Whether you're getting married in a 100 year-old church or your parent's backyard, you can always personalize your wedding ceremony. Here are 5 ideas to get you started:
1. Play with processional. Of course there’s a traditional ‘order of things’ as far as altar lineups go, but feel free to wiggle away from that if something else feels right! I’ve had brothers-of-the-bride escort their mom down the aisle, then loop back into the bridal party processional. Or, the groom wants to walk both his parents down the aisle. Couples with children have piled down the aisle together; as a sweet little family. Or do what Emily & Jay did and escort each other down the aisle – mic drop!
2. Choose special readings. It’s not a wedding ceremony if it doesn’t include 1 Corinthians, am I right? Incorrect. You can pull in special ceremony readings from anywhere; song lyrics, poems, excerpts from literature, famous speeches, etc. I actually officiated a wedding where the couple had me read the Alice Cooper speech from Wayne’s World.
In all seriousness, be thoughtful about ceremony readings. Why not have them make sense for you as a couple? When you first began dating, was there a song you enjoyed together? Did you study the same book in college? There are meaningful pieces of art all around you, just begging to be incorporated in your wedding ceremony!
3. Embrace your heritage. Your culture is an incredible way to personalize your wedding ceremony. Tap into a special part of your heritage and do some research! Are you Italian? At the end of Italian wedding ceremonies, guests toss up olive leaves in celebration. There are neat Filipino wedding customs that involve the couple choosing sponsors who carry out symbolic actions throughout ceremony. One of my favorite customs comes from an African American Yorùbá ritual known as tasting the four elements. Look it up, it’s really fun!
4. A toast, perhaps? Although speeches and well wishes are typically saved for reception, there’s no rule saying you can’t include a few short words during your wedding ceremony! Hearing from other people (as opposed to just the officiant) is a nice way to freshen up the ceremony. Plus, chances are your close friends & family who’ve known you a lifetime will be able to offer up something sweet & personal.