5 ways to personalise your non-religious wedding ceremony
These days, it’s increasingly common to see personalisation in weddings from ditching the formal dress code to incorporating Harry Potter quotes into your vows. This is especially true for people holding interfaith or non-religious wedding ceremonies who don’t want to stick to the traditional format for weddings.
If you’ve been on Pinterest lately (which to someone planning a wedding is a bit like asking if you’ve been on the internet lately), you’ll have seen some incredibly adorable things to incorporate into your wedding and you’ll probably want to add some of them in.
Leaving aside the mint/gold colour schemes, Disney Princess photo booths, and having your toddler serve as the ring-bearer, these are five ways to personalise your special day if you’re looking for a non-religious ceremony that still has those elements that make your day special and unique.
First and foremost, you’ll need to find a minister for your wedding ceremony who will agree to perform a non-religious ceremony i.e. probably not a religious leader.
Luckily there are more and more options available to you, with interfaith ministers offering non-religious, mixed religion and alternative ceremonies.
If you’re looking for a wedding celebrant in Scotland for your alternative or non-religious wedding ceremony, visit Scottish Wedding Ceremony, a group of ministers who offer you complete freedom with regards to your service, regardless of your religious affiliation (or lack of one). Ministers featured on the Scottish Wedding Ceremony site are part of the RIMA, the professional register of ordained wedding celebrants who work by the Code of Ethics of the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation.
Some religions (or denominations) have strict guidelines with regards to clothing when you get married, like a veil or gloves. If you‘re having a non-religious ceremony, you can choose your own attire and you could even choose to host a themed wedding, like the Renaissance, if you’re history buffs, or have a fishing theme if you’re both fishing fanatics.
Civil ceremonies in the UK are not allowed to use religious music (or readings) during the service, but this opens the door to so many more options for you.
Want to walk down the aisle to McFly’s ‘All About You’? Want to have the instrumental version of ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight?’ from the Lion King play while you recite your vows? Go for it.
If you’d like a unity ritual without a religious tie, you could try these fun alternatives:
- Layering different colours of sand together, which symbolises how you cannot be separated once joined in marriage (Bonus: it makes a great decoration for your mantelpiece)
- Planting a tree or shrub (depending on how big your garden is) in soil from the couple’s hometowns
- Hand-fasting, wrapping a cloth around each others hands, replicating an ancient ritual.
- Writing love letters to each other and locking them in a chest until your 1st, 5th, 10th anniversary
As we mentioned above, civil services aren’t allowed to use readings from a book of worship, however, this gives you freedom to choose something that means a lot to you and your partner; whether that’s a passage from a favourite book, a poem that represents your feelings on marriage, or even a speech about love from your favourite film or television show. You could even tell the story of how you fell in love.