Humanist weddings and Civil Partnership ceremonies are an alternative for those wanting a non-religious ceremony. Civil ceremonies must be conducted in approved premises whereas humanist ceremony can take place anywhere, from a back garden to a beach. A humanist ceremony will be individually written for each couple following an extensive meeting to determine what is wanted and it may include poetry and music as well as some sort of symbolic act in addition to the more usual exchange of rings. I will be able to offer suggestions as to what is possible.
The ceremony
Understanding you and your ideas
wedding ceremony photo

One of the best parts about choosing to have a humanist wedding ceremony is the commitment any humanist celebrant will make to get to know you as a couple before the ceremony. Not only does this allow us to talk through any ideas you have for the ceremony and ask advice, but it also means that your ceremony will be led by someone you feel that you know.

It may be that you have very clear ideas about your ceremony, but don't worry if not, I will be there to help you. In addition, any couple who choose to have me conduct their ceremony can request a login to the Wedding Extras part of this site where there are a collection of pieces of information I have collected over the years.

A ceremony will usually include some promises, commitments as well as some readings and music, although the exact order of service is tailored to your needs.

wedding ceremony photo
Promises and commitments

The words which you speak in your ceremony are often referred to as promises and commitments. You are free to write these yourselves or I can help you craft them. There are also sample promises and commitments which have been drafted by the BHA and can be used to help frame your ceremony.


Many people choose to have some form of reading as part of their ceremony. This might be a poem, reading from a play or book or even the words of a favourite song. I am able to give advice about readings which might be suitable for your ceremony.


It is completely up to you which pieces of music you want to include in your ceremony. Most people like to incorporate some music which is relevant to them, although others choose music they may not have heard before but think is particularly appropriate to their ceremony.

wedding ceremony photo

Unlike Civil Ceremonies, humanist wedding ceremonies can be conducted anywhere you want - in a field, on the beach, in your back garden. I am also willing to conduct ceremonies abroad, please contact me to discuss any particular requirements you have with regards the location of your ceremony.

The legal bits

As humanist ceremonies are not legally recognised in England, in order for your wedding or civil partnership to be legally recognised you would need to have a civil ceremony. Many people choose to have a quiet civil ceremony in advance of their humanist ceremony which is the ceremony in which they make the promises and commitments they have chosen to make, in front of their family and friends.

Humanist ceremonies are legally recognised in Scotland and in a number of other countries around the world.