Not religious but don’t want a dull, boring and impersonal civil ceremony? This guest blog from Celebrant Sue explains how you can have a bespoke ceremony personal to you.
As you are well into all the planning I’m sure you already have a ‘to-do’ list that’s a mile long – but I’m going to add something that needs to whizz right to the top of that list: – your ceremony.
I know that there’s masses of ‘stuff’ on Pinterest and social media and you can all too easily get side-lined by what everyone else thinks you should have, but don’t lose sight of the most important part of your day – the treasured words you will say to your loved one on your most special day – the most significant words you will ever exchange.
Soooo many couples think that they have no choice or say over the content of their ceremony, believing that it’s a straight choice between church and registrar – wrong!! – so wrong 🙂
When you spend so much time and money making every little detail perfect, ensuring it reflects who you really are as a couple, then shouldn’t your vows get the same treatment?
Obviously, if you are a regular church goer, then it’s a done deal, and you will be saying your vows at the altar. But lots – and lots – of couples tell me that they don’t follow a faith but that they consider themselves spiritual. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are anti-religion – but just that a church ceremony isn’t really their thing. So, they wind up getting the registrar out to the venue, and they swap 1 ‘one size fits all’ script for another, slightly different, ‘one size fits all script’.
Don’t get me wrong, Registrars have a key part to play in legalising your marriage, but they are restricted regarding many aspects of it – such as time, location, content, including anything religious, music, and so on……..
So – what else is there out there?
That’s where I come in. As a celebrant I will spend time with you, get to know you (and you me) and carefully create a unique ceremony that really fits you and your personalities.
Your ceremony can be held wherever, whenever, whatever time. – limited only by your imagination. You can choose every single aspect of the ceremony, including whether to weave in some special and beautiful symbolic elements such as a hand-fasting or Loving Cup.
Until the law changes, we celebrants cannot do the legal bit – we are working on this I promise!
So, take a little trip down to your local register office. You will need a couple of witnesses, choose a weekday, ask for a basic registration appointment, where you will exchange the legal vows (masses of them – 47 words a piece!), sign on the dotted – job done – legally wed. I’ll help you with this, so no panicking required.
But…..save the personal vows, the rings and anything symbolic and beautiful that you would love to have on your wedding day for just that – your wedding day. Because all your guests see all this on your chosen date, as long as you don’t tell them, then no-one will know.
So, I expect you’re thinking ‘well, this is all very lovely, but I bet it costs loooaaddss’ – not true actually – even with the fees for the Register Office (around £100, with all the docs you need), using a celebrant is often less, or similar, depending on where you live.
And…..because you then have your license, you don’t need to book an expensive licensed venue if that’s not your style – you can literally be wed anywhere – your back garden, on the beach, in the woods, a favourite pub that doesn’t hold a license – go for it! It’s just about separating the 2 bits of getting married – liken it to registering a baby’s birth – the date on the birth certificate is never the date the bay was born – same principle exactly – QED 🙂 – I like these little Latin thingies, they sure are useful at times when we don’t have a handy sort of phrase about.
Dare to be different….if you want your pet dog to be the ring bearer, you can. If you want Ave Maria played as you walk down the aisle, you can, if you want a sunset ceremony on the family farm, you can – getting the drift now?
What are you waiting for? – get in touch for a free first meeting to bombard me with questions and find out how you and your guests will remember your ceremony for a long time to come.
For more information on Sue’s services take a look at her website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 07800 572127 – we recommend Sue wholeheartedly and looking forward to working with her again in the future.