Your wedding ceremony is one of the most important moments of your wedding day and requires a lot of thought and planning. This is especially true if there are religious traditions or elements you want to incorporate into your ceremony. Whether you are marrying someone of another faith, aren’t religious yourself, or are trying to honor your parents’ wishes, here are some tips for planning your wedding ceremony.
The Feel of Your Ceremony
The ceremony sets the tone for your wedding, so you’ll want to get it just right. Additionally, it’s also one of the most memorable moments – after all – it’s the reason behind your entire wedding day! Depending on the tone you want to set for your wedding will heavily influence your wedding ceremony.
If you or your spouse are Jewish for example, you may want to include wedding traditions in both your ceremony and reception. The same goes if you’re Christian, Indian, or Hindu, or if you’re not religious at all.
Taking the time to first identify what traditions you want to include will help you decide on the type of ceremony you’ll have. For example, if your parents want you to have a religious ceremony, but you prefer a secular one, you can discuss with your officiant what traditions to include and which to exclude. You may even want to create and include your own traditions that represent you and your significant other!
Creating a Non-Religious Ceremony
A non-religious wedding ceremony is just what it sounds like – vows and readings that are not tied to any particular religion. You may instead decide to include poems, words of wisdom, or even bits of advice from religions that you feel suit you and your significant other.
Creating an Interfaith Ceremony
An interfaith ceremony is ideal if you want to commingle your religious practices with your partner’s. In some cases, you may even have more than one officiant such as a priest and a rabbi. For this type of ceremony your officiant will help you choose which readings and vows to include from each religion.
Creating a Religious Ceremony
A religious ceremony can vary greatly depending on the religion you or your spouse practices. Some religions have very specific wedding traditions, while others have some flexibility. Christian weddings for example, have a variety of unity ceremonies you can choose from – for example lighting a unity candle, taking communion together, or tying a unity knot.
Some couples even choose to alter a religious ceremony by creating their own unity ceremony, planting a tree together that you’ll plant in your home is another example.
Your wedding officiant will be able to walk you through your options and help you decide which traditions to include in your ceremony.
Writing Your Ceremony Script
While your officiant will handle the majority of the work here, you do have the opportunity to have some input into your ceremony.
For example, many couples choose to write their own vows which may or may not include religious elements. You might also decide to customize the ring exchange and declaration of intent to better reflect you and your soon-to-be spouse.
Many couples are looking to create a unique and updated take on old wedding traditions and your ceremony is the perfect place to do so.When planning your ceremony, your officiant can help identify which aspects of traditional wedding vows are most important to you, as well as the places for you to customize to reflect your individual taste. Keeping an open mind will help you create the perfect ceremony that you are sure to love.
Your wedding ceremony script should include readings and vows that are important to you and your fiance. Keep in mind that most wedding ceremony scripts follow a specific order of events that include a welcome statement, declaration of intent, readings, vows, exchanges of rings and pronouncement. In religious ceremonies the officiant will often share a few words before the exchange of rings.
While just about anything goes for your wedding ceremony, length is an important factor to keep in mind. If you’re writing a wedding ceremony script from scratch, it’s important to include the most important aspects without going too long or cutting the ceremony too short. Aim for a 15-20 minute ceremony if you’re unsure, which is the perfect amount of time for a non-religious ceremony. Religious ceremonies tend to go a bit longer depending on your religion and the traditions you decide to include.
What matters most, of course, is that your wedding ceremony feels personal and unique to you and your fiancee.