Every bride wants her wedding to be as unique and awe-inspiring as her wedding dress. From choosing the perfect setting to deciding on the best color palette, brides expend a lot of effort and energy on the aesthetics of their significant day. So when it comes to the ceremony itself and the vows you are taking, why settle for something someone else has already said and done? Here we give you some tips for ways to personalize your wedding ceremony so that it is the truest reflection of who you are as an individual and as a couple.
Personalize Your Program. There are things you should include in your ceremony program, including the order of the proceedings and a list of the wedding party members. However, there are other things that you can add to make your program even more personal. You may want to include a factoid about each of the special people listed in your program beyond the “father of the groom” information.
Think along the lines of “the best trout fisherman this side of the Mississippi” when adding to your program. You may also want to include a thank you note to your guests, a tribute to a loved one who has passed on, or even a favorite quote that is appropriate for your big day. You may also want to incorporate the lyrics of “your song” somehow, and remember that the design of the program should reflect your wedding decor and color.
Mix Up the Traditional Seating. Many couples opt for the traditional “bride” and “groom” side of the church, but if your venue has flexibility, think about mixing up the ceremony seating arrangements. From encouraging your guests to sit wherever they desire to seating all of your guests in a circular fashion around the bride and groom, there is no end to the ways you can be creative. As you plan your seating arrangement, remember to keep in mind the comfort of your guests and their ability to see the proceedings from whatever vantage point they may have. On cool days, you may want to offer heating lamps or shawls and blankets, and if your ceremony is scheduled for a summer day, you may decide on parasols, hand fans, or cool drinks.
Use a unique Ring Vessel. From a pillow made from your grandmother’s embroidered handkerchief to a vintage silver dish that is a family heirloom, there are no limits to the ways your wedding rings can be delivered to the front of the venue. Maybe you have a seashell that the two of you found on your last vacation, or you’ve decided to tie the rings to the collar of your pet; think about how who you are or where you’ve been as a couple can be reflected in this part of the ceremony. Geodes, wooden boxes, and even a glass enclosure with your monogram are all some of the creative ideas for highlighting your rings in your ceremony.
Customize the Processional. From choosing a song with significant meaning to deciding who will walk down the aisle, there are many ways to personalize the processional. While some brides may have the traditional walk with their father, others opt for both parents. Some brides, whose parents are divorced and remarried may have all four parents accompany them down the aisle or may have their birth parents walk them half of the way and their stepparents the rest of the way. Some brides choose to enter alone, and some others enter with their partner hand-in-hand. Think about who is most important and what is most comfortable for you and your intended.
Include a ritual. Many couples have some type ritual that shows the joining of two lives, like a sand, wine, candle-lighting, or handfasting rite. This moment should be consistent with your overall ceremony but can be personalized to include significant people in your lives, like parents or children of the bride and groom. If this is a second marriage or the bride and groom already have a child together, you may choose a ritual that reflects your desire to unite two families rather than two individuals, or you may want to include gift-giving to the children or a special tribute or promise written to the children.
Write Your Own Vows. Writing your vows is another way to personalize your ceremony. Whether you share quotes from readings that matter to you in them or you deliver a brief speech that comes straight from the heart, writing your vows or customizing a ceremony with the help of your officiant is a way to ensure that unique, one-of-a-kind moment for the two of you and for all the guests in attendance who are sharing the day with you. While there are guides to help you write your vows, the most important thing to remember is that you want to say how you feel in this moment.
What are some ways you personalized your wedding? Have you seen other weddings where the bride and groom did something interesting or special? Share your thoughts here.