The Guardian

What God has not joined together: the rise of the humanist wedding

Secular marriages are now the most popular in Scotland, prompting fresh calls for reform in England and Wales
Robyn Hewatt and Andrew Downie at their humanist wedding in Edinburgh, Scotland Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian

Robyn Hewatt and Andrew Downie were married with all the trappings of a traditional Scottish wedding: Hewatt’s father walked her down the aisle; she had maids of honour and Downie had a best man. A piper played at the door.

But there was no priest, minister or registrar to lead the ceremony. Like thousands of Scots, Hewatt and Downie were legally married by a humanist celebrant. For the first time last year, in what was once a famously religious country, the Humanist Society of Scotland married more people than the Church of Scotland.

Hewatt, 29, a gym instructor, and Downie, 34, a manager with the

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