Difference between Civil and Humanist wedding ceremonies

After being in the wedding industry for a while now I have seen all kinds of ceremonies take place.  But there are two ceremonies that people seem to get a bit muddled, as what can seem very similar is in fact very different in its concept – none so more than a Humanist ceremony to a Civil Ceremony.  So I thought I would just summarise these differences for those confused.  Both are beautiful when conducted x

Civil Ceremony

  • A short ceremony exclusively concerned with the legal process of becoming man and wife
  • Conducted by a Registrar
  • A non-religious ceremony that cannot include hymns, religious readings or prayers
  • Must take place at a registered venue to be legally valid
  • As well as each party to the marriage signing the register, signatures of two witnesses are also required

Humanist Ceremony

  • A more personal and romantic ceremony with many feeling they can be more expressive
  • Not legally binding in England
  • A meaningful ceremony that isn’t religious
  • Get to know the person who will be conducting the ceremony
  • To celebrate their marriage with family and friends but without legally registering it – perhaps they have already undertaken the formalities overseas, for example.