It’s that time again! We’re thrilled to bring you a brand new Tradition Tuesday, where we focus on one wedding day tradition and our ideas on how couples can make it their own. As huge proponents of the nontraditional wedding, we always strive to make sure that our brides and grooms’ celebrations reflect their personalities; part of this means putting their own spin on the wedding traditions of days past. This week we talk about secular wedding ceremonies.
Until very recently, the word “wedding” almost certainly conjured images of a lovely church (or other house of worship) ceremony. Religious weddings often include very specific guidelines, time-honored traditions, and time for spiritual readings and prayer. We love nothing more than to see couples for whom these traditions mean a great deal incorporate their faith(s) into their special day. For many other couples, however, faith may not be a major part of their day-to-day lives. In those cases, we firmly believe that nonreligious couples should plan a ceremony that first and foremost reflects their own priorities and personalities. If that sounds like you, follow our tips to begin writing your own ceremony rules, making sure every moment feels 100% personal.
Find the Perfect Officiant
It’s so important to find someone you trust and connect with to officiate your wedding. After all, he or she will be the one delivering a (hopefully) heartfelt message to your family and friends as you tie the knot. Some religious figures are more than happy to conduct a secular ceremony, while other officiants (like a justice of the peace or judge) specialize in nonreligious and/or nontraditional weddings. Either way, an officiant seasoned in secular weddings will be a huge asset to you in planning the structure of your ceremony. Another route, and one of our favorites, is to be married by a friend or family member. While this may require some additional research about what your state/county requires of an officiant, the extremely personal touch this brings to your big day is almost certainly worth it.
Choose Your Ideal Venue
Gone are the days where all weddings take place in the family’s church. Today, there are so many different kinds of venues to choose from! When searching for venues, think about what kinds of locations inspire you; what reflects you as a couple. Your options are endless: parks and gardens, museums, libraries, historic homes or buildings, loft spaces, barns, vineyards, country clubs, hotels, banquet halls, galleries, city landmarks… the list goes on and on. Once you narrow down a venue type or two that speaks to you, research a list of such places in your city or town and make sure to experience your favorites in person. The venue is such a key piece to your wedding day puzzle, so make sure that the one you choose can accommodate your needs and, more importantly, feels like the perfect fit.
Write Your Own Vows
We love love love when a couple decides to write their own vows to each other. There is almost nothing more intimate and unique than to hear a couple commit to one another in their own words. Your loved one and your guests will appreciate and remember hearing your unguarded, genuine sentiments as you promise your own happily ever after. This is your chance to express what’s most important and personal to you as you move forward into married life. Whether you choose to be funny, sentimental, or somber – or a combination – we truly believe that this will be one of the most special moments of your day.
Embrace Your Uniqueness
Our number one tip: While it may seem daunting to break with tradition, never forget that you deserve a day that perfectly represents you and your bride or groom-to-be and honors your love together.
We want to hear from you! What you think about nonreligious ceremonies? How did you/are you planning to update traditionally religious customs? Tell us in the comments!