Humanist Weddings in Scotland – More Popular than Ever!

It made me laugh when I saw my photo with this headline, but I really don’t think it’s all down to me!

Yes it’s a big story, but there’s another one in among the statistics published by the National Register of Scotland: the continuing rise and rise of humanist marriage.

While ceremonies conducted by Humanist Society Scotland have fallen by more than 14% over the last two years, weddings conducted by other humanist organisations have continued to rise.

There are four humanist organisations in Scotland of sufficiently long standing to be listed by name, but there are others of more recent creation, which is why one of the categories is ‘Temporary Authorisation – Non Christian’. That’s how I and my CHA colleagues are described.

By my calculation, from the Registrar’s published statistics, the number of humanist marriages in 2016 was 5,533, of which the Humanist Society Scotland conducted just over half – 3,040.

I think the reason their numbers are falling could be connected to the fact that the HSS insists that couples who choose to be married by one of their celebrants also become members of the society, at an additional cost.

That surprises me, because the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), of which the Humanist Society Scotland is a member, says this.


“For Humanism, there is no entrance procedure, or rite of
passage, and no hierarchy to which you must belong. Humanists are humanists,
they do not have to join an organisation, or be on a list somewhere!”

That is why at the Caledonian Humanist Association we don’t insist that anyone become a member, but if they want to support us and the broader humanist movement, membership is free.

If that sounds like you, come and join us: we’ll be delighted to see you!

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