This post is for you if you’re planning a wedding and have found yourself getting stuck on the ceremony section because:
You’re not religious so it doesn’t feel right to have a religious service
The idea of a bog-standard registrar ceremony doesn’t fit in with how glorious the rest of your wedding day will be
You’ve personally sat through boring wedding ceremonies and don’t want yours to be like that
You might have worked out that the answer is to have an alternative non-religious wedding ceremony. Not a civil ceremony with a registrar, not a religious service, but something more meaningful and altogether more FUN.
But where to start in planning such a thing? You’ve found yourselves in the right corner of the internet darlings, because I can help! Read on for three ideas for your non-religious wedding ceremony.
Non-religious wedding ceremony alternatives
Have you ever found yourself wondering about, or maybe even wishing for, an alternative to the standard civil ceremony for your wedding? Maybe you’re asking yourself why the heck you have to have a boring wedding ceremony just because you’re not religious.
As a person who isn’t religious (but by the way, isn’t anti-religious – I’m a humanist, which you can find out more about in my blog post about humanist weddings) – I can totally relate. I’m a big believer (no pun intended) that non-religious folk want a meaningful wedding ceremony as deeply as religious folk do.
It’s so obvious that it shouldn’t need saying, but just because we don’t believe in a god, doesn’t mean we don’t believe in anything. We have personal values and we each have an individual approach to life. For lots of non-religious people, a one-size-fits-all civil ceremony doesn’t feel right.
So here are three options for you if you’re looking for alternative non-religious wedding ceremony ideas.
Ideas for a non-religious wedding ceremony
Create lifelong memories with an adventurous elopement
The first option for your non-religious wedding ceremony is for people with a rebellious nature: Elopement.
Eloping with your beloved is a way of bringing a sense of adventure and spontaneity to your decision to get wed. All you need to do is choose a spot you’d like to explore, anywhere in the world, and escape there to share your vows. Think of the incredible memories you will make standing with your chosen person on a mountainside with the landscape as your backdrop, or on a beach with the epic waves of the ocean as your wedding soundtrack.
If you find the meaning in life comes from nature, then make the countryside your church, and commit to each other surrounded by the environment you love. Oh and, if you could use some help to make your elopement wedding ceremony happen, take me with you!
You can learn more about elopement wedding ceremonies here.
Ask your closest friend to host your wedding ceremony
Eloping not for you? No problem – Share your wedding with loved ones with this second option for your non-religious ceremony: Ask a friend to marry you.
Having a friend officiate your wedding is an incredible way to celebrate your close bond. I often chat with people about how friendship love is equal in importance to romantic love. Your wedding will naturally be more focussed on your romantic partnership, but having your bestie host your ceremony will add a new element to your friendship as well. Wouldn’t you feel more relaxed knowing that the person marrying you loves you loads too?
If you have a friend who is a naturally confident public speaker and a talented writer, then ask them to make it official for you and your love. Maybe you have a pal whose job would make them a natural at this, for instance a teacher, lawyer or doctor. They would need to write your ceremony wording, so don’t be offended if they’re a bit worried – it is quite a big ask. Whether they’re super positive or feeling shy, consider setting up one of my Mentored-By-Meg sessions to get resources, top tips and support creating your celebration.
You can learn more about Mentored-By-Meg sessions by dropping me a message.
Create the ultimate wedding experience with a celebrant
And finally, the third option for a non-religious ceremony: Choose a celebrant.
Working with celebrant gives you limitless options to add your personality and style to the day. A celebrant will create a non-religious ceremony script that suits you as pair and celebrates your personal love story. They will host the ceremony, but they’ll also guide you through the planning process leading up to it so that it’s fun (and maybe even a little bit romantic).
This option is great for all types of non-religious couples. Sentimental couples can luxuriate in the romance of it all, but equally people who aren’t lovey-dovey at all can have a squirm-free experience which matches their vibe too. Perhaps you know exactly what you want your ceremony to be, and your celebrant can indulge all your ideas… More commonly though, you might not have a clue where to start, in which case your celebrant can bring all their wisdom and experience to help you work it out.
Original ideas for alternative wedding ceremony
So there you have it, three original ideas for an alternative to the rather dry wording of a legal non-religious ceremony. Which one is most “you”? Whether you’re eloping, asking a friend to marry you, or enlisting a professional celebrant, you deserve to have a beautifully memorable, meaningful day regardless of your religious belief (or lack thereof). So treat yourself to an imaginative ceremony which inspires and excites you!
You can check my availability for your wedding date by shooting me a message using the enquiry form here. It would be my pleasure to marry you!
Caroline Goosey captures vibey weddings all over the North West, Peak District and Wales, and she took the absolutely boss images on this page. Bethan and Andrew (who I love dearly!) are the happy couple, and the venue is Haarlem Mill, an exclusive hire venue in the Peak District.