Why Marriage? Modern Marriage In The West of Ireland

Why Marriage? Modern Marriage in the West of Ireland

Marriage in the west of Ireland

Why do modern couples marry? I’m delighted to say that a great many do, and I have officiated and co-created many beautiful ceremonies as a result! My marriage ceremonies in the west of Ireland can be spiritual in their content, and I work with couples to create ceremonies that honour whatever is special to them. Often couples are from different cultures and religious backgrounds, or different Christian denominations such as Catholic and Church of Ireland or Methodist etc. Many couples have no religious beliefs but have their own spirituality, which can be expressed in the way they choose through their ceremony.  Marriage in the west of Ireland

Marriage in the west of Ireland

As part of the process I use for creating a ceremony, the couple are given a set of reflective questions about themselves and their relationship. Questions about how they met, for example, or what attracted them to each other. What marriage means to them or how they knew they had met the right person. It always amazes me to see how similar the answers can be between individuals and couples with entirely different backgrounds and personality types. A pattern emerges from the answers to my questions, which indicates that there is a very natural process, taking place from meeting someone special, to popping the question! It’s a process with it’s own rhythm influenced by natural forces, personalities and tradition, but at this special point in Irish history, there is a wide choice as to what parts of established traditions couples take forward into the future and what they choose to leave behind. Couples are embracing this choice in their life-style, expectations and their ceremonies.

 

The couples coming to me, and to other Interfaith Ministers tend to want to make their own choices about what they include from a traditional Christian marriage ceremony. They may want Bible readings-they may not, they may want an exchange of rings-they may not. Many choose readings from indigenous cultures such as North American Indian; others may choose Buddhist prayers or poetry from famous poets or family and friends. Some brides/grooms walk the isle; others wait in the room for their guests. Some couples write their own vows and others use established traditional vows. Some ceremonies take place in the round, some with traditional theatre seating.

Marriage in the west of Ireland

Modern marrying couples have often been living together for a few years before they get married. They have had time to save and to plan, they want to create a really special event for their friends and families, a ceremony that says who they are, how much they value their love for each other and perhaps their children and what their own priorities are.

 

Meeting the right person and falling in love has a very important place in our lives. For modern couples, the next stage, living together, planning a life together, saving to get married, perhaps living with each other’s children, supporting each other through difficult times, is a crucial testing ground. I don’t tend to meet the couples that have lived together and don’t make the walk up the isle, but the ones who do, seem to have relationships very much grounded in reality. They seem to me to have created together, through tough times, good times and old-fashioned romance, precisely the right outlook and circumstances for great marriages.

 

My understanding, through performing 50 or more weddings along the west coast of Ireland for the past 3 years is that the couples I regularly encounter want to marry because it is a stage in their development together, their love for each other. It is a very deep commitment that they make based on the practical experience of living together within the pressures of modern society all over the world (my couples have come from the USA, England, Ireland, Germany, Latvia, the Caribbean, The Philippines…. The list goes on).

 

Marriage doesn’t occur mainly through societal pressure, although peer pressure is probably a factor. Marriage is an ancient tradition, creating a lawful union, which many modern couples choose to look forward to as an opportunity to arrive at a point of focus for their future together. Where they can re-establish their direction together, celebrate their love with their families and friends. It’s a choice, not an obligation. Often it is a well-earned reward for a tough few years establishing a home and a loving family together. A celebration of something already established, and not, as in the past, a new beginning.

 

Take the best of the traditions, add your own ideas and make your wedding your own. If you are a couple choosing to wed, give yourself a wide and broad-minded choice for your wedding ceremony. Seriously consider the reasons why marriage is important to you, and include that sentiment in your ceremony through your choice of readings and the composition of your own vows.

Marriage in the west of Ireland

The weddings I have had the pleasure to officiate in the west of Ireland are joyful, beautiful, honest celebrations of commitment, and of the love between the couples and their families and friends.

If anyone were to ask my advice as to where to choose to get married, gay or heterosexual, male or female, from any where in the world, I would advise them to seriously consider the many opportunities open to them currently in the west of Ireland for creative ceremony and a wide and varied choice of venues and locations. Marriage in the west of Ireland

Article By Rev Helen Webb Interfaith Minister/Legal marriage solemniser

 

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