Non-Religious Ceremonyhelpful tips

  1. The music at a civil or Humanist ceremony must be non-religious (ie not just non-Christian).
  2. The 'non-religious' definition is subject to the interpretation of individual Registrars – there’s no overall list.
  3. Clear your music choices with your Registrar well in advance to avoid any nasty surprises on the day.
  4. String quartets, pianists, guitarists, acoustic duos and harpists are all popular options. They can all play during your drinks reception too
  5. If you are unsure whether a piece is permissible, contact the General Register Office to check:
    0300 123 1837 / [email protected] / [email protected]
  6. If the GRO say that a piece is OK, the Registrar will generally follow their advice...

Entrance of the Bride

  1. It normally takes just seconds for the bride to enter, so avoid pieces with long introductions!
  2. Joyous, upbeat music is traditional, but something quiet, elegant and understated can be magical too

Signing of the register

  1. The signing of the register is generally much quicker at civil ceremonies than at church weddings
  2. You’ll probably need about 5-7 minutes of music whilst you sign the register
  3. Generally romantic, reflective music works best, as this contrasts with the upbeat recessional music which follows on


  1. The recessional is normally cheerful and upbeat, to contrast with the music during the signing of the register


Here are some ideas for readings.