Your big day should be exactly that. So you should have the major input into who does what, where and when. It is your day, after all.
Why have your wedding in Church just because your parents insist? Religion may mean little or nothing to you. Moreover, you may prefer a rather less regimented affair.
Most people assume that the only alternative is a Register Office wedding. If we’re honest about it, there’s something of the conveyor-belt about that. It can be sterile and mundane. Certainly not a very special or memorable way to mark your big day!
There is another path. How about this for an idea?
Make an appointment and go to the Register Office. It could be in the morning of your big day or the day(s) before. Turn up in your jeans, if you want, with two witnesses, and have the legal bit done. Then, afterwards, with the legal formalities over and done with, enjoy a celebrant-led ceremony in the venue of your choice. And when I say “of your choice”, you can actually be quite creative.
Climate may play its part, especially in the UK, but outdoors (gardens, beaches, moors) is certainly an option. So are stately homes, boats and plush hotels or more modest, but characterful, venues.
If you work with a celebrant, you can construct a wonderful ceremony. There may be no religion in it or just a dash (to keep the more conservative guests happy!) or even a combination of cultural religious elements.
You can decide what readings or poems to put in – and who is going to read them. The music programme is down to you, as is the dress code. Again, working with the celebrant, you can choose to have certain rituals included (maybe a handfasting, or drinking from a Loving Cup, or burning a Unity candle, for example).
So you and the celebrant can build a most meaningful and unforgettable ceremony that guests as well as you will remember and treasure.
You really don’t need to have the wedding you don’t really want!