How to Plan a Spiritual Wedding Day without being Religious
Millennial couples who form the bulk of couples today often prefer a spiritual ceremony, rather than a religious one. This is a reflection in the growing trend of people who identify as spiritual, but not religious in many western societies. For instance, in the U.S, 37 percent of adults say that they are spiritual, and this is an indication that the number has doubled in the last ten years.
People often wonder the difference between being spiritual and religious. Before we discuss how to plan a spiritual wedding without being religious, let’s examine the difference. Most couples who identify as spiritual considers a spiritual marriage as an act of two people becoming one. This definition is in line with the concept of “soul mate”, which is evident in several religions including Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. Let’s look at some examples.
In the bible, the pioneering marriage was between Adam and Eve. Genesis 2:24 says that “A man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.”
The Quran 30:21 states that “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you spouses of your own kind, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy for one another: verily in that are signs for those who reflect.”
An excerpt of the Buddhist wedding vow states “Just as we are as mystery to ourselves, each other person is also a mystery to us”, and therefore, “pledge to seek to understand yourself, each other.”
From the above quotes, it is evident that regardless of religious affiliations, the aim of a spiritual wedding is the same, which is to make a public declaration that you are no longer the priority in your life. You have matured, and now you are able to place somebody else’s needs at the same level as yours.
The Elements of a Spiritual Wedding
This section covers the traditional elements of most spiritual weddings. You should note that not every element discussed below has to be included in your plan. You can choose to customize the order of things to suit your personality.
1. Pre-Wedding Events
One of the most common pre-wedding events in spiritual weddings is taking pictures. This should start at least 90 minutes before the service and end 45 minutes before the ceremony commences.
Guests attending the wedding should be dressed, ready, and stationed in their appropriate locations at least 15 minutes before the ceremony begins. If the wedding incorporates any musical preludes or solos, then they should begin at least 5 minutes before the ceremony commences.
2. Seating Of The Parents
Involving, parents, grandparents or guardians in a wedding ceremony provide the spiritual support the couple needs in addition to expressing respect to previous generations of marriages. The most common protocol followed in most spiritual weddings is that the processional music starts with the seating of the most honored guests in the following order: The groom’s grandmother seats first, followed by the bride’s grandmother, then the groom’s parents, and lastly the bride’s mother.
3. Bridal Processional
Most spiritual ceremonies include bridal rituals that dictate the manner the bride is to be handed to the groom. In some ceremonies the groom enters alongside the minister or authority to officiate the wedding. The groomsmen come next either escorting bridesmaids down the aisle, or accompanying the groom and the minister.
The bridesmaids then follow entering one at a time, but if they are being escorted by groomsmen they enter together.
The matron or the maid of honor enters next. If the maid is accompanied by the best man they enter together. The flower girls and the ring bearer enter last.
4. The Wedding March Starts
The wedding march starts with the entry of the bride and her father. In a typical wedding, the bride’s mother will stand as the bride and her father enters as a way of signaling other guests to stand.
5. The Call to a Spiritual Event
Most spiritual weddings begin with a call to engage in a spiritual event such as a song or worship. For example, in Christian weddings, the minister opens the ceremonies by uttering the words “Dearly Beloved”, which is an invitation to worship God. Nevertheless, the opening remarks, depending on your spiritual affiliation should invite the guest to take part together in worship.
6. The Ceremony: Giving Away the Bride
Giving away of the bride is the most important part of most weddings based on spirituality. This part often involves parents from both sides. In cases where the parents are not available, some couple asks a godparent or guardian to give away the bride.
The authority or minister performing the ceremony, tells the couples their personal duties and roles in the union and prepare the couple for the vows that are about to be administered. The bride and groom may respond by declaring to the witnesses that they have made an independent decision to get married.
After the ground is set, the bride and the groom will be ready to take the vow. In a typical spiritual wedding, the bride and the groom will stand face to face and exchange vows. Exchanging vows is the climax of any spiritual union between couples. The spiritual vows couples make are considered sacred and they signify an entry to a covenant relationship.
7. Exchange of Symbols
The common exchange of symbols witnessed in spiritual weddings is the exchange of rings, which signifies the commitment by the couple to stay faithful to each other. The rings are a symbol of eternity, and by wearing them for the rest of their lives, the couple tells others they plan to remain faithful to each other.
8. The Pronouncement And The Kiss
The minister or the presiding authority makes the pronouncement that declares the bride and groom husband and wife. The presiding authority, then reminds the guests to respect the spiritual union and no one should try to jeopardize the union. In some cases, the minister may grant the groom the permission to kiss the bride.
