5 Fantastic Reasons to have a Personal Wedding Ceremony.
Updated: Feb 11
Having a civil ceremony or religious wedding is fab but you are limited on choice of ceremony words and within England & Wales, you are also limited by venue. There are also restrictions on what can and cannot be said, religious and symbolic elements and music, place, time and much more. So how can you have the wedding you want, where you want and create a ceremony that gives you:
A totally personal ceremony with the vows you want
The venue or place of your dreams
The theme or style of wedding you would like
So here's how. More and more couples are opting to create something completely personal for their wedding ceremony and here are some ideas for you:
By having a simple legal marriage at the Register Office first,usually with just you and two witnesses, there is nothing in law stopping you having a big celebratory wedding ceremony anywhere you want to or abroad afterwards.
This is a way to have a separate ceremony that will enhance the occasion by giving you the opportunity to have a meaningful ceremony in a place that has special significance to you both without restrictions.
Perhaps you would like a celebration in your garden, on your allotment, in the woods, on the beach, abroad etc – where ever you want (subject to permission)
Okay, so if you are planning a religious or civil ceremony there are limitations. Within England & Wales you can only marry at a venue that is already approved for marriages and you are limited within the actual ceremony to how much you can personalise the script. You maybe okay to have a few different options for the legal words, exchange of rings or perhaps you can write your own personal vows, but the body of the ceremony will be pretty standard. It depends on the local authority Register Office as to how strict they are and what 'extra's' they will and will not allow. There are also limitations regarding the choice of music for the ceremony. Due to legal constraints a Civil Ceremony cannot contain any religious music and if you and your partner wanted to dress up as cowboys, the rules for a civil wedding are quite sombre. The ceremony must be fitting the 'solemn nature' of the occasion. But if you decide to personalise your whole day with a celebratory ceremony after a legal marriage at the Register Office, there are no limitations and the possibilities are endless.
This gives you both an opportunity to let your personalities shine through and if you did want to hire a barn and dress up as cowboys - that's fine! I have written ceremonies for couples marrying abroad, on boats, on allotments, fields and magic woodlands, in their gardens, all kinds of places. As well as including a few traditional parts like the 'I will' and the 'I do's' Bride Buddy has written complete scripts based on the couple's personalities and included some more 'off the wall' traditions that would not usually be allowed in standard ceremonies such as the tradition of smashing a glass at the end of a ceremony or exchanging flower crowns, hand fasting, sharing a spoon of honey and much more. All have their symbolic meaning to the couple. With a personal ceremony you still have the opportunity to write your own ring words and vows, but we can include so much more.
Get in touch and check out our thank you page to find out about the Bride Buddy Celebrant Team, our experience and knowledge, and take a look at some of our ceremonies and thank you's.. ..
(If you do go for a cowboy theme, don't forget to invite the in-laws!)
So, you've chosen a place that is special to you, you have thought about the ceremony script too, but that is not all. You really can pick any theme that takes your fancy. You are not limited by the 'solemn nature of the occasion'. As a former Registrar, we had a couple who paid to obtain a venue marriage licence for a pole dancing club, as that was where they met and that was where they wanted to get married. This was an expensive route to take as the licence cost over £4000 and it meant the club had to be willing to have a wedding there for anyone else who fancied getting married there for the duration of the licence which was 4 years! It would have been much cheaper to have a simple register office marriage and then just hire the club for a wedding celebration ceremony afterwards. So you see, if you are into cowboys, star wars, or pole dancing, maybe you just want to marry in that special place that is significant to you both, you can style the ceremony any way you wish.
I hope this article has given you a few ideas and you can see that your wedding day can be anything you want it to be. Go to our website for information on personalising your wedding or renewal of vows ceremony.