Read these 38 Wedding Ceremony Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Wedding tips and hundreds of other topics.
Writing your own wedding vows may suit your personal wedding style, but it can be a bit of a daunting task to begin with. If you are trying to write your own vows, don't let the task overwhelm you or intimidate you. Writing your own vows should begin and end with how you feel, not what others are expecting. If you are creating your own wedding ceremony and style and you want to write your own vows, here are a few questions to consider in creating the vows you want to make.
There is a lot to be said for an intimate wedding ceremony. Remember that the proposal was often done in quiet intimacy and will be filled with a gravitas that few other ceremonies related to marriage are going to accomplish. The wedding ceremony traditionally is about bringing the families together, but the truth is that some couples do not want to bring their families together for their wedding ceremony.
If you choose to go the route of the private wedding ceremony, you might consider this sample announcement to help calm the upset emotions from family or friends not invited to the actually ceremony.
We invite you to take a moment on April 5th at 5:00 p.m. to say a prayer, a blessing or simply to observe a moment of silence as we, the bride and the groom, commit ourselves to one another and to walking the path of life together. In privacy and intimacy, we will make our commitment because our marriage is about joining our lives.
When you see us before, you will know us, as we were - individual and singular.
We invite you to join us at the Omni Hotel in the private dining room for a celebration dinner at 7 p.m. In lieu of any gifts, we ask that you instead make a donation to charity in our names as a couple that we will have become. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love, your kindness and your devotion.
Wedding ceremony music is about communicating in a language that everyone can understand. From the comforting tones of the wedding march to the salutations and hymns sung during ceremonies celebrating love, relationships and their commitment to a higher divinity, music serves multiple purposes.
The wedding ceremony music is important to the theme of the wedding and the location. During your wedding planning, always check with the ceremony location about their rules for music. While you will be choosing a song for your wedding reception, the song that you and your fiancé will dance your first dance to, you can also use recorded music during your ceremony.
Looking for a romantic song for your wedding? Want to make the ideal mix tape or burn the greatest romantic CD for your evening with spouse? Want a great song to request of the DJ so you can slow dance? Here are fifteen romantic song suggestions.
When a couple exchanges rings it is typical for them to do so with their ceremony wedding vows. Some couples want to write their own ceremony wedding vows and others want to find vows that reflect their thoughts. Ceremony wedding vows can be long and elaborate or short and sweet. They do not need to be one or the other. Here are a few sample ceremony wedding vows that may or may not be what you are looking for:
Know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in this life you have formed ties between each other. As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real, the ideals which give meaning to both this ceremony and the institution of marriage.
With full awareness, know that within this circle you are not only declaring your intent to be handfasted before your friends and family, but you speak that intent also to your creative higher powers.
The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union; they will cross the years and lives of each soul's growth.
Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?
Yes, we seek to enter.
In times past it was believed that the human soul shared characteristics with all things divine. It is this belief which assigned virtues to the cardinal directions; East, South, West and North. It is in this tradition that a blessing is offered in support of this ceremony.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East. Communication of the heart, mind, and body Fresh beginnings with the rising of each Sun. The knowledge of the growth found in the sharing of silences.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South. Warmth of hearth and home The heat of the heart's passion The light created by both To lighten the darkest of times.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West. The deep commitments of the lake The swift excitement of the river The refreshing cleansing of the rain The all encompassing passion of the sea.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North Firm foundation on which to build Fertility of the fields to enrich your lives A stable home to which you may always return.
Each of these blessings from the four cardinal directions emphasizes those things which will help you build a happy and successful union. Yet they are only tools. Tools which you must use together in order to create what you seek in this union.
I bid you look into each others eyes.
[Groom's Name], Will you cause her pain?
Is that your intent?
[Bride's Name], Will you cause him pain?
Is that your intent?
Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it?
And so the binding is made. Join your hands
*First cord is draped across the bride and grooms hands*
[Bride's Name], Will you share his laughter?
[Groom's Name], Will you share her laughter?
Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?
And so the binding is made.
*Second cord is draped across the couples hands*
[Bride's Name], Will you burden him?
Is that your intent?
[Groom's Name], Will you burden her?
Is that your intent?
Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?
And so the binding is made.
*Drape third cord across the couples, hands*
[Bride's Name], will you share his dreams?
[Groom's Name], will you share her dreams?
Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes?
And so the binding is made.
*Drape fourth cord across the couples hands*
[Groom's Name], will you cause her anger?
Is that your intent?
[Bride's Name], will you cause him anger?
Is that your intent?
Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?
And so the binding is made.
*Drape fifth cord across the couples hands*
[Bride's Name], Will you honor him?
[Groom's Name], Will you honor her?
Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor?
We shall never do so.
And so the binding is made.
*Drape sixth cord across the couples hands*
*Tie cords together while saying:*
The knots of this binding are not formed by these cords but instead by your vows. Either of you may drop the cords, for as always, you hold in your own hands the making of breaking of this union.
