While there are many glamorous aspects of your wedding to plan, like cakes and dresses and flowers, the most important moment is when you say “I do.” Take the time to carefully plan your ceremony. Here are some helpful tips for selecting officiants and venues.
Selecting a Ceremony Location
Wedding ceremonies are held just about anywhere these days. From the Vegas strip to your own backyard or a lavish church, your ceremony location should reflect your beliefs and your style.
Tips for selecting a ceremony location:
- Make sure you think about how far your guests will have to travel between your ceremony and reception venues.
- Ensure there is sufficient parking and comfortable seating.
- If you’re considering an outdoor ceremony, make sure you’ve planned for poor weather.
- Take the time of day and sunlight into consideration for outdoor ceremonies – you don’t want to blinded by the sun as you try to say your vows.
- Don’t be persuaded into selecting a location (particularly a religious one) to please family members.
Choosing an Officiant
Whether you’ve enlisted the services of a pastor, a judge or a best friend, take time to discuss your ceremony ideas with your officiant. Seasoned professionals have years of wisdom and experience to share, so be ready to listen!
Tips for selecting an officiant:
- Call your preferred officiant as soon as you’ve selected a date to check availability.
- Choose an officiant that reflects your beliefs and style.
- Make sure the friend or family member you’ve asked to perform the ceremony knows that this isn’t the time to roast or toast… those speeches can be saved for the reception.
- Give your officiant some insight into your relationship: how you met, things you love and interests you share. This information will inspire their interpretation of the ceremony and make it more personal.
Infusing Your Personality & Style
Like every aspect of your wedding, your ceremony should say something about you as a couple. Whether you involve your pets, ride in on a horse or are serenaded by bagpipers, try to incorporate some personal touches or a few of your favorite things into the ceremony.
Tips to help plan your ceremony:
- Consider whether or not you want to write your own vows. Personalized vows can be beautiful, but remember to keep them short so you can easily remember and recite them.
- If you’re honoring a family or religious tradition in your ceremony, outline the background of this tradition in your program so unfamiliar guests can follow along.
- Select music that speaks to you or has a special place in your heart. The music will set the mood for your ceremony.
- Your program is a great place to personalize your ceremony. Of course, you’ll list the members of your wedding party and the order of events, but you can also show your appreciation to your guests with a special message, and give thanks to friends and family who have been instrumental in your planning.