It’s been a while since I planned a wedding, but I still remember going to my church when we were ready to pick a date and start planning our wedding. The coordinator at our church was adamant that we secure the church first because if they weren’t available, the reception wouldn’t matter. It wasn’t intended to be advice, but it was some of the best advice I received during the wedding planning process.
We spend a lot of time imagining our wedding. How many movies out there are about the perfect wedding? When you picture your perfect wedding, you probably picture the reception. The party. The fun part. But like our church coordinator told us, the reception can’t happen without the ceremony.
A lot goes into the ceremony. You have a lot of decisions to make. It’s the start of your life as a married couple, and I believe it sets the tone for your marriage.
So how do you create the perfect ceremony?
The first thing to figure out is if your ceremony is going to be religious or secular. If it’s religious, you probably have a church in mind. If not, start looking now. Some churches require you to be a member. Some will let you get married there, but could require a fee for non-members to use the church. And the most popular churches will book early. If you have your heart set on the church you went to when you were growing up, call them today. Don’t wait!
A secular ceremony is both easier and harder! It’s easier because your options are limitless, but it’s harder because your options are limitless. You can get married at a park, a hotel, a beach, a vineyard, a courthouse, your backyard, anywhere.
Close your eyes for a minute. Picture your spouse-to-be. Imagine him (or her) saying those iconic vows to you. Promising to love, honor, and cherish you forever. Professing his love to you in front of family and friends. Glance out at the crowd and see your parents, best friends, siblings, all the people you’re closest to.
Where are you?
What if the place you picture isn’t going to work?
Well, that happens. You could have religious restrictions but really want to get married at a park. Or you could envision your ceremony at the same church your parents got married, but it doesn’t exist anymore. Unfortunately, your wedding might not be perfect, but it will be perfect for you.
You don’t have to go back to the drawing board if your perfect spot isn’t an option.
What is it you love about the place you wanted to get married? Do you love being in nature so you want to be outside? What about a beautiful spring day with all the windows open in the church and tons of flowers, maybe even a few potted trees. Are you set on your parents’ church because of the history and familial connection, but it’s closed? What about the church your grandparents got married in? Or your sister? Or a close cousin? Or a new tradition with your home church. Or go to somewhere that’s similar to the church where your parents got married. A sister church that has similar features. There are always options.
There are tons of options for a ceremony location, as many as there are reception locations. The most important part is finding the place that’s perfect for you. Think outside the box. Look for something new, or something old, never forget you can borrow a church from a friend, and hey, maybe it’ll be blue!
That’s step one. Find your perfect place. The place where you’re going to actually become husband and wife. The place where you get to tell everyone you know how much you love your spouse-to-be.
Next week we’ll talk a little about designing the ceremony itself.
If you’re already married, how did you choose the location of your ceremony? If you’re not, do you have any ideas of where you’d like to get married one day?
Having a crush on my little sister’s best friend was not good. I knew it from the first moment I noticed her as a woman instead of a kid. There was just something about her that I couldn’t deny. Damn if that didn’t get harder and harder to do as she showed me the kind of woman she was. But I wasn’t right for her. I wasn’t what she needed, or what she wanted. No matter how many times she flirted with me. It was self-preservation to turn her down. Because I knew if I ever had her, I’d never be able to let her go.