Your love story is unique—and your ceremony should be too! Many couples spend hours deciding on clothing, flowers, and food—but hardly any time on the actual ceremony itself. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a ceremony that truly expressed who you are—and what is most important to you?
Here are some ideas:
1. Clarify what values and beliefs are most important to each of you. Write these down.
2. Look at the religious and cultural backgrounds of each of you. Are there customs, rituals, or readings that speak to you? What kind of a mood do you want to create?
3. Browse through wedding books at a local bookstore. There are many great ideas in these books.
4. Brainstorm rituals and actions you could use in your ceremony to express you. Remember, no judging or criticism is allowed in brainstorming—sometimes the “craziest” idea has the germ of the best plan for you.
5. Who are the important people who will be present at your wedding? Do you want to honor them in some way?
6. Do either of you have children? If so, consider including them in the ceremony in some way—perhaps having a mini “family ceremony” after your vows.
7. Choose music that has special meaning to you. A live musician (or two) can add a wonderful depth. Music schools and music teachers are good sources for referrals.
8. Find an officiant who will work closely with you to create a ceremony that expresses your wishes, your values, and your unique love story. A Celebrant is a person who is trained to do this. (See www.celebrantinstitute.org for referrals in your area).
9. Think about the experience you want your guests to have. Imagine you are a guest at your wedding, and what you would like to see and hear if you were there.
10. Tell your photographers not to interfere with the ceremony. It is, after all, a ceremony, not a photo shoot. Instruct them not to walk in front of the principals, not to obstruct the view of the parents and guests, and not to shine spotlights in your eyes as you are about to say your vows. If they feel a shot has been missed, it can be re-staged after the ceremony.
Article Submitted By:
Peggy M. Lewis
Photograph Submitted By:
Nicole Nichols Photography