Last week we talked about finding the perfect place for your wedding ceremony. So many of us get lost in the wedding that we forget about the marriage, but we also get so worried about the reception, we forget about the ceremony.
Without the ceremony, there is no wedding, no marriage, no reception!
Once you have the perfect place for your wedding, you need to start thinking about what it’s going to be like. I’m Catholic, and we were married in a Catholic church, so my wedding was very traditional in the sense of everyone there probably knew all the lines.
I like traditional ceremonies. I like knowing that the words my husband and I said to each other were the same words people have been saying for generations. That we’re joining a long line of couples who’ve made the same promises to each other, read similar stories, and followed the same traditions.
On the other hand, non-traditional ceremonies offer you the option to personalize it. To make it all about who you are as a couple. They allow you the freedom to put your touch on every aspect of the ceremony from the readings, which could be favorite poems instead of readings from a Bible, to the song you dance down the aisle to after your first kiss as a married couple.
Traditional ceremonies are going to have vows that are familiar to everyone. Whether that’s a religious ceremony with a set order, or a ceremony that’s formed by traditions of your family for generations, it’s something that is familiar. Some traditions could include:
- Reading Bible stories
- Father giving the daughter away
- Exchanging rings
- Exchanging vows
- Jumping the broom
- First kiss as husband and wife
Not all ceremonies will include all of these, but if they’re common in your culture or religion, they’re things that you might want to do to add a little bit of history and tradition to your ceremony.
As families have changed and people have grown away from the way families lived hundreds of years ago, people have come up with new ideas so symbolize their new marriage. Some of those ideas are:
- Unity ceremony (could be candles or sand or water or even your favorite alcohol)
- Writing your own vows
- Reading poems or stories about the couple getting married
- Dance into and out of your wedding
- Encourage audience participation
Your wedding can be anything you want it to be. It’s your day, so make it just right for you.
Sometimes your location will dictate some of your wedding. If you’re in a church, you’re not going to be able to release paper lanterns when you say your vows. If you’re outside, candles might not be the best idea (even on a calm day, a light wind could blow out the candle). But there are always options to personalize your wedding.
- Friends of mine got married in a church and danced down the aisle after they were married.
- My cousin got married outside and had a sand unity ceremony.
- Other friends of mine got married and during the vows, one of the kids called out (happily) which prompted others in the audience to cheer with them.
Sometimes things are spontaneous and sometimes you can plan ahead. The biggest thing to remember is to have fun. You’re starting the rest of your life with the person you’re going to be walking down the aisle with. Enjoy it!
How do you plan to make your ceremony unique?
I always played it safe. From the men I dated to the jobs I took on. Nothing I did ever rattled the fences. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop wanting my best friend’s brother. He was everything a man should be – kind, strong, confident, and sexy enough to set my sheets on fire. Too bad he was never between them with me when that happened. But one night, everything changed. One night he didn’t say no. And I knew I had to play it cool, or I really would get burned.