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Humanist wedding ceremonies: what, why and how.

Rachael Meyer Humanist Wedding Celebration

Published at 2:41pm 12th February 2019. (Updated at 2:47pm 12th February 2019)

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Rachael Meyer Humanist Celebrant

In other parts of the UK, there are more humanist wedding ceremonies than any other religion, but what is the case in England?

  • 20% of weddings in Scotland are conducted by the Humanist Society. 
  • This is more than any other religion or belief group. 
  • They are not legal in England or Wales yet but are in Ireland and Scotland. 

According to Humanist Society Scotland, the rate at which this type of wedding ceremony is growing is huge.

Figures revealed in 2017 the Society joined 3,283 couples together, a growth of 8% on the year before and saw the society surpass the Church of Scotland who carried out 3,166, a drop of 14% on 2016 figures.

So what about England?

Humanist Wedding Celebration with Rachael Meyer
A wedding day is a special day no matter how it's celebrated.

What is a humanist wedding?

Stray FM has been speaking to local Yorkshire humanist celebrant, Rachael Meyer, about the weddings, what they mean and how couples can still include them in their big day. 

"A humanist wedding ceremony is basically a very bespoke, highly-personalised wedding ceremony that doesn't feature religion in any way."

"A lot of people aren't particularly religious these days, particularly the younger generation. And up until fairly recently you had the choice of either getting married in a church or a religious building... or you went to a registrar and got married in a registry office, which gave you the opportunity to have a non-religious legal wedding.

"However some of those are very bland, not bespoke, they're not meaningful to the couple, they're just a legal ceremony."

Rachael Meyer, Humanist Wedding Celebrant from Harrogate

Humanist wedding ceremonies are not yet legal in England, but many couples are now opting for this type of wedding combined with a legal ceremony at a separate occasion

Humanist wedding ceremonies can take place anywhere. There is no need for a venue to hold a civil wedding license. 

Vows can be bespoke, everything within the ceremony can be personalised to the couple, and there are no restrictions on who can be involved. 

You can even add secret little vows in to surprise your partner!

Wedding couple following humanist ceremony with Rachael Meyer
Love is love, no matter how you choose to marry one another!

Rachael Meyer - Humanist Celebrant in Yorkshire

Based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, Rachael explains why she likes humanist weddings so much and how many couples now include them as part of their wedding day. 

"What's really nice is that a lot of brides and grooms, or brides and brides, or grooms and grooms, have the legal ceremony for a small amount of people.

"Then they invite another load of poeple in the evening, lots of friends and family, and they just come for the humanist wedding ceremony for everybody in the room. Everybody feels included in their special day. 

"It's serious, it's commitment, it's romantic, it's meanginful, but you can have a bit of humour in their too."

Rachael Meyer Humanist Celebrant from Yorkshire
Rachael Meyer - Humanist Celebrant from Yorkshire

Couples who are interested in talking to Rachael Meyer about humanist wedding ceremonies are being encouraged to get in touch. 

You can also find Rachael on the official Humanist UK website.

Beth Parsons from Stray FM's Family Show talked to Rachael Meyer:

More family stories from Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale.


Would you be interested in a humanist wedding ceremony?
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