What do you call a wedding that is Not a wedding?

Although weddings are normally thought of as one of Life’s most significant celebrations, symbolising the union of 2 people in Love.   However, there are other situations, where an event resembles closely to a wedding, but does not fit the traditional definition.  I am going to tell you about this fascinating concept of what to call a wedding that is not a wedding. We will explore the différents scenarios where such an event might occur and how we can look at them with a better understanding. 

When a couple decides to seal their union, to solidify their commitment to one an another, but without legal or religious formalities, we then have what we call a simple commitment ceremony.  Although this event or celebration does in many ways Miror many aspects of a wedding, such as exchanging vows, rings and celebrating with loved ones. In this case we call a wedding that is not a wedding , a commitment ceremony, honouring the couple’s devotion without the legal implications. 

Sometimes, couples who have been married for a length of times, or who have been through tough times, decide to reaffirm their love and commitment to each other through a vow renewal ceremony.  This ceremony celebrates their enduring bond, even though it doesn’t mark the beginning of their marriage.  It may ressemble a Wedding , but it is not.  It is referred to as a vow renewal ceremony/ or celebration. 

In some countries or regions, where same sex marriage is not yet legalised/ or recognised, couples may organise a celebration to honour their union. These ceremonies can also have all the components of a wedding, including the ceremony, the reception, and the happy festivities… But they are usually called same-sex union ceremony or celebration, or a symbolic wedding, emphasising the love and commitment shared by the 2 of them. 

Another one that used to be popular a few years back….and Once synonymous with secret and spontaneous marriages…the Elopement, has evolved into a more intentional and intimate affair. Usually after deciding to privately exchange their vows, some couples choose to hold a celebration with their loved ones.  This gathering may include many elements of a wedding, it is essential to acknowledge that the official ceremony has already taken place. Therefore we would call it an Elopement reception, distinguishing it from a traditional wedding. 

In some cases, when 2 families are merging due to remarriage or partnership, a ceremony will be held to symbolise the unification of the families.  This event acknowledges the importance of blending lives, traditions, and relationships. While it may also have some similarities to a wedding, it is not the union of 2 people, but rather. The joining of families. Hence it would be referred to as a blended family unification ceremony. 

In conclusion as our understanding of relationships and celebrations evolves, we encounter situations where events closely resemble weddings but do not fit the traditional definition.  When we are faced with these scenarios, it is important to be sensitive and respectful.  By using the appropriate names/ terms like Comitment ceremony, same-sex union celebrations, elopement reception, vow renewal ceremony, and blended family unification ceremony, we acknowledge the unique nature of these celebrations/ ceremonies, while recognising the Love and commitment they represent.   Now, the next time you come across a Wedding that is not a Wedding, you will have the perfect vocabulary to describe it appropriately. 

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