How to Make Your Wedding Ceremony Yours and Yours Alone

Not everyone has enough money to throw a wedding like the British royal family and dazzle all of the guests. But your wedding can be just as memorable. Just share your personal love story. This is how.

1. Personalize your readings. You don’t have to use the same old biblical passages, unless you find them particularly meaningful. You can have someone read lyrics from your favorite song, or a passage from a children’s book, or something clever you heard somewhere, or a story about the two of you. It’s your wedding. Make it about you.

2. Share some of your experiences. Whether you tell your love story to your officiant and have him/her write something for you, or you prefer to write and read your own story, a little history on how you got to the altar is a great way to share yourselves with the people closest to you.

3. Share your vision. Tell your families and friends how your love for one another will be served in the years to come. In short, try to “define” your love, and share how you plan to manifest it as your love deepens and matures.

4. Share your connectionAfter a couple of meetings, your officiant should have a good idea of what drew you to one another. People love to hear why you chose him/her, after rejecting everyone else.

5. Be traditional – at least a littleTraditional vows are traditional for a reason – because they are able to distill the very essence of love in just a few words. But feel free to add your own personal vows, whether or not your fiancée knows what you’re going to say. You can be humorous, playful, sappy… anything you want. And your guests will love it.

6. Expand your music optionsWe’ve long since passed the point where every bridesmaids’ processional had to use Pachelbel’s Canon, every bride had to enter to the Bridal Chorus, and the wedding had to end with the Wedding March. You may opt for some other classical music, or modern pop, or something completely out of the ordinary. Pick ceremony songs with special meaning for both of you.

7. A few words about your rings. You chose them with great care. Now, let your officiant spend some time explaining why they are so special to you. Perhaps you’re wearing your great grandmother’s ring. Whatever rings you’ve chosen, a few words about the romantic, cultural and religious significance of rings is always an important part of the ceremony.

8. Don’t try to be too cool for the room.  An amusing anecdote always gets a great response. Just don’t try to overplay the humor, or tell inside jokes that might leave your guests felling left out. Make it universal.

9. Nothing negative. Don’t be tempted to tell a joke at your spouse’s expense. It won’t be received well, especially by your spouse.

8. Consider a creative end to your ceremony.  It doesn’t have to end with your officiant announcing you as a married couple. Some couples release balloons; others release butterflies or doves. A champagne toast before your recessional would create a memorable moment for everyone. Don’t forget to pause a second or two, just to bask in the glow of your loved ones celebrating your new union.

Above all, remember that your wedding ceremony is meant to be shared with everyone special to you; and it’s likely to be the only time all of those people will gather in one place for a single purpose – to help you launch your new life, surrounded by love.

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2015 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.    

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