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Polyamorous/non-monogamous weddings

Polyamorous weddings, although not as commonly recognised as traditional monogamous weddings, are gaining attention and acceptance in the UK as society becomes more open-minded about alternative relationship structures and people seek a wedding ceremony that truly reflects them. These weddings celebrate the love and commitment between individuals who are involved in polyamorous relationships, where each person may have multiple partners with the consent of everyone involved. While polyamorous weddings may not follow the conventional norms of monogamous ceremonies, they are just as meaningful and significant for those involved.

A man stands on a stage celebrating with two people sat either side

Polyamorous weddings in the UK often require a unique approach to ceremony planning and execution. Unlike traditional weddings that typically involve two individuals committing to each other, polyamorous weddings may involve multiple partners making commitments to each other simultaneously. This requires careful consideration and communication among all parties involved to ensure that everyone's needs, desires, and boundaries are respected and acknowledged.

Three people sat on stage hugging and smiling

One of the key aspects of polyamorous weddings in the UK is the celebration of love and inclusivity. Polyamorous relationships are founded on principles of trust, communication, and mutual respect, and polyamorous weddings provide an opportunity to celebrate and affirm these values. By publicly declaring their commitment to each other, individuals in polyamorous relationships can validate and honour the depth of their connections, both individually and collectively in front of their loved ones. Although not always, polyamorous relationships are often also celebrations of queer love - something which has been neglected and shunned in traditional wedding practices. Therefore, these celebrations can be a powerful and radical statement of love for those involved.

Polyamorous weddings in the UK may also involve unique rituals and ceremonies that reflect the diversity of the relationships involved. While some aspects of traditional weddings, such as exchanging vows and rings, may still be present, polyamorous weddings often incorporate additional elements to symbolise the bonds between multiple partners. This may include rituals such as handfasting ceremonies involving multiple partners, unity ceremonies involving the blending of different elements or symbols, or the creation of custom rituals that hold personal significance for the individuals involved.

Furthermore, polyamorous weddings in the UK highlight the importance of legal recognition and protection for individuals in non-traditional relationships. While marriage laws in the UK currently only recognise monogamous unions, there is growing advocacy for legal recognition of polyamorous relationships and families. This includes calls for legal recognition of multiple-partner unions, as well as legal protections for individuals in polyamorous relationships, such as inheritance rights, healthcare decision-making, and parental rights. Polyamory is often confused with polygamy - however these two things are extremely different and should not be confused. Polyamory involves consenting love between multiple people, while polygamy involves a man marrying multiple wives.

A colourful groom and bride on stage with their celebrant

It's important to note that polyamorous weddings in the UK may face challenges and barriers as well as stigma and judgement due to societal norms and legal constraints. Polyamorous relationships are still stigmatised in many parts of society, and individuals in polyamorous relationships may face discrimination or misunderstanding from family, friends, and institutions. Polyamorous relationships are often not treated with the same love and respect as monogamous relationships. Additionally, the lack of legal recognition for polyamorous unions can create practical challenges in terms of rights and responsibilities, particularly in areas such as healthcare, housing, and finances.

Polyamorous weddings in the UK represent a celebration of love, commitment, and inclusivity among individuals involved in non-traditional relationships. While they may differ from traditional monogamous weddings in terms of structure and ceremony, polyamorous weddings are just as meaningful and significant for those involved. As society continues to evolve and embrace diversity in relationships, polyamorous weddings will hopefully play an increasingly important role in affirming and celebrating the depth and complexity of human connections.

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