Secular type marriage (or symbolic wedding) is a ceremony in which love is celebrated and the desire to share one’s life together without, however, particular references to a religious belief. Initially not very widespread, in recent times it has increasingly taken hold in our country. There are in fact many couples who prefer to celebrate their marriage simply based on common values, regardless of religious sentiment. So let’s see how to organize a secular ceremony and some suggestions to make it unforgettable.
The advantages of a symbolic wedding
First of all it must be said that a secular marriage is not fake, on the contrary! Celebrating mutual love does not imply any mandatory ritual, but is simply the free expression of what one feels for one another. Obviously, however, to be in order, the marriage must be validated in the Town Hall.
Apart from that, secular type marriage has many advantages. The first of all is that it can be celebrated practically anywhere. You can therefore give space to your imagination and choose the location that best represents you as a couple:
- A suggestive historic building
- A villa with a garden
- A beach
The other advantage of the secular ceremony is that it can be totally personalized, including what is most meaningful to you and engaging guests in a contest with readings or rituals.
Advice for the master of ceremonies
A secular type ceremony cannot be improvised, but must be studied in detail, organizing a sort of “ladder” of its development, from the beginning to its conclusion.
The person who will act as master of ceremonies must therefore not only take care of the concrete act of celebrating the wedding, but also coordinate all the various moments of the ceremony, for example
- Choose which relatives or friends will make their speech with a short speech or reading
- Decide two or three symbolic rituals that will mark the ceremony, underlining its meaning
- Choose which style to give to the celebration: formal vs informal, traditional vs original …
- Establish the timing well, so that the ceremony does not linger
- Do not forget basic details: gather guests at least half an hour before the ceremony, invite them to turn off their phones …
Last but not least, the master of ceremonies must try to memorize his speech as much as possible, to avoid having to constantly have the text under his eye.
Symbolic wedding: what to do?
Now let’s see in more detail what elements to include in a secular ceremony.
The promises are the central part of the ceremony, and must be written with particular care, focusing on what your union represents for you and what are the values that bind you as a couple.
Readings and poems
During the ceremony you can invite two or more guests to read some passages or poems. These may be sacred or not, the important thing is that they reflect you and that in some way they have to do with your history.
You can choose the kind of music you prefer, preferably played live. Maybe you could opt for an instrumental version of your favorite song, or select a couple of songs that you will anticipate to guests via email, so that everyone can sing along.
Finally, during the secular ceremony it is a good idea to insert two or three rituals that symbolize the step you are taking. There are several, such as the ribbon ceremony, the sand and water ritual or the jumping of the broom.
If you are thinking of organizing your symbolic wedding in Italy but you don’t know where to start, contact us for information.