The pocket-sized guide shares the collective wisdom of the charity Humanists UK and its celebrants, identifying what makes relationships, weddings and married life work.
Jane Blackman, the Wedding Industry Awards’ Celebrant of the Year 2020 and a former head teacher at Summerlea Primary School, said she welcomed the publication of the book, given the growing popularity of humanist marriages.
Jane said: “I’m delighted to have been able to contribute to a book that will provide non-religious couples the opportunity to explore many of the beliefs, values, and ideas that underlie humanist weddings.
“Working with couples to create personal and entirely hand-crafted ceremonies reflective of who they are as people is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job as a celebrant.”
Jane has been creating and leading personalised ceremonies in West Sussex and across the south east since 2014 and says being a celebrant is a huge responsibility.
Jane explained that humanist weddings are non-religious ceremonies that are fully customised to match the deepest-held values and beliefs of the couple getting married.
Celebrants produce a completely bespoke script, in consultation with the couple, and the ceremony takes place at whatever location is most meaningful to them.
The book, co-authored by Humanists UK president Alice Roberts and chief executive Andrew Copson, features a few pieces written by Jane on humanist weddings.
The aim is to offer couples inspiration for celebrating love and commitment through its uplifting collection of quotes, stories, and meditations, chronicling every aspect of relationships from initial attraction and romance to forging long-lasting connection, commitment, and partnership.
The authors said: “The Little Book of Humanist Weddings encapsulates timeless humanist reflections on love, commitment and partnership more generally. As more people than ever choose humanist ceremonies across the UK, we’re excited to share this real labour of love – in every sense of the word.”
As well as drawing on the collective wisdom of Humanists UK’s wedding celebrants, the book quotes novelists Margaret Atwood and James Baldwin, playwrights Lorraine Hansberry and Noel Coward, and the broadcaster and writer Stephen Fry.
The movement says it offers reflections on what love is, the qualities of an equal and happy partnership and the inclusive and personal nature of humanist weddings.
The book is priced £7.99 and all author royalties go towards supporting the work of Humanists UK.
Humanist marriages are not legally recognised in England and Wales, although this has been under constant Government review since 2013.
Humanists UK, the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people, continues to campaign to advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.