Your wedding should be about celebrating your love.
The great thing about a humanist wedding is that it can be whatever you want it to be – no preconceptions – you are the authors.
You can give each other rings, necklaces or watches; you name it. You can plant a tree and watch it grow as your love does; literally tie the knot or jump the broom. We can include traditions from any culture, place or time.
Or, if you’ve always dreamed of walking down the aisle, surrounded by the people who matter the most to you, dressed in that perfect white dress (or that dashing kilt) then that’s what we’ll write.
You can have music and poetry, readings and songs. You can speak as much or as little as you want. You can write your own promises to each other (and keep them secret) or I can write them for you. You can involve your family and friends as much as you, or they, want.
That’s what makes a real wedding celebration.
Each humanist, non-religious wedding ceremony is unique and created especially for a particular couple and their circumstances. This means there is no set script and no fixed structure. Instead, I will guide you through various options and together we can create an occasion that’s fitting for your specific circumstances.
Here is an example of how a wedding ceremony might be organised, but you do not have to include any of these, and you may also want to include other components.
Example structure of a humanist wedding ceremony
- Arrival of the couple (individually or together)
- Introductions and welcomes
- Words about love and commitment from a non-religious perspective
- Reading or poem
- The couple’s story – how they met, their shared values, hopes for the future
- What marriage means to the couple
- Reading, poem or song
- The couple’s promises / vows
- Meaningful symbolic act (e.g. hand-fasting)
- Exchange of rings
- Pronouncement as married
- Words of well-wishing
- Closing and departure
What else can we include?
There are many, wonderful wedding traditions from around the world that can be included in a humanist wedding – provided that they’re not an act of worship.
- The Jewish “Chuppah” is a wedding canopy representing the couple’s new home together. A Hindu “Mandap” is very similar.
- The Jewish tradition of breaking glass.
- The Hindu exchange of floral garlands.
- The Japanese sharing of Sake.
- The German sawing of a log together symbolising the couple’s ability to work together.
- An Australian tradition where guests bring stones from their own homes and put them all together in a ‘Unity Bowl’.
There are so many traditions in the world that I cannot even begin to list them all here. Of course, you could also start your own tradition.