• Glynis Woodhead

Before you say ‘I do,’ give a little thought to ‘I believe’ …

Here’s a question for you. On a scale of 1 – 10 where 1 is atheist and 10 is a deep spiritual or religious belief, where would you place yourself? And, equally importantly, where do you think your partner sits on that scale? Being at point 10 doesn’t necessarily mean going to church every week, but can be about your perceived place in nature, the world around you, and the concept of whether there’s something bigger than ourselves, so it’s a pretty wide scale.

I ask because it’s a question I put to all the couples I’m marrying and its surprising how many don’t know what the other’s belief system is or have even really thought about their own. Religion, spirituality – call it what you will – is an area of discussion that few couples venture into, but it can be crucially important in getting a ceremony just right.

I suppose the biggest challenge for me, as a celebrant, is helping couples find a compromise for the ceremony when one half a partnership sits at 1 on that scale, and the other sits around 8 or higher, even more so when the partner who sits at the top end of the scale wants a church wedding. And, although many couples may have no belief system whatsoever, they’d still like to include a spiritual or religious reading because their parents, or grandparents are religious and want the words of their ceremony to mean something to everyone who's sharing their special day.

A spiritual ceremony doesn’t have to be religious in any way and it’s only by us discussing it at a pre-wedding meeting, that we’ll be able to work out something that’s perfect for you both. So why not have a go: work out where you think you are, where you think your partner is and then compare notes. The answer may very well surprise you.



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