We often get asked if humanist weddings are legal.

The good news is that all Humanist Society Scotland marriage ceremonies are legally recognised!

A word of warning

It’s important to recognise that not all celebrants outside of the Society are able to legally solemnise marriage.

If your ceremony is conducted by such a celebrant, it would be a celebration of your love or a commitment ceremony. The legalities would have to be done elsewhere, before or after the ceremony.

It’s therefore extremely important that you establish upfront whether any prospective celebrant is authorised to perform a legal marriage ceremony. It’s also important to establish whether they can confirm that they will still have that authorisation on the day of your wedding – what happens if their registration is delayed or not renewed in time for your ceremony?

Only Humanist Society Scotland registered celebrants are permanently authorised to conduct legal humanist marriages in Scotland, having been awarded prescribed status by the Scottish Parliament.

It’s still hard to believe that in the majority of countries around the world, humanist marriage is still not legal, even in other parts of the UK. We are fortunate that Scotland is a more progressive and tolerant country. Humanist marriage has been legal here since 2005 and equal marriage since 2014.

This is all thanks to hard-fought campaigning by Humanist Society Scotland and other like-minded charities and organisations.

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