Wedding Ceremony Tips: How to have a Religious Wedding Outside of Church
Are you planning on getting married in 2022, 2023 or beyond? Are you thinking about having a religious ceremony or incorporating some traditional religious elements into your wedding service?
But what if you or your partner do not want to have your wedding in your Church?
As a professional Celebrant I am often asked this question when I meet engaged couples. They like the idea of a traditional wedding but tell me they dont attend Church or they're not active members of a Religious Institution, so feel it hypercritical to have a wedding in Church.
Or some couples are not religious at all, but like the idea of having some traditional religious elements in their wedding service. Or some simply want to acknowledge and respect their faith of their parents or family members. For some, they are not welcome in their faith church.
A Registrar wedding ceremony cant include any religious elements, neither can a Humanist-led wedding, so whats the option available?
If a couple do not want a Church wedding, the UK option is to choose an Independent Celebrant.
Celebrants can support couples in finding that balance. Celebrants carry out the same role as a Humanist would, but a Celebrant can include any religion or beliefs or none at all.
A Celebrant can conduct a wedding anywhere! For example inside or outdoors, in licensed or non-licensed wedding venues, in public spaces, on a beach, up a mountain, on a boat, in your back garden, in a restaurant - literally anywhere 365 days a year day or night.
As a Celebrant myself, it is certainly not about my religious beliefs as the focus is always what the couples want. Personally during 2021 I have performed wedding ceremonies that I have been asked to include the following religions:
1.Anglican (the Western Christian tradition - otherwise known as Church of England)
3.Greek Orthodox Church
4.Shamanism religious practice
5.The Quran (or Koran) the major holy text of Islam
IDEAS FOR INCORPORATING RELIGION INTO YOUR SECULAR WEDDING
1.A Celebrant can read a religious blessing (from your chosen book ie Bible or Holy Book) whilst they are officiating - for example marriage content, or a meaningful passage. Alternatively you could ask a relative to come up and read this.
2.Ask your Celebrant to say a prayer after you exchange rings to bless your marriage
3.Choose a religious text from a poem or reading to be read during service, or use religious words in your actual wedding vows
4.Include a hymn or a modern religious piece of music (you could print the words on an Order of Service pamphlet so your guests can sing along)
5.Invite your local Religious Member of the Community (Minister, Rabbi, Priest, Iman for example) to your Celebrant-led Wedding service, and ask them open or close the service with their prayer
6.Often included within funeral celebration of life ceremonies, there is a moment for reflection or silence, this can be incorporated into a wedding too, to allow your guests to pray or to give quiet good wishes of your marriage
7.There are so many rituals to include in your wedding service. The popular ones that are stepped in religious tones are:
♥️♥lighting of unity candles (Catholic and Jewish)
♥️♥️breaking the glass (Jewish)
♥️♥️bread, salt and wine blessing (Polish)
♥️♥️washing of the feet (from Bible John 13: 1-7 Jesus washed his disciples feet) can be used to show faith in Christianity and respect to those whose feet you are washing
♥️♥️13 coins (Christian wedding ceremonies in Spain, Latin American countries, and the Philippines and in some communities of Hispanic influence)
♥️♥️Veil ritual (Catholic tradition often used in Filipino weddings
♥️♥️3 cords (strands of love) known as 'Gods Knot' (Ecclesiastes 4.12)
♥️♥️nesting of the hands ritual (pouring water over hands within Hindu weddings)
♥️♥️After reading passage from Quran then say 'Quaboo hai' 3 times which means I accept
Isnt the Celebrant trying to Replace the Religious Minister, Rabbi, Priest or Iman etc?
No! A professional Celebrant listens to what the couple wants. Its not about the Celebrant's beliefs or views, they became a Celebrant because its important to them that the couple have choices. What's more joyous than learning about other religion(s) and cultures in our society, and being respectful of them? An experienced Celebrant will enjoy using their creativity in weaving in elements into your wedding ceremony, and to celebrate everything that is important to you.
The important factor is to find the right Celebrant for you, speak to them about this and get their views, and if they align with your thinking, then you have a perfect fit.