Free wedding ceremony: from the seating arrangement to the wedding speaker -
everything you need to know
Saying “I do” to your partner on a cliff, on the beach, in the mountains, in a flowery meadow or under the stars: This is the dream of many couples who finally want to tie the knot.
But how does a free wedding ceremony actually work? You will learn all the important information on this topic in this article.
What is a free wedding ceremony?
A “free wedding ceremony” is an alternative to a church wedding for the bride and groom. It offers the opportunity to say “yes” in a solemn ceremony. A “free marriage ceremony” is a marriage performed by an independent theologian outside the church or registry office.
A freelance theologian has a degree in theology, but works freelance and independently of the church. Therefore he can freely
act and thus respond more precisely to the wishes of the bride and groom.
There are many couples who want a beautiful and unique wedding that is free to design and not bound by specifications. With a free wedding ceremony, the bride and groom can also choose the wedding location themselves: Meadow, air, sea or abroad? There are no limits to your ideas.
For whom are free wedding ceremonies suitable?
Free wedding ceremonies lend themselves to couples,
- …belonging to different cultures and/or religions,
- …one or both of whom are not members of the church,
- …who want to celebrate your wedding in a special place,
- … who live in a same-sex partnership.
Independent, individual and suitable for everyone – that’s what free wedding means. In Germany, however, only the registry office can and may conclude a legally binding marriage. Therefore, no bride and groom can avoid a civil ceremony. However, the majority of couples do not leave it at the marriage ceremony in the registry office.
Some may lack the festive atmosphere and personal touch, while other couples may be looking for a private or unconventional wedding ceremony. A free wedding ceremony can also be an option for couples who do not belong to different denominations or for couples who have no religious affiliations.
How much does a free wedding ceremony cost?
The costs for a free wedding ceremony are variable and strongly depend on your individual wishes. However, they differ significantly from the registry office, where a fixed fee is charged for the registration and certification of documents.
Unlike church or private weddings, you are responsible for finding speakers and a suitable location for your ceremony. If you relate the cost issue to the wedding only, these are two factors to consider.
In general, the following applies to free wedding ceremonies: The bigger, more extensive and glamorous they are, the more expensive they are. Holds e.g. a family member or a friend to give the speech and if the wedding ceremony is held in a private garden, then you will save some costs and you can have an inexpensive wedding ceremony. However, if you hire professional speakers and a special location, the price of your free wedding ceremony will naturally increase. But don’t worry – with a few helpful tips, it’s easy as pie to throw an inexpensive yet special wedding.
Wedding speaker: 0 – 1.500 €
You can spend different amounts of money for a professional wedding speaker. Prices vary depending on the region, individual time, season and date. It is also important whether the wedding speaker is full-time or part-time.
Full-time wedding speakers tend to be more experienced and have higher fixed costs. Prices start at 800 €. A less expensive alternative is a part-time wedding speaker. Prices here start on average at around €500.
Location: 0 – thousands of euros
The cost of a free wedding venue depends largely on what type of location you have in mind. The personal meaning and location in nature are usually cheaper than renting event spaces such as special castles, restaurants or other venues. Therefore, it is difficult to give a general price quote. Sites range from free or hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on your preferences and individual needs.
The seating arrangement
As with the location of your free wedding ceremony, the theme and the possible dress code, there are no limits to your seating arrangements. Because a free wedding ceremony has the advantage that the seating arrangement does not have to follow any conventions or traditions.
You can let your wedding guests decide where they want to sit or design their own seating plan. Since you know your guests best, you can seat people who get along well directly together or mix members of different families so that new acquaintances are formed.
They are also not bound to predefined seating rows. So you are free to use the seats bspw. arrange in a semicircle or other shape.
Ensure exciting and varied conversations and give free rein to your ideas and wishes in the process!
An idea about the course of your free wedding ceremony
Since, in contrast to the registry office and the church wedding, there are no fixed parameters for the course of a free marriage ceremony, the free marriage ceremony always takes place individually – and that is exactly what makes it so special. The ceremonies are as unique as the bride and groom themselves and perfectly matched to them.
To give you an idea of what a possible process for a free marriage ceremony might look like, we will give you an example:
1. welcome the guests with a champagne party
2. the entrance of the bride/groom
3. wedding speech
4. guest participation
5. wedding ceremony, including the exchange of rings.
6. quote or a short speech from the bride and groom themselves
7. subsequent festivities or a joint meal
The course of your free wedding ceremony – as individual as you yourself
There are no limits to your personal wedding. However, this boundlessness can also seem very overwhelming. Take as much time as you need when planning for the flow of your wedding ceremony. This one day is one of the most beautiful in life and for this very reason it should be perfect for you.
Our sample flow for a free wedding ceremony should be a little inspiration for you and open doors to many different, individual ideas.