written by Cherise of Another One Ties the Knot
photos by Sierra Jessup Photography | Savanna Marlee Photo
01 / Writing personal vows
I am a huge supporter of personal vows. I tell my couples it is really the only time during the ceremony that they get to tell their partner that they love them and how they are looking forward to marriage in their own words. I know that it can feel daunting to some, but this is your time to truly express your feelings. Use your vows as a moment to tell your partner why you fell in love with them. Highlight some of the quirky things they do or say that bring a smile to your face. And then tell them what you’re looking forward to in your marriage and how you vow to be on that journey together through thick and thin.
While I highly recommend writing personal vows, I also understand that some couples don’t want to pour out their heart to their partner in front of all their family and friends. In this case, I suggest having two sets of vows. One to read during your ceremony and another to read in private. This way your ceremony can still be uniquely your own but you won’t feel uncomfortable sharing intimate details in front of your guests.
02 / Adding a Unity Ritual
A unity ceremony is a symbolic ritual included in a ceremony that provides a visual representation of the joining of two lives. These are sometimes tied to cultural or religious practices, however many couples are choosing to add a unity ceremony that represents their personalities. These have included candle lighting, sand pouring, handfasting, ring warming, anniversary box, and the newly popular (and super fun) seal it with a shot! It’s a unique way of celebrating your union to one another so choose something that is authentically you.
photo by Katie Rose Photography
03 / No wedding party or seated wedding party
Your wedding day is about you and your partner committing your lives to another in marriage. Whether you plan to elope or have a big celebration with all your family and friends, the reason for it all is to marry your best friend. I love the new trend of having a wedding party full of your closest pals so you can get ready together and still have them walk down the aisle but then they get to take a seat and be a guest rather than a fixture during your ceremony. This also gives them the opportunity to be present and witness your special moment. If you’ve ever been a part of the wedding party then you know how hard it is to hear or see what’s going on because you’re busy trying to smile and wait for your exit cues. Not having a wedding party standing up during the ceremony also means that the focus is on the happy couple which is truly what everyone is there to see anyway.
04 / Decor
Having decor itself isn’t new but it can be what makes your ceremony stand out. Having a unique backdrop with a hexagon shaped arch or lots of greenery can really make for an eye catching view. Use the decor around your wedding as a way to showcase your interests such as books or postcards of places the two of you have been as table markers. This is also an opportunity to use sustainable and/or recyclable products that you and your guests can appreciate.
photo by Between The Pine
05 / Music
You don’t have to wait for your reception to hear great music. Choose a song from an artist or band that you and your partner love. You can even surprise your partner by choosing their song, a sweet nod to let them know how you feel about them on your wedding day. And don’t think you can’t have music or a first dance if you’re eloping. Set up a bluetooth speaker and play your favorite songs as you and your partner enjoy your time together.
Hi there, Cherise here. I have been officiating weddings since 2018 and with each one I fall more in love with the journey to love. My goal as an officiant is to create a completely customized ceremony script for my couples so that their special day is reflective of their authentic selves. Whether they are going the traditional route with lots of friends and family around or eloping surrounded by nature, I work with them to craft something truly special to compliment their unique love story.
photo by Matias Faundez Photo