As your guide on this journey of planning your wedding ceremony, it is my goal to make this process something meaningful to you, so that our experience together is about the entire journey and not just the finished product.
While I am the craftsperson when it comes to writing and public speaking, and ultimately I will be putting the finished product together, YOU are very much a big part of the process of this ceremony coming together. YOU get to decide what we do.
Below you will find ideas and resources for your wedding ceremony planning. Use them to begin conceptualizing and planning out your perfect ceremony.
Photo Credit: Kismet Visuals
Things to think about when planning your ceremony...
Cell Phone Announcement: People often have strong feelings about cell phones during the ceremony. Would you like me to ask your guests to refrain from taking photos with their cell phones during your ceremony?
The "Give Away": Do you want to have one or both parents walk with one or both of you down the aisle? As a break in tradition, I usually have my fathers and parents do a silent handoff, where they can hug and kiss their child, and then shake hands or hug the spouse-to-be. Here's an article from Brides.com that discusses everything about this tradition.
Honoring Someone Special/General Moment of Silence: You may want to recognize a loved one who has passed or cannot attend your wedding, or you may want a general moment of silence for all who are missed.
Declaration of Intent - the “I do” - Many couples say “I do,” to a standardized set of declarations - “Do you, _____ take ____ as your lawfully wedded partner….” The point of this part of the ceremony is to declare that you are a willing participant in this ceremony. Instead of just agreeing to the basics, Let's create personalized intention statements that take this agreement to marry a step further, and agree to the intentions of the marriage as well.
Brainstorm here what you want to create in your marriage together. What are 3-5 aspects of life you want to co-create together during your marriage? I will ask for your final answers.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Nihiser
Unity Ceremony: The Unity Ceremony is where we create a visual representation of the emotional joining that is taking place. There are many options available. Things have come a long way from the Unity Candle. One unique version of this is a Tree Planting ceremony, where we take soil from the two childhood homes of the partners and use it to plant a tree together. Coffee Bean blending, Wine blending, Bourbon blending, and my favorite, Signature Cocktail blending are all other versions of this ceremony. Make it PERSONAL!!
If you want to include a Unity Ceremony, please do some research to see what suits you best - starting with this article from the Knot on alternative Unity Ceremonies.
Vows:This is the one point in the ceremony where you can take the mic and have an opportunity to speak directly to your beloved in a way that doesn’t happen during the rest of the repeat-after-me ceremony. I invite you to write your own vows and I provide the How to Vow framework to keep you focused on the fact that you are not just telling a story - but declaring their promises for the many years to come.
Consider how you would like to handle your vows. Here are the options:
I write your vows for you to repeat after me. I would use your answers you filled out in the Wedding Ceremony Planning Form to write you personalized vows.
You write your own vows. You would download the How to Vow Worksheet and use it to write your own amazing personal and heartfelt vows.
If you want me to review and offer feedback on your completed vows or if you would like to practice in front of someone, please let me know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Readings, etc.: Special readings are a great way to include favorite written works that resonate with your relationship. Be selective about this reading and make sure it’s something that either means something to you or really evokes the sentiment you are seeking to experience.
This is a great way to involve friends or family members who may not have a role.
Okay - you've reviewed the ceremony resources, you've brainstormed your ideas, and you are ready to tell me what you want for your amazing wedding ceremony.
Below you will find buttons to the two forms where you will fill in all of the specifics for your wedding ceremony and day. When you're ready, click the button for the form you need to fill out, and it will take you to a google form, which will walk you through the questions.
There are PDF copies of each form if you'd like an easy to read reference copy.