If you’re like most brides, you’ve probably been mentally planning parts of your wedding for years. You already know you want your favorite flower in your bouquet and who will be your ring bearer.
You know what many of the details of your wedding will look like, but how much have you thought about the most significant part of the day – the wedding ceremony?
Some couples work hard to create a wedding day full of personal touches, yet often the ceremony follows the same old script. Don’t let that be you – working with your officiant, create a ceremony that’s deeply personal to you.
The first step to planning your ceremony, even before you pick your officiant, is to decide on your style: Do you want a traditional religious ceremony with personal touches, a totally secular ceremony, or something in the middle? Is this about the two of you, or is it about the community of loved ones that surrounds you? Once you have decided on the basics, you’ll have a foundation to fall back on when making decisions on the details.
It’s important to decide what you want before you look for an officiant, because some will only perform ceremonies within a certain framework. Church weddings, for instance, can be more difficult to customize than other types of
An important aspect of creating a personal wedding ceremony is finding an officiant you get along with and asking if they are willing to let you customize your ceremony. (For tips on vetting potential officiants, see our worksheets.) Forming a connection with your officiant is an important step in a process that will allow them to speak about you and your partner with familiarity and authority.
If you can’t find a professional officiant that you connect with, don’t panic; you’ve got options. A friend or family member who’s comfortable with public speaking can become ordained (usually a fairly simple process online) and serve as your officiant. If they don’t feel comfortable going through the legal process of becoming an officiant, you also have the option of getting married in a brief civil ceremony sometime before your wedding – if you’re already legally married, your officiant doesn’t have to be certified.
The easiest way to figure out what you want out of your ceremony is to start with a traditional framework and decide which parts you like and which you don’t. Once you’ve chosen the basic elements of your wedding service, you can reorder them, add pieces from different traditions and tailor each element to you.
Lexi and David's Lopez Island wedding, photographed by Adam Nash Photography, has everything we love most about Northwest weddings: a beautiful location, an adoring couple surrounded by their loved ones, gorgeous details and, last but not least, bubbles! Judging by the guests' expressions, we're not the only ones who love bubbles. This is a wedding to swoon over.
Stephanie and Brian's engagement shoot with David Clumpner Photography has everything we adore in an engagement session. It's relaxed, natural, it shows a sweet piece of the couple's life and relationship, and it's absolutely gorgeous.
While it’s common for today’s couples to pay for all or most of their wedding themselves, some parents will want to pitch in for some or all wedding expenses, and will expect to pay for their traditional part. We’ve put together a list of who traditionally pays for the different aspects of a wedding to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
Adrienne and Tynan's wedding, shot by Katheryn Moran Photography, was intimate and heartwarming. This couple's love and joy is absolutely contagious. Their wedding celebrated their style as well as their relationship, and it's so inspiring!
See below to read what Adrienne had to say about her wedding day: