Hi RMW amazing-ness,
I’m still pretty new to all this wedding blog glory, and am loving trawling your gorgeous polka dot pages. However, before I can get excited about our day, I’m having troubles with a big part of our day, and wonder if I might be able to ask advice from you uber-experts and your lovely readers.
See, the thing is, and maybe I’ve been totally naive about this, but I’m really surprised by how little freedom we seem to have with what we can do for our ceremony! For us, it feels like this is the most important part of the day, and what we see as a way of defining our commitment and future together, but yet there seem to be so many restrictions.
We don’t want to do a church service, but would quite like to involve a religious reading in the service a) because we’ve found one we like and b) to nourish those guests for whom religion is important. We’d also love to involve a humanist celebrant, and keep the service light and full of love. But low and behold, I’ve found that you can’t have anything religious in a civil ceremony. This includes humanist stuff, even though in England you can’t have a fully humanist service.
I’m at such a loss of how to create a service that is meaningful to us?! We’ve considered just ‘getting the legal bit’ done the day before, it feels a bit like too much hassle the day before W day (not to mention an extra cost). Has anyone else had this problem and found a way round it?
I know we can do a seperate bit after the registrar’s gone, but we don’t really want an hour-long service, especially as some of our guests may have to stand.
Welcome to Rock My Wedding!
I totally understand your woes regarding the ceremony. I wanted to include humanist, civil and a little spiritual in my wedding but the option to do all three just wasn’t possible. Which sucks.
This is where we settled on the church ceremony. The church was not where I had always planned to get married, a small part of me feels a little hypocritical still even now for having a religious ceremony, however we had a fantastic Reverend who supported the fact we were rather new to the church and were more spiritual in the sense of believing something is out there… we just aren’t entirely convinced that something takes the form of a man who looks like Jesus. We had one short reading from the bible, but the other two readings were totally unrelated to religion! Having a civil ceremony at our reception venue was an option of course, but I won’t lie to you, architectually speaking our little church was beautiful. I wanted to be married there, and have everyone I loved there, and some of my favourite wedding images are of inside the church. So we had to make a compromise over freedom of ceremony options, and make the best of it. And it was beautiful, I don’t regret a thing.
Sadly the law is, if you have a civil ceremony then it’s all very legal and there can be no religious or spiritual references. I like your idea of doing the legal bit before your actual wedding day, so your actual big day is full of all the ideas, and readings, and music that you long to have. Most couples who have a Humanist Wedding are required to have a civil marriage certificate before hand. I don’t think there is any way round that as a humanist service isn’t legal. Have you spoken to a Humanist Celebrant to ask their advice? Find one here. Civil ceremonies are strict in that they don’t allow any religious references, but you have the freedom to use any readings and music you so wish. And compared to a Church ceremony a civil service is relatively short, so you could continue after the legal bit is done, and include the religious reading you really want to have, and really make it your own. You could have the readings included in your speeches even? At least this way your guests will be seated, and fed, and watered, if having them standing for too long is a cause for concern for you.
How about our dear readers, are any of you facing challenges regarding freedom of ceremony? And how are you dealing with it? If you’ve any advice for Lulu please drop a comment below!
Good luck with your decision, no matter what you decide it will be the best day of our life, trust me.