Wedding ceremonies are changing!
The way we celebrate life’s milestone moments is changing. Weddings are one of the main ceremonies where we are seeing this. Modern couples are really putting a lot of thought into their ceremony now. It is no longer something to sit through until you can start the party. Previously it was very much a set script, and still is to some extent depending on the type of wedding ceremony you choose. The changes in peoples attitudes and the importance now placed on the ceremony means couples really want something special, something unique, and something personal to them.
How to personalise your wedding ceremony
Here are my 5 favourite ways to personalise your wedding ceremony.
- Readings – Prayers still play a part in wedding ceremonies. There are some beautiful religious readings that couples seem to choose time and again. But couples are really thinking outside the box now. Many are choosing song lyrics, paragraphs from favourite books, quote from movies; words that mean something to them rather than picking readings from an approved list.
- Breaking traditions – couples are choosing to enter together. Wedding parties are gender neutral. Brides are donning jumpsuits instead of wedding dresses. Traditions are a great thing to have and respect but it is not necessary to follow them if they do not resonate with you.
- Wedding Rituals – Probably the most popular way to personalise your ceremony is to include rituals. Candle ceremonies, hand-fastings and ring warming are just some of the rituals you can include. Talk to your celebrant to see which rituals appeal to you the most.
- Location – Ireland has seen a surge in boutique venues opening their doors to weddings in the last few years. Couples are choosing woodland areas, de-consecrated churches, ruins, castles and cliff-sides for their ceremony. Choosing somewhere that is personal or meaningful to you is a great way to add a bit of personality to your ceremony.
- Guest involvement – my favourite, guest involvement. It is so lovely watching a couples reaction when a friend does a reading, sings a song, or whatever it is. You can really feel the love everyone has and how much it means to the couple. My favourite way to get guests involved is to have them give some words of wisdom to the couple. Often something of their own choosing, maybe the couple haven’t heard before, so it is a nice surprise for them.
The tips above apply mostly to independent ceremonies, without any affiliation to a religion or belief. Some ceremony choices still have rules and regulations that they must adhere to. For example, a civil ceremony by a HSE Registrar, as it is a legal ceremony, must follow a set script and contain no religious references. It is important for a couple to really consider what is important for them. Is it to have the legal component done on the same day? Is it to be able to blend religious and non-religious elements in their ceremony? Is it to have the ceremony in your dream location?
As an Ethical Celebrant I do not have solemnising status (the legal component) as I have chosen not to affiliate with any one religion or philosophy. This is in line with other European countries and gives me and the couples I work with total freedom to really explore new and innovative ways to create a unique ceremony. By completing the legal component separately, the celebration of your marriage is yours to create; no rules, no restrictions, just absolute joy!
They are just some of the choices available, and your celebrant is really the best person to talk to if you are unsure of ways to really personalise and put your stamp on the ceremony.
About Yvonne Cassidy
Yvonne Cassidy is an independent, Ethical Celebrant and Chairperson of The Irish Ethical Celebrants Society, a centre of excellence and training for independent celebrants in Ireland. Yvonne is an experienced, professional celebrant working with Irish and overseas couples to create beautiful, unique wedding ceremonies and elopements.