The Humanist Society offers certification to celebrants who perform wedding ceremonies for secular and humanist couples. Humanists believe in critical thinking over dogma and the agency of humans over their own lives.
Jacquelyn Simms is a humanist celebrant based in North Carolina. She meets with engaged couples to discuss a wide range of topics, like each person’s concept of marriage, work-life balance and children — both having them and the possibility that biological kids are not in the cards.
She says that it’s important that two people share a commitment to building a life together and have similar and realistic expectations of the partnership.
“I do not tell the couples that theirs is a marriage ‘made in heaven,'” she says. “I do tell them that their marriage will be made by the decisions they make each day.”