Last year I went to a wedding trend conference and one panelist was reporting that couples were starting to do away with their ceremony altogether. I nearly fell out of my chair. What is a wedding without a ceremony? Any other elaborate party. Maybe they just needed to see some new wedding ceremony ideas.
Your ceremony is what spreads the love in the room, lifts peoples’ spirits and moves them to hit the dance floor. It’s a crazy world out there. You’re going to be dealt some hard times in your marriage, everyone is. That is why a ceremony is so special. Your loved ones who have been married before you get to watch you make the same leap of faith. They get to see your love at its purest and be reminded just how special that is. That fills people up in a way they can’t help but celebrate.
Bring in benches. Setup the seating in the round. Use lounge seating to create a cocktail hour/ceremony hybrid space. We’ve even used fabric-covered hay barrels for seating.
If you plan to reserve seats for your VIPs make sure they know you’d like them to sit up front. Otherwise, you might end up with an empty first row.
Planner Tip – Set extra ceremony chairs. This way family and friends can sit together
One of our grooms proposed with origami cranes (super sweet right?) so we hung them along their aisle.
Planner Tip – As you think about your ceremony decor explore elements from your reception you may be able to repurpose. Here the large arrangements around the “alter” are actually centerpieces that will later be used on dining tables.
Music transports people to a different time and place. Take them somewhere unforgettable and plan for a killer recessional song you want to dance down the aisle to.
Recessional Songs are surprisingly one of my favorite things about a wedding. There is just so much joy in that single moment, it needs a song to go with it. Enter your email address below to see my current top 10.
Planner Tip: Have fun with the instrumentation. We’ve done everything from a ukulele to a full choir
Your family knows and loves you more than anyone, what they have to say on your wedding day is pure magic.
Planner Tip: Re-write what a wedding “reading” is. We’ve heard everything from toasts to song lyrics to Supreme Court Rulings. Make your ceremony your own and spread the love.
One of my favorite, short sweet and modern “readings” is from Bob Dylan’s Forever Young.
“May your hand always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May the winds of change shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young.”
Those who can’t be with you in person will be there in spirit.
my current favorite poem is:
Those we love don’t go away.
They walk beside us every day.
Unseen, but always near.
Still loved, still missed and very dear.
One of my favorite blessings is one that honors mothers. The couple gifts their soon-to-be mother in-law flowers during the ceremony as a thank you for raising the person they love.
Planner Tip – This is a great opportunity to blend cultures. Perhaps my all-time favorite moment as a wedding planner was when the Muslim mother of the groom read from the Koran under the Jewish wedding chuppah. I was crying!
I find couples wait until the last minute to start thinking about their ceremony. DON’T. There are so many other to-do’s that will hit you at the end. Give your ceremony the thought, love, and attention it deserves. After all, it wouldn’t be a wedding without it.
I ask couples to start working out their wedding ceremony ideas 5-7 months in advance.
Take the FREE and start planning a wedding that feels uniquely you.
The truth is I hated planning my own wedding. I felt like I was going it alone and was surprised by how hard it was to find partners who embraced my vision. Thankfully, the guy was worth it and that experience is what led me to become a wedding planner. After a decade of planning luxury weddings I am bringing my process to you.