Choosing Your Ceremony Options...
And So The Adventure Begins!
*A Note Concerning YOUR Perfect Ceremony Inclusions...*
When choosing your inclusions...
Please consider the
TIMING & FLOW
Including the length
Of the ceremony
Go hand in hand
To establish a
Each inclusion takes time.
PLEASE PAY ATTENTION! I UNDERSTAND YOU'RE EXCITED. BUT THINK ABOUT YOUR CHOICES! Inclusions are a nice way to PERSONALIZE YOUR Ceremony. It is NOT a candy store! I want this & this & this & this TOO! NO. IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY Inclusions Affect the "FLOW" Of the ceremony! Each inclusion causes: stop (inclusion) reset restart 1 Inclusion=PERFECT 2 Inclusions= (Possible, depends) 3 Inclusions= You're losing it. Pick what is MEANINGFUL to you as a COUPLE! *NOTE: Please, If you want more than 2 inclusions... PLEASE Find another officiant. I don't want to be rude. I just take GREAT Pride In my Ceremonies. I REFUSE TO PRESIDE OVER A TRAIN WRECK Thank you for understanding.
If you have chosen a
Think about your choices.
Does an "Apache Blessing" go with a Disney Theme?
A "Renaissance Theme" & having a "Sand Ceremony."
The "FLOW" of the ceremony
Should be easy
"FEEL" as natural as breathing.
The more inclusions...
Your Ceremony will appear "CHOPPY."
The "FLOW" will establish the "BEAUTY" of your ceremony.
You spend more time
Than doing what you came there to do in the 1st place.
*These are just my SUGGESTIONS coming from years of doing this.
I'm just providing you with information
knowledge to assist
In making your ceremony
A beautiful event
Tailor it to
Reflect your love story.
Think about the weddings you've been to. Which one's have you "enjoyed?"
USUALLY... a ceremony 10-20 minutes long is perfect.
Kids have a 5 minute attention span;
Adults, 10 minutes tops.
This is also a "CEREMONY."
A joyous time not a penance...
Get on to the celebrating & making memories!
Readings During The Ceremony...
Do you want to include readings?
Will the readings be religious or secular?
Who will do the readings?
*The key to readings...
Keep your readings short & concise as possible.
They should reflect you as a couple and/or what you feel for one another.
Be careful who you choose to do the readings. Are they a good reader (don't expect them to memorize it)? Are they "comfortable" doing the reading? Remember...just because YOU want them to do the reading, doesn't mean they want to or are able to. Stage fright is a REAL thing! Nothing worse than seeing someone in front of people (even if they know them), bug eyed, sweating, gulping, and yes, passing out!
Not everyone is cut out to be a ham like me...LOL!
Giving Away The Bride...
The "Father's Blessing"...
Back in the day... A Father would Bless his daughter before she left his house for the last time. It would be done in the doorway of his home. This tradition has morphed over time to anything from; the raising of the veil & kiss from the father at the end of the aisle, the Father placing the Bride's hand into the Groom's or the officiator asking "Who gives this Woman..."
Whats wrong with tradition? How about giving the hand of the Bride to the Groom & saying something like..."I give you my daughter, treasure her as I have and may God Bless this Union." It's really VERY touching... (Even though we know the Dad is thinking..."Or I'll hunt you down...!" LOL)
New Twists To The "Old Routine"...
I thought about this on my son's "Senior Appreciation Day" for his football team. BOTH his father and I walked him across the field. I thought, "Why don't they do this for Weddings?"
This is my spin... BOTH parents get up & give a Blessing! The Bride deserves BOTH parents Blessings! I'll even go further...
I say HECK with the old! The Groom should be walked down the aisle by BOTH his parents and the Bride should be walked down by BOTH her parents!
Father not (available)? Let Mom walk the Bride down the isle...
She MORE than deserves the Lime Light Too!
It bugs the Be-Jesus out of me that Mom's get left out! Who stayed up all night? Who changed most of the diapers? Who taught her how to shave her legs...? Yet, Mom sits to the side with a tissue & smiles...
Can I get an "AMEN!"
