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Personalizing Your Wedding Ceremony

Writing your own wedding ceremony can be both fun and challenging.  As a wedding officiant, I personally meet with over 200 brides and grooms each year, and it is lovely to hear most of them say: “I’ve never done this before!”  I assure them this is a very good thing!  After all, isn’t it supposed to be that way!

Personalizing Your Wedding Ceremony

I often compare the process of planning your OWN wedding in relation to moving from being the passenger in a car to now taking the driver’s seat.  It’s not that you haven’t been too and observed a few weddings along the way, but so often we don’t take notice of all the small things, whereas, as we’re planning our OWN wedding, we get a little overwhelmed with the details – Things we have never thought about.  One of those just may be the formal wedding ceremony.  Here’s a few ideas that I think may help along the way…

1. Choose a style that works for you.
Along with your fiancé choose what works best according to your preferences, your style and even your culture.  How long would you like your ceremony to be (20 minutes is probably the most requested time – short, meaningful and romantic).  Will there be a religious focus based on your faith and/or your family’s background?  Or will be purely romantic with no religious overtones?

2. Choose a Theme if you’d like.
You’re welcome to add flair to your wedding ceremony, perhaps a 1920’s Nostalgic theme, a 1950’s Rock ‘n Roll theme, or a favorite movie just might make sense.  You may want to welcome your guests to dress the part as well – Some do, some don’t!

When you do create your theme you’ll want to have special readings that reflect both your love for each other, as well as appear from the your theme.  Music is another element that naturally sets itself to your theme and of course your wedding ceremony decor and flowers may also create the perfect themed wedding.  This is probably the most fun and most creative part of planning your wedding ceremony.  Talk to your wedding officiant about your ideas, they should be thrilled to serve you as you request.  Don’t forget to carry it over into your reception.

3. Choose various elements of the ceremony you’d like to include.
We all know the standards, the Welcome, often a brief word of encouragement shared by a friend or your officiant, your wedding vows, the exchange of rings (for a full walk through of each component, you may want to check out our Suggested Wedding Ceremony) the Kiss, the signing, but what about adding a special and colourful touch?  Today many couples accent their wedding ceremony with one of the following:

  • The Sand Ceremony (often used with family members)
  • The Wine Ceremony
  • The Chocolate Ceremony
  • The Unity Candle
  • The Memorial Tribute Candle(s)
  • The Wine in a Box Ceremony
  • The Breaking of the Glass
  • The Releasing of the Doves
  • The Toast (often shared within various cultures – Champagne, Vodka, Scotch…)
  • The Tying of the Knot
  • Etc..  There are so many options to choose from.  Choose one that blends with your theme and allow your guests to enjoy, take pictures and remember your special day.

4. Choose, Plan YOUR Wedding Day!
There’s no doubt you’ll be overwhelmed with friends, family and parents input.  If you’ve been engaged for a short time, you know that what I just said is an understatement to the reality of this planning season of your life – LOL!  It’s wise to listen and consider many great ideas, but at the end of the day, the wedding is a celebration of a couple in love; who want to journey together and express their love before the world on their wedding day.  This is perhaps the one day of your life, it’s all about you!  You won’t get many more like this day!  And so plan and enjoy your wedding day and ceremony as it reflects your heart.  Focus on what’s really important and don’t sweat the small stuff!

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