Married but no wedding? How to celebrate your legal marriage with a wedding ceremony

Nov 11, 2020 | Uncategorized, Weddings

Many couples have made compromises to their wedding dream because of Covid 19 and have decided not to wait any longer and go ahead and get legally married.

Others of you may still be in your planning stages and may not realise that there is not a necessity to have the legal marriage and your wedding at the same time.

Have you thought about celebrating your legal marriage at a later date and including a ceremony in that celebration?

Your legal marriage

The registration services offer a  basic ‘no frills’ ceremony with either just the two of you with your witnesses and the Registrar in attendance. It’s as simple as saying 40 words plus your names and a signing a witnessed entry to the register.

Is this what you decided to do in the end?  And are you still yearning to celebrate and share the joy of your commitment with a larger group?   It is possible.

Perhaps you are still in the planning stages.    Please do read on.  You really do have a choice and many more options  when you separate your marriage from your wedding.

Celebrate the legal marriage with a wedding ceremony

Just because you are legally married does not mean that you cannot have a larger celebration with all your friends and family when we are allowed to.

What’s really cool is that you can include a wedding ceremony in that celebration.  This will be your wedding.  This is the really special part.

This ceremony is the reason for the celebration ie your lifetime commitment to one another.  The ceremony is the heartbeat of the day.  Without it the reason for the celebration will get forgotten.  It’ll be a party not a wedding.

The ceremony will bring your love to the forefront of the day and will resonate with everyone who attends.

Emma Oakes Photography

Can I still have a wedding ceremony even though we’re legally married.

The short answer is yes.  There is a big difference between a wedding and a marriage.

The wedding represents the celebration part of the day.  The marriage is the legal contract between you.  It is also your continued relationship long after your wedding day.

A wedding and a marriage are not the same at all and they do not have to be held on the same day.

The wedding ceremony is an opportunity for your family and friends to get to understand the foundation of you and your relationship and to be a part in a momentous occasion.

And for you and your partner it’s a moment to sincerely thank everyone for supporting you and shaping you into the people you now are.

Although you may not have realised it at the time by deciding to get on and get the legals out of the way, you will have given yourself time, flexibility and plenty more options for your wedding ceremony.

The legal element is a boring necessity

There’s no getting away from it the legals are an essential element.  A box that needs ticking.    But I guarantee it won’t be the element of a ceremony you’ll remember.

What you’ll both remember is that moment when you declare your love and lifetime commitment to one another in front of the special people in your lives?

Furthermore as a guest what part of a wedding ceremony would you remember?    Those 40 or so contracting words that have been repeated time and time again?   Or the couple’s vows, the exchange of rings and their declaration of commitment to one another.

A united celebration of your love

It will be wonderful, post Covid, to finally have your friends and family across generations in one space.  Always special but particularly after what everyone has been through.

Large or small it will be a long awaited occasion that some will think was never going to happen.  It will be made all the more special and significant by the inclusion of ceremony.

Everyone likes to celebrate, we need to especially now.

Your friends and family will be delighted that, in the end,  they were able to witness you committing to one another.   New happy memories will be created that will be enjoyed for a lifetime.

Where can I have this wedding ceremony and celebration

You can have this ceremony literally anywhere because you are legally married.  Your options are endless.

Any location is a possible ceremony venue.  And I really mean anywhere.    But don’t worry it can still be at licensed wedding venue if you have fallen in love with one.

Perhaps your chosen licensed venue has a particularly beautiful ceremonial space that isn’t licensed – it doesn’t have to be now.

So if you’ve always wanted your wedding ceremony to be in a wood.  It can be in a wood.  Perhaps it’s a beach.  You can have it there too.  I promise there really is nowhere where this cannot be done.

celebrate legals with ceremony

DHW Photography 

Who would create the ceremony

This can be a daunting prospect.  Furthermore you may not have a friend or family member who would be up for this important role.

There is no need to be daunted however.  An independent wedding celebrant will guide you as much or as little as you want with readings, music choices, vows, promises, and structure.

Your celebrant can provide you with a traditional format to work from or take your unformed ideas and make them cohesive.

Your ceremony can be as formal or as informal as you would like.   Working closely together it will be designed to reflect you and your relationship and with you both at the heart of it.

Can I wear my wedding dress and have bridesmaids?

Yes, yes, yes.  Yes to everything.  You can do exactly what you want.

Personalise your ceremony

In wedding world there are many trends being banded about and none more so than personalisation and rightly so.  Free from the restrictions and rules of a registrar led ceremony anything is possible.

You may want to include aspects of a traditional church wedding or some spiritual or cultural ritual.

Including these can have a double effect.  Not only do they personalise our ceremony but are a wonderful way of including family members and/or friends.

They may not be for everyone but can be tailored to suit and there are many symbolic ceremonies to choose from.  Handfasting, unity candle, jumping the broom and ring warming to name but a few.

Without exception they add a visual element to your ceremony and will certainly make it even more memorable.

celebrate the legals with ceremony

Wedding planning

If you are starting out on your wedding planning and are feeling overwhelmed by the best way forward this may well be the simplest way.

Yes it’s two events rather than one but boy does it give you flexibility and most importantly you both will be at the heart of it.

Alternatively you may have planned planned planned.  And had to postpone postpone postpone.  Or in some cases even cancel.   I completely understand if you are exhausted by the thought of planning any sort of celebration.

You may have moved on.    But when the dust has settled you could feel differently.   What is better than a darn good celebration and uniting everyone in a common goal, to celebrate and share in your love and happiness.

Ceremony has been used as marker to help make sense of our feelings, highlight their importance and to articulate how we feel for years.

I’d love to help you design your ceremony to celebrate the way you wish it to be celebrated.  So if you feel diddled out of your wedding ceremony contact me and I will tell you how I can help.

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