If you are not religious and would like to be legally married in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you will have to marry or take part in a civil partnership ceremony in a registry office or a licensed venue.
This caused Nick and I a few issues when looking for our venue in the UK. We love the warm weather and being outside, the thought of being inside to be married just does not appeal!! We all know that UK’s weather is questionable at the best of times so abroad felt like the obvious choice, but here comes the next stumble – getting married abroad is not necessarily legally binding in the this country, essentially meaning you have to have two ceremonies.
Like many couples, Nick and I would like a ceremony which means something more than just religion. We also don’t want to be told where to stand and what to say (I have never been very good at being told what to do!!). Saying our vows under beautiful rays of sunshine in the middle of a forest or walking bare foot on a beach is more our dream than a traditional ceremony!
I have only been to one humanist ceremony, but it was a funeral. With no religious content at all, the ceremony made reference to life as a winding river with fast flowing turns and then gentle soft floating moments. It felt more back to nature and organic, making the ceremony more ethereal, a beautiful poem/memoir of someones life.
Still if you choose to have a humanist ceremony or partnership you must still complete the legal formalities and obtain a civil marriage certificate at a registry office first. The couple will usually regard the Humanist ceremony as the one which truly marks their commitment and love to each other.
We are still getting our heads around the idea of having two ceremonies, one legal and one our way, but surely creating a ceremony and celebrating your commitment to each other exactly where, when, with whom and how you want is worth the hassle of doing it twice!!
If you have had a humanist ceremony or have attended a humanist wedding please do get in touch to tell us your story/experience firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to know more about Humanist Ceremonies please visit http://www.humanism.org.uk/ceremonies/humanist-weddings