I officiated at a beautiful wedding ceremony in Athens last weekend. Most of the guests (even the seasoned wedding planner) had never experienced a celebrant wedding ceremony before. Following lots of laughter and tears during the ceremony, I thoroughly enjoyed being congratulated later for a beautiful ceremony!
If you’re planning your wedding and you have no idea what a celebrant ceremony is, how it’s different and why you should definitely consider it, read on.
There is a big difference between a marriage registration and a wedding ceremony. Most of us tend to think that a wedding ceremony is part of the legal marriage, but it isn’t. The marriage registration is the legal bit. The wedding ceremony is the emotional and meaningful bit!
In most countries around the world a legal marriage or civil partnership has to be registered with an official government office. Even religious institutions are obliged to register marriages held on their premises with the appropriate legal office of registry.
The wedding ceremony is the celebration of your decision to marry. It is symbolic – no matter where you hold it. Saying your vows to one another and exchanging rings for example, are two of the more traditional symbolic rituals designed to show that you are happy to accept that one person to be your eternal partner in life. Family and friends are usually invited, not just to celebrate, but to acknowledge your new social status as a couple – to give recognition that you are changing your partnership status from temporary to permanent. A wedding ceremony says to the world, “This is the person I am going to spend the rest of my life with.”
So with all that importance in mind, why make do with the short and impersonal ceremony usually associated with a register office wedding ceremony? A registrar is obliged, by law, to say certain things and not permitted to say others, so how personal can that really be?
A celebrant doesn’t just read the same few lines that have been read to millions of couples before you in less than 10 minutes. He or she will spend a lot of time finding out all about you and will incorporate the story of your lives and your love into your ceremony. You will get to choose readings and music that mean something to you. You will be encouraged to include rituals that suit your personalities and preferences, whether they are traditional or new. You might want to have an intimate and meaningful ceremony with just the two of you but if you do invite family and friends, your celebrant will encourage you to include them in the ceremony.
At my Athens ceremony everyone, parents included, was blown away by how personal and original the ceremony was. Knowing the couple far better than I did, they felt completely integrated into the narrative because they could identify with it – parents, childhood friends, university friends and work colleagues – it was about them too!
That’s why celebrant wedding ceremonies are becoming more and more popular with couples who want to put just a little more originality, meaning and emotion into their special day.
If you have any questions or would like to find out more about what we can do to make your wedding ceremony amazing, contact us.
Marriage & Family Celebrant at White Knot Weddings in Rhodes