I cannot count the amount of times I have heard Corinthians 13 and All Things Bright and Beautiful at weddings. I’ve lost count.
I remember a friend once telling me that she couldn’t wait for her wedding ceremony to be over because she felt they were so often, boring. They don’t have to be! Your ceremony is THE most sacred moment to confirm your union, if you feel ceremonies are boring it’s probably because you’ve been to replication of someone else’s ceremony time and time again. Regardless if you are infusing religion or not, they positively do not have to be boring and should represent you and your beau.
Be you folks – if you’re a modern chick like me, (which you probably are if you’re reading Nu Bride) – don’t be afraid to shake things up a little. This is the time to add your stamp on your ceremony. Be bold, be subtle, be jovial, be serious, but be you. And if you want to honour tradition, you can still be traditional and be you. Here are some ways to ditch boredom and personalise your wedding ceremony.
Think about the structure of your wedding ceremony. How long do you want it to be? How do you want to welcome your guests? How do you want to enter the room? Do you want a wedding party? Do you want to follow a traditional format, or do you want to modernise it? Do you want to add your love story, the story of how you met, do you want music and readings, do you want live music or pre-recorded. Do you want guests to join in with songs / hymns, or do you want a professional musicians to entertain them.
This is YOUR ceremony, you have a choice of what you want to include. Punctuating your ceremony with music is a great way to set the pace and heighten emotions.
Involving your friends and family is a great way to personalise your union, from readings, to blessings, to singing you down the aisle or performing entertainment for you. The world is your Oyster, so spend some time thinking about the structure of your ceremony.
Music & Readings
An obvious choice, but a powerful one.
Be inspired – look beyond the obvious for readings and music choices and don’t just churn out recommended readings or songs you’ve received from your local registry office. Don’t be lazy.
Be inspired by things outside of the wedding industry. Are there monologues in theatre, TV or film that you just love – a favourite scene in a movie that induces tears every time you watch it, a favourite poem?
Are there soundtracks that mean something to you. Your favourite song or singer? Love a modern take on a Gospel Choir like Harry and Meghan? Be original.
Are there passages in books that you adore? Include them.
Let go of control and consider letting family or friends who are creative (that you trust!) to write something or pick something for you? What a lovely surprise to have something personal to you both to have performed to you on the day. Here are some great ways to inspire original reading choices. Have fun exploring and researching! And ps. if you really don’t want to, newsflash – you don’t have to have any readings!
Incorporate traditions that mean something to you, not carbon copies of what you THINK you should be including without thought or reason. Have a look into some incredible traditions from around the world – see what you both love and perhaps incorporate it and ditch the ones that don’t resonate with you.
For example – just because historically, the father has walked their daughter down the aisle, doesn’t mean you have to stick with this. Perhaps your father isn’t in your life anymore, or perhaps you have an amazing connection with your mother or a sibling or relative and you want them to do the honours instead. Or perhaps you want to reject this tradition and walk down the aisle on your own or with your partner. If you are having a non-religious ceremony you may have more freedom, speak to your officiant and explore what may be possible.
In the details
Use your wedding stationery, such as an order of service, to inform people about the ceremony. Tell guests what is happening, if you want an unplugged service or not. Maybe even use it to talk about your love story or what to expect for the rest of the day. If you are upholding certain traditions – tell your guests them about them and what they mean in your order of service. Not everyone will be from the same religion / cultural background, so if there are important traditions you are including this is a great way of sharing the meaning of them with guests.
One of the most impactful ways of personalising your ceremony is by personalising your wedding vows. If you are having a religious or civil ceremony there will be words you legally need to exchange with each other, but there is nothing stopping you adding some personalised vows or promises that you want to make to each other in-front of your loved ones. The commitment you make in front of each other is one that is binding, make sure you mean the words you are saying to each other.