Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Do-It-Yourself Wedding Ceremony

This is the era of do-it-yourself. There is even an entire DIY television network dedicated to the do-it-yourselfer in all of us! So why not a DIY wedding ceremony?

From printable invitations to designing the order of service, programs, music, and vows, couples are opting for putting their own stamp on their weddings.

Many couples are choosing to have a secular ceremony officiated by a judge, mayor or even a friend who has been authorized to act for the day. Their services normally differ from the established weddings that are offered through churches or other places of worship.

The DIY wedding can be in a hall, a backyard, a beach or even a park. The key is what the couple chooses and how it meets their own vision of what they want for their wedding.

Couples often want to incorporate elements in their ceremonies that reflect their interests or their ethnicity. Some want to have theme-based weddings, such as a Medieval/Renaissance wedding or Celtic wedding, that include different practices than those that are acceptable in a religious location.

The elements that are part of a DIY wedding may include:

Wedding Music - This aspect of the wedding is really where the DIY couple can place their stamp on the day. Music reflects what the couple likes: country music, classical, traditional, swing or rock and roll. Whatever choice is made will set the tone of the entire day.

Music has traditionally been played before the ceremony as the guests are seated, during the processional and at the recessional. Some music is even incorporated into the service. Nowadays, the music selections are even listed and described in the wedding program.

Wedding Processional - This is where the bridal party makes it way to the ceremony location. This is often the most formal and grandest part of the ceremony. The officiant, the groom, the parents, the attendants and finally the bride, in all her wedding ensemble, march to where the actual ceremony begins.

Wedding Service - Even if it is a secular wedding, the officiant generally gives a few words of guidance and encouragement as the couple embarks on their lives together. It helps if the officiant knows the couple, since it makes these words sound more sincere.

Wedding Vows - While many couples still opt for the traditional vows that are seen in all the movies, quite a few are opting for writing their own vows. If you are not a writer, seek assistance for this, as you could ramble for quite a while and not actually say anything. A well-written vow can be moving, even funny, but it should always express what you are promising to your partner for life!

Special Elements - Here is where you can put another imprint on your day. Have readings by friends that mean something to you as a couple. They can be religious, love poems, essays or even original work.

Ask someone close to you who is musical to prepare a song or an instrumental piece.

Incorporate your favorite elements from traditional services, like lighting unity candles or having your parents escort you both down the aisle. Make these your own.

The key is to make this your own day!

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