Wedding Legalities – Do you know?

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Information | Comments Off on Wedding Legalities – Do you know?

Wedding Legalities – Do you know?

Wedding Legalities – Do you know? Hey Grooms and Brides … do you know? 1. Marriage is a legal term. To get married is to make a legally binding commitment. In Canada, this contract requires a provincially registered celebrant to do the job i.e. solemnize and register the marriage in accordance with the rules of the Province. 2. A minister of religion may or may not be a registered celebrant in the Province he or she is asked to do a wedding in. Religious representatives must be registered to qualify to solemnize a marriage. Be sure to check that out at LINK or you may not be married at the end of the ceremony. 3. Solemnization is the ceremonial process of marrying that, executed by a qualified celebrant or officiant in the presence of 2 witnesses, along with a marriage licence or bans, makes a marriage legal. 4. Wedding is not a legal term. It is a social rite or transition ceremony that marks moving from single status to married. You may have a wedding and go through an entire wedding ceremony with vows, ring exchange and more, and not be legally married. Or, you may have married some time before the wedding. 5. There are very few “must haves” in a marriage ceremony. Within the ceremony, if you have a marriage licence, there are only 4 mandatory elements for you to be legally married: – a formal Declaration of Intent to marry by each party – in the presence of witnesses over 18 years of age and a provincially registered celebrant – signing of the marriage licence and marriage register by the couple, witnesses and celebrant – being pronounced married by the celebrant. Everything else is optional. Now, you...

Read More

Marrying in Nature in The County

Posted by on Oct 16, 2016 in Opinion | Comments Off on Marrying in Nature in The County

Marrying in Nature in The County

Marrying in Nature in The County Prince Edward County is an idyllic get-away destination for urbanites who love nature. Only a couple of hours from Toronto and Ottawa, and slightly further from Montreal, its white sand beaches, woods, vineyards, specialty farms and foods, and wonderful hideaways bring tens of thousand visitors there every year. With a variety of artists, musicians, and other special event vendors, it is a wonderful wedding destination. From May through October, most couples eloping or having a wedding in The County choose an outdoor site for their ceremony. As a wedding officiant there, I have years when I do not do a single wedding in-doors. The lure of the peaceful countryside is hard to resist. Out-door weddings come in many forms: elegant or simple, posh or rustic, formal or casual, traditional or funky, styled or relaxed. Prince Edward County offers a wide variety of venues from public parks and beaches to home gardens, from hotels to barns. Of course, with The County being surrounded by water, weddings may be on boats too. There is something for every kind of couple! Check it out. Beautiful Prince Edward County...

Read More

Ritual – Let’s Talk About It!

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Opinion | Comments Off on Ritual – Let’s Talk About It!

Ritual – Let’s Talk About It!

Ritual – Let’s Talk About It! There’s a conversation we are not having in the public arena or privately over coffee – a situation that is not top of mind and has significant implications for Western Society. I’m referring to the loss of ritual as a conscious, deliberate and meaningful activity. What do I mean by “ritual”? I am referring to activities we engage in to deliberately appreciate, recognize, honour, praise, sustain or cope with an aspect of our life experience. The activities that form a ritual are “a well-defined sequence of words and actions designed to focus attention, establish significance, and achieve a beneficial result”. (Dr. Serge King) The fascinating thing about ritual is that is has been a mode of behaviour exhibited by all known societies since the beginning of humankind! Ritual is a “universal feature of human social existence” (Kevin Carrico, Jnl. of Cultural Anthropology). It is as central and foundational to our existence as language! Who would have guessed? Cultural anthropologists say it is, therefore, “possible to view ritual as a way of defining or describing humans”. (Encyclopedia Britiannica) That is pretty heavy duty! We are defined or described by our rituals? Wow! For many of us, ritual is some obscure, esoteric and perplexing mystical, religious or cultural practice that we see as being outside of ourselves. However, it takes only a few moments of reflection to realize that rituals are an inherent part of each of our everyday lives. In addition to personal rituals like brushing teeth every morning, meditating regularly evening, or grabbing coffee at Starbucks on the way to work unfailingly every day … as King points out, “modern society makes use of many rituals to mark: the beginning of significant events (baby showers, grand openings, ship launchings); the ending of life, or ways of life (funerals, bachelor parties, happy hours); the completion of important tasks or performances (graduation ceremonies, toasting successful negotiations, applause); the transition of one state or time period to another (birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, religious ceremonies like baptism/bar mitzvah/confirmation),” and, the commitment to a belief system or practice (church services, communion, regular prayer or meditation, regular exercise); a change in social status or social role (weddings, retirements, ordinations, inaugurations ). Yet, behaviourial researchers and those of us ordinary folk who are thinking about ritual are concerned that we have lost the sense of ritual in our modern western world. Why so? The concern is that most rituals have largely lost their meaning and purpose. They are no longer as effective as they can be and we may be suffering negative consequences from that loss that we are not even aware of. There is a reason for ritual in human society. What purpose does it fulfill? What impact does it have on our world? What personal benefits accrue from it? What have we lost and what is the price of that loss? What has happened to ritual over the centuries, and more recently? What is missing from modern rituals? What can we do to have more effective rituals? How might we benefit individually and societally from attending to this issue? Sonia Beverley will continue the discourse in this mini blog series on Ritual – Let’s Talk About It!   Let’s talk ritual! To comment on this blog post and join the discussion, go to: www.countyweddings.ca/ritual-lets-talk-about-it or...

