Have your UK wedding anywhere in any way with Humanist Ceremonies

January 14 | meggyfin
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Ella & Michael married outdoors in Cambridgeshire. They wrote their vows together and had their rings passed round amongst their friends and family during the ceremony. (Photo by Rowan Lamb)
Ella & Michael married outdoors in Cambridgeshire. They wrote their vows together and had their rings passed round amongst their friends and family during the ceremony. (Photo by Rowan Lamb)
If you're one of the many non-religious couples in Britain who are thinking about having a humanist wedding, you'll want to read up on our sponsor, Humanist Ceremonies. American readers may not know this, but marriage laws in the UK are very stringent about where and how you can get married. Online ordainment? Not so much. That's why Humanist Ceremonies are conducted by celebrants that are trained and accredited by the British Humanist Association.

Yes, humanist weddings still are not (yet) legally recognized in England and Wales, so you'll still have to go to the register office to take care of the legal formalities a few days before or after your humanist wedding. However, a huge advantage of these humanist weddings is that you can have complete freedom to express yourselves on your wedding day. Here's how…

Jeannie and Jake
Jeannie and Jake married in a marquee. The ceremony itself was a fun (and occasionally rowdy!) occasion with lots of laughs and an enormous amount of love. Photos by Photo Evolution UK

Get creative with your ceremony

With a Humanist ceremony:

  • There are no specific words that have to be spoken, so ceremonies might be traditional, quirky, funny, touching, romantic, down-to-earth… whatever suits you best.
  • The ceremony can be as long or as short as you want it to be.
  • Ceremonies can involve contributions in many forms from family and friends.
Lynz and James
Lynz and James wanted to get married under the tree in the courtyard of a restaurant in London. It was a very relaxed ceremony with most guests standing. This picture shows an impromptu moment when a younger guest decided to present the bride and groom with a toy microphone!

Get married anywhere

From boats to beaches, village halls to villas, the local park and football stadiums, or under a tree at your favorite restaurant — you are not limited to venues that are licensed to hold weddings. Humanist Ceremonies celebrants have married couples in a wonderful array of venues — as you can see by all these gorgeous photos!

Maddy and Ankur
Maddy and Ankur's wedding photo by Sarah Falugo

Get inspiration from a real wedding

Maddy and Ankur's wedding was held on farmland in Glastonbury in Somerset. Their ceremony featured the exchange of garlands, a link to Ankur's family's Hindu roots, and symbolizing the cementing of the relationship between the two families. Says Maddy:

We feel marriage involves supporting each other to be considerate humans both towards other people and the environment around us. Being able to incorporate some pertinent Hindu rituals into our humanist ceremony was very special and so it was the flexibility and openness of the humanist ceremony that also greatly appealed to us. It made our marriage very personal and meaningful.
Tamsin and Darren
Tamsin and Darren married at Hengistbury Head in Christchurch, Dorset, where Darren proposed to Tamsin. They wanted a relaxed vibe, and with Darren's love of kite-surfing and Tamsin's love of horses, the meeting point of land and sea seemed appropriate too! (Photo by Gold Tree Photoraphy

Formal, relaxed, quirky, romantic, whimsical, on the beach, on a boat, in the woods, at the zoo, in castles, and campsites… Whatever and wherever you envision your wedding ceremony, Humanist Ceremonies is going to make it happen. Above all, Humanist Ceremonies' celebrants are friendly, creative, and passionate about what they do. They'll listen, they'll suggest, and then they'll step back and let you make the big decisions. After all, it's your wedding, so have one the way you envision it.

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  1. We're having a humanist ceremony (in Scotland) and are super excited about it. Our officiant is so warm and genuine and being able to have a ceremony that feels like us (versus a standard registrar speech) is awesome.

  2. My partner and I wanted a humanist ceremony but I don't think our budget will stretch to two ceremonies. I'm really hoping they are made legal in England soon!

    3 agree
    • For what it's worth, not having to use a licensed venue can mean the cost of a humanist wedding is loads more manageable. Village halls are often only £20 / hour for example. The simplest register office wedding isn't too bad either; from around £120 for the most basic option. Could be worth looking into…

  3. I live in Canada, but I think these offbeat officiant sponsored posts (akin to the offbeat reverend a while ago) are my absolute favourites. Love seeing these options out there in the world.

  4. We're also having a humanist ceremony in Scotland. So glad the law changed here so it's possible to get married anywhere – I think it was only in the past few years.

    I can't see any reason for the Conservative UK government not to adopt this. After all they keep going on about how wonderful the institution of marriage is and how it should be encouraged. Well how about letting people get married anywhere they want instead being tied down by archaic laws?

    11 agree
  5. We want a beach wedding, and in the UK, something along these lines is what we will have to go for. Some beach venues have covered decking and things like that (the law states that the venue must be permanent and have a roof, so roofed decking is okay.) Part of the reason we're also getting married at the registry office either the day before/after, rather than getting the registrar to come out to a beach venue, is that the difference in cost is about £300 ($490). They've only just recently changed the law to allow you to legally get married after 6pm in the evening!

  6. Hi! You don't have to have an expensive second ceremony, we just went to the registry office with two witnesses the day before, it was around £50. Our humanist ceremony was our real weedding day!

  7. We had a lovely humanist wedding in Scotland, with boats! Our friends from London just had their humanist wedding up here too… English folk have been coming up to Gretna Green to get married for centuries! If you register the wedding in Scotland, does that make it legal in England? Our celebrant took care of all the paperwork for us.

    1 agrees
  8. My and my wife had a beautiful humanist ceremony in Scotland .We also had one of the best wedding dj-s ever. Was unique to have thats what you want with all of your best people around you. If you think they might be helpful visit their page http://apnabeat.co.uk/Default.aspx

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