Do You Need Pick Witnesses for Your Humanist Wedding?

humanist wedding bride and groom walk down aisle as witnesses look on

Although a humanist wedding is a non-legally binding marriage ceremony, you can assign a few official witnesses to play the key role. Getting married is a defining moment in your life and picking the right person to sign the dotted line is a huge undertaking.

And like all weddings a certificate of marital status is the crowning glory of the day. In truth, a humanist wedding does not abide by any legal rules.

Therefore, a symbolic marriage contract can be issued. Additionally, as long as the witnesses understand the nature of the ceremony anything goes.

So, how far in advance should you be thinking about the witnesses to avoid disappointment? Non-legally speaking one, two or even five months in advance of planning your nuptials, is perfect. This gives you enough time to find the right fit and them enough days to prepare. Keep reading and discover who to choose as your humanist wedding witness.

Humanist wedding | Ranking the witnesses

main image above Ryan G. Smith| above image Bryan Schneider

1. Parents | Humanist wedding is not legally binding

First your non-religious ceremony is not legally binding. Therefore make a joint decision to have between 2 to 6 separate witnesses stand up in front of the congregation. This way you create something completely different for your humanist wedding. So, ask your parents to sign your certificate, they will appreciate the gesture and feel involved.

2. Celebrant | Special for a wedding made for two 

Although deciding on witnesses might be the last thing on your wedding checklist.Try to contact them after you’ve saved the date. However, if you plan a wedding for two [ONLY] a celebrant can act as your witness and sign the symbolic certificate on your behalf.

3. Best man | Make him the honorary witness

Not only does the best man double up as the ringer bearer, he can sign your life away, too! In truth he is ready to watch you transition from a singleton to married life. On top of that, he gets the start of your grooms wedding of with a bang. Furthermore, you can incorporate a moment of reflection with his help before you all sign on the dotted line.

4• Sister (s) | signing of the love contract 

Before you ask your loving sister (s) to sign, tell her why you want her to be your witness. As siblings you may have formed a very close bond and she could have been waiting patiently for this moment. So, let her share in your joy. Get in contact with your sister (s) today about your humanist wedding.

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5•  Brother (s) | Get to work on your wedding vows

Whether it’s your youngest brother or eldest brother he could suit the position to be your witness. And if you have a special connection, this might be the perfect opportunity to show him how much you love and appreciate your brotherhood. What’s more, he understands your values, beliefs and culture. Therefore, he’s the ideal right hand man.

6• Cousin (s) | Advanced planning means less stress

By asking a close relative such as your cousin (s) you could catapult your wedding into a different league? So, don’t feel nervous about them being your witness. With them you have formed strong family ties, they probably know you inside and out. And this makes them the ideal choice to authenticate the love you feel for your partner.

7• Life-long friends | Make headway and create the perfect day

All things considered, be mindful of the fact that a long-time friend (s) may wish to act as your witness. If you’ve been through thick and thin together or they are a childhood acquaintance. It might just be a nice gesture to acknowledge the rare bond that you have. Moreover, it’s a great way to get them onboard and see you tie the knot in style.

wendel moretti photo of wedding couple holding bridal bouquetimage wendel moretti

8• Maid of Honor | Meaningful moment with a loved one

Additionally, you can break away from the traditional wedding norm and rewrite the history.  Choosing for the maid of honour, your gran or a dear aunt is a befitting acknowledgment of their vital role in your life. As your chosen witness it will give your wedding the recognition it deserves. Most importantly, you’ll be able to express the special place they have in your heart.

9• Witnesses pledge | inform them well in advance

Lastly, to have the feel of a real humanist wedding, you’ll need witnesses. Although there is no strict time. Make sure to inform them well in advance. Your witnesses testify to the authenticity of your relationship. So, ask 2 – 6 persons who have a special meaning in your life to add their signatures and say, “Yes, I DO”.


Over to you…

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About Clover Jean: I'm a Londoner based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Being a specialist celebrant | marriage officiant | wedding ceremonies MC with a gospel & soul choir is rewarding work. So, my guilty pleasures are fine dining, travel hotspots and on-line retail therapy. What's yours? Get in touch, via Instagram #cloverjeanamsterdam or Facebook. LIKE, SHARE, SPREAD THE LOVE & see you soon!

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