After receiving a proposal, many brides are super excited to start thinking about their special day. The Pinterest boards. The Instagram Photos. The bridal magazines. Friends and family all want to see the ring, hear the details of the proposal, and offer advice. It is a treasured time for the bride to be and her future groom, as well as a fantastic opportunity to bring both families together. However, while it is the custom here in the United States to have a wedding ceremony, not everyone is dreaming of a wedding per se. There are different kinds of ceremonies that people can choose to celebrate their love for one another.
Civil ceremonies are typically done at a courthouse but not always considering they are presided over by a legal official. Though the specifics of this type of ceremony will vary based on the city and state in which the ceremony is held, that isn’t to say that you can’t personalize your special day. Couples who want to go this route will need two witnesses to sign the marriage or civil partnership. Guests are generally allowed, though how many will depend upon the courthouse in question. While you can certainly write your own vows, there are scripts that the wedding couple can choose. You can be as formal or as casual as you want with your wedding attire, it’s really up to you! This type of wedding is a great option for anyone wanting to save a good deal of money and have a nonreligious ceremony.
Ritual ceremonies are quite common and very symbolic as they are typically very important to the culture in which they originated. That isn’t to say that you can’t simply choose a ceremony that you like or feel a connection to. While they take on many forms, and perform a variety of purposes, these rituals can range from an elaborate affair to something small and intimate. A Hand Fasting or “Tying the Knot” as it has been known, is an ancient Celtic tradition dating back thousands of years that is still in practice throughout Ireland and Scotland. While the couple face one another, their hands are bound with a special cord, ribbon, or piece of fabric. The couple will often not remove the binding until the morning after their wedding when it is used as a prominent feature of the couple’s home. A Sand Ceremony features two containers of sand, being poured by the couple into a third container. Generally, the individual containers of sand have been gathered by the entire family, so the bride’s family will fill her container and the groom’s family will fill his container. This not only shows that the couple is joined together but that their families are also accepting of the union. A Unity Ceremony has the couple and even sometimes a member of each family, lighting a common candle from individual candles to signify two people joining together or even two families. Tree Planting ceremonies are usually preformed at a couple’s home or near to their home. While all of their friends and family watch and sometimes join in, the couple will plant a tree together. This ritual is rich in symbolism, as the tree represents the new beginning the couple is embarking upon as they root together, grow alongside one another, and flourish. We’ve described just a few here, but don’t be afraid to do some research and find a ceremonial ritual that truly resonates with you and your significant other.
Commitments are another popular but less known way in which couples can exchange nuptials and have long been used as an alternative around traditional marriage. As the name implies, this type of ceremony is for couples wanting to declare their commitment and love to one another around their own personal beliefs and values. While this can be done in a ceremony very similar to a wedding, there are no traditional vows or set rules. Every commitment ceremony is completely unique and personalized specifically to the couple exchanging their vows. That being said a commitment ceremony isn’t inherently binding, legally that is. Couples can choose to become legally married at a later point if they so choose.
No matter what kind of ceremony that brides and their grooms choose to engage in, each one is a valid and important step in their commitment to one another. We would love to host you and your significant other's dream ceremony here at Blackstone Rivers Ranch, where no event is too small.
Wedding Photos (Left to Right, Top to Bottom) by: Butterscotch Rose Photography, Shanna M Photography, Elevate Photography, and Carrie King Photography.