Wedding Industry Biz

Ceremony Tips For Any Type of Client

Happy Thursday Timeline Geniuses!

As planners, we are consulted about every aspect of a wedding, from colors to budget, guest-list to transportation. When it comes to the focal point of a wedding, the ceremony, not all couples know exactly what they want to do. Here are some guidelines you can give them:

Typical Wedding Ceremony

• Processional
• Welcome (officiant)
• Readings (one or two)
• Officiant’s Address
• Exchange of Vows
• Exchange of Rings
• Recessional

Personalize Your Ceremony

A wedding ceremony is filled with important and beautiful tradition. However, it should also reflect you as a couple. Here are some creative ways to make it your own.

Photo by Elle Jae Photography

Traditionally the groom and groomsmen are waiting at the altar. The bridesmaids, flower girl and ring bearer walk down the aisle, followed by the bride escorted by her father.
• Alternatively, the bride can be accompanied down the aisle by both parents -one on either side- as a tribute to them both. The bride may also choose to be escorted by other close family/friends:grandparents, siblings etc.
• The groom can also walk down the aisle before the bride and/or bridesmaids. If desired, he can be escorted by his mother, both parents, grandmothers or other close family/friends of choice. Some couples prefer this as it symbolizes the coming together of two parties, vs. the bride being “given away.”
• Parents can walk down the aisle separately from the bride and groom if desired. A variation is to have them walk from separate entrances and meet in the middle to symbolize the coming together of two families.
• Dance! We’ve all watched the fun YouTube videos. You could be next!
• Pets, children and anyone else important to you can be involved. Work with your officiant and your planner to choreograph an entrance that works for you and your venue.


Wedding of Stephanie Chen and Michael Gulla at the Piedmont Community Hall in Piedmont, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Photos by Adm Golub/Alison Yin Photography
Photo by Adm Golub/Alison Yin Photography

• Discuss with your officiant how to incorporate your story into his/her welcome and/or address. This can be anything from how you met to details of your relationship guests might love to hear about.
• Consider asking a close friend or relative to be your officiant. Couples have said that it makes the celebration more personal, especially if this friend has witnessed their relationship from the beginning.
• You may kindly ask your officiant to speak on a specific theme or topic if you desire. Please note that not all officiants will accept your request. Express Yourself The readings you choose should reflect and celebrate who you are, and your relationship. Otherwise, it may feel like a space filler.
• In addition to religious texts, favorite poems, excerpts from beloved books, inspirational readings or even song lyrics are acceptable.
• If you are having a multicultural wedding, consider two readings – one from each culture.
• Consider including the reading text in your programs (if you are printing any) so your guests can follow along.


Photo by Elle Jae Photography

• Incorporate religious, cultural or personal traditions in your ceremony like breaking a glass, signing the Ketubah, pouring tea, jumping the broom or lighting a unity candle. It’s important for your officiant to explain the tradition, or print an explanation in your program so guests appreciate the meaning.
• Involve family as appropriate through these traditions. For example, for the unity candle tradition one of our couples had each mother light a separate candle. The bride and groom then took these candles and lit their unity candle. • Couples with children can also consider a gesture that involves bringing their new family together, such as family vows or pouring sand into a single vessel.
• If you would like to acknowledge loved ones who have passed, consider lighting a candle in their honor or placing a flower on a chair reserved for them. Ask your officiant to say a few words about the deceased so your guests understand the significance. A quieter approach would be to write a few words of remembrance in your program.

If you invite your guests to participate, you will establish a sense of family and community. Here are a few ways to involve them:
• After you exchange vows, ask your officiant to invite your guests to promise you both support in your marriage. Your guests can stand and respond “we will.”
• If you are having an intimate ceremony, invite your guests to make a circle around you and join hands as you exchange vows and rings.
• Ask your guests to “bless” your wedding rings as they enter the venue, and ask your officiant to say a few words of acknowledgement during the ceremony.

And there you go! A perfect handout to send along to any of your clients 🙂 Happy Planning!

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