|One of my favorite parts of our ceremony was our champagne toast! Captured by Penelope Anne Photography|
Personalizing a wedding ceremony was a big task for us because a) I wanted it to represent who we are/what we're about; b) you have one shot to get it right; c) 200 people...; d) I really, really, really didn't want it to be typical or dull or eye rolling; and e) I tend to go a bit overboard and end up with an end product that is either tacky or involves me crying the whole time (see: emotional hot mess). In the end, it turned out perfect. I don't know if anyone was rolling their eyes but I felt great about our ceremony and felt it really represented Harrison and me (annnd I only cried a teeny tiny bit).
SO! These are my tips/a few things that would have ruined everything if we hadn't done:
1) Decide what is important to you in the ceremony/what you want to be represented.
For us, we wanted people to leave knowing that we are about serving God, our choice to love each other (and the things that go into choosing love), home, family, and of course a lot of freakin fun.
2) Research other alternative wedding ceremonies for inspiration.
Because traditional weddings are so engrained in my head, I had a hard time thinking outside the box. Enter: Pinterest! I found this article from A Practical Wedding and this Huffington Post article helpful and good to get my brain jogging in the right direction.
3) Write out your ceremony- in painstaking detail.
Since most vendors have done 1000000000 very traditional weddings, it's important that everyone has every detail. It's not like our's was sooo crazy or different, but there were a few things that our vendors weren't used to. Here's what our's looked like:
|5:15 PM||Doors Open, music playing||caterers, DJ||make sure champagne table is set by 5:15, confirm time|
|5:35 PM||Family gets escorted to seats||1) Cory w/Deb 2) Ken w/Sheila 3) Herb w/Pearl||HB goes to stage|
|5:38 PM||Everyone takes their place, ___ removes string that is blocking aisle||Bmaids groomsmen, HB, LT & Craig||Family Matters theme song|
|5:45 PM||Father Kemp and HB take place in front - Herb joins from front||Father Kemp, HB, Herb||Herb will hang out to the side after he drops off Pearl|
|5:46 PM||Father Kemp announces no cameras|
|5:48 PM||Processional||Bmaids, Gmen||So Good To Me - Chris Malinchak|
|5:52 PM||LT and Craig come down the aisle||LT and Craig||Hard to Concentrate - RHCP|
|5:54 PM||Intro from Father Kemp||Father Kemp|
|5:55 PM||Father Kemp reads "A Poem of Friendship" Nikki Giovanni||Father Kemp|
|6:00 PM||Cory and Tricia speak||Cory and Tricia||Reading their piece on "choosing love"|
|6:05 PM||Father Kemp talks more||Father Kemp|
|6:08 PM||Vows||LT and HB|
|6:12 PM||Closing Prayer||Father Kemp|
|6:14 PM||First kiss|
|6:15 PM||Champagne Toast||caterers serve champagne - Meg T serve champagne to wedding party|
|6:16 AM||Presentation of the couple||Father Kemp|
|6:17 PM||Processional||Bridal party||End of Time- Beyonce|
4) Run your write-up by a few people who have wedding experience.
Sometimes no one does these things at their weddings because it's a bad idea. Case in point: I originally had my heart set on a candle ceremony where the whole audience lights candles blah blah blah. Our officiant (also a friend and also a priest who has probably done hundreds of weddings) suggested we check with the venue to make sure open flames are allowed annnd... sure enough they aren't. There were a few other logistically impossible ideas I had in the original timeline and thank goodness for our amazing good great friend who is also a wedding planner who talked me off the ledge on a few things. It's important to get other people's feed back ...
5) ...but at the same time, KNOW what you want and be ready to be firm about it.
For whatever reason with weddings everyone thinks they need to give their opinion about everything you're doing, and let me tell you- I'm a people pleaser if I've ever met one. But let me be clear, when I am hemorrhaging my own money on something I WILL get what I want. A few people tried to talk us down from a few elements or convince us to change things around (but why wouldn't you just do what they do at all the other weddings?), and it was important to remember that they mean well and what they're sharing is just their opinion. And that there is a 0% chance that you're going to please everyone in the planning process and about a 0% chance that anyone is going to end up feeling displeased at the wedding.
6) Trust your people
Hi my name is Lindsay and I am Type A. Is my brother going to remember to prepare something to read? Is the planner actually going to get the champagne to us? Is the caterer going to remember to put out the champagne before the ceremony? Are people going to pay attention and grab champagne? What if... what if... what if...
Guess what. These people get paid for a reason. And everyone cares. And everything works out. And if anything didn't work out I didn't even notice.
Those are my tips for planning a ceremony - anything I'm missing? What are some non-traditional elements you've seen or done at a wedding?
P.S. How amazing is that picture? Our photographer (and friend we met on a cruise) was so amazing, there was never a moment that I was like "WHERE'S THE PHOTOGRAPHER SOMEONE GET THIS", and guess what? Flying her in from Florida was half the price of any DC photographers I saw. She travels, she's amazing, she's affordable, check her out (or just go to her site and swoon over her other pictures).
P.S.S. The Penny Hoarder just came out with this article on 101 Creative Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding . Yes please.
Check back next Friday for more budget wedding tips!