celebrants trained by Humanist Society Scotland. Recent figures show that humanist marriages are now the number one […]

Humanist weddings in Northern Ireland: everything you need to know

Humanists weddings are legally recognised in Northern Ireland, which means couples can get married in a humanist ceremony and complete legal documentation at the same time. (Marriage law is different in different parts of the UK and crown dependencies.) When did humanist weddings become legal in Northern Ireland? Humanist weddings  gained legal recognition in Northern […]

Celebrating same-sex weddings

Same-sex humanist wedding

Same-sex weddings are no different to opposite-sex weddings in that both are about the love two people have for one another and involve making a public commitment in front of friends and family. We know that love is love — and we celebrate it!

Why you need a wedding arch | Using an arbour or bower to add a touch of magic to your wedding day

If you’re having an outdoor wedding, you’ll need a focal point — somewhere to stand to say your vows — and nothing says ‘focal point’ like a beautifully decorated wedding arch.

Pets at weddings | Can I include my dog in my humanist wedding ceremony?

Humanist weddings are all about individuality. At Humanist Ceremonies, we say, ‘It’s your wedding, your way’, and if your dog is a huge part of your life and you want them at your wedding, then they should be at your wedding! It’s already quite common for humanist weddings to include a couple’s children – which […]

Humanist wedding in Cornwall

As you’d imagine, here at Humanist Ceremonies, we love a good wedding so we were delighted when Bekka and Gareth agreed to share their story with us. Getting together We met online via Tinder. Our first date was in a local pub and we obviously got on well. We share a passion for travel and […]

Same-sex humanist weddings in Northern Ireland

After the first legal same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, Laura Wylie reflects on what legal marriage means to her and her partner, Erica. When we first think of marriage, I guess we think of all the lovely things that go along with it – making pancakes on a Sunday, watching our children take their first […]

Will and Katie’s humanist wedding

We love a good wedding story, so we were delighted when Katie offered to tell us all about her weddings to Will – both of them! Getting together We met teaching sailing on the Isle of Scilly and by the second season, we were a couple. We had a long distance relationship for a couple […]

Postponing your wedding due to coronavirus? Five reasons to re-book it as a weekday wedding

Humanist wedding celebrant Maria Thorne has some tips for you if you’re having to postpone your humanist wedding and are trying to book a venue for a later date.

What happens if your wedding celebrant is ill?

What happens if your wedding celebrant is too ill to conduct your ceremony?

What’s the most inclusive type of wedding ceremony?

Humanist weddings are on the rise. And it’s little wonder. People fall in love all over the world and despite our differences, love wins. Focusing the entire wedding day on the celebration of a couple’s love, humanist ceremonies are religion-free, creative, meaningful, and extraordinarily memorable. With a humanist wedding ceremony, gone are the days of […]

Symbolic Acts at a Humanist Wedding | The Cut-out Heart Race

Humanist wedding in a woodland

With a humanist wedding from Humanist Ceremonies, you can have your wedding ceremony wherever you choose – even in a woodland glade. You can also write your own vows and choose your own symbolic acts. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be featuring a range of symbolic acts chosen by some couples as […]

Wedding traditions | Confetti

Humanist wedding

Humanist wedding ceremonies are flexible and can incorporate a range of wedding traditions from around the world – and that includes the throwing of confetti.

Five romantic poems for humanist weddings

A humanist wedding ceremony tells the personal love story of a couple, and so each one is unique. Some couples have favourite poems that they’d like to read or have read at their wedding, but what if you like the idea of including a poem but don’t know which to choose? That’s where your humanist […]

A winter wedding, humanist style

Same-sex humanist wedding

Stars of our billboard campaign in Northern Ireland, Danny and Andy had plans for a Winter Wonderland humanist wedding, but the weather had other ideas. Danny McKeown tells us all about their big day. We booked the wedding in March 2017, giving us just under two years for planning – and that was the best […]

The Virtual Pre-wedding Celebration Ceremony of Hannah and Matt

Saturday 11 April was meant to be the wedding day of Hannah Broadbridge and Matt Saleh, who had been planning for two years to have their humanist wedding at the beautiful Ufton Court in Reading. Humanist wedding celebrant Lauren Stone was meant to be marrying them, however, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, they had to postpone […]

Love in the time of coronavirus

Imagine the disappointment of having to postpone your wedding because of the coronavirus pandemic. What are you meant to do with yourselves when the date you had planned comes around?

Can you have a humanist civil partnership ceremony in the UK?

With civil partnerships becoming legal for opposite-sex couples across the UK, a lot of couples have been wondering on social media ‘Can I make it a humanist ceremony?’ In the UK and crown dependencies, there are different laws governing civil partnerships in different countries. There are also different laws covering the legality of humanist ceremonies. […]

Three wins in a row for Humanist Ceremonies celebrants at UK Wedding Awards

Humanist Ceremonies wedding celebrant Laura Gimson was named ‘Best Celebrant’ at the UK Wedding Awards last week. That’s three in a row for Humanist Ceremonies celebrants, as this win comes hot on the heels of Emma Bailie and Jane Blackham each winning best celebrant at The Northern Ireland Wedding Awards and The Wedding Industry Awards […]

Valentine’s Day proposals: Everything you need to know

Are you hoping for a proposal of marriage on Valentine’s Day? Well, according to recent research, Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year – and the most likely day for a marriage proposal. How many people get engaged on Valentine’s Day? Perhaps you’re thinking of popping the question on 14 February? If […]

Emma Bailie named Celebrant of the Year 2020 at the Northern Ireland Wedding Awards

We’re delighted to announce that Emma Bailie was named ‘Celebrant of the Year’ at the prestigious Northern Ireland Wedding Awards which took place at the Crowne Plaza Belfast last week. These were the fifth Northern Ireland Wedding Awards but this was the first year that wedding celebrants were recognised in a specific category. Emma was […]

Jane Blackman named ‘Celebrant Of The Year’ at the National Wedding Industry Awards 2020

We’re delighted to announce that Sussex-based Humanist Ceremonies celebrant, Jane Blackman was awarded the coveted title of ‘Wedding Celebrant of the Year 2020’ at a glittering awards ceremony last week. Jane was one of two Humanist Ceremonies wedding celebrants shortlisted at the Wedding Industry Awards which took place in London last week. Winner of the […]

Northern Ireland Wedding Awards 2020

Six Humanist Ceremonies wedding celebrants have been shortlisted for ‘Celebrant of the Year’ at the prestigious Northern Ireland Wedding Awards 2020 which take place tonight at the Crowne Plaza Belfast. The awards celebrate all those working in the wedding industry whose services help to create the perfect day for couples getting married across the region. […]

Humanist weddings | Your wedding, your way

Humanist weddings are personal, meaningful, and unique. Each ceremony is individually created specifically for the couple to tell their love story. No two ceremonies are ever the same!