Sheela-na-Gig aka Jeanne Rathbone

Humanist weddings are very popular in Scotland.

Posted in Humanist weddings, Mick Hucknall Humanist wedding by sheelanagigcomedienne on October 20, 2011
The Scottish Sun

HUMANIST weddings are now the second most popular form of marriage in Scotland.

The non religious personal ceremonies have already overtaken the number of Catholic weddings and are set to overtake Church of Scotland services by 2015.

DOUGLAS WALKER discovers why couples are choosing to say “I Do” without God.


SIMPLY Red’s Mick Hucknall is one of a growing number of celebs who have opted for a Humanist wedding.

Mick wed wife Gabrielle Wilke-Wesberry at a private ceremony in 16th century Forter Castle in Glenisla, Perthshire, last year.

Jane Bechtel, from Perth, is the ‘celebrant’ who wed the couple.

Vows ... Jane wed Mick and Gabrielle

Vows … Jane wed Mick and Gabrielle

She’s carried out Humanist ceremonies since they were legalised six years ago.She said: “For most couples it’s about lack of hypocrisy, they want a level of honesty about their relationship and life.

“For a long time people went along with doing the ‘done thing’ or keeping up with the Jones.

“But there is less of that now in society.

“It is now seen as a step away from sectarianism, particularly in the west of Scotland.

“A lot of people are aware of that and resentful of how this may reflect on them.

“At humanist ceremonies we are all equal despite religious background. Our funerals have been happening for a long time before this though.

“So before, a granny who may not have been too comfortable with a wedding but is now fine as she understands Humanism.

“We aren’t a scary bunch of hippies or some strange cult.

“The majority of Scots are humanists or atheists and are looking for that to be reflected in the important ceremonies of their lives.

“It will continue to grow in popularity as more people experience them and think it’s something for them.

“The focus is about who they are. It’s a fun and happy occasion.

“Once you’ve been at a ceremony others just seem cold.”

The Humanist wife


RIVER City star Claire Knight chose a Humanist ceremony to tie to knot last December.

Claire, 35, who plays Iona McIntyre in the BBC Scotland soap wed hubby Simon Murray, 45, at West Brewery at Glasgow Green.

'Unique' ... Claire and Simon

‘Unique’ … Claire and Simon

They have a two-year-old daughter, Maisie, who was at the ceremony.

She said: “It wasn’t because we’re anti-religious — Simon was raised a Catholic and I a Protestant. We have respect for people of all faiths but Simon and I just wanted it to be unique to us.

“I’d been to a few Humanist ceremonies before and thought that of all the weddings I’d been to, it was the most personal. There’s not a sense of doing it because you think it’s the right thing.”

The celebrant encouraged the couple to talk about their vows together before writing them.

She said: “It was a very personal thing which was a bit embarrassing reading in front of all our friends!

“I think Humanist ceremonies are better for children. In a church or chapel you are so terrified they will cry so this was a lot more relaxed.

“I liked the idea of having Maisie there as it bonded us as a family. If we’d gone down the religious route it may have been frowned upon.”

And Humanist weddings don’t mean the bride misses out on the big white dress.

Claire added: “I wasn’t planning on wearing a traditional dress but then fell in love with an ivory one.

“We wanted to choose our own music and not sing hymns as neither of us are churchgoers. So we came down the aisle to ‘Just In Time’ by Frank Sinatra because we met when we were a bit older and walked out to ‘You and Me’ by The Wannadies — everyone loved it.

“The day was perfect. I was overwhelmed and wouldn’t have changed a thing.”


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