Yesterday’s post was about injecting your welcome with a little personality. Now let’s talk about another common element of your ceremony, some thoughts on marriage. Without a few words about marriage, your ceremony can be very short so this is a good way to add some length (though please don’t add length for the sake of making it longer – be sure it has meaning to you). A lot of my ceremonies include a section on what a marriage is – whether it is something I have previously written or something more personal to my bride and groom. There is a wealth of resources available on the internet.
You could certainly go with a more text-book definition “Webster’s defines marriage as…” or a biblical definition “Marriage is described in the Bible as…”. But how about how you define it? What does marriage mean to you? You could even have it as ” sees marriage as…while sees it as…”.
Readings are also a great way to talk about marriage. Maybe you have a favorite poem that perfectly describes your thoughts on marriage…or even a favorite song (songs are poetry set to music after all). Book excerpts, biblical passages, and movie or tv quotes are also a great way to add your personal thoughts on marriage.
Who will read? This is a great way to include someone in your ceremony that may not otherwise be…a favorite aunt, a close friend, or even a long-lost friend you recently reconnected with. Your reader can also be a member of your wedding party, your parents, or even your officiant. Just make sure they are comfortable with speaking in public – and don’t force it on anyone please.
I once had a wedding where several of the guests had previously been assigned cards to read during the ceremony, one right after the other. Why not invite some family and guests to stand up and define what marriage is to them (limit it to one-liners and be sure to approve in advance)?
Another couple had a reading from a play…the possibilities are endless. Think about what is personal to you and make it work.
Tomorrow…putting a personal stamp on your vows.