Marriage is the golden ring in a chain whose
beginning is a glance and whose ending is Eternity.
~ Kahlil Gibran ~
If you’re several links along that chain now and have taken the decision to marry you’ll have lots to think about.
Clearly the first step in the process of planning your wedding has to be determining the type of ceremony you want – because that will influence many of your later decisions.
And of course, as the wedding community.com points out, ‘the ceremony really is what a wedding day is all about.’
For many couples the ceremony is a mere formality. But for others the detail of the ceremony matters a great deal and so much time and effort is invested in it.
The style and type of ceremony is personal to you as a couple – choose what’s right for you and not for anyone else.
When you start to consider your ceremony be sure to note that these days the choice extends beyond religious or civil
This article on Wedding Traditions cruises across 12 types of weddings from religious to elopement with proxy and military marriage along the way – including getting married at sea!
But in simpler terms there are 3 broad types of wedding ceremony:
- Religious wedding ceremony
- Civil wedding ceremony
- Humanist, Interfaith Blessing, Non-Legal wedding ceremony
The Religious Wedding Ceremony
In recent times churches have become more flexible on the choice of readings and music allowed. It’s common now for modern, non-hymn based music to be heard in church ceremonies.
The service tends to follow a traditional format – indeed the tradition plays a large part in why couples opt for a church wedding in the first instance. And the content of your ceremony is always at the discretion of the minister marrying you.
Most Church of England marriages have to have their banns read out before the wedding can go ahead. The banns are an ancient legal requirement that have been read out in churches across the land for millions of couples over the years.
Find out more about the reading of the banns here: https://www.yourchurchwedding.org/article/reading-of-banns/
Other churches are available of course and a Google search will quickly take you to the relevant information for your particular church whether it be Methodist, Roman Catholic or an another church entirely.
With any church wedding there’s usually the chance for a rehearsal so everyone knows where to go and what to do when the momentous day arrives!
The Civil Wedding Ceremony
The Marriage Act of 1836 made it possible to get married, in a non-religious ceremony, in official registry offices.
And that was as good as it got for a very long time for civil weddings.
If you wanted a civil ceremony, then it had to be at your local registry office with whichever registrar was on duty that day doing the officiating.
Nowadays though there’s a huge choice of venues license to host civil weddings and around 65% of marriages are now civil marriages.
A civil wedding is fairly simple to organize – there’s not much paperwork for a start.
If you want an ‘off-the-peg’ ceremony to get the formalities done ASAP before cracking on with the party there’s a selection of standard vows and declarations to choose from. You CAN personalize your ceremony but not with anything that can be seen as being religious. So, if you’re secular but have a song or poem with religious connotations and meaning to you – tough. You can’t use it.
Most registrars work hard to make every ceremony special but they have a heavy workload so the chances of getting to know them in the same way as you would your vicar or priest are slim.
And there’s no option for a rehearsal either. So it can be a bit nerve-wracking!
See http://www.civilceremonies.co.uk for more information
Humanist, Interfaith Blessing, Non-Legal wedding ceremony
It’s these categories of wedding that give you the greatest freedom in terms of personalizing your ceremony.
For couples with different religious backgrounds who want to incorporate elements of each rather than taking an ‘all-or-nothing’ approach and taking one of their religions, a bespoke ceremony is ideal.
For the secular a humanist wedding is a great option. They are another way of beginning married life in a ceremony meaningful and unique to you.
In Scotland, humanist weddings are recognized in law but not so in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. So, assuming you want your marriage to be legally binding, you’ll need to take care of the legal formalities in a registry office before or after.
You can find out more about humanist weddings here: https://humanism.org.uk/ceremonies/non-religious-weddings/
Indeed this caveat about legalities applies to any wedding performed by an independent celebrant any kind.
We’ll be covering the advantages of having a wedding with an independent celebrant in more detail in the next blog. So suffice it to say that this too is an opportunity for a personal ceremony carried out by celebrants that you’ll have had the opportunity to get to know. Visit the website of UK celebrants to find out more: http://www.uk-celebrant.co.uk/weddings.html
Obviously here at the Fab Gift Boutique we love a wedding of any kind! So tell us what kind of wedding ceremony you’re planning and why.
Links to all our social media and contact points are listed below:
Twitter at https://twitter.com/fabgiftboutique – @fabgiftboutique
or visit our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/fabgiftboutique/?fref=ts
Or drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d love to hear from you!
And if you want some ideas for styling and theming your wedding venue visit our Accessories for Hire section for lots of great ideas. If you’ve got an idea but don’t see anything suitable on our website call us on 01793 326 354 and let’s see if we can help!
The beautiful flower wall will make a superb backdrop for your wedding breakfast table and then act as a background for all your photographs. You will certainly get the most out of the time you have with the flower wall.