There was a time when ceremonies were simple and vows were more or less set in stone. Those days, however, are gone. And while that’s good news for those who are looking to add their own special touch to their ceremony, it also means one more thing for the bride and groom to think about.
There are endless possibilities for a wedding ceremony these days. You have religious ceremonies, civil ceremonies, and everything in between. You have the option of writing your own vows, using or adjusting traditional ones. There are candle ceremonies and sand ceremonies that you can incorporate. You can have someone sing a song or read a poem, you can honor those who have passed on with a prayer or a special mention. There are so many things you can include in your ceremony. When you start thinking about all the options and can become overwhelming. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself and each other along with some tips to help you through the process.
The Type of Ceremony: Religious or Civil
Do you want to have your ceremony in a place of worship or do you want to have it somewhere else but have it officiated by a clergyman of a particular faith? Do you belong to a church, temple, or synagogue? Most clergymen will not marry a couple who is not a member of their congregation. Are you and your fiancé of the same faith? If not whose faith will you choose for your wedding or will you have a combination of both? Will one of you be required to convert to a different faith?
If you choose to go with a civil ceremony, do you want to have your ceremony and reception in one place? If so does the venue offer an officiant for the ceremony or are you responsible for getting someone to officiate? If you are not looking to have both in one place do you have a place in mind for the ceremony (beach, park, in a gazebo, etc…)?
The Vows: Traditional or Your Own
You can have a ceremony with traditional vows, however read through them to make sure you find nothing contradictory with your beliefs. If you decide as a couple to write your own vows, make sure both of you are up to the task. You may think writing your own vows is easy but a lot of people have a hard time finding the right words to express themselves and how they feel. A few suggestions are to acknowledge the guests and the importance of their presence, explain the qualities you most love about your future spouse, or tell your hopes for the future.
The Extras: So Many to Choose From
There are so many things you can add to a ceremony to make it memorable. You can have a unity candle or sand ceremony to represent the two of you joining together as one. You may choose a special song or hymn to be sung or a particular scripture or poem to be read. This is a nice way of incorporating someone into your ceremony that may not have been able to participate in another way. You may choose to honor those who have passed on by reading a prayer, having a memory table in honor of them, or simply having a flower on a chair for them.
Whatever type of ceremony you choose, the vows you decide to recite, or the extras you add on – all of your choices will make your wedding day and ceremony unique and special to you as a couple.
Part of our “Wedding Wednesdays” series