A HUMANIST from Leamington is calling for non-religious weddings to be legalised.
Blake Hutchings has been overseeing humanist services for the past two years and recently married his wife Althea in an elaborate ‘steampunk’ style wedding in front of friends and family at The Assembly in Leamington.
But humanist services, which are becoming increasingly popular, are not legally recognised in England and Wales – though couples can get married by law in Scotland.
Blake believes it is time to make humanist ceremonies legal to enable couples to enjoy the same legal rights as those married in a Christian ceremony. Blake and Ashley had to have a short separate traditional service prior to their humanist one to make their marriage legally recognised.
Blake told The Observer: “In Scotland the process is entirely legal and there’s only one service, however at the moment in England and Wales the couple getting married must have an official wedding first where all the papers are signed.
“However the ceremony which months and months of planning goes into is the humanist one.
“It’s not illegal – but right now humanist weddings are not recognised by the law.
“The importance of religion has generally declined and humanist services are getting more popular.
“There is no religious content in a humanist service, this isn’t to shun religion – but to allow people without religious beliefs to still get married.
“I think the appeal of having a service on your big day which can be anything you want it to be appeals to people and as more humanist weddings take place more people are becoming familiar with them.
“Should it be made legal, there may be a couple of restrictions put on what people can do at a service – but for now there is pretty much no limit.”
Stephen Fry has just made a video explaining more about what a humanist ceremony is like, and other celebrities to tie the knot in a humanist ceremony include tv presenter Steve Backshall and Olympic gold medal winning rower Helen Glover.
Email [email protected] to find out more information about humanist ceremonies.