Why your wedding ceremony doesn’t have to be romantic

Wedding couple gazing at each other

I don’t know how it happened, but somewhere along the way, the ideas of what makes a personal wedding ceremony have got a bit jumbled up.

There seems to be quite a big presumption on the part of some newlyweds-to-be that having a personal, bespoke wedding ceremony will automatically translate as a romantic one. Like the two go hand in hand. That somehow ‘personal’ equates to ‘romantic.’

So don’t worry folks, if you’re someone who thinks along these lines, someone who secretly fears that a bespoke wedding ceremony will force you to be the romantic soul that you’re not (no shame here!), then I’m here to tell you otherwise.

If you’re not romantic, not full of sweet words, don’t like mushy love quotes, hate poetry and readings and aren’t comfortable with expressing grand romantic sentiments and gestures, then neither does your ceremony have to be. Phew!

And even better news, you CAN very much have a ceremony that isn’t what you deem to be ‘romantic’ but is still full of meaning and personality and is special, heartfelt, honest and real.

What does romantic mean anyway?

Even though you will find a definition in any dictionary for what romantic means, I’d like to propose my own definition. I think that romance, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. What feels romantic to one couple, may not feel romantic to another. So actually whilst we might associate romance with big bold gestures and expressions of love, what and how those gestures take form or come alive, are actually down to the individuals involved. Romance means something different to everyone.

So maybe instead of getting caught up on the idea of romance and what you don’t want for your ceremony, think about all the things you do want for your ceremony.

Try not to label how you want your ceremony to be (or not be), but to concentrate on working with your wedding celebrant and officiant to create a ceremony that feels right for you. This will then help you make sure that how you think and feel is 100% embodied in your ceremony, rather than labelling it in a certain way.

So let’s see what other myths we can banish which make you think that your ceremony has to be a romantic one.

1. All readings are romantic

No, they really aren’t. There are wedding readings out there that are full of sarcasm and wit, full of realism and marriage realities and some with the odd swear words too. Check out some realistic readings here and here. And besides, if readings aren’t your thing, then don’t have any!

2. Your celebrant or officiant says romantic words

Not if you don’t want them to, they won’t. The good thing about wedding celebrants and officiants is that there are so many of them, and they are all so different. All with different styles and personalities and unique ways of creating ceremonies. Look at their websites, look at the language they use and how they write and speak. But even better, rather than judging from a far, get in touch and find out for yourself if your celebrant can help you to stay away from the romantic type of ceremony that you do not envisage for yourselves. Check out some of our awesome celebrants here.

3. You have to say romantic vows

Na-ah, not true. The words in your vows do not have to be romantic ones. Nobody should ever use words or sentences that make them feel a bit pukey, or are a just a bit too sickly and sugary. Speak your truth. Say the words that make you feel happy and comfortable with what’s being said, words which sound like they really have come from your mouth and not from Shakespeare or whoever else is your definition of an uber-romantic. You can say beautiful, honest, funny vows which still make your love’s heart melt and brings tears to their eyes without laying on the cheese.

4. You have to have romantic music

Nope! You really don’t have to have romantic music during your ceremony either. You have, whatever rocks your boat! If Your Song by Elton John is a fave of yours, have it! If the Rocky theme tune means a lot to you, blast it out! You don’t have to have classical music, traditional wedding marches or Celine Dion levels of romance if it’s not your thing. The end.

So there you have it. Your ceremony is what you create it to be. If you don’t want it to fall into the realms of romance (measured according to your definition of it) then you are totally in control to make sure that it won’t.

About the author

Natasha Johnson

Natasha Johnson is an experienced Wedding Celebrant, blogger and writer on all things related to weddings, in particular wedding ceremonies. Her mission is life is to encourage couples to see the importance of their wedding ceremony and to get married in just the way they want to. Make sure you catch her on the Engaged and Ready Wedding Podcast, here or on iTunes and Stitcher.

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