Symbolic Wedding Blessing Ceremony – What U Need to Know

Symbolic wedding blessing ceremony mixed race couple holding hands

A symbolic wedding blessing ceremony is a lovely way to make your marriage celebration abroad personalised, unique, and how you like it! Rewriting the rules of matrimony is a great experience. This can occur during a destination wedding without the legalities of marriage. Yet, planning one of the most important stages of your life can be a struggle like a puzzle. So, putting all the pieces together is a challenge.

Let me explain, symbolic wedding blessing ceremonies are non-legal ceremonies and a symbolic show of your love story. It reflects the need for couples to move away from traditional church marriage services. Perhaps you’re unable to meet the marriage legal requirements or the residency rules of the country where you wish to celebrate your wedding. Imagine you want to marry in Holland. Where do you to find an authorised or non-authorised wedding venue? Not to mention, you need to have a sensible budget. There’s a lot of stuff to deal with, set up and plan you might be feeling overwhelmed.

But don’t despair, planning a symbolic wedding blessing service can be a doddle. Did you know that many couples in Holland have no religious faith? In fact, a symbolic wedding blessing ceremonies are fun, exciting and enjoyable. From trying wedding outfits, tasting the food samples, choosing the flowers and picking the right celebrant or friend to officiate. There’s much in store for you. So, here to help with the groundwork is a symbolic Wedding blessing ceremony planning guide and checklist to help you through the process. Read on.

A Guide to a Wedding Blessing for Your  Symbolic Wedding Ceremony in NL

symbolic wedding blessing ceremony

“Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” Anja & Sam got married! Ketelhuis Strijp-S, Eindhoven  |

Legalities of symbolic wedding blessing ceremony

You can plan a separate legal wedding ceremony before a symbolic one. Whether you want a lively, rustic, industrial, classy chic, festival or nautical themed event. A symbolic wedding blessing ceremony is not a legally reconisged marriage ceremony. So, you can have a destination wedding and invite family and friends. Many couples overcome legalities and choose to get married in their country of residence prior to going abroad.

Sort out the the legal paperwork

However, if you want to legally marry and thereafter hold a secular wedding ceremony you must give one calendar month notice to the municipality, where you reside – non-applicable for residents of Holland. On top of that, you may have to give the Dutch official your preferred secular wedding ceremony date too. Inform the council or town hall who you would like to officiate or designate a temporary celebrant for one day.

Get your official documents checked

Getting married is a pivotal moment in ones life. So, if you are a Dutch resident/citizen, you will need evidence of date and place of birth from official sources (eg. Birth Certificate, Passport). And if this is your second or third marriage, you must provide proof of dissolution from an official source, [divorce papers]. Plus you give free and informed consent to be wed.

Book the wedding venue

Secondly, with an explosive demand and rush on wedding venues due to corona, you might like to resume planning. So, if you feel  stuck with no ideas, why not, take advantage of the free time. Double check your entourage: wedding planner, hair and make-up specialist and florist is available.

Symbolic wedding blessing ceremony mixed race couple holding hands

Non-religious wedding blessings are without the trappings of typical weddings. The type of wedding speech context should be about speaking in public ~to family and friends. Marcelo Chagas

How long does a wedding blessing ceremony last?

As a general rule of thumb a secular wedding ceremony (ceremonieel huwelijk) usually lasts between 30 – 60 minutes. It’s an integral part of the planning process. The non-religious ritual symbolises unity and never ending cycle. It has no legal value, so your ceremony script can be relaxed and an informal personal narrative of your histories. It allows you to share your celebration of love with family and friends.

Do you have to arrange official marriage attendee?

Look I don’t wish to burst your bubble or rush you. But, if you want a family or friend to carry out your legal marriage service in Holland, know this. An official civil marriage celebrant/officiant/registrar from the municipality is present to record the wedding ceremony. Additionally, this ensures your symbolic marriage is legally binding, in accordance with marriage  law.

What about an official civil marriage celebrant?

Notably, legalised civil marriage ceremonies can take place before or after symbolic wedding ceremonies. Perhaps you want to complete paperwork during the non-denominational wedding or celebration of marriage. Then, you will need an authorised Dutch council official to attend [charges will be incurred].

Secular wedding ceremony

Symbolic wedding ceremonies are morally but not legally binding marriage (blessing) services. It’s a celebration of love!  pexels olya kobruseva

What are the fees for a symbolic wedding blessing ceremony?

The Dutch official’s attendance fee is to ensure the marriage is legal and performed in a dignified fashion. Alongside wedding vows, the signature and witnesses signing of the certificate this legalises your marriage. The costs guarantee that you are legally married. Thus, your non-denominational officiant, celebrant or friend can deliver the fun part of the nuptials without legal liabilities.

Who do you appoint to officiate the symbolic wedding blessing ceremony?

