By: Natasha Archary
Nothing brings family together or creates divide quite like a wedding. With most couples today being caught between a rock and a hard place, trying to please everyone, many are going the non-conventional route.
Nondenominational weddings were made popular by couples who were from different religious and cultural backgrounds. Instead of having two elaborate wedding ceremonies that pay tribute to the couple, a non-religious or secular wedding was the outcome.
With many same sex couples today feeling excluded, the non-traditional wedding structure gains momentum for the personal touches that are made possible with a secular wedding.
It’s still an official wedding ceremony. You sign paperwork and have a marriage certificate at the end of the day that validates your union. The difference is that there isn’t any religious wording in the vows. The absence of any cultural or traditional customs shows a mutual respect between both parties.
Many couples try to bridge the divide and include aspects from each one’s religious beliefs or personal touches that are significant. But often families intervene because it’s seen as blatant disrespect for breaking tradition.
With the average South African wedding costs skyrocketing over the years, a nondenominational wedding concept may not have anything to do with tradition at all. It could be the couple’s preference for cutting costs while still striving for a memorable day.
The personal touch
It is a shame that the white wedding is the only legally recognized ceremony in South Africa. In a country so rich in history and with such diversity, to have all other religious and cultural traditions shunned is a shame.
A nondenominational wedding allows a couple the opportunity to have a wedding that showcases their personalities and love uniquely. From the quirky to excessively romantic, destination to quaint garden, it’s a wedding that has no limitations.
In some countries, a family member or close friend officiates the ceremony. Getting ordained online has made it that easy to do things without any religious barriers. While this isn’t the case in South Africa, it is a step in a progressive direction.
There are, however, a number of nondenominational wedding officiates in the country today.
The South African Secular Society, conducts a number of nondenominational weddings throughout the country. Offering counselling and other secular services for funerals and coming of age.
Is a nondenominational wedding for you?
If you feel bound by the entire white wedding concept and want a wedding that helps you stay true to you, then a secular or nondenominational is a better option. You choose how you wish to marry the love of your life.
Your wedding day should never be about obtaining that piece of paper that makes things official. It should be about the love between two people, emphasizing that with every little anecdotal keepsake and mutual respect between both families.
As the country gradually opens itself up to the unconventional, we’re becoming more open to the realization that “the average South African” is no longer a textbook version.