*Once cords are tied together they are removed and placed on altar*
Even in more traditional weddings, the wedding music can be altered to suit the couple's tastes. For example, a band may play as the guests are arriving and participate in the bridal march. There may be hymns sung during the ceremony and another piece during the recessional.
Most often if a band is hired to do music during the wedding ceremony, they may very well roll over to play at the reception. The music is as important to the overall theme as the setting and ceremony type. Your choices may be limited by budgetary constraints. So it's good to familiarize yourself with local bands especially when you are planning your wedding ceremony music.
If you have friends or family in a band, there's a chance they may play the wedding for free or a nominal fee. Depending on the venue for the wedding, a choir might be available to perform during parts of the ceremony as the couple envisions it. It's important to realize that your selections of music are very important to their overall enjoyment of the ceremony.
The Catholic wedding ceremony is remarkable in that it can be celebrated with or without a mass. The majority of practicing Catholics are going to choose a wedding ceremony with the Mass. A Catholic wedding ceremony with a mass lasts about one hour. The Mass portion includes a celebration of the Eucharist, the singing of hymns and readings from the Bible.
Upon entering the church, Catholics will bless themselves by dipping their fingers into the font and making the Sign of the Cross. A non-Catholic attending is not required to perform the gesture. Ushers may seat guests and before taking their seat in the pew, a Catholic should make the Sign of the Cross and bend down on one knee. Once all have arrived in the Church and the ceremony begins, the Priest will greet the bride, groom and guests. He will open with prayer and the guests as well as the bridal couple will alternate standing and bowing at appropriate times.
The homily of a Catholic wedding ceremony should focus on marriage and if the couple is well known to the priest, he may offer his own personal observations and relations to them in the homily. The vows will be taken after the homily and the Prayer of the Faithful follows. The Catholic wedding ceremony is a beautiful symbiosis of uniting the marriage with the mass. This is the beauty of celebrating religion, faith and love in one ceremony.
Before communion is served, the priest will ask for there to be a Sign of Peace. When he calls for this, he means for people to turn to hose that are next to them and shake their hands and offer peace be with them. Family and loved ones will often kiss and hug as well during this part. When the Communion is offered during a Catholic wedding ceremony, it's important to remember that it is for baptized Catholics only. Following communion, the priest will introduce the new couple to the guests.
Are you considering a traditional or alternative wedding ceremony? Have you ever heard of hand fasting? It has seen a revival in the last few decades from the fringe to the mainstream. A hand fasting indicated a betrothal and marriage in medieval times. There are many who interpret a hand fasting as a trial marriage, latching onto the idea that it lasts a year and a day. This concept dates back to a time when divorce was not an option for many couples and fertility was important to the success of a marriage.
As an alternative wedding ceremony, a couple chooses hand fasting because it is a part of their faith and belief to make their commitment to marriage. They are typically surrounded in a circle by the attendees while the minister or priest joins their hands by symbolically tying them together. It honors the trinity of man, woman and the divine and promises the trinity of what will hopefully be man, woman and child.
In this, it is an honest commitment to marriage and not a substitute for it. The venue for the hand fasting can be a living room, a garden or a waterfall - anywhere the couple has chosen. It can be held in the morning, when the first rays of the sun are coming above the horizon - the time honors the start of a new life beginning with the start of a new day.
A hand fasting is a recognized alternative wedding ceremony and still requires a licensed justice of the peace, minister or other legally recognized individual must perform the ceremony unless the couple registers their marriage at a courthouse beforehand.
Try these Cherokee wedding ceremony vows:
God in heaven above please protect the ones we love.
We honour all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together. We honour mother-earth - and ask for our marriage to be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons;
We honour fire - and ask that our union be warm and glowing with love in our hearts; We honour wind - and ask we sail though life safe and calm as in our father's arms; We honour water - to clean and soothe our relationship - that it may never thirsts for love; With all the forces of the universe you created, we pray for harmony and true happiness as we forever grow
young together. Amen."
If you're looking for well-written wedding ceremony traditional vows, you might try this one from William Shakespeare:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments, Love is no Love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove
Oh no! It is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken,
Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheers
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with its brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
You might use this Apache Wedding Prayer as a sample wedding ceremony vow: Now you will feel no rain... For each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold... For each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there is no more loneliness... For each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two bodies... But there is only one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your togetherness... And may your days be good and long upon the earth! Another Apache wedding prayer might be: "Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficult and fear assail your relationship - as they threaten all relationships at one time or another - remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives - remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight."
When making your own bridal bouquet, it's best to make it the morning of the wedding so that it appears as fresh as you are!
If, for some reason, you are unable to make the bridal bouquet the morning of the wedding (and let's face it, many brides have other things to do), then your best option is to use silk flowers. Silk flowers have come a long way and many brides are now opting to go with silk flowers as both a way to cut costs and preserve the bridal bouquet for a lifetime. Of course, the added bonus is that you can make your bridal bouquet long before the wedding day arrives.
