Spencer and I are having what most would consider a less-than-traditional wedding ceremony. I suppose if you get married in a church by an ordained minister, these things are pretty much figured out for you. However, when you get married outside by your fiancé’s uncle, you’re kind of on your own. If the second category sounds like your situation, these tips will hopefully help smooth out the ceremony planning process!
I will say that I am loving the freedom of crafting our ceremony and fine-tuning it to us as a couple, but that might not be something you’re completely comfortable with… and that’s okay! There is an entire Internet of resources out there, and it is all available for the taking.
Ceremony Order and Wording
For instance, I relied heavily on this little blog post when determining the order in which the ceremony would proceed. Ryan gives the complete script for the first wedding that he officiated, which was insanely helpful considering ours is also a first time officiant. It’s nice knowing that 1) these words have been used in a wedding ceremony before, and 2) the elements of the ceremony obviously flowed well from one to the next. (Otherwise I don’t think he would have posted it for the whole world to read and mimic!)
When it came to the actual wording of vows, exchanging of rings, statement of intent, etc., I also turned to the Internet. Spencer and I were both raised in the United Methodist Church, and I knew that I wanted to incorporate this background into our ceremony even if our venue of choice was a field and not a sanctuary! I had no trouble at all finding everything that I needed to give our ceremony the specific feel that I’d always imagined.
Spencer and I aren’t writing our own vows. I know what you’re thinking. You’re compiling the entire script, but not crafting the vows from scratch?! And my answer to that would be yes, that’s exactly what we’re doing. Remember, it’s your wedding; do what feels right.
Anyway the whole point of this little tangent was to express how important our readings will be in light of this decision to keep with traditional vows. I really want them to speak to who we are as individuals and as a couple. So, of course, being the constant English major, I immediately looked to literature for how to best express my feelings. I scoured my favorite books, Pinned all sorts of ceremony reading lists, and even looked back through my college notebooks at pages and pages of literary analysis.
And finally, finally, I found the perfect reading. (Well, that’s technically a lie. I found two perfect readings and now have to choose one… Or maybe I’ll just use them both. Who knows?)
I also wanted to have at least one quote from the Bible. We all know 1 Corinthians 13: Love is this, love is that, love is a many splendored thing! (Or that might be Moulin Rouge.) I thought that I would never, ever want it read at my wedding, and now I’m completely thinking about adding it to the ceremony. Have you ever read the entire verse? It’s lovely. I am also lucky in that I have spent the majority of my years in various choirs, and some of my favorite choral music comes from Psalms, Ruth, and multiple other books of the Bible. So there’s about a 99.7% chance I’ll be taking some of these lyrics and throwing them into the mix as well.
Celebrate the Two of You as a Couple!
What I am really trying to say with all this rambling is that your ceremony should be about you and your husband-to-be, and nothing else really matters at all. Does he have a favorite quote about love, life, even sports that somehow works for the two of you? Use it! Is there a line from your favorite movie that just gets at the heart of how you feel for your significant other? Throw it in the ceremony! You won’t regret going with your gut, I promise.