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A Humanist Ceremony

Weddings > Civil Ceremonies.


Bride: (Names)
Best Lady:

Officiator: Please all stand for the arrival of the bride!

Harp music of choice as Bride processes.


Name : Officiator.

Good afternoon, everybody. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all here today, on behalf of (Names) on this very happy occasion as we celebrate their marriage.

( Names) were keen that their wedding ceremony would be one that would be appropriate for them while being at the same time a personal and memorable day for everyone. Above all, they wanted all of you to feel part of this joyous occasion.

My name is (Name) and I was delighted to be asked to assist ( Names) with their Humanist ceremony and I must say it’s been a real pleasure working with them as we put together their plans for today.

( Names) have chosen a Humanist wedding because Humanism is an ethical life stance which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give shape and meaning to their own lives. They are taking an active stance in shaping this meaning ful occasion as they will the rest of their lives together.

The vows they will exchange here this afternoon, in the presence of those they love and those whose friendship they enjoy and value, will demonstrate their love and commitment now and for the future.

Many of you here today have a special relationship with one or both of them, and your presence here this afternoon adds significance to this ceremony and support to their marriage. In the years ahead, as ( Names) adapt to changing circumstances, it may be to you they will turn for support, company and laughter. In this event your support will be all the more valuable for your having been here today.

READING 1 by ( Name) – Own choice. (Quiet background harp music. )

READING 2 – By ( Name) - Own choice.


( Officiator) Today, as we’ve said, is a day full of joy and happiness. But, as we all know, there is of course a serious side to marriage and I’m now going to say a few words to reflect this.

Marriage is, first and foremost, a celebration of the love which two people share. It is a major and significant event in their lives and in the lives of those close to them – out of the routine of everyday life something extraordinary has happened.

As Mark Twain said: A marriage…makes of two fractional lives a whole; it gives to two purposeless lives a work, and doubles the strength of each to perform it; it gives to two questioning natures a reason for living, and something to live for; it will give a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth, and a new mystery to life.

What really matters on an occasion like this, when a couple have decided to join their lives, is that they have absolute certainty that they are right for each other. They must be sure that their feelings will be lasting and not fleeting. They must also have thought about the future which stretches before them and the demands which it will make on them.

(Names) have thought about these things and they fully understand what is required of them – as individuals and as a couple – if this commitment is to last in the way that they wish. They know that they can pledge themselves to each other with certainty and confidence.

READING 3 – By (Name of Reader) , 'The Song of The Wandering Aengus. by William Butler Yeats. ( Harp music)

READING 4 – By (Name) , ( Own Choice). Quiet instrumental harp music.


Officiator : We now come to the most important part of today’s ceremony when we will be asking (Names) to speak the words which, in the presence of this company, will seal their union.

Will you all please stand.

Quiet harp music if desired.

( Officiator) : Do you ( Names of Groom)take ( Name of Bride) to be your wife; to share a relationship of love, tenderness and laughter; to confide in and trust above all others; to respect and stand by her in everything as an equal partner; but above all else to love and cherish her?

( Groom’s Name): I do.

Officiator: Do you ( Name of Bride ) take ( Name of Groom) to be your husband; to share a relationship of love, tenderness and laughter; to confide in and trust above all others; to respect and stand by him in everything as an equal partner; but above all else to love and cherish him?

( Name of Bride) : I do.
Officiator : From now on your individuality will be matched by your mutuality; your sharing of all your joys and sorrows in life.


Officiator : ( Groom’s name) , take this ring and place it on ( Bride’s name) finger and repeat after me:

Officiator: I, ( Name) , take you (Name) to be my wife, and with this ring I marry you and join my life to yours.

Officiator, ( Bride’s name) take this ring and place it on ( Groom’s Name) finger and repeat after me:

Bride’s Name : I, ( Name) , take you ( Name) to be my husband, and with this ring I marry you and join my life to yours.

Officiator : The circle is the symbol of the sun, earth and the universe. It is a symbol of wholeness and peace. In the form of a ring may it stand for you as a symbol of your love for each other, looking both inwards and outwards, an embrace that binds without imprisoning, a support that reassures without restricting. The wedding bands ( Names ) have exchanged are a confirmation of the vows that they have made.

( Names) , you have freely consented to join your lives, you have pledged yourselves to each other by the exchanging of rings and in the presence of this company I pronounce you husband and wife.
( Harp Glissando)

THE KISS – applause! Harp Music.



I would like to conclude the ceremony with some parting thoughts:

( Names) , go forward in your life together with the good wishes of those who love you ringing in your ears; go forward to a life of joy and fulfilment, of tolerance and peace, giving to and receiving from those who share our concerns and ideals.

Remember this day, those who came to wish you well, the words you have spoken, the emotions you feel, the rings which symbolise all the meaning of this occasion.

May your love never die; rather may it deepen and increase so that you may be forever as you are now, happily in love and glad to be married to one another.

Harp music – Jupiter; The Planets, or any music of choice.

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