Congratulations, you’re engaged to be married! One of the most important decisions you will now be faced with is the type of ceremony you both want – non-religious/humanist, non-religious/civil (registrar), interfaith or reflecting your religious beliefs. 

If you’re thinking about a Humanist ceremony to celebrate your love and life together, you are able to choose who you want to conduct your ceremony. That choice can be daunting though, with so many celebrants to choose from. 

For most couples, it’s important that they find a celebrant they can trust and that gives them confidence that they will have the ceremony they want. Celebrants will all have different styles and personalities – some will bring humour, others will be more serious – so it’s worth establishing whether they are the right ‘fit’ for you as a couple. 

Photo credit – Silver Photography

First impressions can count but consider your head as well as your heart, because your decision can be a practical one as well as emotional. Celebrants should appreciate how big a decision it can be for you, so it’s okay to meet with a few before committing.

To help you decide, here are some questions you could ask any prospective celebrant, whether or not they are registered with us.

Why Choose Us?

Our celebrants have been conducting legal weddings in Scotland since 2005. With this history, it is not surprising that we are the most trusted provider of Humanist ceremonies, with a well deserved reputation for delivering amazingly heartfelt and personal ceremonies.

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, so you and your ceremony couldn’t be in safer hands. 

We have a network of over 140 registered celebrants who are able to fulfil our unique ‘Promise’. Only we can guarantee you a celebrant with legal authorisation, if an emergency or illness befalls your chosen celebrant. You are also covered by public liability insurance for added peace of mind.  

Photo credit – Ashley Coombes Photography 

If you have to postpone your ceremony (as happened throughout the coronavirus pandemic), and your chosen celebrant is not available on your new date, it is particularly reassuring to know that your booking would simply transfer to another, equally qualified, Humanist Society Scotland celebrant.  

All our celebrants undertake a rigorous programme of training and continuous professional development throughout their professional career with the Society, and are regularly reviewed to ensure ceremonies are delivered to our very high standards. 

Photo credit – Simons Studio

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The HSS Ceremony Promise

Your humanist ceremony will be to mark one of life’s most important events. That is why we take your booking seriously. As the longest standing provider of humanist ceremonies in Scotland we support and co-ordinate our nation’s largest and best known group of Humanist Celebrants. Every year our celebrants conduct thousands of ceremonies and we’re committed to ensuring that every one is unique and of a consistently high quality. To demonstrate our commitment to you and your ceremony we are the only provider to offer the HSS Ceremony Promise; all HSS Registered Celebrants are covered by our Promise as are all their ceremonies.

1. Be Assured, We’re Insured
We are delighted to have a reputation for providing high quality ceremonies and service. Although it is only occasionally (only about 0.5% and we conduct around 7000 ceremonies each year!) that problems arise with our ceremonies you can be assured if you book an HSS Registered Celebrant they are covered by our Public Liability Insurance.

2. We’ve Got it Covered
It is very rare that the celebrant you have booked is unable to conduct your ceremony; and this would only be in extreme circumstances such as serious illness. However, as the largest provider of humanist ceremonies in Scotland we have the network to find you a replacement, even at very short notice. We have office staff available to ensure we can respond quickly to any emergency with minimal stress to you. Although unlikely to happen, always ask your chosen organisation how they provide cover in emergencies.

3. Developing Skills to Give You the Best
All HSS Registered Celebrants must complete intensive training and mentoring programmes before they are registered to conduct any type of ceremony. Our celebrants are regularly reviewed and also participate in ongoing practice development opportunities.

4. Setting the Standard
All our celebrants work to a set of standards to ensure that your experience is the best it can be. Our celebrants are also subject to a complaints and grievance process. If, in the unlikely event you have any concerns about your ceremony please raise these with your celebrant directly in the first instance. If this proves difficult please email and we will do all we can to resolve the matter.

5. Best of All, We’re a Charity!
The Humanist Society Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity and you can read about us here; our accounts are published annually. As a charity we campaign for a fairer Society; provide humanist ceremonies, including funerals for those under 16 at no charge. We’re also really proud to be the Humanist organisation that worked hard for legal humanist marriage in Scotland.