Read More

Spiritual But Not Religious Ceremony

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Opinion | Comments Off on Spiritual But Not Religious Ceremony

Spiritual But Not Religious Ceremony

Spiritual But Not Religious Ceremony Spiritual but not religious and want a spiritually meaningful wedding ceremony? Absolutely! You can have that. There is a growing number of officiants who offer non-religious ceremonies. The question is, can they offer you a ceremony that is true to your spiritual beliefs and will be deeply meaningful to you both? The challenge couples face is that the commonly used titles of “officiant” and, more recently, “celebrant”, do not inform about the person’s training or approach to ceremonies. You have to look deeper to get that information and determine if that person is the right one to do  your spiritual wedding. Celebrants who focus on personalizing ceremonies and have no need to inject their own spiritual beliefs are a good place to start. Don’t shop by price. Officiants who use templates for their weddings and price their services to spend only 3 or 4 hours before the rehearsal and wedding are likely not set up for designing highly customized, original ceremonies. Five tips for finding the right person: At first contact, ask questions to determine the celebrant’s tolerance and comfort level with various spiritual contexts. Is the celebrant truly at ease with no religious reference at all, or with blending various religious and spiritual elements? Give specific examples, e.g. incorporating Christian, Islam or Judaism with each other or other religions, Buddhist practices, animism or paganism, the use of crystals, wiccan; creating gender neutral ceremonies. It is not that you believe in any or all of this – you are testing for that person’s open-mindedness and attitude to representing others’ beliefs, whatever they may be. Look for: A person who knows how to create ceremonies within a variety of belief systems, cultural and religious traditions A person who knows and understands ritual practices from many countries and cultures, and is expert at adapting, blending and respecting these practices A professional who will listen well to you both, identify the symbolic elements that are meaningful to you, spend the time doing any research that will be helpful, and then custom-make a ceremony to suit you. Meet with the celebrant to ensure there is a good fit between you before you decide. Remember to check that the celebrant you engage is provincially registered and authorized to solemnize (make legal) your marriage. There are celebrants trained in ritual and ceremony who will work with you to ensure a perfect wedding ceremony that is spiritual and not religious. These tips will guide you to the right one to make your wedding spiritually...

Read More

Options for How to Marry

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Opinion | 1 comment

Options for How to Marry

Options for How to Marry I went to a wedding and found myself at a Sunday-style church service, almost like I fallen down the rabbit hole. I was excited for my friends who were finally taking this big step to formally and legally join their lives. Then, beyond the initial remarks welcoming us to their wedding, nothing was said about them until their brief vows.  The majority of what was to be a marriage ceremony turned out to be the Minister preaching the Word of God. I don’t have anything against a religious service with that purpose, but it would have been nice to hear him talk about the couple and their intention. Instead, the wedding served as a launch pad for an extensive sermon on compliance with God’s word.  Of course, it is appropriate to call for God’s blessing at a religious and even a non-religious wedding. However, I believe most friends and family would have liked to also hear about the couple – their journey in finding love and their decision to make a sacred, life commitment. I could not help wondering what the couple had wanted for their special moment.  Too many couples do not realize that they have many options available for how their wedding ceremony is structured and conducted. The legally required elements take very little time and space. Nowadays, couples can ask for and expect a ceremony that honours who they are and what they want. Wedding celebrants herald this new era. They are professionals who approach the role of marriage officiant in a fresh and personal way, ensuring that the wedding ceremony is about the couple and their commitment to each other. This growing profession offers couples all options for their wedding ceremonies. There is no need to apologize for who they are, what they value, believe, or want. The result every time is a deeply meaningful and beautiful wedding that authentically portrays the couple and cannot be...

Read More