Why do we invite people to weddings? So they can see this great party we threw? Is it to partake in a meal? Most likely, it’s because you want them there to witness the moment when two individuals become a new family. Your wedding ceremony! But do you know how to craft a personal wedding ceremony and what to say to your guests through the vehicle of your wedding ceremony?
If not, you are in good company. Most couples don’t know how to craft a personal wedding ceremony that is fun and meaningful. So many folks go to weddings and think – oh great I have to sit through a whole hour-long ceremony in order to get to the good stuff! But let’s not overlook the wedding ceremony as it can be one of the most creative, personable, and joy-filled parts of the whole wedding shebang.
Don’t get me wrong, you can totally have a bad wedding ceremony. But you can also have a wedding ceremony that speaks to who you are as a couple and is the perfect opening act to your love-fueled, intimate celebration!
There are numerous ways to make your ceremony a fun introduction to the event, starting with your officiant. There are so many talented speakers out there who joyfully give of their time and talents to make two other people absolutely blissfully happy. Could there BE a better job!? A good officiant can help you parse down the traditional wedding language into something to suit your modern, quirky, or nerdy tastes.
Make sure your officiant is someone who is first of all comfortable speaking in front of a crowd of people. They should be responsible enough to rehearse through their lines so they know what is coming up next, intuitive enough so they can read a room and know when to pause for laughter, tears, or cheering, and personable enough that each guest leaves thinking this person knows the couple inside and out!
In order to craft your personal wedding ceremony, start with what you know! The ceremony wording itself can seem a bit daunting. My husband and I actually wrote our ENTIRE ceremony ourselves (with some help from Google of course), but it was a behemoth of a task. Let me break it down for you. All ceremonies have essential 4 parts to them; the vows, the “I dos”, the rings, and the kiss.
These are the words that you want to speak straight to your honey – you just happen to have oh say 100 other pairs of ears listening in on those secret words! It doesn’t have to be fancy, but your vows should tell a story. Begin with how you met and one way that changed your world. Add in something you never saw coming in your relationship and how things were different afterward. End with a couple of things you always want to focus on in your relationship, the type of partner you want to be for the other person, or what you see in the future for the two of you.
This is the big legal part of the wedding ceremony, which is why you need a registered, ordained officiant to perform the ceremony. If you are having a friend perform the ceremony, they need to become a deputy of civil marriages for the day, in California at least.
The giving of rings has been a symbolic gesture for decades. It represents the continuous love you have for one another. Like a circle, it never ends. It is a token of faith and love. When you prepare for the exchange of rings it’s best to keep your engagement ring on your left-hand ring finger and simply add the wedding band unless the two have been soldered together. It’s also to your benefit to give BOTH rings to the best man to carry as your MOH is going to have her hands full with two bouquets.
The moment everyone has been waiting for. You are now pronounced as the newlyweds, you smooch your partner, and live happily ever after! Now if you want to make your photographer super happy, practice that perfect 5-second kiss. It’s the sweet spot that allows them to snap all the right angles in time.
Chris Ellis Photography
You have probably already sat through at least one wedding where the officiant droned on and on about “what is marriage”. So why not make all the middle bits a ton of fun by adding in your personalities and things you enjoy?
– A live band that plays your favorite song for a sing-a-long
– A call and response with your guests to include them in the vows
– Print out and frame your vows to read (no more messy, crumpled paper please!)
– Something to symbolize the uniting of two people (and families!) like a tree-planting, a salt covenant, braiding a cord of three, a ring warming, or a handfasting ceremony
– A reading from your favorite novel
– Have family members join together and pray over you
– A champagne toast
– Create a time capsule full of letters to each other in the future
– A blessing over your marriage
If you are a couple currently planning during COVID, you may be looking for some alternative ideas for your ceremony. I’ve got you covered! You can learn all about the options available to livestream your wedding ceremony and reception. Or take a gander at some virtual wedding ideas!
Peterson Design and Photography
As you can see, when you want to craft a personal wedding ceremony you’ve got a multitude of options! Take the time to write a wedding ceremony that fits you, and perfectly expresses who you are together. Because together is always better!
This is one of my favorite parts of a wedding day and is the entire reason for the celebration that follows! All my clients are offered ceremony proofreading if they need any assistance in writing a personable and enjoyable ceremony script. Wondering what else I offer my clients – wedding packages can be viewed on my Collections page.
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Sarah is a Los Angeles wedding planner ready to
elevate all your relationships through small and intimate weddings.