Until now, in our French society, religious marriage was frequently foreseen after passing before the Mayor. Some couples went to the church by tradition more than by conviction. However, many couples do not feel the need to marry religiously, for a variety of reasons:
- Religions are different, even “incompatible”;
- One of the members of the couple has already been married religiously;
- The couple already has a child;
- The couple is not practicing;
- The couple is not a believer;
- The members of the couple are of the same sex.
These couples then had only one possibility: the ceremony at the town hall. Now, for the last ten years or so, a style of ceremony has emerged: the secular or non denominational ceremony..
This type of ceremony is not official: the principle consists of a ceremonial for which the bride and groom will have defined the content, so as to present his commitment to his family, preferably in an idyllic setting!
The secular ceremony also makes it possible to combine the background and the form. Because, in practice, it is a question of keeping the traditions, while dusting them, and adding the paw of the bride and groom!
If we can give a definition of secular ceremony in the context of marriages, I would say:
The secular ceremony is above all the ritual
that concretizes the commitment of two people to love each other and share their lives,
without civil or religious references, in addition to the civil ceremony.
Questions on Secular Wedding Ceremonies
Many questions arise for the grooms who are interested in a secular ceremony, here are some elements of answer.
But before you discover the questions, here is a generalist book that is on sale on Amazon, and that will help you to imagine, prepare, plan and organize your secular ceremony. It answers in more detail to all your questions!
- Who celebrates the secular ceremony?
As the centerpiece of the ceremony, the official determines the success of your process. We can not advise too well a professional officiant who will know perfectly the words, the rhythm, the texts or the musics to make it an exceptional event! You have the possibility to entrust this task to a relative, but make sure of his involvement, his motivation and his capacity to assume this role (beware of the “yes” of politeness)
- What is the difference between an officiant and a wedding planner?
The difference is important! The wedding planner (or wedding planner) helps the bride and groom prepare and organize the entire wedding, including the ceremony from a logistic point of view. The officiant is present only at the moment of the ceremony, it represents “the legitimate authority” and animates the unfolding of the ceremony. During the ceremony, the Wedding Planner acts in the shade and ensures the smooth running, the synchronization of the music, the distribution of the petals, the arrival of the alliances, the letting of doves, etc. The wedding planner and the officiant complement each other perfectly! Some Wedding planner assume the role of the officiant, but this mixing of roles is not advised: as stated, the officiant intuitively assumes a certain posture of authority, even if it is only symbolic. If the officiant begins to run everywhere to manage the “current problems” of the marriage, his image and the credibility of your approach in the eyes of the guests is likely to be altered …
- How long does a secular ceremony last?
We advise a duration between 20 and 40 minutes. Below, you may be frustrated and beyond, depending on the pace you give, you and your guests may find the time long.
- Where to celebrate?
The choice is vast, the essential is to get all the necessary and necessary permissions! To help you, you can visit this site:
- Is there an exchange of alliances?
It is even advisable to reserve this moment in the place of the town hall: this “key moment” will give all the meaning to your ceremony. Some married couples prefer the “grand pomp” for the secular ceremony rather than the civil marriage!
- Which texts to choose?
You have complete freedom to choose the texts that are representative of your approach.
- Which music to choose?
As for the texts, you have the free choice of your music, it is all the interest of these ceremonies: “do as you feel”! We can not emphasize too much: entrust the sound system to a professional! A bad connection or a random quality sound are too common: a technical problem may spoil the minuteness of your preparations or the emotion of the moment … We also suggest using a live band instead of broadcasting Recorded music!
- Who writes the text of the officiant?
Either: you take care of it, or it’s the officiant! This can also be a third person who possesses editorial skills …
- Announce a secular ceremony or not?
Again, it all depends on your environment and your loved ones, the reaction they are likely to have: would the surprise be appreciated? Preparations can be a source of conflict?
- What rituals?
The presence of “rituals” is not obligatory. They can bring a solemn form, but also a certain mysticism. To foresee only the exchange of alliances may be appropriate! The other rituals (mixture of sand, exchange of roses, etc.), if mismanaged, give the “factitious” side that one seeks to avoid when organizing a secular ceremony.