An integral part of a symbolic wedding ceremony is a celebrant who is representative of your beliefs and shares your approach to life. With their never ending support, this professional creates a script, reads the room and performs the speech. They tell your love history in great detail. So, use these key steps and get planning with your personal officiant now…

Symbolic wedding blessing ceremony planning gay couple holding hands

Hans & Eric on their wedding day.

Symbolic wedding blessing ceremony rituals

Additionally, a symbolic wedding ceremony is a non-religious blessing service bursting with meaning. You are free to marry where they want, when they want and how they like it! It takes place before or after your civil marriage ceremony. In fact, it’s a series of events that reflect who you are. So, your officiant can incorporate symbolic wedding rituals.

The symbolic wedding blessing ceremony officiant / celebrant

Your chosen officiant/celebrant (Dutch, English or another nationality) has a special gift, and an edge on the job. Why? Because you’ve chosen someone who echoes your strong personal beliefs, traditions, and future hopes. Let them show others how much you are committed to one another.

Symbolic wedding blessing ceremony

Symbolic wedding ceremonies are the modern equivalent to traditional white church weddings. Do you know how much you want to spend on the big event? 

The symbolic wedding blessing ceremony script

Give your officiant/celebrant this prepared script / speech to carry out your ceremonial marriage blessing with ease. Imagine guests saying this about your wedding. “The Symbolic Wedding Speech: had us laughing out with tears of joy out of our chairs. The officiant killed it with their calm, confidence and considerate manner.”

Witnesses to sign marriage certificate

A symbolic wedding blessing ceremony is complete with witnesses. Your witnesses (mum, dad, sibling or best friend) celebrate your happiness and joy. Above all, your witnesses minimum 2 and maximum 4 (or more) can sign a symbolic marriage certificate during or afterward the ceremony.

 planning couple pose in front of window

Symbolic wedding blessing ceremonies (ceremonieel trowen of huwelijk) – here’s how to plan a secular wedding ceremony during your seamless wedding event in Holland – Kasteel Helmond

Interfaith Minister for symbolic wedding blessing ceremony

Additionally you can endorse your vows in a beautiful church setting. An accredited minister honors your cultural and ethnic backgrounds as an interfaith [marriage] authority.  For more information about crafting a secular marriage and symbolic wedding ceremony to reflect your personal faiths and beliefs.

Symbolic wedding blessing ceremony celebrant

Furthermore, the celebrancy movement facilitates a certified celebrant to officiate your non-religious marriage ceremony. Creating the right narrative that strikes the right balance between sincerity and humor is a celebrant style wedding. And the relaxed ceremony gives you the ability and  freedom to sign a symbolic contract of marriage.

wedding blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples

Secular wedding ceremony celebrant describes couples key values, moral beliefs and recites their love back to them. Olya Kobruseva – Pexels

Humanist – symbolic wedding blessing ceremony

Similarly, a humanist wedding is officiated by a celebrant. The person can marry you where you want And when you want and how you want anywhere in the world. Humanists’ celebrants focus on humanism and the loving relationship of two human beings. Another thing, the symbolic wedding blessing ceremony incorporates non-religious readings, your favorite music, and  tokens of love.

Marriage Officiant – symbolic wedding blessing ceremony 

And there’s more….a symbolic marriage officiant  mirrors your true feelings for one another. In fact, you compose your own non-religious and non-binding marriage script. The appointed officiant writes a speech for your big moment. But, if you have no time, energy or money to do that. Use my symbolic wedding ceremony script.

 groom with hand on brides back

As a remembrance of the secular wedding day, create intentional moments of meaning, use jokes and words of love. pexels misha earle

Master of symbolic wedding blessing ceremonies

A master of ceremonies can be your friend, family member or a toastmaster. In a special way they can officiate your informal wedding without formality. NOTE: NO religious wording may be used (but who is to know?) A bespoke-written speech assist them. It’s unique, beautiful, and personalised. You design it for someone special to carry out your ceremonial marriage blessing.

Officiating the wedding blessing ceremony

Finally, wherever you decide to hold a destination wedding a symbolic wedding blessing ceremony can be officiated by your mum dad or best friend. In Holland, for one day only you can go one step further and have them sworn in and authorised to marry you. What’s more, the person requires no previous training or experience in creating and officiating your symbolic wedding blessing ceremony. The secular marriage celebration can be conducted any time, at any place and anywhere you choose. You reveal what is important about the two of you.


Over to you…….

Be savvy and create your ideal wedding ceremony! Leave your ideas, questions or comments below.

About Clover Jean: I'm a London, UK celebrant based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Officiating weddings, renewal of marriage vows and naming ceremonies is my passion. My guilty pleasures are singing with my Gospel & Soul choir, fine dining, travel hot spots and on-line retail therapy. What's yours? Get in touch, via Instagram #cloverjeanamsterdam or Facebook. LIKE, SHARE, SPREAD THE LOVE & see you soon!

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