Bride and groom stand outside their wedding venue. They are holding hands which are raised to the sky in celebration. Wedding guests line up either side of them.

Involving friends and family in your ceremony

One of the most special things about your wedding day is getting to share it with your nearest and dearest. For many, involving friends and family in the ceremony can make things even more personalised and meaningful. Whether you are…

Involving friends and family in your ceremony
Bride & groom outdoors embracing while looking at the camera

Real wedding: First love

First love, everlasting love If you can survive as a couple through those late teenage years – those years of self-growth and discovery – and you come through the other end still wanting to be together, then the likelihood is…

Real wedding: First love
A hand and foot print of a child of 14 weeks old

Naming ceremony rituals and keepsakes

Naming ceremony rituals and keepsakes are really popular ways to make ceremonies even more personal and memorable for families. Here we explore some of the better known and most popular rituals or symbolic gestures included a Humanist Society Scotland welcoming…

Naming ceremony rituals and keepsakes
A couple lighting a unity candle

Unity candle

A unity candle is a symbolic way of showing the joining of a couple in marriage.  You will each light a candle representing you as two individuals – ‘twin flames’ – usually before you make your legal declarations. After you…

Unity candle
A photo of a quaich

Quaich

A quaich is a Scottish two-handled drinking cup, often referred to as the cup of life. Drinking from the quaich is one of many wedding rituals often included in humanist wedding ceremonies. The history behind it Drinking from a quaich…

Quaich
Wedding rings tied together with tartan ribbon

Wedding band warming

If you’re exchanging rings as an outward symbol of your love for one another, you can choose to have them ‘warmed’ first. The symbolism of a wedding band warming ceremony is that your wedding rings have been ‘warmed’ forever by…

Wedding band warming
One of our celebrants performing a handfasting ceremony with a same sex couple

Handfasting

Handfasting is an ancient celtic marriage ritual and is thought to be where the expression ‘tying the knot’ came from. This is one of the most popular symbolic gestures, or rituals, in humanist wedding ceremonies. It even featured in popular…

Handfasting
Completed sand art following a sand ceremony

Sand ceremony

A sand ceremony is a unique way to symbolise two lives becoming one, or the blending of families in a wedding ceremony. It’s also a beautiful way of symbolising the strength of a family unit in a naming ceremony. The…

Sand ceremony
A couple clasping an oathing stone

Oathing stone ritual

Humanist wedding ceremonies often include symbolic gestures, or rituals. The oathing stone is a great alternative to handfasting, since this ritual is also typically performed while exchanging vows. The history behind it This ancient ceremony is rooted deeply in the…

Oathing stone ritual
Couple embracing in front of a fountain

Civil partnership

There are no significant differences between the rights and obligations of a marriage and those of a civil partnership. Civil partnerships are formed by signing a civil partnership document, whereas marriages are formed by making legal declarations.  Some people are…

Civil partnership
Ring exchange during handfasting ceremony

Wedding ceremony rituals

Some people want a very simple ceremony, but others just aren’t sure about the possibilities or what sort of wedding rituals are out there. If that’s you then read on!

Wedding ceremony rituals