How to Create a Unique Ceremony Personal to You
— By Felicity Newburry
07 March 2016
The wedding ceremony is a structure most women have been familiar with since ‘marrying’ bored little boys in preschool. The guests file in, the bride walks down the aisle, the couple say their vows, they kiss and that concludes the nuptials. For this reason, guests come in knowing exactly what to expect, but wouldn’t it be fun to change this up a little? To create a ceremony that doesn’t mirror every other ceremony but is instead completely unique and reflective of the two of you? Read on to see the how you can shake up your wedding ceremony before, during and after!
Image by Mary Sylvia Photography
Before The Vows
1. Sangrias first, ceremony second!
Consider throwing a pre-ceremony cocktail hour! This gives guests time to socialize, get excited and most off all, be surprised! They will have walked in expecting to find a seat and instead they get to have a cocktail on the couple first! It’s definitely a fun, quirky way to kick the day off.
2. Personalise the program
Instead of putting together the standard, pretty and to-the-point program, consider sprinkling yours with lots of unique little facts or images about you as a couple! Perhaps you could mention the place you went for your first date or something funny that happened there. You could draw your own little images of moments from your lives together so far. It will give the guests something to giggle at while they wait and one thing is for sure, there will be no other program the same!
3. Celebration before the ceremony
If you’re getting married at a venue such as a zoo, a museum or a park, consider sending the guests off on a surprise tour! Alternatively you could organize a group activity such as Limbo or kite flying. These are all great ways to get the festive energy up amongst your guests for the moment the ceremony begins!
4. Ceremony slideshow
Instead of slaving over creating a slide show and screening it at the reception (where you may only have half of your guests’ attention), consider using it as pre-ceremony entertainment. That way all your guests will be watching and subsequently entertained before things kick off! It’s a wonderful way to share with your guests the journey you and your partner took to arrive at this big day.
During The Vows
1. An aisle with something to say
A very personal touch is to have a calligrapher work their magic on the aisle runner. These can be printed for you, or you can have a friend with a skillful hand create something unique. Choose a line from a special song, book or poem and have it emblazoned across your aisle. Equally as special would be to have your initials artfully intertwined on the aisle runner.
2. A customized ring bearer
Little ring bearers are often charged with carrying signs such as “here comes the bride” and sometimes they carry the rings themselves. If you want to approach the ring bearer responsibilities differently, you could have them carry a sign with a funny quote said by you or your partner at some point in your relationship, or perhaps a saying special to the two of you. Alternatively, if you have a beloved pet, this could be the responsibility of the ring bearer.
3. Walk in, side by side
Instead of being walked in by a parent, or one of you walking in alone while the other waits for you, consider walking in together. This is a beautiful show of total commitment. It says the two of you are walking into marriage, hand in hand and with eyes wide open. It will likely be a wee surprise for the guests as well, who will no doubt be expecting the traditional entrance.
4. Say no to the poem!
Instead of your celebrant reading out tired love poems, consider giving you guests the opportunity to stand up and share with you a piece of their short and sweet marriage wisdom. This will be sure to bring laughs and some fond memories! Feel free to structure this as much or as little as you like.
After The Vows
1. Thoughts to endure time
When your guests go to take a seat, lay out a piece of card and a pencil for them to write a little note to you and the groom. When all is said and the ceremony over, allow your guests to place their signed messages inside a time capsule where you and your beloved have also included a note and perhaps a bottle of wine. Hammer it shut in front of your guests and start the celebrations!
2. Dancing at the altar
Instead of waiting for the reception, have your first dance as a married couple right after you’ve put a ring on it! Ending the ceremony in each other’s arms, moving to the words of your special song is a really beautiful way to enter your married lives together and to kick off the rest of the festivities!
3. A toast!
Have some staff pass around your favourite drink, such as a glass of single-malt scotch or a tequila shot and lime. Then toast to each other then and there. Think of something short, amusing and sweet for this, as more toasts and speeches are sure to come!
4. Lead the way
There is little else more exciting and jovial than leading your guests parade style to the reception venue! This will work if it is within walking distance and to amp it up, you could have a band follow you! Most couples disappear after the ceremony, leaving guests to their own devices so this is a great and unexpected twist (and works especially well if you’ve already had your photos taken before the ceremony).
Image by Patina Photography