A symbolic wedding ceremony, also called a humanist ceremony is a meaningful non-religious ceremony performed by a wedding celebrant. A symbolic wedding ceremony gives you the opportunity to express your personality, your tastes and your values.
Because it has no legal value, a symbolic wedding ceremony offers you a lot of flexibility: It can take place pretty much anywhere, mostly outdoor in the beautiful chateau grounds, in your own garden, etc. As for the content, you can include everything you like, provided it is suitable and in-keeping with the official nature of a traditional wedding ceremony.
A symbolic or humanist wedding ceremony allows you to make a statement if you wish to stray from traditions or, on the contrary, keep some elements of traditions in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.
A symbolic wedding ceremony is ideal for couples who:
Do not wish to get married in church for a whole variety of reasons (no religious belief, divorced, same-sex couples, etc.)
Think that the civil ceremony is too short and too impersonal
Wish to get married in France but cannot have a civil ceremony as they are not French residents
Have always dreamed of a romantic outdoor ceremony held in a French chateau or in their holiday home
The symbolic wedding ceremony is quite a recent concept and many couples do not know that they can use the services of professional wedding celebrants. For this reason, many of them ask a friend or a family member to prepare & celebrate their ceremony. Being the “Chosen one” can be considered as an honour but it can also be perceived as a major responsibility, source of stress and many sleepless nights.
The good news is that, over the past 10 years or so, being a wedding celebrant has become a real profession and, when performed by reliable and experienced individuals, it guarantees a high level of service and the delivery of a bespoke ceremony to suit the couple’s tastes and expectations.
Depending on couple’s tastes, a symbolic wedding ceremony can be very similar to a religious ceremony without the religious aspect! It will include the same running order, such as the bride entrance, the exchange of vows and wedding rings, but will be performed in a more relaxed and intimate manner.
On the contrary, some couples wish to take the opportunity to show their individuality and choose to have a more original event with fun rituals, games, surprises, etc.
As a general rule, couples choose to exchange their vows in a more personal way, exchange rings or any other object of their choice. The bride & groom can engage with their guests and decide to get them involved in the ceremony.