Humanist weddings have been seeing an increasing popularity for the past few years. But, what are these weddings in the first place? What makes different from other types of weddings out there?
What is Humanist Weddings and How Long They Last
A humanist wedding is basically a non-religious celebration that is inclusive, welcoming, and especially tailored for you. It focuses on you and your partner’s love story and everything that matters the most to you as a couple. A trained humanist celebrant conducts a humanist wedding.
Typically, humanist weddings can last for about 30 minutes. However, this can be shorter or longer depending on the preferences of the couple.
Since you don’t need to follow any legal formalities, you have the freedom to choose how you will structure your big day. To some extent, this will be rehearsed ahead of time with your wedding party to ensure that the main participants know and are familiar with their positions, where and when to move, and the procedure as a whole.
A humanist wedding ceremony doesn’t have a definite structure. There will be a point when the couple will be expressing their promises to one another. Their words will be binding the couple together in love even though they don’t have any legal standing.
Many couples prefer to celebrate and reflect on their relationships prior to making their promises. Most humanist wedding ceremonies will also include music and readings often chosen for personal and sentimental reasons. What matters the most here is that this ceremony is all about the public declaration of the commitment and love of the couple to each other.
What Makes Humanist Weddings Different?
Humanist weddings as well as vow renewals are completely unique to all couples. This means that there is no such thing a set script and all ceremonies are different. Humanist weddings are incredibly personal, flexible, and usually centered on telling the story of the couple. It also includes how the couple met and got engaged, the importance of marriage for them, and the reasons why they chose to spend the rest of their lives together.
The celebrant will also take time knowing more about the couple to have a better understanding of their vision for the big day. Their story is often told with the use of sentimental moments, special memories, and lots of fun anecdotes.
Below are some of the top characteristics of humanist wedding ceremonies that set them apart from other weddings:
You Get to Approve Everything
With a humanist wedding ceremony, you get the chance to give your feedback and read all or some of the draft of your wedding ceremony as you please. Since this is your ceremony, you are the one who decides when it is right.
It Takes Collaborative Work
You will be working with everyone involved to create the perfect ceremony as you wanted and more.
It Is Flexible
You are the one to decide when and where your ceremony will be held.
There Is No Connection to Any Religion
Humanist wedding ceremonies focus on the things that matter in your life, what you value, and the relationships you have with the people you love.
It Feels Personal
The ceremony is all about the couple and their individuality and personality.
There Is a Touch of Sincerity
There are no rules on what words to say or things to include. All words and actions are true to you and your personal outlook.
Things Are Tailored
The tone, content, and mood of the ceremony is exactly what you like.
It Is Unique
You will be working hand in hand with the celebrant to write a bespoke ceremony.
What Happens During Humanist Wedding Ceremonies?
Among the biggest and most common concerns and misconceptions about humanist wedding ceremonies is that they don’t feel like a proper wedding. However, this is far from the truth.
Obviously, the bride will be walking down the aisle, rings will be exchanged, and you can also sign the wedding certificate if this is what you want. However, you can also do away with these traditions if that is what you like. Once again, the focus of a humanist wedding ceremony is to tell the story of the couple without a set format. Still, there are several elements that must be included and these are the following:
- Arrival of the bride and groom either together or individually
- Welcomes and introductions
- Words about commitment and love from non-religious point of view
- Poem or reading
- The story of the such as how they met, the values their share, and the hopes they have for the future
- The meaning of marriage for the couple
- Song, poem, or reading
- Vows or promises of the couple
- Meaningful symbolic act such as hand fasting
- The exchanging of rings
- Pronouncement of marriage
- Words of well-wishes
- Departure and closing
Holding a humanist wedding basically means that you could be as creative and imaginative as you want as far as planning the ideal ceremony is concerned. Couples can choose to marry in their preferred venues, such as outdoors as well as in locations that are not licensed. Friends can be invited over to share songs, readings, or performances. This means that you can have your loved ones play an instrument, sing a song, or even do a tap dance as you like. Since there is no definite format here, you can choose from the endless possibilities to have fun.
But, the most important thing for most couples is the chance to share their personal wedding vows. The coupes can decide and choose how to symbolize the union or share their vows. They can go as far as writing their own vows that can be as sentimental or fun as they want. Most couples also love to include symbolic actions like the ancient hand-fasting practice to their ceremony.
With a humanist wedding ceremony, you can have the freedom to celebrate your love!