9. The Presentation Of The Couple And Recession
When presenting the couple, it’s common for the presiding authority to declare the couple Mr. and Mrs. so and so. The ceremony then ends with the guests existing in the order of importance. The guests may exit in the following manner: The bride and the groom first, followed by the matron and the best man, bridesmaids and groomsmen, and flower girls followed by the ushers, then others.
Remember the above plan is a suggestion because spiritual wedding ceremonies don’t adhere to a particular religion or tradition. In fact, as long as your wedding ceremony is in tune with the laws within your jurisdiction, you have nothing to worry about because you can customize your ceremony as you wish. However, there are certain preparations you have to make before planning for a spiritual wedding.
The Things You Need To Consider When Planning For a Spiritual Wedding
1. Learn As Much As You Can
The best place to begin to learn when preparing for a spiritual wedding is pre-marital counseling. Premarital counseling gives you the opportunity to think about, discuss, and meditate upon crucial issues you will have to deal with in your marriage. Some of the issues you can look into can include conflict resolution, communication, financial management, personality issues, marital satisfaction, and sexual expectations among others.
During preparation, couples should also come up with the mechanisms they are going to use to merge their separate lives into one. Couples who have experience in marriage can also act as counselors. This is the stage at which you can also consider whether agreements such as the prenuptial is necessary.
2. Do as you Wish
When preparing for a wedding ceremony, go with your feelings and don’t bow to the pressure of pleasing your friends and family, even if they don’t agree with some of your choices. Work together with your partner in deciding the type of life you would like to have. However, you should keep in mind that if people are helping pay for the wedding, then it’s prudent to consider some of their concerns.
3. Focus On The Future Instead Of The Past
This means that you should openly address the baggage you and your partner are bringing into the relationship. For instance, if both or one of you is coming from a previous marriage, he/she may have problems from the previous relationship that requires fixing.
4. Pick Your Wedding Style
It’s upon you to pick the type of wedding you want, whether it’s a formal spiritual wedding, semi-formal spiritual wedding or an informal spiritual wedding. The wedding style you choose should mirror your personality and the key values you embrace. Once you settle on a style, you check to make sure that the location you pick has all the things you need.
5. Come Up With A Budget
Don’t be afraid of discussing the cost of your wedding with your fiancé thoroughly. You should know that splitting the cost is an acceptable practice even in spiritual weddings. Make a list of all the expenses that you will incur and keep in mind that it’s impossible to please everyone. Moreover, if you are interested in having a lavish honeymoon, then you should cut on the amount you spend on the wedding.
6. Pick Your Guests And Witnesses Wisely
It’s important to invite people you know whom you can rely on in case you need help. Appoint people that you truly want to be there and don’t bow to any pressure to include people you don’t want to be there.
7. Coming Up With A Countdown Calendar
After you have fixed your wedding date, come up with a countdown calendar that stipulates the timeline for everything that you should do to prepare for the wedding. Stick to your plan and refer to it often.
8. Pick Your Rings And Gown Wisely
If you plan to exchange rings in your spiritual wedding, then you should choose them wisely because they represent your love and commitment. Pick comfortable rings that you can wear every day for the rest of your life. Concerning the gown, pick a gown that is in tune with your own style instead of going with people’s opinion.
9. Plan for the Reception Well
In planning for your reception, you should consider how the time of the day affects your reception. The time of the day will determine what the guests should eat and the budget. The location you choose should have all the spiritual resources to accommodate your wedding.
Planning for a spiritual wedding is not an easy task, but it’s an important event that marks the beginning of a new stage in people’s lives. This means that both the bride and the groom must consider the unique qualities and views of others. At the same time, the bride and the groom should make sure that they incorporate words and activities that are special to both. For example, if the groom prefers getting married in the presence of his college friends, then invite them. If one partner prefers one thing and the other likes another thing, then order both.
Spiritual weddings are relevant regardless of your faith. In fact, all marriages are spiritual because they entail a deep commitment of two souls. Nevertheless, when planning for your wedding, you will encounter doubts from all quarters. You should deal with the doubts wisely by focusing on activities and friends that are important. Remember, if you are a spiritual person, your wedding ceremony also acts as a worship ceremony. The key goal should be to express a covenant between you and God or the higher being you worship. Consequently, you should include symbols that demonstrate the meaning behind the vows you are about to exchange. Remember to craft and say your vows before the ceremony because it makes it easy saying them during the wedding.
The above plan gives you a blueprint you can use to plan for your spiritual wedding. You have the discretion of using the plan as it is, modifying it or coming up with an alternative plan. If you still have a question, feel free to shoot us an email.