Which Wedding Ceremony is Right?
13 May 2017
When it comes to tying the knot, there is a lot of choice on how to do it. Whether religious, civil or humanist, there are options to suit everyone. In this blog we look into the pros and cons of each option.
A church ceremony is very traditional and has a sense of occasion. There are even veils called Cathedral length or Chapel length veils because it’s very much a dress-up occasion with a sense of formality. In a church wedding you can sing hymns, enjoy the wedding march and, most importantly, feel connected to God. This is usually the best type of wedding ceremony if you are religious or come from a religious family, if you enjoy a sense of tradition and perhaps have a family church that you visit. The only real downside with a church wedding is firstly, the length. Whilst not necessarily a bad thing, the length of a church wedding is usually around double that of a civil ceremony. It’s also not very flexible as unlike a civil or humanist ceremony, the choice of location is limited and is usually reliant on the religion followed and the church that is attended.
A civil ceremony is a non-religious ceremony that takes place in an approved premises. This gives a lot more freedom than a church wedding but still has to be officially approved as a legal place to marry and because of this, it has to meet certain criteria eg it cannot be somewhere like a beach, it has to have a fixed shelter etc. If you would like the beauty of a venue that is outdoors or in a unique location but would like a religious wedding this is not possible because a civil ceremony cannot contain hymns or reference God in any way however it can be made personal through a choice of readings, non religious songs and even writing your own vows. Traditionally civil ceremonies are around 20 minutes and the big bonus is the flexibility in where you choose to get married and also the added bonus of being able to hold the ceremony and reception in one place to save the hassle of travel. The only real down side to a civil ceremony is the fee as you will need to pay a registrar fee and a venue hire fee which is dependent on which venue you choose.
The final choice is a humanist ceremony. A non-religious ceremony, the venue can be completely flexible and as personal as you choose. From the local beach or a remote cliff top to an open field or even your own back garden, pretty much anything goes! Not only can you get married anywhere you choose, you can also get married at any time of day so if you want to tie the knot as the sun rises or say “I Do” as the sun sets or even get married beneath a full moon at midnight, if you can find a celebrant who is available and willing then you’re good to go! What people love most about humanist ceremonies is the flexibility and how personal it is with readings, music and vows of your choice and a celebrant who works with you to create a wedding that is personal to you both. The big bonus is being able to hold it anywhere at any time and making it completely personal and unique. It may not even cost as much as a civil ceremony, it depends on the location. If you choose to marry somewhere that isn’t privately owned eg a hotel or a castle you can probably marry for free although you’ll still have to pay the celebrant fees. The only real downside if any is that unlike the other two options, you aren’t “officially” married so you’ll need to have an official registry office wedding as well. But otherwise, it’s a flexible, fun and unique option.
So many choices, which ceremony is right for you? Will it be the timeless tradition and elegance of a church wedding? A legally binding, beautiful and personal civil ceremony? Or the complete freedom, flexibility and modern option of a humanist ceremony? Which one are you choosing and why? We would love to hear!