If you've just begun to research wedding ceremony ideas, then you may think that the options are limited. However, with a bit of imagination and searching further afield, there are ways of having a unique, alternative ceremony that is still legally binding.
There are many wonderful places to have an outdoor wedding. It could be on a beautiful beach, at a favourite park or in a romantic forest.
While there are many lovely ideas to choose from, it's important to make sure your outdoor ceremony is legally binding and that can prove difficult.
Outdoor wedding ceremony ideas in the UK can be difficult because of the laws surrounding weddings. For your wedding to be binding, you need the ceremony to take place in a church, a register office or a licensed venue.
There are currently around 4,000 licensed venues in England and Wales, with a small portion, and I mean, small portion of these offering an option for an outdoor wedding.
If you have your heart set on getting married outdoors, a good alternative is to first have your ceremony officiated at a register office, then have an 'unofficial' ceremony or blessing outdoors with your guests.
If paperwork isn't important to you, and neither you or your partner want to get married in a church, then you could consider a humanist ceremony. Getting married in a register office is a quick, and sometimes sterile, affair.
There is little room for movement, meaning that you cannot have your own wording, vows, or songs as a part of the ceremony. A humanist ceremony gives that flexibility, however you will need to still do the official bit in a register office. More and more people are taking this route and seeing the register office as a formality, with the big event at the ceremony with all their friends and family present.
Humanists don't believe in any Gods or God, rather they have a naturalistic approach that we have one life to lead and that is should be lived to its fullest, in a way that contributes to the happiness of others.
Personally, I think a humanist ceremony is a great choice if you don't want to get married in a church. Civil ceremonies can be a little dull and impersonal, a humanist ceremony will allow your family and friends to be a part of your day, and allow you to both show a bit more of your personalities.
A handfasting is a traditional Pagan rite that has existed for thousands of years, and was a legally binding ceremony until the early 20th century. While popular with Neopagans and Wiccans, people of any faith can be joined with a handfasting.
Some of the common customs in a handfasting ceremony include the exchange of rings, which symbolise the eternity of love. The wrists of the bride and groom are often tied together, which is the origin of the term, handfasting. Many ceremonies end with the bride and groom jumping over a broomstick for good luck and fertility.
More and more couples are deciding on a planned elopement, and tying the knot overseas. Whether it's a weekend in Vegas, a ceremony in Tuscany or a wedding on a beautiful beach in Thailand, overseas weddings can be spectacular events.
If you would like to have a small and intimate ceremony in a beautiful location, then this might be an ideal solution for you and your partner.
The most important part of a wedding abroad is the planning. You will need to sort out your paperwork well in advance to make sure that your wedding is legal and binding. Different countries have different requirements as to what constitutes a binding marriage. You'll also need to make sure that your marriage will be recognised back home.
While it's certainly possible to plan your own wedding abroad, there are also many companies who provide a specialist service. Planning a wedding at home is hard work enough, when you're planning a ceremony in another country that speaks another language, you can really have your work cut out for you.
You might want to consider enlisting the help of a wedding planner in the country of your choice and they'll be able to help you with wedding ceremony ideas, planning and ensuring your day runs smoothly.
These are just a few wedding ceremony ideas. What other ideas can you come up with?
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