Wedding ceremonies come in all shapes and sizes these days. What was once a very traditional, and often stiff, portion of the overall event, can now really kick off the whole vibe of your day. You can keep your ceremony more lighthearted or set the stage for deep personal meaning. You can have portions that include your guests, or times of laughter and fun. There are no rules, so here are some ways to truly personalize your wedding ceremony –
Ceremony Set Up
There’s no rule that everyone has to sit politely in rows of chairs. Create an atmosphere of one big happy family at your ceremony, and consider having open seating that allows guests to sit wherever they want, on whatever side of the aisle they would prefer. You could also switch up traditional seating. Why not have guests arranged in a circle around you, encircling you both with love and support. You could also have just your wedding party join hands and form a circle around you during your vows. Couples have gotten married on horses, boats and in the back of pickups – get creative!
You don’t have to save your band or DJ for the reception. Why not play music selections that are personal to you, your fiancé and your families? It might be classical selections, jazz or blues, or it could be dance tunes that you dance your way down the aisle to. Weddings are joyous occasions and there is nothing wrong with getting the laughter and smiles started right from the outset!
Include Family & Friends
Weddings are about blending two families and groups of friends together, so including family and special friends in your ceremony is a natural fit. Asking special people to do a reading, sing a solo, or otherwise take part in an aspect of the ceremony is fairly common. This is another opportunity to get creative as well. Some brides have their family or children (or dog!) walk them down the aisle. You could include special family traditions such as readings or song, even in other languages of your heritage, or highlight special items in a symbolic manner (think something old, something new). There are also ceremonies that focus on the blending of two families together, include family members, and use imagery such as sand pouring, candle lighting, and ribbon weaving.
Writing your own vows is a very distinct way to make your ceremony unique and one-of-a-kind. While reciting the traditional “till death” vows after your officiant is very nice, preparing your own love notes to one another will truly make your ceremony your own. Your personal vows can be sentimental and talk about your journey together as a couple, or be humorous and show your comical personalities. When you write your own vows you truly grab everyone’s attention.
Honoring Those Who Have Passed
The occasion of a marriage can bring up sadness for those who can’t be there with you. There are ways to honor and include those no longer with you without bringing down the mood. You might include a moment of silence, have a special flower arrangement on the alter in memory, or light a remembrance candle. Including a missed loved one as part of your ceremony can be very poignant and leave you with a special memory even in their absence.
Special Venue Activities
If you are getting married at a really cool location such as an historic site, a vineyard, or the aquarium, give your guests the opportunity to learn and explore with pre- or post-wedding activities such as tours, tastings or special access passes.
Your wedding day is your day – so make it your own with special features and details that truly highlight your relationship, your family and friends, and that begins to create special memories that the two of you will cherish about your wedding!
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Featured Image Photo Credit: Nicholas Bowie-Haskell of No Umbrella Media