Your love story is unique.
Tips, tricks and hacks to ensure your ceremony reflects your relationship.
Planning your Ceremony
Many couples we meet with have been so busy planning their wedding, that they haven’t spent time thinking about the ceremony itself! Others are simply on overwhelm, have conflicting visions, or do not know where to start.
As professional officiants, we have heard it all and this page is dedicated to sharing many of the frequent conversations we have had with couples.
Asking guests to put their phones aside
- This is called an unplugged ceremony and is often out of respect to the paid photographer. Your officiant can say something like “Tom and Sue have requested that this be an unplugged wedding so that you can be fully present to share this special occasion. Please put your cell phones and cameras away; we promise many pictures will be available later.”
- To Give or not To Give: It’s tradition to ask a question of the bride’s escort when presenting her to the groom, but it’s not required. If a question is to be asked, it can be “Who presents this bride” or “Who escorts the bride today?”… or don’t have a question asked at all! It’s your day and it’s whatever YOU want. One last point, groom’s can be walked down the aisle too!
- Honoring absent loved ones: A sweet way to acknowledge loved ones who are no longer with us or unable to attend the ceremony is to mention them briefly during the welcome address. “… and we want to acknowledge ______________ and ______________ who are with us in spirit and blessing this union.”
- When you’re not religious, but feel you need to include scripture or prayer in your ceremony for a devout family member: This situation is fairly common and an easy solution to include 1-2 passages of scripture is to ask a family member to suggest 1-2 scriptures they would like included in your ceremony, or ask them to deliver a short prayer at the end of the ceremony.
- Write your own vows, or repeat after me?: If you are not comfortable speaking in front of a crowd, take the pressure off yourself and do the repeat after me vows. Those can be traditional (i.e. “… in sickness and in health) or modernized to suit your personalities and relationship. You can always do private vows to share at the first look, or write a love letter to each other to place in a box with a bottle of wine to be opened on your first anniversary.
Let's talk about writing vows...
You can search the internet and find numerous templates for writing wedding vows. In our experience, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- If it comes from your heart, it will be perfect.
- Start by making a list of everything you love about your bride/groom. Ask yourself how you knew he/she/they was “the one.” Just free-flow the thoughts and you’ll have wonderful content to start your vows.
- Check in with your bride/groom on word count… you want your vows to be similar in length.
- If you’re fun loving and laid back, include that side of you in your vows. One of our favorite vows included this: “I’ll love you tomorrow more than I love you today. I vow to pick up a candy bar for you every time I stop for gas.”
Unity Ceremonies... at a glance
A symbol of your lives coming together is often accomplished by including a unity ceremony in your wedding, oftentimes after the exchange of rings and before the proclamation.
Common unity ceremonies are the lighting of candles, the blending of sand, or handfasting (the ultimate ‘tying of the knot’!), but there are MANY more ideas and we can even help you create something unique to your love story. One of our brides loved a certain bourbon, her groom a particular beer… we created a bourbon & beer unity ceremony that guests are still talking about!
When you have your consultation with us, ask that we send you a pdf with MANY unity ceremony ideas!