Have children? Have your children walk you down the isle...
Close friend of the Bride/Groom, give them the honor!
I had the Groom/Groom walk each other down the isle...
Heck! BOOGIE ON DOWN the isle!!!
It's Your Day to Shine~NEVER Lose Your Sparkle!!!
You are ONLY limited by your imagination!!!
Handfasting or tying the knot...
The modern expressions, “tying the knot,” “bonds of matrimony” and “hand in marriage” all hail from these ancient traditions of wrapping the Bride & Groom’s wrists with braided cords, grasses or vines.
Despite its primeval origins, the knot tying ceremony continues to be a central part of weddings, especially among Scottish, Greek Orthodox, Wiccan and, most recently, same-sex couples since the versatility of the ritual is easily adaptable to ceremonies of any faith.
When Planning the Handfasting into your ceremony it is best done AFTER the exchange of rings. It’s a little difficult to get untied after you do the deed!
Adding A New Twist!
Blending A Family
Just Getting Married After Having Children
Include Them In The Hand Fasting Ceremony With Their Own Ribbon!
A type of unity ceremony, the wedding sand ceremony expresses the coming together of two people or two families into one new family. Typically, each person has different colored sand and takes turns pouring it into one clear vessel, forming a layered effect. Sometimes just the couple participates, and sometimes the couple's children and/or parents join in with their own colored sand, adding to the layers of colors, and expressing the harmony of the entire family.
How a Wedding Sand Ceremony Works
First, the officiant says a few words about the ceremony and its meaning. He or she hands each person a vase of colored sand.
The first person (often the groom) starts by pouring his sand into the central vase.
Next, the second person (often the bride) pours into the central vase, forming a second layer.
If there are other family members participating, they each pour their sand into the central vase. If it's just the couple getting married, they typically each add another layer to the vase.
To finish, everyone pours at the same time, forming a mix of colors at the top that represents the united family. Some people choose to have this last step be just the happy couple, while others include everyone. Keep in mind that it might be difficult to have six people pouring sand at the same time.
When Does a Sand Ceremony Take Place?
There are no strict rules - I've seen couples place it at many different points in their wedding ceremony order, and even as a separate ritual at the reception. However, typically it takes place immediately following the ring exchange and vows. That allows it to be a culmination of the ritual, once you have already been joined in marriage.
What You'll Need for a Sand Ceremony
Of course you'll need a different color of sand for each person participating, and the amount you'll need depends on the size of vase you're trying to fill. A pound per person is usually a safe bet. You can find this at craft stores like Michael's. You can also purchase complete kits that include everything you'll need from a variety of retailers.
A pouring tube or vase for each person filled with their sand. Make sure that it has a narrow enough opening that it will pour cleanly.
An empty central clear vase or jar. Make sure it's something that you'll want to display in your home after the wedding. It should be large, but not so large that there's a lot of empty space after the sand ceremony. A 10 inch tall vase with a 2 to 3 inch diameter circumference should work well.
A small table near the altar or vow site where the sand ceremony can take place.
Cotton balls and clear tape. You'll want to be able to transport the vase after the wedding. The easiest way is to fill any empty space with cotton balls, and then tape the top to secure them. If you're traveling far, you may also want bubble wrap to protect the glass pieces.
Variations: Water & Wine to replace the sand.
One of the most common ceremonies. The bride and groom each take a lit candle and simultaneously light a third larger “unity candle.” They may blow out their individual lights, or leave them lit, symbolizing that they have not lost their individuality in their unity.
Variations: All guests are given a candle, and the first guest’s is lit. Guests pass the flame until all are lit, and then the bride and groom together light their unity candle. This variation typically includes a proclamation that this ceremony represents the unity of friends and family supporting the couple in their marriage.
Tree Planting Ceremony...
Planting a tree to celebrate a marriage is an ancient tradition that is shared by numerous cultures around the world. It is also a ritual that is catching the eye of modern brides who are looking for a novel twist on the candle or sand unity ceremony to symbolize their newly intertwined lives.
Jumping The Broom!
