Helpful Tips When Planning Your Wedding Ceremony

Planning Your Ceremony

The ceremony is the biggest part of your wedding day…. after all, exchanging your vows with the love of your life is the reason everyone is here celebrating with you! Here are some helpful tips to think about when putting your ceremony together.

Your Officiant:

Its important that you get to know your officiant. This person will be the one to lead you through your heart-felt, and possibly emotional vows, so you want to feel comfortable with them.

If you do not have any religious requirements, maybe consider going with your childhood church pastor, or a close friend of the family. If you choose to go with a close friend or family member, make sure you find out what the requirements are to get them certified in your state.   

Choosing a location:

The easiest location for your ceremony to take place would be at your reception venue or near your venue. If everything is close, you don’t have to worry about a lot of time traveling around and getting you and your wedding party back and forth from different locations. This will also help you to get the most out of your vendors. Since photo & video will likely have been hired by the hour, you don’t want to take a lot of time out of their work by having them drive around a wait for everyone to get to different locations.

Allow for added time when getting ready:

When you set a ceremony start time, you want to make sure thats the time that you start. You do not want your guests waiting on you, and usually you only have the ceremony site for a limited amount of time, so you want to stay on schedule. This being said, make sure you get realistic times from your hair/makeup stylists so you can plan accordingly. Typically hair and makeup take about 45 min. each, so plan on 2 1/2 – 3 hours just for beauty.

A lot of your most important photos will be taken before the ceremony, especially if you are doing a “first look” so make sure you factor in photos, and travel time.

Designing your program:

Keep the design of your ceremony program simple. Don’t over-crowd your program with every detail of your ceremony. Now a days, some couples aren’t even doing programs, they just put a chalkboard at the entrance with some special details.

Guest Seating:

Make sure you have comfortable seating for your guest, especially if you are having a lengthy ceremony. Think about adding cushions if needed, and make sure there is enough leg room. This could set your guests tone for the rest of your wedding day.

Assigning Readers:

Don’t insist that your shy friend do a reading at your wedding, and don’t get your feelings hurt if you the say no. You want your readings to be done by a confident person that can get your thoughts and feelings out clearly to all of your guest.

Unplugged Ceremony

An unplugged ceremony is when you ask your guests to turn off all cell phones and electronic devices as well as putting away all cameras. You nicely ask them to refrain form taking any photos during the ceremony and to be present with everyone for the entire ceremony. There are a few great reasons for doing this. The most important thing is so that when you receive your wedding photos you don’t see the back of everyones phones as you are walking down the isle or having your first kiss. Another important thing to consider is that you have hired a professional photography team to capture your ceremony. There have been many times that guests with iPads/phones/cameras have stepped out directly in front or behind us getting in our way causing us to almost miss the shot or trip and fall. You can let you guests know a few different ways if you decide to have an unplugged ceremony : include it in the invitation, have a pretty sign made for the ceremony entrance, include it in your program, and or ask your officiant to make an announcement before the ceremony starts.

Have a backup plan for an outdoor ceremony/ Rain Plan:

No one can control the weather. Make sure, if you are planning an outdoor ceremony that you prepare for any unexpected bad weather conditions. Also if there is no shade at your ceremony site, be considerate of how long your guest will be sitting in the sun.

Budget planning for your ceremony:

Don’t spend your entire floral budget at the ceremony entrance. Focus more on the area’s that will be in most of your photos, for example your aisle and altar. From there, if you can add more move to your chairs, entrance and ceiling.