Civil ceremonies are underpinned by freedom – the opportunity to compose your ceremony with a minimum of rules. I can give you guidelines but f you want a unique ceremony it is up to you to create it from ideas you have come across and convictions you have held … so your ceremony can be an eclectic mix of cultural elements, religious aspects, personal references… and they don’t need to be exact or consistent : a little of this, a little of that will be OK. Civil ceremonies do not purport to represent any particular culture or religion so you can mix it up to include your favourite touches.
The “ Seven Steps” was adapted by a couple I married years ago – their ceremony was “ An Indian Vedic Ceremony in the Tradition of Sapthapadi”. “ The Seven Steps” were incorporated within their vows and involved the couple circling a Unity Candle.
Traditionally this ritual is more prescribed, but for my couple it unfolded thus , as the couple repeated with each step around the candle:
We take this first step to live together with cooperation and understanding.
We take this second step to grow together in physical, emotional and spiritual strength.
We take this third step to communicate truthfully and openly with one another.
We take this fourth step to be generous with our material wealth.
We take this fifth step to welcome children into our lives.
We take this sixth step to work for harmony in our relationship and in our community.
We take this seventh step to walk together as lifelong friends.
I liked this ritual – thoughtful and a little different for western weddings.