Today's Bride

Choosing the Right Ceremony for Your Wedding

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When planning your wedding, you have to pick what’s right for you. One of the most significant decisions you’ll make regarding your wedding is choosing what type of ceremony you and your fiancé would like. This can be complicated, as there are many different types and styles of wedding ceremonies out there. When choosing a type of ceremony, you should ask yourself if you would like to have religion incorporated and if you or your fiancé have any special needs or requests.

Choosing-the-Right-Ceremony

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The basic types of wedding ceremonies are religious/traditional or civil/non-religious.

Photo courtesy of Carol Malick Photography.

Photo courtesy of Carol Malick Photography.

A “traditional” wedding is more commonly known today as a religious or cultural wedding. However, this is a vast category, as you can have a one religion/one cultural ceremony, an interfaith ceremony, an intercultural and interreligious ceremony, or a non-denominational ceremony.

Photo courtesy of Cavanaugh Photography.

Photo courtesy of Cavanaugh Photography.

A one religion/one cultural ceremony is all about incorporating one chosen religion or culture. Typically, you and your fiancé were either raised with this religion or culture, and it’s a religion or culture with which you plan on raising your family.  These ceremonies follow the usually strict rules and guidelines set by your religion or culture.  Some examples of this type of ceremony is a Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Irish, Greek or Chinese ceremony.  Many of these religious wedding ceremonies happen in a place of worship. However, some Officiants may allow you to be married outside of the place of worship (this is rare, though and you will most likely need to ask your Officiant upfront about the location).

Photo courtesy of LMAC Photography.

Photo courtesy of LMAC Photography.

An interfaith ceremony is usually when a couple will want to bring both of their religions and religious traditions together for one wedding. The purpose of this is to bring and blend different religious rituals that are meaningful and symbolic to both the bride and groom.

Photo courtesy of Genevieve Nisly Photography

Photo courtesy of Genevieve Nisly Photography

Intercultural style wedding ceremonies do not have to be religious; however, some of them are, as many cultures incorporate some form of faith or religion. The purpose of this style of wedding is to blend different culture from both the bride and groom into their wedding, such as the combining of Greek and Italian style weddings.

Photo courtesy of BCR Studios by Brad.

Photo courtesy of BCR Studios by Brad.

Photo courtesy of Vitaliy Photography.

Photo courtesy of Vitaliy Photography.

A non-denominational wedding ceremony is another way to incorporate God into your wedding; however, this type of ceremony does not refer to a specific religion. With this style of wedding, you may be able to find a non-denominational wedding Officiant who is willing to do a ceremony outside if you wanted to have a religious wedding without it happening in a place of worship.

A civil ceremony is usually a ceremony where the bride and groom are married by a Justice of the Peace or a judge. A civil ceremony can focus more on the love and relationship between a bride and groom, rather than a religion. In place of prayers, scripture or biblical readings, you may decide to read poems or other meaningful sayings.  However, you may find that you want the religious aspects with a Justice of Peace as your Officiant, which is okay if it works for you.

Just remember that when deciding on what type of wedding ceremony you would like to have, you will want to make sure that it reflects you and your fiancé’s wants and needs. You should pick something that you are comfortable with and will enjoy, as it is your big day.

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