What is Humanism?
Like many people who identify as non-religious, I didn't really know that there was a name for my worldview. For me, personally, 'atheism' didn't feel quite right. I felt that atheism is more about what one doesn't believe in, rather than what one does actually believe.
Then, I learned about Humanism, and something just clicked!
Humanism is active and positive. It's about what you do believe in. I believe in the innate goodness of people. I believe that we have one shot at life, and we have a duty to do everything we can to ensure that the world is in a better state when we leave than when we arrived. I believe in protecting the planet. I believe in science (despite only achieving a C grade in single-award science at GCSE!). I believe in kindness, fairness, compassion and decency as guiding principles in day-to-day live.
Humanism is non-religious, but crucially, this does not mean it is anti-religious. I have many friends and family who are wonderful people of faith, and I have the utmost respect for their views and their right to hold those views. I also believe that the vast majority of Humanist values are not exclusive to Humanism. Many faiths and religions share the positive values of Humanism, which is why Humanist ceremonies can be such a great middle-ground for couples and families of different faiths.
I firmly and passionately believe in equality and social justice. Humanists should stand resolutely against prejudice and hatred, which means standing against homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, racism, ageism, sizeism, ableism or any other hateful, exclusionary or discriminatory ideology.
For more information on Humanism, I thoroughly recommend visiting the Humanists UK website, or you can check out the helpful videos from the HUK YouTube channel at the bottom of this page. Perhaps, like me, you've been a Humanist this whole time and you didn't know it?! Why not try out the Humanists UK quiz to find out How Humanist you are?
What is different about a Humanist ceremony?
Now we're getting to the fun stuff!
So, I've been to lots of ceremonies - religious and non-religious. Many of them were lovely - full of meaning and sincerity. Many of them, however, were lacking in any warmth, sense of personality, any uniqueness, and often, to be frank, lacking in any sense of fun! Ceremonies like this, I believe, are something one simply has to get through before the party can begin.
But it doesn't have to be this way!
Humanist ceremonies can be anything you want! Packed with personality, humour, heart, warmth and meaning. They can be as short or as long as you want. They can be indoors, outdoors, on the beach, in a cinema, in your back garden, up a cliff, in a submarine, in a rocket - wherever and whatever you want! I can't stress this point enough...
A HUMANIST CEREMONY CAN BE ANYTHING YOU WANT IT TO BE!
There's no template for your wedding. Each and every wedding I deliver is written from scratch for the couple involved. It's a total one-off - your guests will never have been to a wedding like yours before!