The Rise and Rise of the Humanist Wedding

I’m not a statistician, but at the end of July every year, I really enjoy reading the Annual Report from the Registrar General for Scotland that (among other things) gives the number of marriages conducted during the previous year. Humanist Weddings only became legal in Scotland on the 12th of June 2005, but since then their growth has been spectacular and they are now the 4th most popular form of wedding in the country.

The Registrar General has just published the stats for 2008, and although overall marriage has declined to a level not seen since the Victorian era, Humanist marriages have risen to 1,026, compared with 710 in 2007 and 434 in 2006. So why are humanist weddings growing in popularity while the institution of marriage itself is not? I think it’s because we’re living at a time when more and more people have the confidence to think for themselves and want to live meaningful lives. And a humanist ceremony gives them the opportunity to tell their friends and family in their own words why they’re here, where’re they’re going and what they’re promising.

There was an article about it in The Scotsman, and while it would be easy to get carried away with the 45% percent rise, the fact is that Humanist Weddings still account for only 3.5% of all marriages in Scotland. So there’s a long way to go, but the journey will be enjoyable…

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