Do you have to be a humanist to have a humanist ceremony?
Definitely not, you don’t have to identify as a humanist to have a humanist wedding ceremony. Couples choose to have humanist wedding ceremonies, as an alternative to religious weddings, for a wide variety of reasons.
How much does a bespoke wedding ceremony cost?
£1,000* (plus travel)
This costs includes:
- Bespoke Wedding Ceremony
- Attendance on day (arrival 1 hour minimum before ceremony)
- Presentation Script
- Fees to Humanist Ceremonies
- Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance
For a wedding in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, my fees are £1,500* (which includes travel & accommodation. I love a chance to visit the island and my friends there. It was home for a lot of my life, and where my daughter spent her childhood, so if feels like a second home.
Do humanist celebrants want to convert people to humanism?
No, definitely not.
Humanism is a life-stance/a belief but not a religion. Being humanist means associating with free thought, kindness, integrity and tolerance. As a humanist celebrant, I try to illustrate these positive attributes and I work to the Humanist Ceremonies’ shared code of conduct and standards of practice. Personally, I support several charities close to my heart, and try and be considerate and caring in my day to day life.
Not only do I deeply respect that people hold a variety of faiths, beliefs and religions, but I also have a very active interest in developing my own knowledge and understanding, and a passion for learning about rituals and customs in particular.
What is a humanist celebrant and why should I use one?
Wedding Celebrant, Marriage Celebrant, Civil Celebrant, Officiant, Registrar – these are all words to describe a person who will conduct your wedding, baby naming or vow renewal ceremony. Any independent celebrant can call themselves a humanist celebrant, but choosing a celebrant who is accredited with Humanists UK will give you the assurance of high quality standards and the reassurance of knowing that they represent a well-known charitable organisation with 5* reviews for the ceremonies its celebrants conduct.
My grandmother is really quite religious and so I’d like to show some respect for that. Is there a chance to do that in our humanist ceremony?
Yes, absolutely there is a chance to include members of your family who are religious. Although humanist weddings are non-religious by their nature, humanists respect that people may hold their own faiths. It is possible to include quiet time for people’s religious prayer, or a cultural tradition that would be inclusive of your grandmother.
We would like to include a song that everyone can sing, like a hymn, but non-religious. Is this possible?
Yes, this is a great idea as quite often people love to sing at ceremonies. From experience, I suggest that songs should be no longer than three verses, familiar to almost everyone, and easy to sing. There are lots of suggestions that I can give you. Many familiar hymns can be adapted so they’re non-religious. I can also find songs that are good to sing as a group.
We’d like to write our own vows/promises, is this possible?
Most definitely. With a humanist wedding ceremony, almost anything is possible. If you need help with writing your promises, the advice and help is included in the service. If you wish to keep your personal promises to each other a surprise for the actual ceremony, then you can send them separately to me and I can ensure that they are a similar length and tone of voice.
We’d like to include our children, but they are too young/nervous to do a reading. What can we do?
It is possible to include anyone you wish in the actual ceremony; there are many creative ways in which to do this. Hand fasting, a traditional Celtic ritual in which ribbons or cords are wrapped around the couple’s hands, is where the expression ‘to tie a knot’ actually comes from. It’s possible to involve others in helping to wrap the ribbons or cords. Alternatively, candle-lighting, sand and pebble mixing, wish boxes are all ways in which you can include others and create a memorable ceremony.
We have booked to do the ‘formal bit’ at the registry office a couple of days before the actual wedding. Will this affect our feelings at the ceremony?
The bespoke wedding ceremony itself, in front of all the friends and family, in the vision that the couple has created, ensures that it feels completely real. Many couples choose to keep the ritual of the ring exchange to the actual wedding ceremony. Some couples choose to read the same vows or promises at the registry office as the wedding ceremony, others prefer to do the bare minimum at the registry office. Most brides prefer to keep their dress for the special wedding ceremony in front of all their family and friends.
Will my religious relatives be offended by my wedding ceremony?
Never. As your celebrant, I work with couples and parents to ensure that the ceremony script is inclusive. You can choose to include a time for private thought or prayer. Sometimes, people may choose an adapted hymn. I won’t risk my integrity by reading a prayer or a religious text, but there are many familiar religious texts that do not make reference to religion, and you can choose to have a relevant, religious relative read one of these.
*I’m passionate about providing a great wedding service, I’d rather you have the celebrant you feel would suit you best, and I work independently, so if you want to choose me but you’ve struggling with budget, please talk to me and we can try and find a solution.
Our costs are usually small in comparison to the overall wedding budget, but your ceremony plays an enormous part in your wedding day. It is the part of the day that contains the most meaning, and may even be the most memorable.