A personalized wedding ceremony is the bee’s knees. So many of our brides and grooms want to create their own ceremony but still have enough tradition to please their families. Here is our guideline for creating YOUR perfect ceremony.
Photo Credit :: Chowen Photography
Photo Credit :: Brinton Studios
Starting with THE PROCESSIONAL. The processional is the order of how everyone is getting down the aisle. Consider the space where you are getting married and think logistics. For instance, in a traditional Catholic ceremony, the groom and groomsmen enter from a vestibule on the side of the altar. This is not practical in you are #1 – outside (because groomsmen magically appearing out of trees can sometimes be more comedic than you were planning) #2 – getting married where there is no side entrance. In a traditional Jewish ceremony – the bride is on the right and the groom on the left (and their parents sit on opposite sides so they can actually see their kid’s face!). Consider the space, your traditions and plan from there. Things to consider when planning your processional::
How are grandparents going down the aisle (and if you are getting married outside – consider terrain and if they can walk it!)? Who is escorting them?
How are Mother’s getting down the aisle? Personally, I think it is lovely when the groom escorts his Mother. Groom’s Father? Will he walk with his son too? Step parents? These are all things you will want to iron out well in advance of rehearsal.
Bridal party – do you want the bridesmaids escorted by groomsmen or on their own? Again – please consider shoes and terrain when making these decisions :). You will want the girl / guy who is standing the farthest from the aisle to walk first. Go ahead and create a chart in google drive (you are seeing a pattern here about google drive – eh???) to map out your bridal party. Create a floor plan like this (with names and titles) so your DOC has a reference! Only you and your betrothed know the A list people – taking the time to create a map like this will set us up for success. I have even had Brides put pictures of the bridal party in place of the stars so we knew who the key players were (needless to say – she is now a very successful wedding planner too!)
Flower children / pets. Of course you love your dog and your nieces / nephews / kids you used to babysit and you want them to be a part of your special day. Be sure that all children and animals involved in the processional have a handler (pre-ceremony) as well as a destination handler at the end of the aisle (ideally not a member of the bridal party unless you want the child / pet to stand for the entire ceremony). And please remember that children and animals going off book can be the most adorable part of your wedding (i.e. fair warning – they may be the cutest part of the day).
Photo Credit :: The Image Is Found
In addition to mapping out this order, you will want to create a seating chart (written in google drive!!!!!!) of seating assignments for your front rows (if this is important to you or a member of your family). We will confirm the seating assignments with your ushers at rehearsal and double check that everyone is in their correct seat at kickoff. Consider making signs for the important seats and be sure to double check with your venue the number of seats that can be provided in the front row.
To summarize – your processional order should have music cues, detailed instructions of who is walking with whom and destination end points.
Passing off the bride – how traditional do you want this to be? Do you want to be given? Do you want to be escorted? These are all things to map out in advance.
Photo Credit:: Laura Murray
Welcome – have your officiant give a welcome. Acknowledge that people have traveled to celebrate and witness this moment with you two. It’s a big deal!
Statement of what marriage means to you two. Think about it – this really is what the whole day is about (not the napkin folds – although I will obsess over those on your behalf).
Vows – are you writing your own? Click here and here for great advice on the how to’s. Are you going from memory? Call and response? Reading to each other? There is no right or wrong here – just make sure your wishes have been communicated to your officiant (and to me!). Let us know if you are carrying your own vows or if we need to give them to the officiant before.
Rings – YA! We are getting close. Even if you have the best dog / nephew in the world PLEASE do not put expensive jewelry in the possession of your furry friends or kiddos. This is what your Best Man can do for you. Let’s make it his responsibility to bring the jewelry!
Ritual (optional) Sand Ceremony, Celtic Hand Fasting, Planting a Tree, Water Ceremony, Wine Ceremony, Foot Washing – this is something you two get to decide on.
Pronouncement – are you changing your name? HOW do you two want to be pronounced? Again – there is no right or wrong. These are things to figure out before rehearsal.
Kiss! Clearly you do not need help with that one.
Photo credit:: Laura Murray
Recessional – groomsmen escorting bridesmaids? Parents and Grandparents? Do you want guests released by rows?
A couple of other things to consider here- Have a rain plan, a snow plan (or in the case of Keri and Spencer – a polar vortex plan). Who makes the call for inside? When is it made? And do you want to know about it or trust us to run with it???
Photo credit :: Brinton Studios
Another thing to consider – LIGHTING!!! Where will the sun be? If it is winter – are you on the side of the valley that gets dark at 3pm? If so – simple lighting like we did above for Keri and Spencer can keep your pretty faces lit for the camera (and in this case, give the illusion that is was warmer than 3 degrees at that moment).
There ya have it! Cant wait to see all of your charts and ceremonies in google drive (hint, hint!)
Kara Delay, Love This Day Events