The wedding ceremony will be the very first place that will announce you as husband and wife to the world. Make it yours, it can be as elaborate or simple as you want it to be! Consider options like writing your own vows or incorporationg your cultural heritage in the ceremony. It is a good idea to plan for your ceremony well in advance, a lot of sites have waiting periods especially during peak wedding months.
Before you can determine who will perform your ceremony you must decide what kind of ceremony you would like. Will it be held in a church? Is there a clergyman who you are close with or impacted your life? Having just a civil ceremony is on the rise, it’s a way to save cash and for many couples having a religious ceremony is not as important as the marriage itself. Is there anyone in your life licensed to perform weddings or will you have a government appointed officiant? Having someone close to you perform the ceremony can really make your day special.
Now if you are going to be having your wedding in a church with a large ceremony there is some costs you will have to take into consideration including site fee, officiant fee, musicans fee and possibly even parking fee.
Things to ask your officiant about:
- Available dates and times
- Maximum guest count
- Payment/ cancellation policy
- If the facility is insured?
- Denominational restrictions
- Is approval needed for vows?
- Are outside officiants, changing rooms, floral decorations and music available/ allowed?
- Photography/videography restrictions
- Rice/petals/bubbles etc. allowed
- Candlelight ceremony allowed
- Parking available/ handicap accessible
- Available for rehearsal
Reading and music selections is a good place to personalize your ceremony! You could have your officiant tell a story about you and your fiance or write your own vows instead of the traditional readings. Surely you have all seen the JK Wedding Entrance Dance!
Pew seating arrangements for the wedding party and family typically is brides family on the right and grooms on the left. Reserved seating is usually the first two pews with parents, grandparents, close family members, etc. Usually these people will identify themselves to the ushers to be escorted to their seats.
The big “I Do” toss is traditionally accompanied with rice but there are other alternatives you could try to make yours special. Sparklers, petals, confetti, bubbles, bird seed, glow sticks, ribbon wands, little bells to ring, or just the guests voices cheering and clapping! Some churches or venues do not allow sparklers because of the fire, or rice because it’s bad for the birds, or petals unless you plan on having a clean up crew, so make sure you are checking with your venue officials!
A wedding program may not necessarily be a required element but it is a good way to honor and identify those participating, plus it gives a nice personal touch. Many brides opt for creating these themselves just for the sake of creativity! Create a brochure type program, a newsletter or magazine, fans, handmade booklets, turn the program into a screenplay or set up a story, etc. Of course what to include in these programs is entirely up to you.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Bride and grooms names, wedding date, time and ceremony location
- Identify the officiate or person performing your ceremony
- Identify the members of the wedding party
- Outline the wedding ceremony and order of events
- Include the titles of music played and any special readings (and who will read them). If you choose to, you may also include the names of any soloists, musicians and anyone else who you think deserves special recognition.
Some other special items of recognition you may include are:
- A remembrance of special people who have passed away
- A Special Thanks to Parents or anyone special.
- A loving note from the Bride to the Groom or the Groom to the Bride
- Special Poems or Readings
- Special religious or ethnic traditions that the Bride and Groom wish to include in their ceremony (such as in a Jewish Wedding, the breaking of the glass. In an African American wedding The Jumping of the Broom).
- Something fun like the brides something old, new, borrowed and blue.
Other things not to forget for the ceremony would be the license, guest book with pen, your vows if written, ring bearer pillow, flower girl basket, etc. and don’t forget to line up transportation if needed.
Hope this has helped and you have enjoyed reading! Please feel free to leave comments on your creative ideas and don’t forget to subscribe!!