Humanist wedding ceremonies can take place indoors or outdoors, they can be simple, contemporary elaborate or very traditional and they usually include readings, beautiful music and an exchange of rings but can also include symbolic gestures such as hand fasting.
A humanist wedding is a non-religious wedding ceremony that gives you both the opportunity to marry where you want when you want, and how you want. The true intimacy of a humanist wedding shines through as there are no set words so it is entirely up to you to decide what form your wedding nuptials take.
Wedding promises and vows
Your celebrant will help you write promises and vows that are personal and unique to you, and are completely right for you both as a couple. The legal vows are required to be said out loud so that your witnesses and your celebrant hear them and couples will often have more personal promises and vows alongside these too.
You can decide all of the content for these with your humanist wedding celebrant and, apart from your legal vows, you can just say these, however, you would like.
You could read them, repeat after the celebrant, or just say I do – whichever you prefer as long as they feel comfortable with you both your promises and vows should just reflect you both, and be genuine and true.
Symbolic Gestures During the Humanist Wedding Ceremony
Handfasting, hand tying, or ‘tying the knot’ is an ancient Celtic marriage ritual. The celebrant ties ribbons around both of your joined hands as it’s where the expression ‘tying the knot’ came from! along with a symbolic way of showing that you are joined to one another for life. You could also do a family handfasting and involve your family members which are often done with young children and are a lovely way of involving them in your ceremony.
Drinking from a Quaich is an ancient Scottish ceremony, symbolic of trust, love, and peace between two people.
This act of sharing is symbolic of the life you will share together, and the cup represents the cup of life. In drinking from the same cup, you are symbolizing your commitment to share all that the future may bring. All the sweetness life’s cup may hold should only be sweeter because you drink it together. And whatever bitterness it may contain should be less bitter because you share it together. This is traditionally done with whisky but you are welcome to choose a drink of your choice and create your own special drink (alcoholic or not).
A Unity Candle is a way of showing the joining of both of you on your wedding day. You will light two candles to symbolize your identity as two individuals, normally done before your vows. After the vows, you then light a third candle so although you are still individuals, you are also then as one.
There’s something magical in the air when you have a wedding at Cliveden House, a beautiful Grade I stately home, making it the perfect setting for your fairy-tale wedding. With its luxurious and stunning interiors, it strikes the perfect balance between lavish and homely.
Mark Seymour is an award-winning wedding photographer who only photographs a limited number of weddings each year. If you would like me to photograph your day please don’t miss out and book early when you see a photographer who’s the style you love.
Contact Mark via the contact page or just call now on 07786 377197