Your wedding day is a special day that you will treasure for the rest of your life. However, it is also a legal status that requires certain terms to make it “proper”. Therefore, it is important to add a little of your own personality to the event. Here, we are going to explore some ways that you can do just that.
Of course, the wedding reception is the ideal thing to make as individual as you are. There is so much advice on how to theme your breakfast and evening reception, but getting individuality into your ceremony can be so much more difficult. Especially when having a civil ceremony as opposed to a religious one, it can feel like the event lacks spirit. However, take our tips and you can create a truly unique ceremony.
Write your own wedding vows
Before we continue, we must mention that there are certain words you are required by law to include in your ceremony. Otherwise, the union will not be legally binding. This is the case in England and Wales but may be different elsewhere, so check locally what the required words are.
Importantly, always check with your registrar. They will tell you what is necessary and will have the final say on what you say. Give them a script of everything before your big day so they can okay it. This includes music, and many other things too. We don’t want to repeat ourselves for every point in the rest of the article, but make sure your registrar is aware of everything that will be happening. And, everything must be secular and not mention god or religion.
Provided you obtain the registrar’s permission, you are able to add your own spin on the wording of the proceedings. This level of personalisation means that your vows can feel more genuine and will be sure to resonate with your guests, too.
Instead of going over the same words used by hundreds of thousands of couples, you can make an individual commitment to each other. Make reference to the history of your relationship, hurdles you have overcome together, and voice your true feelings in your own words.
Invite close family and friends to give readings
Religious ceremonies may have close family and friends reading Bible verses to the happy couple. However, you can also incorporate this into your civil wedding ceremony, provided the readings are secular. Expression of religious sentiment of any kind is not allowed in a civil wedding ceremony. Again, run everything past the registrar first.
Think, for example, about the lyrics to your favourite song, or a poem you both love. Perhaps there is a short story which you feel resonates with your own love story. Have a close friend of each partner read these at the ceremony for a lovely, personal act.
Decorate the room in your wedding theme
Many venues will allow you to decorate the ceremony room. Therefore, make a plan for what you want the room to look like. A lot of wedding packages offer a sash or bow on each chair to match with your chosen colour scheme. This will instantly bring festive cheer to the room that can sometimes be somewhat drab.
Ask your florist to provide a floral archway (perfect if your ceremony is outside) or pedestals to stand either the aisle. If your reception is happening in the same venue, it will be easy to move some decor from your ceremony room across to the room in which your reception will be taking place.
Create atmosphere by adding live music to the proceedings
If music be the food of love, play on! It would be a lovely touch to have a musician perform something as you walk down the aisle, sign the register, and share your vows. There are so many options, and some bands offer a discount if they play at both your ceremony and reception. Moreover, you can personalise the music that is played. Is there a certain song that you relate to your relationship? What is the first song you heard after your proposal? This is a great way to let a little of your personality shine through.
What’s more, you can match the style of music to the theme of your overall wedding. For example, light classical music played by a string quartet or a harpist would probably be a good choice for a smart country house wedding. On the other hand, Irish folk songs might better suit a more rustic country-themed wedding.
Now, while music of a specifically religious nature is not allowed, you may find a more lenient registrar. Therefore, they may permit an instrumental version or a song that briefly mentions faith.
You don’t need to walk down the aisle
The tradition of the bride walking escorted down the aisle to meet her groom comes from church weddings. While many ceremony rooms are set up in a similar way, to introduce an aisle between the rows of chairs, you can ask your venue to arrange the chairs differently. Moreover, your entrance can be as unique as you like.
You could flip roles and have the bride standing at the altar waiting for her groom. Many same-sex weddings choose to have both partners walk down the aisle, sometimes at the same time, or meet from different corners of the room. You can choose who walks with you, or walk unaccompanied. You can even dance down, or come in on horseback.
Involve your pet
Our animals are often our family. And, as all your other family are invited to the wedding, it only seems fair to invite them, too. Not all venues will allow animals, but if they do then make the most of it!
Some couples involve their pets in a big role within their ceremony. Your dog could be a ringbearer (though maybe use fake rings and keep the real ones somewhere safe). Maybe your cat has a special trick of dancing to music. Perhaps your bird could make a big display. Any way, your animal can certain play their own part in your nuptials.
Exchange something other than rings
Believe it or not, it is not a necessity to give your partner a ring to validate your marriage. Therefore, you can change it up a little to make it more personal! Maybe you want to give your partner another trinket, such as a watch or a piece of jewellery. You can even give your loved one a flower (although maybe that symbolism won’t work quite so well when the flower dies a few days later!) We have even heard of some couples using gummy rings and eating them after the ceremony! Go as far as your imagination takes you.
Your wedding day should be very special, and very personal. If you consider it carefully in advance, you can turn a blank canvas into a wonderful day that not only you and your partner will remember for a lifetime, but that all your guests will, too.