by: Kristine

In my opinion, one of the toughest things to do when planning your wedding is figuring out what to include in your ceremony. Who says what when? What is required in order to be legally married? When in the world do you say your vows, exchange the rings, light the candles? Most brides and grooms, at least most brides and grooms I’ve come across {including myself}, tend to think there’s some kind of formula you have to follow. And while it’s helpful to know what’s usually done, your ceremony should ultimately be a reflection of who you are as a couple. Include elements that are significant to you. Follow the traditions that mean something to you. In essence, make your ceremony your own.

Tuesday Tips: Make Your Ceremony Your Own via TheELD.comPhoto via Captured by Jenny

Choose meaningful music

You can walk down the aisle to whatever you want so choose a song that you’ll remember for years to come. Likewise, play songs that mean something to you and your partner during the prelude, the processional of the wedding party, and the recessional. My husband and I wanted to do something fun and unexpected when we walked back down the aisle so we chose California Girls by The Beach Boys. Our guests loved it.

Tuesday Tips: Make Your Ceremony Your Own via TheELD.comPhoto via Elizabeth Scott Photography

Include and honor your loved ones

You can do this by the traditional Lighting of the Candles {typically done by the mothers} or by presenting flowers or tokens of appreciation to your parents. Or you can do something entirely different. Light candles in remembrance of loved ones, dedicate a reading, ask your families to stand to give their Declaration of Intent {including them in the task of upholding your marriage as well}.

Tuesday Tips: Make Your Ceremony Your Own via TheELD.comPhoto via Meg Sexton Photography

Write your own vows

Either ditch the traditional vows altogether and write your own or recite the traditional vows and include a personal statement while exchanging rings. I go back and forth on this one. There’s something very sacred, and romantic, about repeating the same words spoken by couples for centuries. But there’s also something so personal and intimate about promising to love your partner in your own words.

Tuesday Tips: Make Your Ceremony Your Own via TheELD.comPhoto via Rae Leytham Photography

Get creative

We all know about the unity candle. And the sand ritual. Traditionally, after reciting the vows and exchanging the rings, the bride and groom participate in a joint act symbolizing their new union. I love the significance of that! So why not get creative with it? Any suggestions?


Former brides, how did you make your ceremony personal to you and your groom? Brides-to-be, are you including any fun and unique elements of your own? Share in the comments! I’d love to hear.


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6 responses to Tuesday Tips: Make Your Ceremony Your Own

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  1. Dara

    These tips are right on time! I have started to think about what to include in my ceremony and how my fiance and i want to make it personal and not just cookie-cutter and like everyone Else’s.

    I think we will do the traditional vows then include a personal statement at the end of our vows.

    I look forward to seeing the other comments/thoughts posted!

  2. Courtney

    these are great tips. i love to witness a ceremony that is truly unique to the couple.

  3. Katie

    We were thinking instead of sand to pour dirt from our childhood backyards. One of us is from the north with dark dirt and the other is from the south with red clay. Thoughts?

    • Kristine (Post author)

      Hi Katie! I love your idea to combine dirt from your childhood backyards. It’s so symbolic of joining your pasts, your histories, and your traditions, and moving forward into the future together. And I would make sure to let your guests know what you’re doing as I’m sure they’d all appreciate the meaning behind it as well! Thanks for sharing! xo

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  5. Margo

    “I love the significance of that! So why not get creative with it? Any suggestions?”

    My Fiance’ and i have decided to do the wine bottle ceremony. We both write a love note to each other the week before the wedding and seal them in a crate with a bottle of wine to be opened on our 5 year anniversary. We will then read the letters and share the bottle of wine =)

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