| WEDDING PLANNING | Different types of wedding ceremonies explained – get clued up |
We’re back with the latest instalment in our wedding planning series and today we’re getting clued up on the different types of wedding ceremony available. While you may think that there are generally two options to choose from, religious or civil, you’d be mistaken! Nowadays, it’s much easier to find a ceremony that suits you and your husband or wife’s requirements. So, if you want to consider what’s available, keep reading and get the lowdown…
The Register Office
Every couple will come across the Register Office at some point during the wedding planning journey. If you’re jetting off to a faraway, sunshine-filled destination, you may need to give notice or legally tie the knot at the Register Office. If you’re having a stylish city wedding, the Register Office will often be the most important parts of the day.
A civil ceremony is a non-religious but legal marriage, conducted by registrars who are employed by the council and will provide the legal documents and certificate. You are marrying in the eyes of the law. Civil ceremonies do not have to follow any rules by faith, so there is a little more flexibility as opposed to a religious ceremony.
Based on laws in England and Wales, civil partnerships are currently only available to same-sex couples. After a civil partnership ceremony, you are declared as ‘civil partners in law’ and your legal status will be known as a ‘civil partner’. However, a civil partnership can also be made into a marriage should the couple choose to do so.
If religion is a strong aspect of your life, you may opt for a religious ceremony. Legally binding, you will be marrying in the eyes of God, dependant on whichever religion you practice. If you’re getting wed in a church or a place of worship, there are a number of rules that must be followed. You may have to attend church at least six months prior to your wedding day.
Humanist ceremonies are meaningful and truly personal, allowing you to marry outdoors or at an unlicensed venue. It’s no wonder they’re on the rise! You will still need to have a civil ceremony beforehand for it to be legally binding. They are designed for couples who believe in “good within human beings, in their equality, and in the individual right to freedom of choice in the main decisions of life”. One of the loveliest aspects of a humanist ceremony if the fact that you can write your own vows to one another, reflecting your love story.
Awen of Two Falling Stars is an independent civil-celebrant and a pagan priest, so works with couples who are seeking strong spiritual aspects in their wedding ceremony. Awen is here to explain about her speciality, handfasting; “During the medieval period of English history a betrothal was marked by the practice of ‘Handfasting’. This was the binding of the hands of a couple as a promise to be married in the future. The word handfasting comes from the Anglo-Saxon and means ‘the shaking or joining of the hands over a contract’. This older practice of betrothal is where the phrases of ‘tying the knot’ and ‘getting hitched’ come from. Now in modern times, handfasting has become a beautiful, symbolic addition to a wedding ceremony and is used by couples from a variety of spiritual and cultural backgrounds.
As an independent celebrant, I find that couples come to me looking to blend aspects of a more traditional wedding ceremony with other alternative or more spiritual elements which often includes the binding of the hands. Handfasting also allows for the inclusion of other people, such as children or other members of family to show how the family is bound together or for offering wishes and blessings for the marriage.”
If you’re busy planning your wedding day, don’t forget to take a peek at our tip tops for managing your wedding budget!