So, because we’ve read this blog, you know that having an Independent Celebrant is the key to including religious or spiritual elements to your wedding ceremony…

But how exactly can they be included?

Read on for some wonderful ideas!

Handfasting is an ancient tradition. Captured perfectly by at Mentley Farm Lavender

Firstly, we are free to say it! ‘God’, ‘Spirit’, ‘Source’… however you refer to that force is how we can acknowledge it!  

In a roomful of people, it’s unlikely these days that everyone will have the same outlook on what it means to be “spiritual” or “religious” or even on what “God” means.

What’s much more common though is to find that you actually share a belief in love… and an acceptance that if ‘God is love’, and love is the mysterious force that flows through everything, moments such as these that you are gathered together for now simply are sacred in their own unique way.

You can include readings, poems or prayers that would not be allowed in a civil ceremony.

Any mention of God or Spirit, or any reading from a religious text, such as the Bible, is not allowed in a civil ceremony. The thinking was originally that anyone who wanted such a reading or prayer would be a part of a church or religious community and would be getting married there… so it wouldn’t be a problem!

Not so these days…

The spiritual landscape is very different!

We have all these factors now at play:

  • A rise in interfaith marriages
  • Religious communities reducing
  • Generations who feel connected to but not controlled by their religious upbringing
  • Couples who have a great deal of respect for the beliefs of the generations above them but don’t necessarily share them
  • And many other changes besides… So wanting a religious reading, or even a prayer, is not an indication of a wider, deeper religious belief, or membership of a religious community.

At several weddings last year, couples chose to have famous passages from the Bible as readings.
Each time it was a combination of the reading and the reader that was precious to them.
At one in particular, the sight of the groom’s grandfather reading THE passage from Corinthians was too much for almost everyone… including me!

You can have whatever music choices you want!

The Registration Service in your area can provide you with a list of music choices that are absolutely fine to be played. These will have had many of the common songs mentioning e.g. ‘God’, ‘Angels’, as well as hymns, removed.

You will also need to submit your music choices to them so that they can be approved ahead of time. If you are having registrar led civil ceremony please do this, as the rules are interpreted differently across the country and the registrars who attend on the day have the final say.

I don’t know about you though, but even if I didn’t want any music that wasn’t ‘approved’ of, I still wouldn’t want to have to ask, ‘Please, Miss, is this ok?’

An Independent Celebrant probably will ask you about your music choices (I know I do!) but they won’t be scanning the lyrics for religious references. We’ll more likely be using your choices to gauge the feeling that you are wanting to create in your ceremony! (And to play it over and over on our Spotify!)

You can include traditions from your cultural or religious backgrounds.

Independent Celebrants are all about honouring you and your individuality so that includes the cultural and religious backgrounds of each of you.

One of you may have Sri Lankan cultural roots and so you’d like to include aspects of a Poruwa ceremony.

One of you may have Hindu roots and the idea of making your vows as you walk seven times around a fire has been in your mind since childhood.

You may have a family member who is a Catholic priest and who you would love to give you a blessing.

Any more than a nod in honour of these things and I will suggest reaching out to a celebrant who has a much deeper understanding of those traditions, but I am happy to help you craft a celebration that feels right, respectfully adding a sprinkling of the magic of these rituals to your ceremony.

You can include spiritual rituals and traditions.

Spirituality is a ‘broad church’ (pun intended!) and in our conversations you can tell me where under that broad leaved ‘tree canopy’ you sit!

You may want a handtying or ‘hand blessing’ with the tartans of your families, hand dyed ribbons, dog leads or even climbing ropes…!

You may want a Handfasting with a cord or ribbon to connect with each of the elements.

You may want an Oathing Stone ceremony, where your promises to one another are ‘set in stone’.

You may want to lay out a sacred circle to step into to make your promises to each other.

You may want to call in the quarters…

The list goes on and on…

Ceremony book lays with heart shaped oathing stone and rings in an oyster shell
Look what I found on the beach? A heart shaped stone! Perfect for an oathing stone! Photo by Cassandra Wright

Even your vows can include your spirituality!

Because we write your promises bespoke for every single couple, we can make your vows as spiritual as you feel comfortable with.

You might choose to put your spirituality out there, big and bold and not to be missed.

Or you might prefer to gently reference the elements of earth, air, fire and water in a way that is only there to be noticed by those with ‘eyes to see and ears to listen’.  

However your spirituality plays out in your life, that’s how we can include it.

Book a discovery call here and together, we can make sure you can have the spiritual wedding ceremony of your dreams!