You want to get married, you want a celebrant led wedding ceremony but there is so much else you want to know!
How do you even start writing a checklist of to-do items? And in order to get all of the answers, what questions should you be asking yourself in the first place?!
Don't panic, sit down and relax and read this quick guide to asking the right questions to create your ideal wedding ceremony.
OK a fairly fundamental question, but let's start off on a positive note and assume you have found the perfect partner! Check.
Actually, the difference between a marriage and a wedding is not always clear between couples.
Don't start off with misunderstandings.
One groom asked his fiancee what sort of marriage she wanted. She talked about respect, humour, faithfulness...all of the things that we all want in a loving forever relationship.
He listened patiently and then simply said, 'I meant the wedding day'.
So just to be clear: The marriage is the contractual legal part and the wedding is the ceremonial celebration (the fun part!)
Probably a good idea to ensure that you're speaking the same language.
This couple went on to talk through the difference and took the time to discuss not just their wedding celebration but their long term wishes for a happy marriage too.
Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, what season is best to celebrate a wedding?
The spring suggests an awakening, a new beginning. In the summer you might get perfect weather. The colours of autumn look wonderful in the photos, or how about a venue with a lovely blazing log fire and a Christmas tree? There is something to be said for every season.
Or perhaps the chosen date will be exactly when you know that your very special friends can be there.
Once you’ve set your date, all kinds of doubts may rush into your head. How far can some of your guests travel? Can your invited guests stay over? Should you invite the kids? Are the venue facilities enough for those with mobility problems?
But wait! It's your day. Of course you want it to be right for your guests but this is one of the most important days of your life. You're going to remember and recall it for the rest if your lives. So, get it right. For you. The rest will fall into place.
Talk through the options together and decide between yourselves - big and expensive or small and intimate? Small and expensive? Big yet intimate?
You can have any of those, and more. Just be sure that you agree before you tell others. Decision made. Don't be swayed.
Taking care of the legalities of getting married is another fundamental issue and can be different from country to country.
Essentially, if a religious wedding is your dream, contact your church minister. Do it now. They will also register your marriage.
For a civil ceremony you need to give notice at your local register office. Give them a call.
Your marriage can be a simple affair at the register office with just 2 witnesses or a much grander day which includes a wedding ceremony at a hotel licensed for marriages, attended by two registrars. Note that a registrar-led ceremony does have restrictions with regard to location and religious content.
Or - and this is probably the very best choice with regard to flexibility in the UK - after your simple legal marriage by a registrar, you can work with a Celebrant to have exactly the wedding ceremony you want, just where you want it.
Outdoor weddings suddenly become an option on the beach, in the forest, even at home. With a Celebrant officiating your wedding, your venue doesn't have be licensed for marriages - so everywhere becomes a possibility! Just think, your wedding ceremony, wherever you like! When a Celebrant conducts your wedding, it will be just as you want it. Your day - your way.
Questions answered. Decisions made. Checklist written. What are you waiting for? Give your Celebrant a call to discuss your special day!
As an independent celebrant since 2011, Patricia has the pleasure of working in many environments conducting weddings, renewal of vows, commitments, baby namings and funeral ceremonies all over the south east of England.See Patricia's profile here
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