Wedding Celebrants: Humanist or Independent?

It is a common misconception that all celebrants are humanists, but this is not the case.  The humanist movement has been going strong since the late 1800’s, so it is understandable that people will automatically assume that if it isn’t a religious leader or registrar conducting the ceremony, it must be a humanist.

Over the last 40 plus years, independents have been working hard to convey the message that there is another option, one completely without restrictions, and more and more couples and families are choosing this for the flexibility that it affords them.

You see, as an independent, I am free to work anywhere, with anyone, and include any content, format or music that the client wishes.  This freedom of choice, allows them to have the day that completely reflects them, their lifestyle choices, and their beliefs.


lamp lighting ceremony


Whilst a registrar has restriction on music, format, and wording, we don’t. There must be nothing religious mentioned at all and no references to religion in a song either.  (Sorry all Robbie Williams fans, there will be no “Angels” for you!)  Likewise with a humanist service, their philosophy means that there are a few restrictions and it must also have no religious connotations.


With independents, you can include any style of music, with any wording and inject as much of your personality and choices into your day as you like! 


I love the diversity of my couples and families.  In fact I embrace it and it is very much a part of my brand.  I have worked with multi-faith, multi-cultural, and LGBT couples and each of them has enjoyed a bespoke and personal ceremony with me which has been both warm and engaging.  My belief is that if two people love one another, they should be able to celebrate their union, no matter their background, beliefs or lifestyle choices.

I am seeing a definite rise in popularity for the independent celebrant, and a growing trend in having a unique and personalised day, often in unusual and non-traditional venues too. 

mixed faith wedding

outdoor wedding

same sex wedding

Having said all of this, there is of course a place for all types of ceremony officiant. Some couples and families will always prefer the church, and some will naturally want to have a traditional and more formal service with a registrar. 

I feel that in order to have a true and meaningful celebration you should at least have all of the details in order to make more of an informed decision, and so below are some links to further information about both styles of officiants.

I recently wrote a blog piece about booking an independent celebrant and this can be found here.

For more information on the humanist organisation, please click here.

Happy wedding planning!





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