Much of the time you spend wedding planning revolves around your reception. The perfect decorations. Amazing food. Great music.
However, your wedding ceremony needs just as much thought and design. And knowing how to plan a wedding ceremony requires some knowledge and a bit of introspection. With so many options to include in your wedding ceremony, you’ll have some decisions to make. Don’t wait too late in the process to design your perfect ceremony.
And start by reading here on how to do it.
Tip #1: Give Yourself Time To Plan Your Wedding Ceremony
Avoid added stress by tackling your ceremony details in a timely manner.
The ceremony can be filled with tricky conversations on where people stand, who is included, and who is walking whom down the aisle. The longer you wait to plan and prepare those included, the cooler heads will be the day of the ceremony.
That being said, begin your ceremony preparations 5 – 3 months prior to your wedding.
Before you dive into the details, decide on your wedding officiant. This wedding professional will be an intimate part of your wedding day. Interview at least two candidates prior to deciding. You’ll want someone with a calming demeanor that you feel comfortable and connected with.
With the ease of obtaining an online officiant’s license, many couples are recruiting best friends or family members to step into the role. This can be a great way to honor that person, but be mindful. Your wedding officiant needs to understand the basic flow of a wedding ceremony, be well-spoken, and stay on script.
An experienced wedding officiant can do all these things, and guide you through the process as well. Meet with them early to get to know them and learn your options.
Match the Overall Tone
When creating your perfect wedding ceremony, consider the overall feel and style of your wedding.
Your wedding ceremony signals to your guests the formality and expectations to come with your wedding. A beach wedding may include a basket of complimentary flip flops at the end of an aisle, whereas a garden wedding ceremony will be festooned with flowers.
A relaxed, casual wedding reception means your ceremony will have a more laid back feel. You may be more open to humor from the officiant, or keep the ceremony short. Casual ceremonies could also mean open seating or an upbeat song for your processional.
For more sophisticated weddings, your ceremony should have polish. Choose timeless options such as live strings for the music and a more traditional ceremony complete with poetry readings and perhaps a song performance.
Wedding Ceremony Essentials
There are many potential elements you can include in your wedding ceremony. The overall decisions should reflect your unique personalities and relationships.
Still, there are a few essential elements every wedding ceremony includes. We have a few of these basics outlined, and how to approach your options.
Your wedding rings are an outward reflection of your relationship to your spouse. As a circle, they represent infinite, endless love. As a precious metal, they represent a union that is highly valued.
Even couples who tattoo their wedding rings often include some sort of ring exchange within their wedding ceremony.
Just like your vows, you can opt for the traditional word exchange or something more modern. Couples are also personalizing this portion of the ceremony script and writing their own ring exchange verbiage.
The next essential part? Keeping track of the rings.
Larger, engraved wedding ring boxes holding both rings are becoming popular. The rings are easier to keep track of than sliding into the jacket pocket of the best man. The boxes can be styled to fit the colors and theme of the wedding, and are carried easier by smaller tykes and furry friends.
You can get these types of keepsakes at area invitation stores in San Antonio or the Austin area.
Many couples choose to write their own wedding vows. This is the moment where you both can truly speak from the heart. The vows are a statement of your love, your relationship, and your commitment.
That being said, we typically see one enthusiastic partner ready to pour their heart out on paper, and one who is frankly terrified. Take the pressure off and have someone in your wedding party help them craft their vows. Choose someone you know is good with words (anyone with a Marketing degree?) and knows you both well.
If you both feel under pressure, don’t sweat it. There’s nothing wrong with using traditional vows, and there’s many additional vow options to be found online. Just be in agreement which direction you’re going to go. No trying to fake the latest Taylor Swift love song as your own!
Learn more about wedding vows new and old in this article.
This is the moment your officiant presents you to the world as an officially married couple.
These days, it’s rare to see a bride and groom being introduced by the groom’s first and last name. For example, “Presenting Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.”
Still, the moment is a momentous one, and an opportunity to indicate how you will show up as a couple in the world. You may both choose to keep your same names, or combine them both. You’ll get a chance to express your personal pronouns or may leave gender off altogether.
Choosing the phrasing for your couples announcement that best reflects your values, and enjoy the cheers and photo op to follow.
There are many potential wedding traditions you can incorporate into your ceremony. Lassos, jumping the broom, and unity candles are seen in many wedding ceremonies. Consider your options, but choose the traditions that best reflect you as a couple.
If there is a wedding tradition passed on throughout your family, parents and relatives may expect you to incorporate it into your ceremony. This makes them feel a part of your day, so consider carefully should you want to step away from a time-honored tradition. And have that conversation up front.
Cultural and religious traditions are prevalent in weddings and are a great way to reflect each of your unique history. Blending of these traditions can be combining two elements together, or participating in one tradition from each of your cultures.
Not sure which wedding traditions are for you? Check out our article on Wedding Traditions We’re Ready to Toss.
Know Your Options
Before crafting your ideal wedding ceremony, do your research. There are many fun, meaningful ways to incorporate your story and future in your wedding ceremony. Wedding ceremony options are as varied and unique as each love story behind them.
Whether long or short, your wedding ceremony can be memorable and engaging for your guests participating in the day’s celebration.