Personalizing Your Wedding Ceremony (Part 1)

When I am asked what my favorite part of a wedding is, my answer is easy: the wedding ceremony.
After all, as much fun as the party is, really it is just a party - and the day is truly about your marriage.

So, how do you make your wedding ceremony personal and uniquely you?  I'll start by telling some fun client stories:
  • One of my first clients ever had a pagan wedding. The brides processed together, holding hands, into a recorded version of "All You Need is Love".  The guest chairs were set up in a circle and they greeted their guests during their processional.  There were four altars at which there were blessings.  There was a traditional handfasting ritual and the wedding concluded with a jumping of the broom!  The brides had exactly the ceremony they envisioned and it was perfectly reflective of themselves.
  • Another pair of brides had a ceremony co-officiated by an interfaith minister and a District Court Judge/noted civil rights attorney.  Their deeply personal, handwritten vows included phrases like, "I promise to walk with you at sunset every chance I get" and "I promise to take you to Italy at least once a year."  They processed out to a live flute and guitar version of "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" by Stevie Wonder.  Goosebumps! 
  • Two grooms with a son had a dear friend officiate their wedding ceremony.  She came into Boston from California quite prepared but try as I might, I couldn't get the grooms to focus on writing their own vows (they had a lot going on in their lives!).  Even at the wedding rehearsal, they still had nothing scripted - nothing like the last minute!  The next day, the ceremony was flawless:  the grooms processed into a live "Trumpet Voluntary", holding their son's hand.  Their friend delivered a stunning ceremony script and the grooms presented before the other the most personal and heartfelt vows I'd ever heard.  There was not a dry eye in the room - and it was so clear why these two gentlemen were absolutely perfect for one another.
  • This past fall, two grooms held their wedding ceremony in their gorgeous living room with thirty friends and family members (who had been drinking champagne and having nibbles for 45 minutes).  The 25 minute ceremony was scripted and delivered by a Celebrant who beautifully told the story of their relationship after asking them to complete individual questionnaires and spending quality time learning about their lives together.  One of the readings was from the book Giovanni's Room, one of the groom's favorite novels...
  • ...and after that wedding ceremony, Jen was convinced that ours should be deeply personal and memorable and not faux-Catholic or a quickie.  We hired that Celebrant to officiate our own wedding.  I spent some time this morning answering three pages of questions about how Jen enriches my life and how we fell in love - and I can't wait to see what our ceremony looks like.
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