Plan your Ceremony as well as your Wedding Day - make the words as memorable as the photographs!
Here at Bride Buddy Ceremonies - we plan ceremonies. I, for one am not a wedding planner but rather a ceremony planner. You organise your wedding day right down to the last detail, so why not the actual ceremony? Your wedding day should be unique and personal to you and your guests. Having a personal ceremony written for you in advance gives you the opportunity to let your personalities shine through and to speak words that have special significance to you both as a couple. If you do not want a celebrant to perform the ceremony, you can add more intimacy by asking a friend or family member to do this for you. Don't forget you can invite guests to do readings during your ceremony, or act as witnesses if you have a commemorative certificate to sign. Personalise your ceremony further with different options for the traditional parts, the vows, promises and exchange of rings or even write your own. Add some local flavour by including some wedding traditions from the area, and above all remember that you are free to follow whatever plan you want to make your ceremony unique to you both. I have written ceremonies for couples marrying abroad, on boats, on allotments, in their gardens, all kinds of places. If you are doing the 'legal bits' first then having a celebration ceremony you are free to customise the ceremony however you want. Think about trying to make the words of love that you both speak to seal your commitment being as memorable as the photographs. These words are, after all, what the whole day is centred around are they not?
Vicki, performing the 'cosmic' personal ceremony for Natalie & Tom.
There are of course occasion where you may choose the expert help of a wedding planner and I am all for it. Their help and guidance could be invaluable for you. For example, if you are planning a wedding abroad a wedding planner can help you organise the correct documentation that you will need to bring, they can show you around and help you decide and book your venue, organise the catering, reception, accommodation for you and your guests, and obviously deal with any language barriers you may encounter. A great asset without a doubt.
With my experience as a UK Registrar of Marriages, I spent some time in Greece, working as a celebrant for a wedding planner which was great fun. She asked me to review her standard ceremony, which I did. Working around the theme she already had, I enhanced the words, layout, structure and flow of the ceremony which she was really happy with, and there is no doubt she is a great planner but this was the only choice of ceremony available. Just because you are using a wedding planner, there is no reason that you have to go with their ceremony. I am sure that your wedding planner would not object to you providing your own personalised ceremony. Maybe they can provide a celebrant for you, but again, a decent wedding planner would not mind at all if you preferred a celebrant of your own choosing, or if you wanted a friend or family member to perform the ceremony for you. Some wedding planners do not provide any form of ceremony at all, in which case you would need to provide your own.
As well as including a few traditional parts like the 'I will' and the 'I do's' I have written complete scripts based on the couple's personalities and included some more 'off the wall' traditions that would not usually be allowed in standard civil ceremonies such as the tradition of smashing a glass at the end of a ceremony or sharing flower crowns, hand fasting, exchanging a spoon of honey together and much more. All these ideas have their symbolic meaning to the couple. With a personal ceremony you still have the opportunity to write your own ring words and vows, but we can include so much more. I have written ceremonies around whole themes or just a few brainstormed words that the couple have provided me with. Get in touch and check out our website if you are interested or need help with a script for your ceremony, and take a peek at our thank you page to get a flavour of the endless possibilities for your wedding or renewal of vows ceremony. Also, a previous blog 'The story of Natalie & Tom's personal wedding ceremony' tells the story of Vicki, asked to perform this ceremony for her friends, Natalie & Tom, and how she talked to me about building the ceremony around a 'cosmic' theme. Vicki loved performing the ceremony so much, that she wants to do it again and again and here at Bride Buddy, I provided her with lots of help and advice on how to 'conduct' the ceremony on the day. Little things like how not to lose your place in the ceremony, but still be engaged with the couple and guests.
If you need someone to write a wedding ceremony or renewal of vows, please take a look at the Bride Buddy website for loads of help, ideas and information. In fact, if you are planning a wedding in Kefalonia, Greece - look me up if you need an experienced celebrant for your special day. Words of love - last forever.