An African-American tradition that has its roots in slavery times when slaves couldn't marry. Typically the family places the broom on the ground, and the bride and groom jump over it together. The broom can then decorate a place of honor in their home.
The Human Heart & Spirit is an amazing thing. The one truth in life is Love ALWAYS wins... As with the slaves who found a way beyond their bondage to unite their lives when forbidden; this old tradition has found a new home with many couples. Interracial & Same-Sex couples have adopted this tradition into their ceremonies giving a nod of respect & solidarity to the African-American ancestors signifying their once "taboo" relationships.
Celtic Oathing Stone...
"The couple holds or puts their hands on a stone during their vows to "set them in stone" (I also believe this is where this phrase comes from, or so the rumor goes)."
The stone can be engraved or a cheaper more personal option is to get permanent ink pens and have wedding party/family/close friends write something meaningful, a wish or blessing for the couple so it too is written in stone along with the vows. A clear lacquer spray applied to stone after ceremony will keep the blessings for years to come.
Keeping with the theme... You can put some pebbles as shown here on the guest book table with a few Thin Line Permanent Markers. Each guest can have the opportunity to write a wish, Blessing or just say "Good Luck & Happiness." The pebbles can then be displayed with the Oathing Stone in an honored place in your home.
A simple unity ceremony where the bride and groom exchange roses. Other variations: the families exchange roses, the bride and groom exchange roses with their families, the bride and groom exchange roses, then present their mothers with the roses.
God's Knot or Cord of Three Strands...
WHAT IS THE CORD OF THREE STRANDS CEREMONY?
The cord of three strands symbolizes the joining of one man, one woman, and God into a marriage relationship.
The cord of three strands ceremony is a great addition to a traditional wedding ceremony. It adds a truly unique element to your ceremony that friends and family will remember. It can also serve as a substitute for the unity candle. This is useful for situations where candles may not be used, or may be difficult. The Cord of Three Strands works well as a substitute in outside weddings.
At some point in the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom braid the Cord of Three Strands together. The groom holds a small metal ring with three attached strands. The bride then braids the strands together, symbolizing the union of God, husband and wife.
The colors of the cords are significant:
Gold Strand - Represents God
The divinity of God is represented in Gold. This covenant relationship is initiated by Him, will be built under His authority, and is intended to glorify Him.
Purple Strand - Represents the Groom
As a new creation in Christ, the majesty of the Groom is represented in purple. As the husband loves his wife and submits himself to the Lord, the Lord in turn will demonstrate His great love in the marriage relationship.
White Strand - Represents the Bride
Having been cleansed by salvation in Christ, the purity of the Bride is represented in white. As the wife honors her husband and submits herself to the Lord, the Lord in turn will nurture and strengthen the marriage relationship.
Truce Bell Ceremony...
Raised in the South this is one of my Favorites!! Little known tradition up North from the French & Creoles during their wedding ceremonies. (Love my Nawlin's Family! Hey y'all!!)
At the end of the wedding ceremony the couples use to ring the chapel bell to signify the beginning of their new life together. As it has evolved in time & church bells becoming automated... The couples ring a bell after they are announced as a couple. That bell gets a coveted place in their home.
A bell is rung on the wedding day, the happiest day of the couple's lives and then is placed in a central location in the home. If the couple starts to argue, one of them can ring the truce bell, reminding them both of that happiness and hopefully ending the disagreement quickly.
*You might remember an old song "C'est La Vie..."
(roughly "such is life," "such is fate")
Probably more fitting saying during an argument; "S*#@ Happens..." LOL!
We Know You Would Be Here If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away...
With all the excitement of new beginnings, something within us longs to share our
Blessed Events with love ones who have passed...
Nothing can fill the emptiness that a loss makes within our hearts at these times...
But we can honor them & what they mean to us in many special ways.
Here are some heartfelt memorial ideas...
A Simple Lit Candle...
The Vacant Chair...
Honoring Our Heros...May Our Blessings Be Carried On Wings Of Angels To You. Thank You.
The Groom & Bride Carry A Piece Of Their Hearts Down The Isle...
Ideas To Help Fill Your Heart On Your Special Day...God Bless...