In Scotland, humanist weddings have had legal recognition since 2005. This legal recognition means we are able, as accredited humanist celebrants, to ‘do the legal bit’ in addition to the personalised ceremony in Scotland (but not yet England or Wales).
In the last few years, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Jersey, the Channel Islands, have also updated their marriage laws to allow couples to have a legally-binding humanist wedding.
Humanists UK decided to look at the figures from Scotland, where humanist celebrants now lead more marriages, than Church of Scotland or Roman Catholic. There were 5,072 humanist marriages in Scotland between 2017 and 2018, compared to 3,166 Church of Scotland and 1,182 Roman Catholic (ref: Independent, 2019).
They discovered that couples who choose a humanist wedding are almost four times less likely to divorce than those who married in any other type of ceremony (religious or civil).
Chief Executive of Humanists UK, Andrew Copson, said:
“These figures show what a good start for couples a humanist wedding can be. Humanist weddings are deeply personal, with a unique ceremony crafted for each couple by a celebrant that gets to know them well.”
Perhaps one reason is that couples who choose a humanist wedding ceremony are carefully considering every element, including their own wishes and desire to get married, and placing emphasis on what is really the most significant part of the day.