At this point I think it is safe to assume you have decided against a church wedding and have opted for an officiant – someone like me perhaps? And one of my favorite parts of my job is writing your ceremony. And my favorite part of that? Really making it personal to you.
All ceremonies are basically the same: there’s the welcome/thank you for coming; a few words about marriage; the vows; the rings; a unity ceremony; and the kiss (not necessarily in that order). What you do with those elements make your ceremony unique.
Today I would like to talk about The welcome – feel free to have some fun with it! My husband and I are movie buffs, so we had our officiant start our ceremony with “Mawagge. Mawagge is wot bwings us togedder today” from the movie The Princess Bride. He did it perfectly with just the right voice and our guests laughed and quoted along with him – setting the perfect tone for our evening.
You could open with a passage from your favorite book or the lyrics of your song. One couple opened the ceremony with “Oh the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. It was unexpected but a really lovely way to get things started.
If you want a little religion in your ceremony, why not begin with a reading from the Bible? Most of my weddings are non-religious, but frequently a small element will be brought into the ceremony in the form of a reading or maybe a blessing or prayer.
This is also a great time to remember loved ones no longer with us, or that were unable to travel. A recent wedding had a moment to remember a soldier on his third tour in Iraq that was unable to attend.
And of course, you can simply say “hey everybody – we are so glad you could make it today – thanks for coming!”
Up next: a few words about marriage…