More and more couples are now opting for a simple register office marriage in the UK then following that with a super wedding celebration ceremony abroad or at a venue or place that holds special meaning to them both in the UK. Currently the law states that a marriage can only take place at a venue that is licenced for weddings, so by doing the legalities with a small marriage at the register office first, this can be a way to follow it with a wedding celebration in your own garden, in the woods, at your club, on the beach or anywhere you like. (subject to permission) Have you thought about a hand fasting ceremony?, sand blending, hand blessing, jumping the broom, honey exchange, cord braiding? There are so many alternative unity ceremonies I am only touching on the choices available to you. As well as making the place be of special significance, the ceremony script can be unique and personal to you both as well. There are no rules, it can be as traditional or offbeat as you like. I recently wrote a ceremony for a couple who wanted to include some words about our place in the universe. The opening paragraph read as follows:
"The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond what our minds can easily comprehend. Lost somewhere between its immensity and eternity lies our tiny planetary home. From within one of the billions of species to walk upon this tiny speck in the universe we find two imperfect people who want to share their short lives, living it as one. When we create our home, we build a community, a tribe, a family. Natalie and Rio have chosen you all to be part of that and as we work together to create our home on this so wonderful planet and we are stronger with each other’s love. A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. And this space we are in right now with these people is symbolic of that with many dreamy memories already made and more to be had."
This particular couple had a legal marriage in the UK before flying out to Croatia with family and friends for this wedding celebration.
Originally, I was contacted by Vicki who had been asked to perform the ceremony. She had jotted down some words relating to her relationship with Natalie & Rio and told me the theme they wanted centred around cosmic, inclusive, light and grace. Knowledge, truth. Home.
We discussed vows, promises, exchange of rings, readings and the rest of the ceremony. I provided Vicki with lots of options for these and many parts of the ceremony and she immediately got back to our couple to find out if they approved of her choices. Vicki did not want to reveal the whole thing to our bride and groom, and they were happy with the script being kept mostly as a surprise. I also gave Vicki tips and advice on 'conducting' the ceremony as it isn't about just saying the words. I showed her how to keep her place in the script, how to engage the guests and direct bridesmaids, best men and ushers so they knew where to go. How to make sure everyone cheered at the end and introduce the couple and lots more.
"It was so much fun. I think I had too much fun though (or maybe that's what confidence feels like, ha), it felt like it flew by but looking back on a video the pace was good. Apparently everyone was crying and laughing and Nat and Rio were ❤, gwah, it was just so beautiful. My personal highlight was the bride turning to say she forgot everyone else was there; it felt like just the 3 of us. This would have been a different experience without your guidance there whenever I needed it. Thank you Cherry for this gift you have given. You have empowered me more than I can say and spread the love to everyone there. I am fully addicted and want to do it again and again and again."
I have conducted hundreds of wedding ceremonies as a Registrar, many, even then, for friends and family that often contained personal wording written by me. I have also helped couples with their own personal ceremonies for situations just like these. Writing unique tailor made ceremonies with lots of hints and tips for the person who will read the ceremony aloud. Check out my 'Thank you's' page on my website and click here for info on how to have the celebration you want - where you want it.