I often hear couples speaking about their wedding ceremony as a little bit of an afterthought as it seems to be such a small proportion of the wedding day in terms of time.
“Well we are only there for half an hour/ an hour, so I would rather spend my money on the reception”
I feel differently about the wedding ceremony. I feel it is a really integral and important part of your big day. It is the time when you say I do – when your friends and family watch you actually get married, and pledge your love to one another. This is the beginning of a marriage, not just the start of a wedding day. It should be special and memorable!
It is also the first impression that your guests will get of you wedding day, and therefore it can be used to set the tone of the day. The ceremony can begin to tell your love story to your guests.
That doesn’t mean that I am a huge fan of very traditional ceremonies and ceremony styling, but it does mean that when I am working with a couple to plan and style their wedding I do spend some time and attention thinking about what they would like their ceremony to look and importantly feel like.
Budget Busting Tips
There are lots of ways you can make your ceremony feel special without breaking the bank and blowing your budget.
- Think about using décor that can be moved and reused later on during your celebration.
- Think about using plants rather than cut flowers to decorate your ceremony space.
- Make signage and on the day stationery part of your décor.
- Don’t produce orders of service/order of the day for each guest, but ask guests to share, or use an order of the day sign.
- Using candle light as décor it can work out cheaper than floral decorations.
Styling Your Ceremony
- Concentrate on the areas that will be seen and photographed like where the ceremony when planning your décor.
- Consider what your guest will be looking at during your ceremony – think about how to enhance the picture with your styling.
- Check the width of the aisle when you are planning your décor – consider if there is room for yourself, and who ever will escort you down the aisle as well as any decorations or flowers.
- Think about creating a frame, focus where guests are looking with decorative features that frame or create a backdrop for the ceremony area.
Consider your guests
Make a lasting memory for your guests by surprising and delighting them at your wedding ceremony. Thoughtful details can be just as memorable as beautiful styling and décor.
- Have your guests travelled along way – provide drinks on arrival
- Is it likely to be very warm, or chilly – provide blankets of fans for your guest’s comfort!
- Greet your guests with signage welcoming them and thanking them for being with you on your special day.
- Make guest feel truly involved with the ceremony, explain in your order of ceremony how the ceremony will run, and explain any traditions that they may not be familiar with, or maybe why you’ve chosen certain music or readings.
- Serve drinks and food as soon as you can after the ceremony- your guests may be peckish and thirsty.
- Ask your photographer and film maker to consider your guests view and plan where they will stand and how they will move around before the ceremony.
- Always consider a seating plan! You can keep your seating arrangements informal but it is important to keep seats for the wedding party, and anyone who is involved in the ceremony!
And for you – the ceremony is sometimes the part of the day that couples worry about most, if you are a little nervous about your ceremony here are some tips:
Ask the person carrying out your ceremony to arrange a practice or rehearsal and also provide you with a copy of the words you will be asked to say during the ceremony. Make yourself familiar with what is going to happen and what you will be doing – it really does help those nerves!
(But do keep ceremony rehearsals private – only ask those actually involved in the ceremony to come along. In this case too many cooks will spoil the broth!!)
Don’t feel you need to stick to tradition. If you feel that skipping some wedding ceremony traditions will make you more comfortable – go for it. Remember its your big day! Obviously some legally binding ceremonies (religious/or non religious) may have certain elements that must be included, but speak to the person who will be running your ceremony to discuss how you can personalise it, and what you can do to make it feel more comfortable for you as a couple.
For example, some couple choose to meet before the ceremony – for a first glance, and find it eases their nerves, and some couples even choose to walk down the aisle together.
If you are dreading a walk down a long aisle – ask if there is another route you could take, that might put you more at ease.
Consider what might make you feel more comfortable. Particular music, or carrying something smelling of a scent that relaxes you can help. A bouquet does have a practical application at this point – it gives you something to do with nervous hands!! Take deep breaths, and a few minutes of quite and calm before you enter your ceremony. Don’t rush, and don’t feel any pressure.
And most importantly remember all of those attending is there because they love you as a couple. They wish you happiness and love, they are not focusing on how you walk, or if your hair is perfect. There is never any reason to be nervous walking down the aisle to meet the one you love.
For help and support designing and planning your wedding get in touch with me.
Image credits: Ricky Staple, Rebecca Rees, Irena K, Ben Photography. With thanks!
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