Today for Wedding Wednesday we will be talking all about your ceremony! Everything from location, officiant, vows, and more! This is your ultimate guide to your ceremony.
The first thing that you need to do when it comes to your ceremony is to choose a location. There are three main types of ceremony locations: a place of worship, outdoor venue, and your reception venue. Below are some pros and cons of each location to help with your venue search.
Place of Worship
Most locations will have an officiant already in place and some may include some ceremony musicians and singers.
Most locations will only allow you to get married there if you a member. The ones that do allow outside weddings will require a fee. You may also have restrictions on your decor and time of your ceremony.
Outdoor locations can be beautiful and can may have a special tie to you and your fiancé. The natural beauty of an outdoor location can help you save on decorations.
You will have to have a backup plan for rain. You will also likely have to be responsible for bringing in everything such as tables and chairs and anything else. Parking at the location may be scarce and you will have to check about the noise ordinances for the area.
Having your ceremony and reception in the same area will make things a little easier. You won't have to worry about travel time or worrying about your guests getting lost between locations.
If you are Catholic, most churches won't recognize ceremonies held outside of the church. If your venue does not have two separate spaces for your ceremony and reception then you will have to allow time for the room to be flipped from the ceremony set up to the reception set up.
You have to have someone who will officiate your wedding. If you are getting married in a place of worship then your officiant is usually already included in the package. However, if you are having a ceremony anywhere else then you can usually use whatever officiant you'd like. You can hire a non denominational officiant to oversea your wedding or you can use a friend or family member. It's pretty easy to get ordained online and sometimes it makes your ceremony a little more personal and fun if it's someone that you know. Regardless of who your officiant is you will want to make sure that they will be flexible to your wedding vision, get to know you and your love story, are familiar with your faith, and will be able to make your guests laugh and have a good time.
You can make your ceremony as long or as short as you would like. You can include in readings and songs, have a full mass, or keep things short and sweet and just seal the deal with a kiss. However, here is a breakdown of what happens in most ceremonies to give you a starting point.
Your officiant will say some sort of introduction. They will talk about you both as a couple and get the ceremony started.
You can say standard vows or you can write you own.
Exchange of Rings
If you are exchanging rings, then this is where that will happen. You officiant will make an announcement and you will normally repeat sayings after your officiant.
The officiant will normally say something to bless the couple with a happy marriage and life. This is also where any special aspects of your ceremony will occur such as candle lighting, wine ceremony, or mass.
The Kiss/Presentation of Couple
After all the formalities are over then the kiss will happen! After the kiss your officiant will officially present you as a married couple and your guests will clap and cheer.
If you are planning on writing your own vows then you may be a little stumped. The best advice is to keep it short and sweet and really speak to your future spouse. Talk about how you first met, when you realized that you wanted to marry them, talk about your past and future life together, and talk about how happy you are. Your vows do not have to be long and can be about 400 words or less. Just follow your heart and really speak to your future spouse.
COMMON CEREMONY MISTAKES TO AVOID
You need a rain plan if you are having any part of your wedding outdoors. Having a plan in place from the front will save you from scrambling day of if something were to happen. Also, some rental places will allow you to reserve a backup rain tent for a smaller deposit.
Not Having Enough Seats
You will want to have more seating than you think you will need. People will leave seats in-between each other when they sit so that will leave late arriving guests standing in the back so they don't have to squeeze between people.
Too Many Programs
Not all guests will take a program, most couples will share, and children do not need one. Most couples will order a program for each guest and then a few extra and at the end of the wedding they are stuck with a lot of leftovers.
Not Having a Plan For The Gifts
You need a gift table and a place for cards at both the ceremony location and the reception. Most guests will bring the gift to the reception but there are always a few who bring their gift to the ceremony. This is also true if you have some guests who will only be attending the ceremony and not the reception. You also need to appoint someone to gather your gifts and transport them. At the end of your reception the last thing you need to be doing to collecting all of the gifts. AND don't forget to write your thank you cards!