So, you are getting married! Not only do you have a wonderful celebration to plan but you also have a wedding ceremony to ponder and think about.
Wedding ceremonies are changing. Big time. Today, couples are shaking up the traditional wedding ceremony by contemporizing key elements within a ceremony and making the moment truly their own.
As a non-Denominational Wedding Officiant and Minister, I work with couples of all faiths, traditions and beliefs to craft/create and deliver a personalized, meaningful and joyful ceremony. And here is what I know for sure in doing this work: if you keep your ceremony “real” and “authentic,” you are setting the stage for a beautiful and poignant ceremony and post-ceremony celebration!
As you work with your Officiant or Minister to create and deliver your ceremony, I offer these top tips to help you work your way through the wedding ceremony maze:
- HAVE FUN - Yes, it’s true. No matter if your ceremony is religious, spiritual or secular, your wedding ceremony is not only a sacred joining but it is a joyful and uplifting celebration of your love story. Humor is very, very good – use it!
- DOGS & KIDS – A beloved dog walking down the aisle or a little person zig zagging down the aisle with a pile of petals brings such joy to your wedding party and guests. Have “Boomer” strut his canine stuff down the aisle as the “ring bearer” and let little petal girl Cara boomerang those petals for all to see. Joy – it’s all about joy.
- PERSONALIZE YOUR VOWS- Vows are not “I promise this,” “I promise that.” Vows are your statement of commitment to your partner and to yourself – what you offer to your relationship, what your partner can expect from you (how you’ll show up), what you admire/respect about your partner – i.e., vows are more of a personal statement than a litany of promises. Personalize, personalize, personalie…
- CREATE A MEMENTO - Within your ceremony, you have the lovely opportunity to create a memento to take home from your ceremony. When I work with a couple, I look for something unique. Last night, I wrote a ceremony in which the bride/groom would write short notes to their three children (second marriage) and the notes would be given to the children on their wedding day. Just an idea…go for it and create something that is uniquely your own.
- GRATITUDE - Your ceremony is a moment to recognize and authentically honor your parents, family and friends. Consider a contemporary “blessing of support” from both parents/families or perhaps offering surprise roses and note cards to your parent(s) at processional. An attitude of gratitude is classy, thoughtful and kind – and when well done, creates sweet memories.
Annemarie Juhlian is a Seattle-based Non-Denominational Wedding Officiant & Minister, working with couples of all faiths/beliefs and traditions. For more information: www.annemariejuhlian.com or 425.922.1325
The great thing about beach theme weddings is that they can fit into any budget; and, for next to nothing, you have a million dollar view! Choosing the best location for your wedding is very important and when selecting a beach wedding site, you will want to consider whether or not you actually want to be on the sand or would prefer to be on a grassy knoll with that “million dollar view” in front of you.
While there are certain things to consider when thinking about a beach wedding, some of which I’ve listed below, there is no doubt that a ceremony on, or overlooking, the beach is as romantic as you can get – especially if you love the beauty and power the ocean gives. There are numerous picturesque beaches from the coastline of California to the shores of New Jersey, and let us not forget Hawaii or the Caribbean as options. Depending on your home town, you would want to way whether you want something close by or one that you would consider the perfect destination location for you and your guests. Whichever it is (not counting the cost to get there, if need be), beach ceremonies are very economical.
All in all, a ceremony on or overlooking a beach doesn’t even begin to cost what you might think when you consider the beautiful memories and photographs that you will have from such a magnificent setting.
The location is virtually free with a few cities charging a very minimal permit fee. And if you want, you can stop spending money right there… walk down to the sandy aisle with a fabulous bridal bouquet design of flowers you created from your own garden, and of course your fiancée, stand in front of an officiant, and Voila! – you’re wed in a majestic setting for hardly anything, and you can spend all your saved dollars on a beautiful honeymoon or towards the down payment of your first home!
You can of course spend a bit more by renting chairs (which if you plan on more than a handful of guests is probably a good idea), maybe you want an arch, some flowers, some flower petals strewn on a runner, and as is the case with anything, you can continue to think of things to add that will increase the amount a bit. But all in all, a ceremony on or overlooking a beach doesn’t even begin to cost what you might think when you consider the beautiful memories and photographs that you will have from such a magnificent setting.
And this can be a do-it-yourself experience, or for not much extra you can employ the help of a service that has everything you need from chairs to arches to PA systems, podiums and CD players, and the best part about using a service is that they take care of everything! You do not need to think about a thing, set-up a thing, dismantle a thing, or worry about any of the other little details. These services are easy to find, just Google Beach Weddings with the name of the city you’re interested in after it, or if you don’t know which beach you want, just type in Beach Weddings and there will be many options for you to look through to start getting some great ideas. You might also want to check out the website for the beach wedding service I own with my daughter in Monterey, California for some ideas: Monterey Beach Weddings.
The bottom line here is that Beach Ceremonies do not hurt the “bottom line” and definitely can help you keep some of your wedding dollars in tact for other parts of your wedding event or just to be able to keep it – period!
By Cheryl Cox, Editor of YourWeddingDollars.com, See “Note from the Editor” for more information on Cheryl and her credentials.