I'm not a humanist, can I still have a humanist wedding?

Many people discover they have a humanist outlook and they didn't realise it!

If you are non-religious and have empathy and compassion in your life, if you look to science, reason and try to live an ethical and meaningful life, then you'll find that you share a humanist philosophy.  Your wedding ceremony will be a personal, and meaningful way to celebrate your marriage without the constraints of a religious ceremony.

A humanist wedding ceremony is entirely centred on the people involved. Each ceremony is designed and written for the couple, their family and friends, so no each ceremony is as unique as the couple it celebrates.  Everything about it is determined by you – your wedding script is relevant, personal and genuine to you to create your happy day.

What is humanism?

Humanism is an ethical lifestyle. 

We try to be good, decent human beings  because it's the right thing to do.  We don't need praise or reward and we aim to celebrate this life in the best way that we can and to help others to have a happy life too.  

Humanism celebrates diversity and equality, and values the relationships we have with other people - in part by marking key life events such as birth, marriage, and death.

If our wedding is non-religious will our guests feel welcome?

It is important that everyone will feel welcome.   

Nearly every ceremony has guests with different faiths and none. I feel passionately that everyone present should feel comfortable and involved and enjoy the day. 

We can make space in your ceremony to have a moment of reflection.  Some people may use this time to pray if they wish. A humanist ceremony celebrates you, the couple, and everyone gathered is there for that very reason. A humanist ceremony includes everyone. 

Guests often comment that the occassion is much more moving and meaningful than other weddings they have attended because it is so personal.

Can I include symbolic rituals?

Of course.   

Humanist ceremonies are non-religious and there are rituals from other cultures that can be incorporated.  Symbolism or rituals can be hugely enriching to your ceremony.  They can be visually captivating and create an incredibly strong physical representation of your intentions for each other as a couple and if you like you can also include your wider family and friends. Happy discuss any ideas that you have. 

There are lots of symbolic rituals to choose from or we can create one especially for you.  I love the drama of ritual it is a piece of theatre and I love that! 

What about our vows?

Personal vows are often one of the highlight of a humanist wedding. 

I can give you as much help and support  as you need to write your own vows.

If that's not your thing, I can provide a range of sample vows and you might want to use some of these or adapt them to suit - it’s entirely up to you.  

Many people like to take a more traditional approach, these can be adapted to fit a non-religious ceremony. 

If you don't want to speak at your wedding you don't have to. We can create a ceremony that works for you.

What kind of music should we pick?

 I think music adds a real poignancy especially when it means something significant to you as a couple.  

From contemporary to classical, you can choose to have a live performance, or listen to something recorded.  Maybe you would like  something that everyone to sing along to. I can work with you and suggest some choices for you to consider.


What about same sex couples?

Love is love and we welcome all couples and we will celebrate you for being you.  Happily the current laws in Northern Ireland are changing and if you would like a same sex wedding you can have one from February 2020.  From January 13th we can put begin to register couples, and the first weddings can take place from 10th February onward. Yay!  

Does having a humanist wedding involve a lot of work?

That's where I come in!

It definitely takes a wee bit more time and thought to arrange a humanist ceremony and with my guidance you'll discover you have loads of ideas to include.

Personally I thing having a bespoke wedding is totally worth the effort.  Most couples find the planning process fun to do and really interesting. Remember - you are the expert on you, so the end result will be a ceremony that reflects the two of you, your values and your love story  - a truly personal and unique wedding created around you.  

​It's lovely to include family and friends in your ceremony if you would like to, but you don't have to. It's all up to you and I am happy to guide you through it and make sure it is stress free and enjoyable.

How long does a ceremony last?

That's entirely up to you. Your ceremony can be as short or as long as you choose. Usually they  tend to last between twenty and forty-five minutes.

How much does it cost?

I will work with you to craft a ceremony that is special and that you will bring many of the values you identify into your married life together. Due to the close relationship I have with my couples, I only take on so many every year.  It is  virtually impossible to calculate the hours of work I put into each ceremony. There are no hidden extras, and travel within Northern Ireland is included. If you are unsure about what my fee includes don’t hesitate to contact me. My fee is typically £450.

What if you are ill on our wedding day?

It’s never happened. One of the reassurances of choosing a Humanists UK celebrant is that we are part of a network of accredited celebrants – there is always a top quality celebrant who could stand in and deliver the script we’ve created together. 

Where are you based?

 I live in Belfast, but don't worry I love to travel so wherever you are we can meet up to make plans and of course to be there for your big day and a rehearsal too if you would like one.