So I'm Engaged... now what?
There are a LOT of questions that newly engaged couples forget to ask each other...and themselves during the wedding planning process. And I'm not talking about teal or maroon... buttercream or red velvet...kinda stuff.
Wedding planning can be so much fun! All the little details from the florals to the playlist, the theme, the venue, the attire etc. But let's not forget what all the celebration is for...after all, today is more than just a big party...it's the day you marry the love of your life. And that happens before the cake and the dancing...at the altar. Or on the mountaintop... you know, whichever:)
Below is a little compilation of questions, concerns and other little details that often don't get considered when planning the ceremony part of the wedding. You might be temped to write this off as the easiest breeziest part of your big day (and it's certainly my goal to make it feel that way).
But there's probably a few things you haven't considered. That's okay! That's what I'm here for! And while you might be tempted to speed read through this little list (look at you , valedictorian) really taking the time to reflect on some of these things can be suuuuppper beneficial for you and your relationship.
So pour the wine, the tea, the coffee and have a relaxed little quality time together. You might learn something :)
to consider when planning your wedding ceremony
The Location: Wherever you choose to tie the knot, make sure you feel comfortable. If you're more of a champagne and fine dining person, a hike into the mountains with muddy boots might not be your deal. Likewise, if you love a good adventure, you're going to feel suffocated in a typical "venue" surrounded by silent (except the occasional cough) family members and friends. Its an important moment and you will probably get a little bit jittery anyway (all that excitement!) make sure you choose a place that feels like home, safe and makes you happy.
The Timeline: Hair, make up, bridal portraits, a first look and dont forget to eat something! There's a whole lot of epic things going on before you even hit the altar, darling. Make sure you leave enough time to enjoy them! Maybe set aside a moment for a small walk, a cup of coffee on the patio, a repeat sesh with your favorite song. Remember to give the day all the time it deserves, you only get to make these memories once!
The Flowers: We all love the look of a voluptuous bouquet streaming down from our newly-wed hand. But...keep in mind...the bigger the bouquet the heavier it will be. The more your wrists will ache. Also, if you're planning to hold hands during your ceremony, exchange rings, read vows, light a unity candle etc. a large bouquet is going to need somewhere to wait for you. Whether its in your maid of honor's hands or in a vase on a quaint little table off to the side make sure you have plans for your gorgeous florals when they're not in your arms.
The Structure (or lack of): A typical ceremony looks something like this:
Introduction and/or remarks on marriage
Unity ceremony/other ritual
Final remarks + announcement of the newlyweds
How much of the traditional structure do you want? The traditional wording (pronouncement etc.) and rituals (ring exchange) can be accented with a ceremonial toast, a sand ceremony, a candle lighting... the options are as endless as your love: )
The Themes: A wedding ceremony will focus on at least 3 important themes: your past, your present, and your future as a couple. When you meet with me, I will ask you questions about all of these things. I'm not prying, or nagging or trying to "prove you deserve each other" I simply am collecting information so I can integrate those into the overall story I will tell with the ceremony script.
The Script: The Actual Ceremony. Writing a flowing and personal ceremony script takes time. It shouldn't be the last thing on your check list. Try to connect with and get to know your officiant at least 5 months before the wedding to ensure there is time to write and build a truly unique and special ceremony. Think about wording, timing (how long you want the ceremony to be) involving family in readings, hand fasting and other wedding rituals.
The Vows: If you want my two cents on this, hun, write your vows. The whole message of your wedding day is to begin your lives together and a great way to start is in your own words. Tell jokes, share memories, give heartfelt gratitude and make your promises unique to your love. If you need a little help with words, phrasing, etc. just let me know! If you prefer to use more traditional vows, I can also supply some examples to choose from.
Music: As much or as little as you want. Traditional march, whimsical favorite...whatever you imagine as a soundtrack for your love. Live musicians or a playlist its all up to you! Here are a few moments that some couples choose to highlight with music:
Parents and grandparents’ entrances
Bridal party entrance
Recessional (when you walk back down the aisle together)
Readings & Rituals: This is another addition that is entirely up to you and your partner. Adding readings for family and friends to a ceremony can make it a little longer but also a little bit more personal. Choose a passage from a text, a poem, a favorite movie or let me help you find one that fits you! Adding small rituals like sand pours, infinity flasks, shared drink, unity candle, planting a tree, etc. will make your ceremony that much more unique to you.
Journals: make a wedding journal for you and your future spouse to share ideas, feelings, concerns, hopes for your big day. Spelling it all out can make it a lot less daunting.
Fasts: Take wedding planning fasts, a day or two here and there that you don't discuss the wedding at all. It's exciting yes, but excitement and stress have the same affects on the body and it's not good to be on a roller coaster 24/7.
Disagreements: Will happen! This is normal! It's a new experience for you both. Try to keep in mind that you each process in your own way. Use planning your wedding as a time to learn these types of things about your partner.
Friends & Family: Are important sources of insight, but can also be distracting. Try to limit the outside sourcing for opinions/ideas/etc. for your big day. Advice gets your head and can alter your vision and it won't be until afterwards that you see (and possibly regret) how that changed your day.
Your Officiant: Is here for you! Feel free to reach out to me any time about anything during your wedding planning process. That's why I'm here :)