Questions to ask about your wedding ceremony. When you’re dreaming of your perfect wedding, you’re probably thinking about the dress and the bridesmaids; the cake and the party; but first and foremost, it’s the ceremony where you’re looking into each other’s eyes and sharing your vows together that you’re thinking of most.
The ceremony is the focus of your wedding day and therefore needs just as much planning as the party, but do you know the questions to be asking your chosen celebrant or religious leader?
No two ceremonies are alike and there are some restrictions that might be imposed on you depending on the type of ceremony you opt for. So, here are the 7 essential questions to ask about your wedding ceremony.
1 – Is the ceremony legal?
While this isn’t so much of an issue when booking a religious wedding, if you’re hiring a private venue and a celebrant you need to make sure your marriage will be legally valid.
Different countries have different rules for a legal ceremony (even within the UK!) so it’s important that you’re aware of the differences. A religious ceremony or one conducted by a registrar are legal with a valid licence however, a celebrant led wedding is not (unless in Scotland).
Generally, for a marriage with a celebrant to be legal, it must be registered at your local register office and a statutory ceremony performed, which is essentially just the admin side of things to get your marriage certificate. But it’s important to check as rules can change.
2 – How experienced are they with conducting wedding ceremonies?
Even religious figures have a first day on the job and celebrating someone’s special day with them can be a nerve-racking experience the first few times!
It’s a good idea to talk through their experiences of conducting ceremonies, what happened when things went wrong and some special moments they’ll remember forever. You’re looking for enthusiasm and empathy, you want someone leading your wedding ceremony that’s as interested in your special day as you are, regardless of their experience.
3 – Can we personalise the ceremony?
There are some restrictions in place when it comes to civil ceremonies in the UK, they are not allowed to include any hymns, songs, music, poems, etc that reference God or Angels. So, if some Christianity is important for you on your wedding day, a church wedding or one conducted by a member of the church is going to be key.
The wording of ceremonies is trickier to personalise, especially when it’s a religious wedding. Have a chat with who will be conducting the ceremony to see which aspects can be tweaked to suit you and ways in which you might be able to bend the rules to suit you as a couple.
4 – Can we have a rehearsal?
Rehearsals give you the chance to go through everything that will happen on your big day, practice *that walk* to the front of the room and generally know where everything is.
You might discover something during the rehearsal that you hadn’t considered before and so they’re essential in ensuring everything goes to plan.
A rehearsal isn’t always available though, especially for busy Register Offices. So do check in advance, if you can’t have a rehearsal ask for a quick walkthrough of the room instead.
5 – Will they liaise with the wedding photographer/videographer
Some venues are brilliant at working with photographers to get the best photos of your wedding. From letting us in early to scope out the best place to stand, to letting us use lighting and other equipment to improve the image quality.
Other venues aren’t so great and might not permit indoor photography at all.
Do ask them at the time of booking your ceremony what they’ll permit to ensure those special moments are captured just the way you want them to be.
6 – What happens if someone falls ill?
You’re ready to jump into the wedding car to make your journey to the venue and you get a phone call, the registrar has fallen ill, and they need to cancel.
In most cases, there will be someone else on hand to jump in and take over meaning a delay rather than a postponement but it’s a good idea to ask in advance what arrangements they have for this, especially if your wedding is on a busy day where there might be another one booked straight after yours.
7 – Ask them for their recommendations
Building a rapport with your individual that will marry you is important and so asking for their advice and recommendations can be a good way to get there. They’ve seen a lot of weddings and have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t, so don’t be afraid to ask for their candid advice. They’ll appreciate it and I suspect, you will too!