Lisa Webb Photography – Shropshire Wedding Photographer » Alternative Wedding Photography

What is a Humanist ceremony and why should you have one?

Humanist ceremonies are non-legal, personal ceremonies. They’re an alternative to having a civil ceremony, just because you’re not religious doesn’t mean you have to have a civil ceremony on your wedding day. I’ve been to many different types of weddings, and the ceremonies that are the most memorable to me are the humanist ceremonies. If the idea of getting married in church feels a bit hypocritical to you because you’re not religious but you think civil ceremonies are boring, then don’t worry, there’s an alternative! A humanist ceremony is the perfect choice for any couple who don’t want religion to play a part in their wedding, and who want a really personal, chilled out ceremony. Keep reading to find out more about humanist ceremonies and why I think they’re brilliant!

You can get married anywhere

This to me is one of the biggest plus sides to having a humanist ceremony. Unfortunately at the moment in England and Wales you can’t legally get married unless it’s under a permanent structure that’s licensed for marriage. I hate rules, especially rules as silly as that! If you opt to have a humanist ceremony for your wedding day, you can get married wherever you like. This can be in a field, in your living room, a village hall, the possibilities are endless. This is why many wedding venues have pavilions outside, so that couples can get married “outside”, unfortunately you still have to be under the pavilion for the ceremony to be legal. Humanist ceremonies aren’t yet legal in England and Wales so if you do want a beautiful back garden wedding then you just need to nip to the registry office before or after your wedding day to make it legally binding. You can have a very simple service at a registry office for as little as £48, so it doesn’t have to cost the earth to have an extra ceremony. I actually see this as a big benefit because it means….

You get to have two ceremonies!

To make your marriage legal you just need two witnesses and some signed paperwork. This can be as big or as little a deal as you’d like it to be. You could just take along a few people who are very close to you for the civil ceremony and go out for a nice meal and drinks afterwards. Or you could fully embrace it and ask everyone to come along to both ceremonies, it’s totally up to you!

Your ceremony can be really personal

With civil ceremonies you can add your own vows into the ceremony however you will still need to repeat a few things your registrar tells you to say to make the ceremony legal. With a humanist ceremony, because it’s not a legal service you don’t have to add in the legal bit, the service can be totally personalised to you as a couple. Your celebrant will get to know you both usually by getting you both to fill out a questionnaire all about the two of you and your relationship. They will then turn this into a personalised service all about the two of you. There are also no rules for the vows you say to each other so you can write your own vows which can be as gushy or funny as you want!

I think humanist ceremonies are fab and I always love getting to shoot them! If you’re thinking of having a humanist ceremony then I would highly recommend you go ahead with one!

laughter during the ceremonyshropshire hillstears during the ceremonypersonal vows

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