Symbolic Wedding Ceremony Checklist to Make Planning Easier

Struggling to plan a symbolic wedding ceremony in NL? Here’s a planning checklist for the most important stages of your wedding journey. Whether you have a rustic, industrial, romantic, festival or nautical theme, planning the perfect day is like a puzzle. Putting all the pieces together is a challenge.

Another thing, with symbolic wedding ceremonies becoming more popular. Where do you to find an authorised or non-authorised venue in 2022? Not to mention, it’s important to budget and decide how much you want to spend on the upcoming event. There’s a lot of stuff to deal with and you might be feeling overwhelmed.

But don’t despair, planning can be a doddle. In fact, you can make it fun, exciting and enjoyable. From trying on the bridal gown, tasting the food samples, choosing the right evening outfits and picking the right blossoms. There’s much in store for you. So, here to help with the groundwork is a symbolic wedding ceremony planning guide. Read on.


What do you have to do first before planning your seamless wedding event in Holland?

 symbolic wedding ceremony planning couple posing in front of window

A symbolic wedding ceremony guide is an integral part of the planning process. image credit: Kasteel Helmon – – Jorick de Kruit


Book the wedding venue

First of all, with an explosive demand on wedding venues for summer 2022/2023 [in Holland], you need to resume planning now. 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.

Sort out the the legal paperwork

Secondly, you must give one calendar month official notice to the municipality that you wish to legally marry [only for residents of Holland]. On top of that, you may have to give the Dutch official your preferred symbolic wedding ceremony date too. Inform the council or town hall you would like to a friend to officiate the symbolic wedding. Or designate a temporary celebrant for one day.

Get your official documents checked

Thirdly, 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.

Arrange official marriage attendee (optional)

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

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 symbolic celebration of marriage. Then, you will need an authorised Dutch council official to attend [charges will be incurred].


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 celebrant or friend can deliver the fun part of the nuptials without legal liabilities.

Who do you appoint to officiate the symbolic wedding?

An integral part of a symbolic wedding ceremony is a celebrant who is representative of your beliefs and shares your approach to life. This prime candidate’s role is creating a script, read the room and perform the speech. They tell your love history in great detail. So, use these key steps and get planning with your personal officiant now…


Who should you choose as your celebrant / officiant / master of ceremonies for one day?

symboli wedding ceremony planning couple kissing under a crystal chandelier

Symbolic wedding ceremony is s non-religious ritual that symbolises unity. It has no legal value. image credit: Kasteel Helmond – Jorick de Kruijt

Symbolic wedding ceremony rituals

Additionally, a symbolic wedding ceremony is a non-religious blessing service, and 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 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 ceremony script

Give your officiant/celebrant this prepared FREE 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.”


symbolic wedding ceremony father of the bride congratualing the happy couple

Your symbolic wedding ceremony script is an informal personal narrative that allows you to share your celebration of love with family and friends.  Kasteel Helmond – – Jorick de Kruit


Interfaith Minister

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.


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.


symbolic wedding ceremony bride being escorted by the maid of honour to the ceremony

Symbolic wedding ceremony celebrant describes couples key values, moral beliefs and recites their love back to them.


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 blessing incorporates non-religious readings, your favorite music, and  tokens of love.

Marriage Officiant 

And there’s more….a symbolic marriage officiant  mirrors your true feelings for one another. In fact, you compose your own non-religioius 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 leading out to canals of Amsterdam

As a remembrance of the day, create intentional moments of meaning. image credit Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, Holland


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.


Another thing, you can get your mum dad or best friend sworn in and authorised to marry you for one day only [Holland]. And the person requires no previous training or experience in creating and officiating your ceremony. Even better, the marriage ceremony can be conducted any time, at any place and anywhere you choose. You reveal what is important to you.

Symbolic wedding ceremony resources & tools


Over to you…….

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

About Clover Jean: I'm a Londoner based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Being a ceremonial wedding - symbolic marriage officiant with a gospel & soul choir is rewarding work. So, my guilty pleasures are 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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