It’s easy to get distracted by all the thought and planning that goes into the details of your reception, but it’s also important to remember that the ceremony is the true heart of a wedding. After all, it’s the moment your friends and family have gathered to witness. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple or following a traditional format. However, many couples are looking to make their ceremony something really personal and meaningful. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. You can start from scratch and build a completely unique ceremony that doesn’t follow the script at all. Or there are also many lovely smaller ways to customize a traditional ceremony so it feels more ‘you.’ Here are some of my favorites
Personalize the paper program. The actual ceremony program is an easy place to add a personal touch, especially if you’re having a religious ceremony with a set order and vows. Sprinkle personal details throughout! For example, add a thank you note to your guests or a tribute to a loved one who has passed on. You could also include photographs, favorite quotes, or song lyrics. If you’re incorporating cultural or religious traditions, include an explanation for guests so they can better appreciate the meaning. It will give everyone a chance to engage more and learn about you while they wait.
Customize your vows. Personalizing your vows can be one of the easiest ways to bring something special and memorable to your ceremony. There are so many ways to do it. For example, you can write them yourselves, recite them in unison, or read a passage from a favorite book. Take time to really think about what you want to say, both together and on your own – and don’t leave vow writing to the day of the wedding! You may even speak to your officiant about a process or even questionnaire they offer to help inspire your words.
Have a private vow ceremony. Want to capture the spirit of intimacy and connection you get from an elopement, but still have a big wedding? Why not do both? Have a private vow ceremony, just you and your partner and then recite your vows again at your public ceremony. If you’re planning a wedding in Colorado, hike up to a beautiful spot in the mountains and take your photographer along. You’ll treasure the memory (and the images) forever.
Choose music that matters. Music can be one of the most evocative ways to make a wedding ceremony your own. Walk down the aisle to a meaningful song or one that sets the tone you’d like to create. Pick a favorite film score or an instrumental version of your first dance song or even ‘your song.’
Ask a loved one to officiate. Personalizing the ceremony goes beyond the vows and readings, to the ceremony itself. Ask a friend, a relative or your childhood pastor. Having someone who really knows you officiating that ceremony makes it that much more special. You could also ask family members or friends to do a reading instead. Any small role in the ceremony makes a big impact for the person included.
How will you be personalizing your ceremony?
Photo by Autumn Cutaia Photography