Community / Morton can marry: humanist weddings now on offer

AFTER six years officiating at funerals in Shetland and Scotland, Hillswick-based Tom Morton has now been approved by the Registrar General for Scotland to provide legally-binding marriage ceremonies.

He has become an associate of the Scottish spiritual care and humanist organisation Celebrate People, which is approved by the Scottish Government and has provided Morton with specialised training.


“Celebrate People is based on the idea that humanism is about spirituality, love, compassion and that we are all equal,” Morton said.

Tom Morton.

“It’s the first humanist group I’ve felt reflected my belief that the big events in our lives can be celebrated from a humanist standpoint, but recognising the validity of other folks’ religious beliefs.”

Humanist weddings are generally non-religious, but Celebrate People says it “respects and encourages tolerance and understanding of all faiths and beliefs”.

Morton will continue to work with Goudies Funeral Directors in providing non-religious funeral services, but is looking forward to offering couples the opportunity to get married not just outside of church, but anywhere they want.


“Within reason, that is,” he said. “Boats in inshore waters only and remote beaches are possible, if they can be accessed given my limited rock-scrambling capabilities.

“Naming, welcoming and other ceremonies are also possible.”

Celebrate People’s weddings have included symbols from many marriage traditions, and Morton said he is happy to explore this with each couple.

“The Viking tradition of exchanging swords has been suggested, along with the use of drinking horns,” he said.

“But I’m happy to work with each couple to make their wedding day exactly what they want and what it should be – the happiest of their lives.”