Getting married can be a big expense, and many couples delay the event for years as they save for the big day. And, in this difficult economic climate, it’s even more important to plan carefully and think how you can achieve your dream wedding without breaking the bank. Here’s how a humanist wedding can save you money and five ways to have an affordable humanist wedding.


A wonderful, memorable wedding needn’t cost the earth. There are lots of ways to create a special, unforgettable wedding day whilst keeping costs down.

5 Ways to Have an Affordable Humanist Wedding

Credit: Humanists UK

Your humanist celebrant will work with you both to create a non-religious wedding ceremony, totally unique and personal to you. It will capture your stories and personalities, and focus on your love and commitment to one another.

It will be at the heart of the day, memorable and meaningful, as your family and friends witness your promises to each other.

Because a humanist wedding is all about you, there are lots of ways you can personalise it and save money at the same time:

1. Get married wherever you like


One of the largest expenses for a wedding is the venue and, if you choose a country house or hotel, this can be costly. But you don’t need to be tied to a building, or even be indoors.

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Did you know that with a humanist wedding you can get married wherever you like? This means you could choose somewhere indoors or outside to suit you, whether or not the location has a licence for marriage ceremonies. You could choose to exchange your vows in the upstairs room of a favourite pub, or a coffee shop, or in a village hall. Or you could celebrate outdoors, in your own garden, or your parents’, or at the beach or in woodland.

Saving money on your venue makes the whole wedding more affordable. With a humanist ceremony you can choose somewhere which doesn’t traditionally hold weddings which is likely to be a lot cheaper. It is also more likely to have weekend dates available than licensed venues.

2. Hire your wedding dress or buy a pre-loved gown

Credit: Humanists UK

There are now lots of options for renting a dress for the day, or finding a second-hand one on a vintage or pre-loved website. It might mean that you can afford something which would have been beyond your original budget. And it’s more sustainable too!

3. Pick a natural theme for your flowers

Credit: Humanists UK

Simple floral arrangements with wildflowers or cottage garden blooms can look stunning for outdoor weddings. Or you can go to your nearest flower market at the crack of dawn, to buy direct from the wholesalers.

4. Use street food vendors for the catering

Farm to table food
Credit: The Social Pantry

Vans serving street food can be a fun, informal and cost effective way to cater for all your guests. Pick your cuisine! You could have paella, Mexican tacos, burgers – whatever takes your fancy.

5. Make your own wedding favours

Seed packets wedding favours

No need to buy expensive gifts for your guests. With some planning and creativity, you can make beautiful favours for them to take away as special mementos of a magical day. Think about little jars of homemade jam, or sachets of seeds, personalised and beautifully presented.

Credit: 4EverPhotos

Find a humanist wedding celebrant near you – they will be happy to have an initial conversation to find out more about the wedding you want to create. Humanist Ceremonies’ network of celebrants are all trained and accredited by Humanists UK. Visit our Humanist Ceremonies website for more ideas and inspiration for your humanist wedding.

In England and Wales, because humanist marriage does not yet have legal recognition, most couples go to the register office to have a basic statutory ceremony, either before or immediately after their humanist wedding. In Northern Ireland, where humanist marriage does have legal status, only one ceremony is needed.

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