Wedding Ceremony Styles – What sort of ceremony is right for you?
How lucky are we? As far as Wedding Ceremony Styles, anything goes!
Unless you choose to be married in a religious ceremony that follows time-honoured religious protocol (conducted in a Church officiated by a Religious Minister), wedding ceremonies can be as creative as you like. The range of options is vast.
Finding your own personal style is a matter of deciding the type of ceremony most suited to you both and getting a sense of which rituals, blessings, prayers, readings, and cultural or religious aspects are personally meaningful.
As a Civil Marriage Celebrant, I find it is all about blending. The first task is to assess the general style of ceremony that is right for each couple. The second is to seek ways to blend in the traditions they do like, with creativity, romance and personal touches.
These personal touches can be anything from aspects of their religions or cultures, to honouring and involving family, to including a humorous story about how they met or a poignant poem that captures their feelings. Or all of the above!
As a reference point, there are many and varied types of weddings to choose from.
Traditional. These are typically faith-based and culled from the tradition the bride and groom were born into.
Non-denominational. A spiritual ceremony that includes reference to God, but does not adhere to any particular religious protocol.
Non-religious. Usually includes no reference to faith and typically does not mention God. (Some people call it a civil ceremony, but in fact a civil ceremony often mentions God).
Interfaith. This is a blending of two or more faiths, by including aspects of religion or religious rituals or readings that are symbolic of each faith.
Intercultural. This is a blending of cultures — such as a Filipino veil ceremony with a Celtic Hand Binding — and yet can certainly also blend religious aspects.
Themed. This is usually a ceremony adapted from something that is part of popular culture and close to the hearts of the bride and groom. It may be a full ceremony dressed as a Knight and Lady of the Court, to including lines from Star Wars or Disney, to creating a ceremony based on a favorite romance novel or movie.
That said, from my perspective, you can do all of the above in one specially tailored ceremony.
Here are some questions to consider about creating your own personalised wedding:
1. Where does religion fit in — or does it? Would you like to include an aspect of the faiths you were born into without the dogma? Do you want to include mention of God — or would you prefer a blessing upon your union without mention of Divine presence?
2. What kind of ceremony would be most suited to the two of you? Would you like something personal yet includes aspects of your traditions? Would something romantic and offbeat be more your style?
3. What are your special needs? Think about the requirements you each may have. If you are of the same faith, is one of you more religious than the other? Since you hail from different cultures, how much do you want to honour your heritage and the traditions of your parents and family, etc?
4. What do you two truly want? Most importantly, be completely honest with one another (and then, your celebrant). Make sure you are creating this ceremony for the two of you — not just to please others.
Whichever path you follow, here’s a mantra to help you create a ceremony that is all you own: “We will create our wedding ceremony our way!”