When it comes to choosing the type of wedding ceremony right for your big day, often couples don’t know the variety that is on offer. Many brides and grooms don’t realise that the type of ceremony chosen determines many other decisions such as where you can exchange vows and who can officiate.

Deciding on whether you want your ceremony to follow a religious or more personal approach can help with making your final decision, however, if you both prefer something personal but want to include some aspects of religion or tradition, many ceremonies can be tweaked to allow a mixture of the two.

Below is a brief overview of some of the most common choices of ceremony so you can see which might fit your big day.

Religious Ceremony

For those couples who want their ceremonies to focus on uniting them following their  religious beliefs and tradition, a religious ceremony is the best option. Most churches or places of worship’s leaders are licensed to officiate a wedding ceremony. Some may require a civil ceremony before or after to make the marriage legal, but they will be able to advise of this.

There are certain places of worship that will require certain criteria’s to be met to be able to get married so it is worth checking before you set your heart on a religious ceremony. For example many churches will require proof of baptism, communion, and/or confirmation. Some will also only allow active member of the congregation to get married within the church and there are rules surrounding anyone who has previously been married.

Humanist Ceremony

The name of this may be misleading to many, but a Humanist ceremony is actually one of the most popular types of ceremony that doesn’t include any religious reference. To put it simply, a humanist ceremony focuses on the couple, making their wedding day more personalised to them. It allows couple to write their own vows, include poetry and readings and other symbolic activities that mean something to the bride and groom. A humanist celebrant can carry out this ceremony or lots of couples opt for a civil ceremony but instead opt for a more humanist approach to their celebrations.

Non-Denominational Ceremony

If as a couple you do have some spiritual beliefs or one of you do more than the other but don’t identify directly with a religion a non-denominational ceremony would suit your style.

The ceremony will still make mention and refer to God and have spiritual reflection but it doesn’t follow a specific religious order of service or tradition. Although not as strict as a religious ceremony this ceremony does still honour that marriage is a commitment made before the eyes of God and does adhere to certain sacred aspects.  

Same-Sex Wedding

Same-sex marriages are now recognized in the UK allowing same-sex couples to be legally married, giving legal rights, responsibilities and recognition to their relationship.  Same-sex weddings can incorporate traditional wedding customs, along with more humanist rituals as you’re not bound by religious restrictions.

Unfortunately not all countries yet recognise same-sex marriages, so if you live in a country that doesn’t yet, you will require a civil union. A common alternative is carrying out a commitment ceremony resembling a wedding ceremony to show your proclamation of love to one another.

Civil ceremony

Another option that is becoming more and more popular is the civil ceremony. When it comes to a civil ceremony, your marriage is carried out in accordance with the law rather than religion. In short, a civil ceremony simply makes your marriage legal through vows and the signing of a marriage contract.

Typically, the ceremony is held in a town hall or local registry office, or any venue that is approved for civil weddings. Civil ceremonies are plain and simple and involve little preparation and expense. So, if you’re after something personalised this won’t be the option for you.

As destination weddings have become a popular choice, and with there being different rules on non-residents marrying in different countries, a civil ceremony has become the go-to option for those looking to make their union official before their celebrations.

At Hyde Bank Farm…

Your ceremony will be just perfect on the first floor of the beautiful Ann Hyde Suite. The wedding suite has superb character and atmosphere, with oak beams, and charming stonewalls and we are fully licensed to hold civil ceremonies and same-sex marriages ceremonies.

We treat every wedding individually and our family run business gives personal attention to all your requests and requirements. We look forward to helping you to make your day special, memorable and beautiful – The Blackhurst Family