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What is a Humanist Celebrant?

What is a Humanist Celebrant?

This is a question many people ask and sadly not as many people know the answer to as us Humanist celebrants may like!

Note: For the purpose of this blog, I will solely focus on Humanist weddings although, across the Humanist network, we do also offer funeral and naming ceremonies.

What does a Humanist Celebrant do?

You may be wondering what the role of a Humanist wedding celebrant is and what a Humanist wedding ceremony looks like. The answer is broad and not ‘one size fits all’ as each ceremony is bespoke and unique, however, here are some elements you can typically expect from a Humanist wedding ceremony:

1. Invest time in you

Time invested in you as couple upfront to get to know each other in the run up to the wedding day. From getting to know a couple a Humanist celebrant can ensure they understand the couple’s vision for their day, what love and marriage means to them and how they want to share this love in front of friends and family. This also means on the day itself you have someone you have built a relationship with and is not a stranger.

2. A personal and unique ceremony

A carefully crafted script which is built from the time getting to know you as individuals and a couple. Your celebrant works with you to choose the perfect quotes, readings, music and symbolic acts. This is not from a template or ‘off the shelf’, this is personalised and tailor-made prose. No two weddings will be alike!

3. Freedom of choice

With a Humanist ceremony you can get married wherever and whenever you like. You can include what you like and omit anything you don’t. There are no words or acts that you have to include and you can be as creative and innovative as you like. Want to involve your dog in your wedding day? Yes, you can! Want to get married on a beach or in your parents’ back garden? No problem at all!

4. Not the ‘boring’ bit

The ceremony sits at the heart of the wedding day and sets the tone for the rest of the day. It is not something you rush through to get to the meal or reception. A Humanist ceremony is something truly memorable that you and your guests will enjoy and remember just as much as (or maybe more than!) the party afterwards! It can even be the start of the party if you wish, Humanist ceremonies are never dull and boring!

5. Total inclusivity

A non-religious wedding with total inclusivity. Although a Humanist ceremony is an alternative to a religious wedding, it is not anti-religious. Humanists believe strongly in equality and respect for others and therefore everyone is welcome to a Humanist ceremony. Humanist ceremonies can be reflective of and celebrate different faiths and cultures, making them a perfect ceremony option for interfaith or intercultural marriages.

6. A true celebration of love

A celebration of love in all its forms. Whether you are in a heterosexual or same sex relationship, have been married before, are wanting to renew vows or are looking for a family blending or commitment ceremony with no legal ties; a Humanist ceremony celebrates the uniqueness of your love story in the most meaningful way to represent your own situation.

The above is by no means exhaustive but I hope that it has given you a flavour of what a Humanist ceremony can offer. Please do reach out by email or via social media if you want to know more!

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