Page last updated at 23:15 GMT, Sunday, 20 July 2008 00:15 UK

Wedding couples turn to humanism

Wedding rings
Humanist ceremonies are on the increase

The number of humanist weddings in Scotland is on the rise, according to General Registrar Office figures.

It is now the fourth most popular type of wedding to be officially classed as religious - although humanism itself is not a religion.

The Humanist Society of Scotland conducted 710 marriages last year - compared with 82 in the first year they were allowed.

This was despite a drop in the total number of weddings in Scotland.

There was also a fall in the number of weddings carried out by both the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church.

The society has predicted that if current trends continue, there will be more humanist weddings than Catholic weddings in Scotland by 2010.

Although classified by the Registrar General of Scotland as a form of religious marriage, humanism is not a religion, but a secular philosophy or belief system.

Overall there were 29,866 marriages conducted in Scotland in 2007. Of these 15,480 were civil marriages and 14,381 were religious wedding ceremonies.

Humanist weddings have taken place in locations ranging from hotels and castles to beaches, back gardens and the summit of Ben Nevis.


SEE ALSO
Humanist wedding numbers increase
01 Aug 07 |  Scotland
Pair tie knot at humanist wedding
18 Jun 05 |  Scotland
Wedding trends ring the changes
30 Jul 04 |  Scotland

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