There are many types of weddings and ceremonies. The one you choose for you and your soon to be spouse is probably the single most important thing you need to decide to do before going any further in your wedding planning. This is a very important question that you and your future spouse must agree on before you start deciding on things like wedding venues, who will attend, and other questions like what kinds of flowers, what color scheme will you choose, yada yada yada.
There are so many different types of weddings available it can be almost overwhelming to even begin thinking about which one is the right one for you. First of all, we would suggest that you answer these two questions truthfully to yourself before you go on any further in making your important decision.
Once you have answered these two questions truthfully then you both can really begin digging down further into exactly what kind of wedding ceremony you really desire and will eventually have.
The easiest thing you can do, and also probably the cheapest, is to have a civil ceremony. These types of weddings usually these happen inside a courthouse or federal type building, in the Justice of the Peace’s office or perhaps at some other office inside your local City Hall. Usually this ceremony is very simple, short as far as time goes, somewhat impersonal and only has room for a few close guests. And if you want to do anything further, for example, such as having a reception or party afterwards, then that is completely your decision and entirely possible. But only the wedding ceremony itself occurs within the courthouse building.
A home wedding is another type of wedding that has been around forever but is gaining popularity these days. Celebrities have these at their big mansions all the time but now regular people just like you and me are opting to do home weddings too. Best of all, they're not the same old thing that your grandma went to back in the day, but they can be fun, interesting and memorable affairs that show off the new couple and allow them to enjoy hanging out with friends and family in an intimate home setting.
The next choice that some couples decide to on is to elope. Elopement is also far less expensive than a traditional marriage in many ways, such as a traditional wedding ceremony inside a church or a destination wedding. The most famous destination in the US for a couple who wish to elope is in Las Vegas, Nevada. So if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, these types of weddings are often the perfect choice. They are often something quick and maybe even a little weird or surely different by most peoples standards, but you can’t go wrong if you decide to elope. Then you can always throw a wedding party later for your friends and family upon your return.
One of the most popular types of weddings many couples choose is to have a religious ceremony that takes place within a house of worship such as a church or a synagogue where the couple is married by a pastor, priest, rabbi or some other religious leader. In most cases, at least one of the members of the couple getting married is also a member of that churches congregation. Once the ceremony is complete and the couple are married, normally there is a reception that occurs just afterward, including a meal and lots of time to interact with the guests, usually within the churches great room, dining hall, kitchen or banquet room depending on what is available.
Destination weddings are getting more and more popular these days because who doesn’t love going on vacation, right? In many cases destination weddings are all inclusive and the hotel or resort wherever the couple are staying handles all the wedding ceremony details – including the honeymoon. The only difference here is that many of your friends and family are on vacation there with you in this beautiful location that you’ve chosen to be married in. So whether you choose a tropical beach, a cold snow covered mountain or a trip rafting down the Colorado River just after the ceremony is over, a destination wedding can be a wonderful experience for everyone.
If you want to combine a destination wedding with a boat ride you can’t do any better than having a wedding on a cruise ship, yacht or some other kind of water vessel. These kinds of weddings are often officiated by the captain or maybe a clergy member who just happens to be a member of the staff on board the vessel. When you decide to go this route, the ships crew will have staff on board who will help coordinate everything you need for your event including wedding planners or other helper staff to help you decide on every detail of your wedding ceremony and the fun party afterwards. There are also themed events that can be scheduled from time to time on cruise ships that might be just the perfect addition to your own wedding party.
The next types of weddings we want to discuss is a formal wedding. Typically these are very elaborate and highly decorated including the wedding ceremony, a reception including a super fancy meal afterwards, many groomsmen and bridesmaids, ushers, ring bearers, flower girls, beautifully detailed stationary and signage, seating charts and everything else you can think of that makes a top of the line wedding complete. Usually these kinds of ceremonies are also very large with hundreds of guests, consist of many photo opportunities, include many speeches, dancing and more. These kinds of shindigs often happen at wineries, oversized industrial sites or large classic venues decorated to the hilt where you will be wined and dined and entertained for hours on end.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are informal weddings. Usually these are weddings that include only the parts of a traditional ceremony that the couple wants to use. In other words, their wedding will not necessarily be traditional but there may be several traditions that they do want to include in their ceremony. Often times the wedding couple will come up with new things to do for their ceremony that are completely unique to them. Usually these kinds of ceremonies are a bit more intimate too. They can also be quirky, themed events that really share the wedding couples unique style such as a zombie wedding or maybe a popular sci-fi themed event.
Military weddings are reserved for people who are in the military and these are often very formal and filled with tradition. In many cases the ceremony includes full dress uniforms for the enlisted personnel who are getting married and their wedding party members who are also a member of the military. Many other traditions are followed for the ceremony and they can vary depending on the branch of service that the enlisted person is in. In fact, in many ways military weddings are very much like a traditional wedding, but with lots of men in very beautiful dress uniforms. These weddings can happen on base or off and often incorporate salutes during the ceremony that include sabers that the newlyweds pass under. The chaplain or protocol officer on base can give you more details if you are interested in learning more about having a military wedding.
Same sex weddings or commitment ceremonies happen when two women or two men want to get married to each other. These are often practically identical to a wedding ceremony that occurs between a man and a woman. And now they are legal in 29 countries including Canada, Ireland, the United States and many other countries. In some cases a civil commitment is the only option. But the best part is that, as trail blazers, gay couples can choose to follow or not follow traditional wedding ceremonies and make their wedding service completely unique. If you’re into glam, goth, hipster chic, cosplay or anything else, feel free to let your LGBTQ flag fly high as you want as you share your love for each other by having one of these types of weddings surrounded only by people who want to see you thrive as a couple.
Lastly, let's talk about something all together different from the norm when it comes to the different types of wedding services that you can choose. These are called flash weddings! Have you heard about them? This is what flash weddings are all about and how they're accomplished. Think flash mob meets wedding ceremony and then they have a baby. Basically, you have a small group of your closest friends and family who meet at a specific location, perform the wedding ceremony, then go their separate ways afterward and the whole thing is done in 20 minutes or less. You can have a reception afterwards if you want to at another location and all of this is planned in advance.
Since there are so many major types of weddings that available to you, hopefully this small discussion will make your choices even easier. This list in no way covers all the different types of weddings available to you as a couple, but it does cover the bases of many of the more popular choices. So, we hope after you have gone through the types of weddings listed above that you are now thinking more clearly and precisely about a few directions that you and your fiance may want to go in.
We also hope that you are less confused than before. Take your time, think outside of the box if you want to, and have fun starting to plan your own fabulously fun wedding day. And if you need more help with your wedding, feel free to check out all the fun information we've gathered for you within this fabulously frugal bride website. :~).