Types of weddings and ceremonies

Differences between a civil, religious, and ceremonial wedding

The choice between the various types of ceremonies is a very personal one.
Explaining all the options would make this answer too long.
Therefore we have created separate pages for each of them.
But in short, there are 3 main types of ceremonies ;

THE CIVIL WEDDING

The wedding couple signs the marriage registry, and commit themselves to each other by law. 
This is an administrative procedure with only minimal emotional involvement. 
Even though it is the legal basis of the marriage, it often has only limited influence on day-to-day life.
It is therefore often called 'the legal wedding'. 
The proceedings are often only remembered in no so joyful circumstances, such as divorce or decease.
The conditions for a legal wedding are different in each country.

THE CEREMONIAL WEDDING

The wedding couple exchange vows in the presence of their closest family, friends and guests.
This is the ( part of ) the wedding that is usually remembered for many years to come, and it's also therefore often called 'the emotional wedding'. 
This type of ceremony has much fewer restrictions can, therefore, be celebrated regardless of venue, date, time, etc.

THE RELIGIOUS WEDDING

The wedding couple expresses their vows towards their God(s) and their church. 
The choice is very personal, and it's the religious basis of the marriage.
The conditions for a religious wedding depend on the country and religion.

Related topics on this site and useful links ;
Can I get married in Spain ( 33.1)
Ceremonial wedding (15.2)
Renewal of the vows (15.3)
Wedding blessing (15.4)
Church wedding (15.5)
Indian wedding (15.6)
Hindu wedding (15.7)

Read More

The ceremonial wedding

Bride and groom kissing during their ceremonial wedding in Spain

The ceremonial wedding ceremony is the most romantic and emotional of all.
It's usually the part of the wedding that the couple will remember for many years to come.
One of the most significant advantages is that this is the only type of ceremony which is least subject to lots of restrictions and rules.

Here are a few examples of some advantages of a ceremonial wedding ;

  • Freedom of choice of venue, beach, beachfront, etc
  • Freedom of length and content of the ceremony  
  • Freedom of involvement of guests ( readings, unity candle, etc.)
  • Freedom of choice of witnesses, even young children of the wedding couple if they want it.
  • available to all couples, straight, LGBTQ, blessing, renewal of the vows, etc

etc.
So we can easily say that the ceremonial wedding is the emotional foundation of the whole day.

So what are the conditions for the ceremonial wedding?

De conditions and procedures are set by the officiant.
This person leads the ceremony, based on the wishes and preferences of the wedding couple.
However, the association of wedding planners may require that ;

  • The wedding couple is legally married before organising the ceremonial wedding, OR
  • The wedding couple certify that at earliest convenience they will get legally married, OR
  • The wedding couple have a civil partnership, OR
  • The wedding couple renews their vows

The officiant must be convinced, and if requested, the wedding couple must be able to proof, that the conditions set to perform the ceremony are fulfilled. 

Before the ceremony, the officiant will need information about the wedding couple. 
This can be done via a personal interview, or by contacting ( some of ) the guest. 
This information is used by the officiant to write a personal wedding ceremony.

At the end of the ceremony, the wedding couple and their witnesses, sign the ceremonial wedding certificate.

Often, family and guests are not told that the legal marriage is organised separately.

Related topics on this site and useful links ;
Can I get married in Spain ( 33.1)
Ceremonial wedding (15.2)
Renewal of the vows (15.3)
Wedding blessing (15.4)
Church wedding (15.5)
Indian wedding (15.6)
Hindu wedding (15.7)

Read More

Renew wedding vows in Spain ceremony

Moodbook photo of a renew wedding vows abroad

Renewing your wedding vows is a way to (re-)affirm your commitment to your partner.

It's very healthy for a relationship and gives it a new boost.
Often after a difficult period in the relationship, or after a family tragedy.

When you renew your wedding vows abroad, it combines the emotional experience with a (mini) vacation.

Usually, the groups are smaller than at a wedding. Still, the rest of the experience is very similar to a ceremonial wedding.

Related topics on this site and useful links ;
The ceremonial wedding (15.2)

Read More

The wedding blessing ceremony in Spain

Couple celebrating a wedding blessings ceremony in Spain

By definition, a 'wedding blessing ceremony' is a religious event. However, the term is also often used for a non-religious 'ceremonial wedding abroad'.
In fact, there are 3 options ;

1 ) A ROMAN CATHOLIC WEDDING BLESSING CEREMONY BY A LOCAL PRIEST, IN CHURCH

This type of ceremony would traditionally be performed by a Spanish priest, in a Church.
However, Spain is one of the few countries worldwide where a Roman Catholic wedding ceremony is by default, also registered as a civil wedding.
So, a Spanish priest doesn't understand why you would want to have a blessing when you can have the real religious & civil ceremony at the same time.

2 ) A RELIGIOUS WEDDING BLESSING CEREMONY BY YOUR PRIEST, IN A VENUE OF CHOICE

This is an often chosen option because it can be performed by a religious priest, minister, ... of your choice and religion.
Since this ceremony is in most religions not registered as a wedding, it's often not bound by a lot of restrictions.

3 ) A CEREMONIAL WEDDING BLESSING
A lot of couples use the term 'wedding blessing' for this option.
They want to celebrate their wedding, in a venue of choice, with a non-religious and very personal ceremony.

Related topics on this site and useful links ;
The ceremonial wedding ( 15.2)
Differences between a civil, religious, and ceremonial wedding ( 15.1)
Church weddings (15.5)
Indian weddings ( 15.6)
Hindu weddings ( 15.7)

Read More

Catholic wedding in Spain

Catholic wedding in spain, in one of the beautiful spanish churches

Spain is one of the very few countries in the world where a Roman Catholic wedding is by default, also registered as a civil wedding!
So, there is no need to do a civil wedding in your home country.

Of course, this means that the ceremony must take place in a local church.

The ceremony can either be performed by a local priest ( In Spanish ), or you can bring your own priest.

The procedure for a Catholic wedding in Spain is initiated in the local church in your home country.
Your local priest will explain the procedure and start the paperwork.

Once the paperwork has been correctly processed, the Spanish priest is allowed to perform the ceremony, or make his church available to your priest.

After the church ceremony, the wedding continues in the venue of your choice.

Related topics on this site and useful links ;

Church weddings in Spain ( 33.3)

Read More

Indian weddings in Spain

Photo of a indian wedding in Spain ceremony

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Hindu weddings in Spain

Hindu wedding ceremony in Spain

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