Nondenominational Wedding Ceremonies – An Overview
A wedding is basically a ceremony in which two individuals are legally joined in matrimony. There are different wedding traditions and customs across various cultures, religious groups, societies, and even nationalities. Traditions may include the exchange of wedding rings, wedding dresses, honeymoon trips, or naming the couple. Sometimes families pass down wedding traditions from generation to generation.
The United States has some of the oldest and most intricate wedding traditions in the world. Historically, both white and black owned slaves, and so were considered as property by their owners. In some states, such as Missouri, where the majority of the population was slave-free, all couples were required to wed. In this manner, couples who wed in these states prior to the Civil War were considered free and slave-free. As a result, these couples were also able to legally get married and even have their children free.
During medieval times, wedding ceremonies were not as formal as they are now. Commonly, the wedding ceremony consisted of a simple exchange of wedding rings. The groom provided a ring to his bride, symbolizing his permission to marry her. This act was seen as a proof of his loyalty to her, and his intention to be with her forever.
During the Middle Ages, weddings underwent a variety of changes, depending on social and religious beliefs of the time. For instance, during feudal times, when there was no real law one could get married without the sanction, some brides would wed without the knowledge of their families. After the marriage, they would live under the same roof as their husbands. This practice was called mazel tov in English, which literally means “without a ring”. This was not against the law, but it was looked upon strangely by those not in the upper class.
During the Renaissance, during the reign of Elizabeth I, the wearing of wedding rings became more commonplace. This was because there was no longer any requirement for a groom’s signature as a guarantee to marry a bride. Also, the Christian religion dictated that only a man should wear a ring, hence, the creation of the custom of wedding bands. In fact, many early marriage ceremonies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were purely ceremonial. No religious ceremony took place, just the exchange of wedding rings.
Today, wedding ceremonies are very expensive. Many couples are choosing to have both a wedding ring and wedding band made from gold, or some other precious metal. Other couples are opting for materials such as diamond or silver as a wedding band. There are several reasons why couples are choosing these non-traditional, but important wedding ceremonies. Nondenominational wedding ceremonies do not require a priest, can be done at home, do not involve any type of clergy or minister, are cheaper than traditional weddings, and have no religious background to them.