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More couples are opting for loved ones to officiate their special day

Couples have the freedom to customise their special day from accessories like table decorations and wedding umbrellas to colour schemes and menu choices, however one researcher has noticed a growing trend in wedding customisation that increases the personalisation of the special day.

Percentages are rising in the number of couples wanting their loved ones to be the officiants of their wedding, with a large number of couples asking them to be ordained.

This allows couples the freedom to fully customise their wedding, choosing what religious elements they want included in their day, and inevitably receiving a much more sentimental ceremony speech.

Becoming ordained in the UK means you are able to perform wedding ceremonies and baptisms in England, Wales and Scotland.

Several websites saw an increase in the number of weddings performed by loved ones. This included wedding planner website which noted that 40 percent of the weddings planned on their site had a friend or family member as their officiant in 2015, compared to 29 percent in 2009.

The study conducted by American researcher Dusty Hoesly who is a doctoral candidate of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Hoesly gave an online survey to nearly 1,600 newly appointed ministers, as well as conducting 93 in-depth interviews with the ministers and couples who used the ULC service. He found that 32 percent of newly appointed ministers joined ULC in order to officiate a wedding.

He also found that couples opted to keep traditions of walking down the aisle and the exchanging of vows and rings, but many of the weddings lacked any other religious conventions, with 71 percent of couples married by ULC ministers deciding not to include any religious or spiritual readings as part of the ceremony. If you’re not overly religious or find it difficult to find a minister who understands your beliefs this may be a great option for you; a lot of same-sex couples opt for officiants as it can be very difficult to find a religious minister who respects their decision.

We could soon see this trend expanding to the UK with the clear benefits this option provides couples for their special day.

Image Credit: Petar Milošević, Available under Creative Commons.