Ordained Ministers can officiate marriages for friends, family, and others.
When it comes to wedding ceremonies themselves, however, things are not nearly as straightforward as the mass media would have us believe. There are almost as many different ways of getting married as there are couples, and anyone officiating over a wedding has their work cut out for them in determining exactly what will be expected from the bride and groom during the ceremony.
According to anthropologists, wedding ceremonies are rituals of transition or the rites of passage for both participants. Such rites occur when the individuals are crossing the boundaries of age or even social status. Just like birth or death, weddings create changes not only in the lives of the bride and the groom but also for the people who are connected to them. Wedding ceremonies allow the expression of emotion through the individuals’ announcement of their union to the community. At the same time, wedding ceremonies allow the community to express their support and approval to the pertained union. Thus, such ceremony does not only serve as the union’s social recognition, but it also serves as an avenue for people related to the bride and groom to share the momentous occasion and reunite with friends, relatives, and acquaintances.
Many couples prefer unconventional forms of wedding ceremonies and are abandoning the long process of traditional religious ceremonies due to time constraints. Unlike traditional wedding ceremonies that typically take place in churches, mosque, or other religious areas, nonreligious weddings like civil weddings occur in courthouses, wedding chapels, reception halls, or outdoors.
These events tend to be much smaller and are less formal compared to that of traditional religious wedding ceremonies. Instead of a priest or rabbi presiding over the ceremony as the officiant, government-approved officials or secular officials serve as the facilitator of nonreligious weddings.
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Rev. Rosalba Fontanez