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FAQ

Your questions about humanist wedding ceremonies – let’s dive in!

Q. How far afield would you travel to marry us?

I’d be delighted to lead your wedding in any country that you would like. I love my packing cubes!

Q. Do you officiate LGBTQ+ weddings?

Of course! A fundamental reason why I do what I do is because I believe that everyone should feel safe, loved and celebrated exactly as they are.  If you would like to chat to me about this, please do not hesitate to drop me a line. 

Q. Are humanist ceremonies legal?

At this time of writing, humanist ceremonies are sadly not legally recognised in England or Wales. They have been legally recognised in Scotland since 2005, and are by some margin the most chosen form of non-civil ceremony there. Legal humanist marriages have also been recognised in Northern Ireland and Jersey since 2018, and in Guernsey, Alderney and Sark since 2021. 

England and Wales will follow suit soon! – and that’s not just me hoping, there’s been a whole legal case on it – but in the meantime, this is not a barrier to choosing a humanist ceremony.

One can purchase statutory legal registration from your local register office for as little as £57. I can advise you how to get the statutory price: it’s very easy, despite it often being somewhat tricky to locate on the various different council websites. You can then complete the legal niceties days before your humanist wedding, or even on the day itself. It is not a legal requirement to exchange rings in a civil wedding ceremony, so you can leave that special moment for your humanist ceremony – and what’s more, you can make different fond memories out of the statutory ceremony too. Nothing wrong with making lemonade out of lemons!

Q. Is a humanist ceremony a real wedding then?

Well, I suppose the question “what makes a wedding real?” is the nub of the matter…! Think of it this way: you register a birth, but you don’t have a huge party and celebrate that happening – it is just a formality. You also register a death, but it isn’t the funeral or wake. The legal requirements of a wedding, although of course necessary, are not rooted in emotion. The real wedding is the ceremony in which you declare your love and commitment in the way that means most to you, in front of everyone who loves you. This will be the ceremony that resonates, that matters; this will be the ceremony that you and your friends and family will talk fondly of, and hold in your hearts for decades to come.

Q. We would like to honour our families’ religious heritage, even though we personally are not religious. Is that a problem?

No problem at all. There are a myriad of ways in which space for religious reflection can be built into a humanist wedding ceremony without compromising its humanist viewpoint. For example, cultural rituals that are often performed in religious ceremonies – such as smashing the glass, the Var-mala (garland) exchange, jumping the broom, or the silat – can be incorporated into your ceremony with a secular slant. Together, we can create a unique and generous ceremony that is fully inclusive of those of faith, but which ultimately centres your non-religious worldview.

Q. My mum really wants to make a speech at our wedding, but she isn’t sure where to start! Do you ever help with speeches?

Yes! I love this! I believe that everyone has a stonking wedding speech within them: sometimes you just need a guiding hand. I am happy to advise any speechmakers in your wedding party who need a cheerleader in their corner as part of my ceremony creation package.

Q. What are your fees?

My fee to create and lead your UK wedding ceremony is £2,100. This includes every aspect of your humanist wedding ceremony journey apart from travel expenses outside of Greater London, and any necessary accommodation expenses. I take public transport whenever possible for environmental reasons.

I lead a maximum of three destination weddings per year, and my fee begins from £2,750. Again, this fee includes every aspect apart from travel and accommodation. Please get in touch as soon as possible if you would like me to marry you at your destination wedding, as timings are necessarily more tricky to co-ordinate for multi-day events, and I would hate to not be available for you!

Q. I am a trainee wedding celebrant. Would you mentor me?

I am a weddings celebrant mentor for Humanists UK, but I do not mentor wedding celebrants in a freelance capacity.

If you are training to be a wedding celebrant with Humanists UK then I would be thrilled to consider mentoring you. Just mention my name when you pass the training course interview!

Image below: Emily & Steve Photography

We love you, Nat. You’ve become a dear friend of ours. You’ve got an incredibly beautiful way with words. We’re so touched by your ability to capture us in a ceremony script that we will keep revisiting for the rest of our lives.

- BILLY & FELINA

If your question is less “frequently-asked”, do please contact me and I will be happy to help!