Frequently Asked Questions

We’re not quite sure how we’ve ended up on your site. What is a Humanist Wedding Ceremony?

Humanism is simply an ethical lifestance in which we try to be good, decent human beings without the need for praise or reward – just because it’s the right thing to do. We try to; “think for yourself, act for everyone”. Humanism celebrates diversity and equality, and values the relationships we have with other people - in part by marking key life events such as birth, marriage, and death (we’ve been conducting ceremonies for over 120 years!)

 

A humanist ceremony is entirely centred around the people involved. Each wedding ceremony is designed and written for the couple and their family and friends, so no two are ever the same. The tone, content, and structure are all determined by you – there’s nothing you have to include. As such, everything I say in your ceremony is relevant, personal and genuine. What better way to start married life!

That depends on where you are. They are legally recognised in Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Jersey (and many other countries), but sadly not yet in England and Wales. We are constantly campaigning to get the marriage laws updated in these areas, so keep an eye out for updates.

 

In the meantime, the easiest route is to get married à la française (how romantic!) In France, and many other countries, you can only do the legal part in the council offices. The couple then follow this with a wedding ceremony of their choice, in a destination of their choice. So call up your local register office between one year and 28 days before you want to get married and ask for a ‘Statutory Ceremony’ – no music, no fuss, no need for vows or ring exchanges, just the two of you and two witnesses, and only £45-50. You might do this a day or two before or after your humanist wedding ceremony, but it doesn’t matter when.

 

When you opt to complete the ‘paperwork’ like this, your wedding day is free to run however you like. Alternatively, if you’re celebrating in a licensed venue you can pay the full charge for them to attend on the same day as your humanist ceremony.

Are humanist wedding ceremonies legally binding?
Doesn’t that ruin the magic? Can you still pronounce us as a married couple? Will our guests be confused?

If the ‘magic’ of a ceremony is the bit where you two sit and sign a book whilst your guests stare at the ceiling or check their phones… But for me, the magic is taking them with you on a journey throughout a ceremony that tells your story, involves your guests, and leads up to the carefully crafted commitments you make publicly to each other.


The ‘pronouncement’ made by the registrar is actually not legally binding at all. So yes, I can pronounce you, announce you, introduce you, or whatever you like – or your family and friends can do so!


Humanist ceremonies are becoming more and more popular as couples realise they have real choice and ownership over their wedding day. If guests don’t ‘get it’ before the ceremony, they 100% will by the end – guaranteed.

Where are you based? Do you cover the UK? Would you conduct a ceremony abroad?

I am lucky enough to live in a cottage on the canalside in the stunning county of Shropshire, thank you for asking. But I travel a lot, and Skype is a modern marvel. You lead, and I will follow…

 

What are your fees?
What if you’re ill on our wedding day?

Did I mention I’m a vegan Crossfitter and ex-teacher? I have an immune system of steel and it’s never happened. But one of the reassurances of choosing a Humanists UK celebrant is that we are part of a network of over 400 accredited celebrants – there is always a top quality celebrant who could stand in and deliver the script we’ve created together.

 

To design, write, coordinate and conduct your wedding ceremony I charge £950. It’s impossible to calculate the amount of hours that go into each ceremony, but rest assured I offer excellent value for the time, care and dedication you receive.

 

Remember, this isn’t just about the day itself. As a marriage celebrant I guide you through the months leading up to your wedding, giving you a chance to really invest in your relationship, setting you at ease, helping you relax, and focussing on your future lives together.

 

Are all the photos on your website from weddings you've conducted?

Yup. No Shutterstock for me. I'm lucky to have worked with some incredible photographers over the years. Like a photo on this site? - let me rave about who took it. In particular, my endless thanks go to Steven Rooney Casey Avenue Marianne Chua Yvonne Lishman Emma Boileau Shot by Amy Andy Li Adam Riley Alfred and Co. David Pullum Martin Beddall Weddings by Nicola and Glen Photography 34 Inspire Wedding Photography.

 

How do we book you?

Message me now to check my availability.

Then let's make a date to meet in person!

 

Maxine Beech is a Humanist Celebrant and Couple's Coach based where the North West meets the Welsh Borders meets the West Midlands, but will follow you to virtually any location on earth to deliver your perfect ceremony. Frequently working in Shropshire, Cheshire, Manchester, Liverpool, Herefordshire, Wales, Staffordshire, and also London and Cambridge.

 

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