The wedding industry has a new category, “married but no wedding”.
Thousands of couples have been diddled out of the ceremony they wanted by COVID-19 restrictions so now is the time for wedding suppliers to recognise this new market and start targeting them with a huge dose of wedding positivity.
No ceremony, no wedding
A “marriage” is a legal contract and can be officiated with little or no ceremony.
A “wedding” is the ceremonial celebration of the marriage.
The ceremonial aspect can be religious or non-religious.
- With recent restrictions due to the pandemic, time-poor registrars have been hard pressed to offer much more than the legal requirement of saying 40 words plus your names and a witnessed signing of the register.
- Ministers and celebrants who were able to officiate some kind of ceremony during lockdown have been constrained by limits on numbers attending the wedding.
- The only truly happy couples have been those opting for an elopement style ceremony – just the couple and their celebrant!
If you first contract your legal marriage without any ceremonial celebration, then in my book you have not had a real wedding. But it’s not just me thinking this, it’s also the couples themselves.
According to the 2021 wedding report from Bridebook , 82% of small wedding couples with 15 or less guests plan another celebration later.
If most couples intend to celebrate twice then not only does the bride get to wear her dress twice, that potentially doubles the market for the wedding industry!
What do you call a second wedding ceremony?
Call it what you like, a second ceremony can be a wedding blessing, a commitment ceremony, an affirmation of vows, a vow renewal, it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that couples who have missed out on a wedding get their special day in the spotlight to affirm their vows in front of the people who love them most in this world. The people they have missed. The people they want to celebrate their marriage with. The people they want to party with.
Heck I would say that the wedding that you really want, celebrated with a ceremony that fulfils your needs, in a way that is meaningful to you is your REAL wedding.
Stress free commitment ceremonies
Saying “I do” without the stress of having to include the legal declaration and contracting words is so much more romantic!
Most couples saying their vows to each other again, choose to write their own words of commitment.
Making personal promises out loud to the person they want to share their life with creates an intensely intimate moment at the centre of their ceremony that they will want to freeze-frame in their memory for the rest of their life.
Let’s create our own new normal
Right now, marketing-savvy wedding suppliers have the opportunity to educate “married but no wedding” couples into realising that having the wedding that they want is a real possibility – in fact they deserve it!
Let’s join together to raise the profile of second wedding ceremonies; let’s create our own “new normality” – one that we can at last benefit from.
Author bio: Debbie Skyrme is an award winning celebrant in Spain, helping destination wedding couples’ dreams come true by officiating elopements, weddings and vow renewal ceremonies in the Spanish sunshine. Unauthorised publishing of the text or image content in part or in full is strictly forbidden.