Five Reasons To Have A Symbolic Ceremony

You’re planning a wedding and that means of course, that you need to get legally married. And whilst having a civil ceremony is a necessity, have you ever considered doing that separately to your wedding celebrations? Although the term doesn’t sound super inspiring, what you might want to consider is a symbolic ceremony. Essential all this means is that the ceremony reflects a wedding ceremony, it just isn’t legally binding. So what are the reasons to have a symbolic ceremony?

Five Reasons To Have A Symbolic Ceremony

1. You Can Get Married Wherever You Want

In most countries, a legally binding ceremony must be conducted by a registrar in an officially recognised location. Whilst there are some exceptions to this, such as church weddings in the UK and humanist weddings in Scotland, your choices can be quite limited. If your dream is to get married in a specific location that holds significant meaning for you, or simply because it’s a stunning location, then why not sign the legal paperwork before you go (or when you return) and have the wedding of your dreams in the location that you want.

2. You Can Personalise The Whole Ceremony

Civil ceremonies can be quite matter-of-fact and chuch ceremonies can be, well very churchy. If you want something a bit less traditional but full of personality and individual touches, then a symbolic ceremony will let you do whatever you want.

3. You Don’t Have To Worry About Paperwork

If you’re planning a destination wedding, the biggest headache for most couples is the paperwork. With translations, ordering documents and getting apostilleĀ stamps for a legal wedding, it can all become a bit of a headache. Getting the “legal bit” done at home first is a lot more straightforward and a lot cheaper too.

4. No Language Barriers

Also related to destination weddings, a legal wedding in another country often requires you to be able to speak the language or hire a certified translator. It might not be an issue if all of your guests also speak the language, but when some people don’t it can be quite isolating. And if you don’t speak the language, you’ll need to hire a translator which is another added expense, and possibly money you’d rather spend on other things. Have a symbolic ceremony and you can do it in as few or as many languages as you like. If it’s a multicultural wedding, you could have readings in different languages. There are no rules!

5. Nobody Has To Know

I’ve attended destination weddings on many occasions where the couples were already legally married. These ceremonies were so emotional and some breathtaking locations. While for some of them the couple had told their guests, others didn’t, and to be honest, as a guest you wouldn’t necessarily know. If you have a celebrant conducting the ceremony you can still do vows and sign a certificate if you want to. Nobody needs to know that it isn’t an official legal document.


Here are a few of my favourite symbolic ceremonies from the last couple of years:

St Johann in Tirol symbolic elopement ceremony by Wild Connections PhotographySeefeld Austria Mountain Wedding

Cas Mila Ibiza Wedding Ceremony

A wedding ceremony under the archway in the garden at Chateau de Brametourte by Wild Connections Photography


If you’re thinking about having a non-traditional wedding and you’re looking for a non-traditional photographer, please do get in touch with me.

Contact Me Here


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5 reasons to have a symbolic ceremony by Wild Connections Photography



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