Have you ever wondered why your family or friends in the UK often have two wedding ceremonies? You may have heard them say oh we got legally married last week but today is our official day. This is because in the UK the law is written that if you want to be married you must use particular words that relate to a religion. In addition, it is not the person that is marrying you that legalises your partnership but the building you are in. Humanists UK have been working hard to make humanist marriages legal. An option for couples that is non-religious and still recognised by law.
In early July, Humanists UK went to the High Court with six couples who provided evidence as to why they wanted to have their Humanist marriage legally recognised. We were asking for the law to be reviewed and amended. The two days went extremely well, with the judge asking questions to both the Humanists UK and Government barristers. Now we are waiting to hear from the judge on her final verdict.
It is very exciting to see this change and the potential in the future, for me, to be able to legally marry my couples. Having watched this process happen successfully in Northern Ireland in 2018 I am confident we will see the change here in England and Wales.
Once we hear from the judge, we expect it to take around three months for the process and training to be agreed. This could be pushed back a bit if it falls over August as this is the month most of the government is on leave. If you are budgeting for your wedding, I believe it is safe to say for 2021 you will only have to have the funds for one ceremony!
Hi, I’m Jessica, an accredited Humanists UK celebrant. Contact me for your wedding and celebration scripts, or to run your reception/party. For more information look here. When I am not writing ceremonies for couples around the world, I make ceramics and help small business with their social media.