There are a wide variety of wedding traditions throughout the world. Some may be based on the area of where you live, your cultural background or in some cases, a tribe. There are also religious ceremonies that come with their own set of traditions, such as Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Greek or even Indian, as well as many others. But what about a wedding where the couple is either non-religious or there are two religions involved? For couples that fit that bill, they often go with a non-denominational wedding. Three16 Photography honors and photographs many aspects of a Non-Denominational Wedding as well as all wedding traditions throughout the world.
First of all, we need to understand just what a Non-Denominational Wedding actually is, because it is often confused with that of a Secular Wedding. In laments terms, a non-denominational wedding is a ceremony that doesn’t necessarily have a religious tone to the ceremony, but it can include some religious references throughout if the couple so chooses. A secular wedding ceremony does not include any religious wording, readings or within the vows of any kind.
So, what should you expect when getting married or attending a non-denominational wedding? For the most part, it’s the same as any other wedding, just with little to no religious overtones. You will still have the entrance of the party and bride, the vows, rings, possible readings, kiss, formal announcement and the exit as you would in any other wedding ceremony. Many people decide to take Communion during their ceremony, but in this case, it’s unlikely that the couple would include it.
Most often, by removing the religious aspect from your ceremony would then mean the wedding will be quite a bit shorter than the traditional wedding. Therefore, you can opt to go shorter or you can incorporate more items that have special meaning to your relationship. For example, you can have:
• Guest Speakers that will talk on your behalf and tell a story or two. Similar to a toast, but without the actual toasting. Save that for the reception.
• Non-religious readings. Maybe they are writings that the couple penned over the time of their relationship or a poem, or some type of sentimental meaning or quote.
• In front of the public, the couple can make certain promises that they will vow to their new spouse.
• You can also have the officiant include comedy to the ceremony.
• Recite what marriage means to you. Everyone has different views based on upbringing, friends, various cultures, or perhaps you were inspired by movies, books or television.
• Inform your guests your story. How you met, first dated, fell in love and so on. Perhaps the groom asked the bride out for a lunch date and all along she thought it was a job interview? You get the idea.
• You can also find ways to incorporate into your ceremony those who are no longer with you. You can leave an open seat for that person or leave a token item on that empty seat. Maybe leave a rose if the person you are honoring is female and something more unique and personal to you if it’s a male. You can also acknowledge them by name during your ceremony or simply a moment of silence for them. Whatever works best for you. This is something you can also include in your reception.
Of course, there are many other things to consider when planning for a non-denominational wedding, but the above gives you the gist of it. No matter where you stand in your religious beliefs, a wedding is the legal union of two people. It’s all about the purpose of the wedding and marriage itself.