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a. Religious Ceremony:
i. Anglican (Church of England)
An Anglican marriage service is a short basic service, with a distinct beginning (introduction and declaration), middle (vows, rings, proclamation, prayers and readings) and end (signing of the register). The vows are the traditional ones you always hear ? ?To have and to hold, from this day forth, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health? etc. Usually, photos are taken after the church service, and the reception is an integral part of the ceremony.
Most couples choose to marry in a local church and do note that some ministers will only marry couples who have regular church attendance. It is important to arrange a mutually convenient wedding date and time with your minister as soon as possible. Many churches are booked a long time ahead, so make sure you check with your local church first.
ii. Roman Catholic
Catholics have several requirements that one must fulfill before they can participate in a marriage. They are that the participants be a man and a woman, that they be free to marry (?free intent?, that is, they are not being forced or coerced; but also, that there are no impediments to the marriage), that they do so willingly and knowingly, and that the wedding is valid. Impediments to a catholic marriage include if the either participant has undertaken Holy Orders or if they have been married before, amongst other things.
The Catholic church states that a Catholic wedding take place in a Catholic church, and the wedding itself is a celebration involving the whole church, taking up to an hour or more. If one of the participants is not Catholic, special dispensation can be given. And sometimes parts of the ceremony need to be approved by the Priest ? such as music or readings.
The Jewish wedding starts before the actual ceremony with a Ketubah ? or marriage contract. It is a beautiful artwork made for hanging on the wall in the newlyweds? home, so that they may reflect on their vows. It is witnessed by the Rabbi and one or two other people chosen by the bride and groom.
The wedding itself takes place in a chupah ? a canopy that is open all sides (to allow friends and family to join in the ceremony) but sheltered to symbolize God?s shelter of us. The bride walks around the groom seven times beneath the chupah (to symbolize her commitment to build a home for them to share). After the betrothal blessing the couple drink from the same glass of wine, a symbol of joy in the Jewish faith. Then the rings are exchanged, and the couple is married.
b. Civil Wedding
Civil ceremonies are now more common than church ceremonies. Wedding couples who do not share the same religious faith can choose civil weddings. You have to publicly exchange vows. Civil ceremonies can be conducted by the local registrar in venues granted the license.
If you attend a ceremony you love, piece those parts that you love. Otherwise, start creating a ceremony from scratch. Just make sure the basic elements are there.