How to Figure Out the Kind of Ceremony You Want
January 1, 1970By Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
Greeting Wedding Goddesses.
In this new age of wedding ceremonies, anything goes!
Unless a couple chooses to be married in a religious ceremony that will follow a time honored religious protocol, they can be as creative as they like. The range of options is vast.
Finding your personal style is a matter of deciding the type of ceremony most suited to you, and getting a sense of which rituals, blessings, prayers, readings, and cultural or religious aspects are personally meaningful.
In my line of work as an interfaith and non-denominational wedding officiant, it’s all about blending.
First we assess the general type of ceremony that is right for each couple. Then we seek ways to blend in the traditions they do like, with creativity, romance and personal touches. For couples where one or both have children, we look for ways to honor the new family that is formed on your wedding day (or we find the right language to refer to the blending of your tribes).
These personal touches can be anything from aspects of religion or culture, to honoring and involving family, to including a humorous story about how a couple met or a poignant poem that captures their feelings. Or all of the above!
As a reference point, I like to explain that there are several types of weddings to choose from.
• Traditional . These are typically faith-based and culled from the tradition the bride and groom were born into.
• Non-denominational. A spiritual ceremony that includes reference to God, but does not adhere to any particular religious protocol.
• Non-religious. Usually includes no reference to faith and typically does not mention God. (Some people call it a civil ceremony, but in fact a civil ceremony often mentions God).
• Interfaith. This is a blending of two or more faiths, by including aspect of religion or religious rituals or readings that are symbolic of each faith.
• Intercultural. This is a blending of cultures – such as a Filipino veil ceremony with a Chinese red string ritual and yet can certainly also blend religious aspects.
That said, from my perspective, you can do all of the above in one specially tailored ceremony. The biggest issue is deciding how or if you want to reference God. Some couples, while faithful to God, do not feel connected to their religion; and some couples don’t care for Divine mention and want their ceremony to focus on their love and relationship. The trick is to find a creative officiant who is not bound to a particular religious protocol.
These are some of the questions I ask couples when consult with them about creating a personalized wedding.
Here are some things to ponder as your decide the kind of ceremony you want:
• Where does religion fit in – or does it?
• What kind of ceremony would be most suited to the two of you?
• What are your special needs or requirements?
• Are you and interfaith pair, or is one of you more religious than the other or one an atheist or agnostic?
• How much do you want to honor your heritage or families?
• How would you like to involve your children?
I give couples this mantra to adhere to as they seek to create a ceremony all their own: “We will create our wedding ceremony our way.”
© Laurie Sue Brockway, 2006, all rights reserved.
Adapted by the author from "Wedding Goddess: A Divine Guide to Transforming Wedding Stress into Wedding Bliss,"by Laurie Sue Brockway, published by Perigee Books, a member of the Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright 2005, Laurie Sue Brockway.
Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway is an interfaith and non-denominational wedding officiant and columnist. She creates unique ceremonies for couples of all backgrounds and faiths, and is also widely recognized as a bridal stress expert. She is author of WEDDING GODDESS: A Divine Guide To Transforming Wedding Stress into Wedding Bliss (Perigee Books, May 2005). Visit Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway at www.WeddingGoddess.com.