Planning a Wedding - Part 1 - The Ceremony

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

I've kicked off a multi-part series on planning a wedding - one that not only has a smooth flowing timeline, but that also feels true to you as a couple. Below is part 1.

the ceremony

Many couples wonder about to envision their wedding.  Most reflect on weddings they've attended or have seen in movies and build off that.

Here's the definition of "wedding" from our usually trusty friend Google:  

A marriage ceremony, especially considered as including the associated celebrations.

Synonyms:  marriage (service/ceremony/rites), nuptials, union, commitment, ceremony

Note the emphasis on the ceremony. as well as "union" and "commitment".  That said, we can safely conclude that the heart of the wedding is the ceremony, during which a couple commits themselves to each other.  Everything else is icing on the wedding cake, including the ceremony being witnessed by others (elopements, anyone?).

the ceremony

That said, the first thing a couple should think about is the ceremony, and here alone there are a multitude of considerations:

  • elopement vs having guests
  • religious vs secular
  • ethnic vs "western" (or a fusion of the two, or having two separate ceremonies)
  • family traditions (e.g. bride wearing her mother's wedding dress or jewelry)
  • involvement of others in the ceremony (friends reading poetry or singing, for example)
  • if secular, writing vows

Decisions made with respect to the above affect the length of the ceremony, so it makes sense to plan the timeline around this important segment of the day.  I've witnessed everything from 10 minute ceremonies to an hour-long Catholic mass, so take as much time as you need for the ceremony that you want to have.  Your ceremony will also dictate which venue is most suitable for that part of the day, and possibly the remainder.  For example, religious ceremonies typically go hand in hand with temples or churches, though you may choose to break with tradition.

So go forth and think about the heart of it all.