Silk flowers can be bought wholesale through online retailers.
You might use this Apache Wedding Prayer as a reading for your wedding:
Now you will feel no rain...
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold...
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness...
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies...
But there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your togetherness...
And may your days be good and long upon the earth!
A few popular scriptures to use at a wedding is First Corinthians Chapter 13; it begins "Love is patient, love is kind . . . " and describes what love is.
Song of Solomon has some lovely verses for weddings. One excellent choice is Song of Solomon 2:8-14, 16a; 8:6-7, a song about lovers that includes the verses, "'Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.' My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. My lover is mine and I am his . . ."
If you'd like a shorter Bible scripture that talks about love and friendship in general, try John 15: 9-17, which discusses love. Part if the verse is "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
If you have a lot of guests coming to your wedding and want to reserve several pews behind the first for immediate family members of the bride (left-hand side) and the groom (right-hand side), you can include pew cards in the invitations of the guests who are to be seated there. The guests show the cards to the ushers, who then seat them in the correct area.
If you'd like a Bible reading that discusses marriage in general, you might want to consider 1 Corinthians 7. An excerpt: "Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband."
Tipping wedding consultants is not a requirement. Wedding consultants usually work for a set fee and do not expect a tip. If you feel that your consultant has gone above and beyond the call of duty, then 10% of the set fee should be more than enough.
Tipping ministers, on the other hand, is a different story. Ministers should not be given a tip directly. Rather, a donation should be made to their ministry, or organization. This ranges from $50-500 and is usually discussed when you finalize the contract.
If you're inviting children to your wedding but would rather they stay in the nursery, you can have a nursery attendent stationed in the church foyer or near the guest book to let guests know that they can bring their children to the nursery. If you've invited children, you can't force parents to leave them in the nursery, but you can print a line in your program stating that fussy or noisy children should be taken into the nursery. You can also assign an usher at the back of the church to approach parents of fussy/noisy children during the ceremony and volunteer quietly to show them to the nursery.
One great Bible reading is from Genesis 2:4-9, 15-24 and discusses God's creation of the Earth and of man and woman. It includes the scripture, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called `woman,' for she was taken out of man."
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."
If you're of a literary mind, you might try using some of Walt Whitman's poetry as a wedding ceremony vow. His "Song of the Open Road" includes the beautiful verse:
"Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precise than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?"
In my experience, anyone who is wearing the same color as the bridesmaids is often confused as being a member of the wedding party---once I wore a peach-colored dress to a peach-themed wedding and everyone thought I was a junior bridesmaid! If your soloist sings often at weddings, she probably has an outfit or two in some neutral colors that she uses for such occasions. You might ask her what she's planning to wear, but you can't really ask her to buy something new just to wear for your wedding. Ideally a non-obtrusive color such as taupe or navy blue would be nice, but in the end the choice is up to her.
"A traditional Chinese marriage is best conceived of as a contractual transfer of personnel (the bride) from one patrilineal group to another. It was not arranged by the bride and groom but rather by their respective families, who themselves turned the responsibility of matching mates over to a hired go-between and, ultimately, to Heaven." - Joachim 1986, 164
A traditional Chinese wedding ceremony was very elaborate in the preparations, but utterly simple in the actual wedding ceremony. The day of the wedding, the bride went through several preparation rituals including:
The ceremony itself was exceptionally simple. The bride and groom would be conducted to their family altars where they would pay homage to the family ancestors, the Kitchen God and to Heaven and Earth. They would then offer tea to the groom's parents. After the tea was served, the bride and groom would then bow to each other and thus the wedding ceremony itself was concluded. Following a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony, the bride and groom would retire immediately to the bridal chamber where they would then spend their time together and get to know each other.
If your parents are divorced but get along well, both of them can sit in the front pew for the wedding ceremony seating, with any new partners in the pew behind them. If your parents don't get along well, then the mother (and her significant other) sit in the front pew.
Want a romantic sonnet to read at your wedding? This this one by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from wedding vows and ceremony from the Portuguese:
If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
'I love her for her smile—her look—her way
Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'—
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,—and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,—
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.
One favorite scripture to read at weddings are the Beatitudes (the blessings) in Matthew 5:
"Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,
and he began to teach them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
What exactly goes in a wedding program? Ultimately it's up to you, but here's an outline to get you started for the perfect wedding event planning: names of bridal party members, sequence of events during the ceremony, dedication to loved one/thank you to family, and an explanation.
Looking for a little something funny to read at the ceremony, reception, or to print in your program? You might want to use this excerpt from a 1950s home economics textbook titled "The Good Wives Guide".
Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.
Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work weary people
Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc. and then run a dust cloth over the tables.
Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
Prepare the children, take a few minutes to wash their hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
Minimise all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise from the washer, dryer, and vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him.
Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to see him. Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first. remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure, and his very real need to be at home and relax.
Your goal. Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquillity where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. Don't greet him with complaints and problems. Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low soothing and pleasant voice. Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity.
Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
A good wife always knows her place.