The Wedding Planner Personalise your wedding

In this month’s
column I want to discuss what I believe to be the most important aspect of a
couple’s wedding day. 

So, you have chosen
the location for your ceremony and reception, the minister is booked, décor and
flowers all set and the guest list is all squared away.  What’s next I hear you ask? You should
personalize your ceremony to reflect the two individuals becoming one.  The ceremony is such a personal and intimate
part of your wedding.  Careful thought
and consideration should be devoted to such things as writing your own personal
vows, choice of music and the incorporation of suitable rituals.

When deciding on the
style of your ceremony, you should first sit down with your fiancé and decide
on what type of ceremony is suitable for you both.  Are you incorporating one religion, two
religions or is it to be nondenominational? 
If your families input is important to you, have them sit down with you
during this important phase of planning, you may want to incorporate a
tradition or ritual passed through generations. 

I will now share with
you some ideas that can be very effective in making your ceremony unique for
you and your partner. Remember, the idea is to make it your own!


Grand entrance

Tradition is to walk
down the aisle with your father or loved one that is close to you. Other
options are, walking down the aisle with your fiancé, both walking down from opposite
corners (best for outdoor weddings) and meeting in the middle, or both entering
together with your guests. If you are choosing a song for your procession,
choose this carefully,  it should
represent both of you and be fitting for the venue you are being married


Seating of guests

Depending where your
ceremony is to be held, this can be changed to suit the feel and type of
environment you want to create.  I once
was involved in a beautiful wedding that included the chairs in a large circle
around the bride and grooms canopy.  This
was a great way for everyone to not only view the couple being married, but
also a great way with a larger guest list for everyone to hear the ceremony and
create a warm and loving environment. If your wedding is smaller you can also
ask your guest to join hands around you during the ceremony to create a circle
as you exchange vows.


A piece of you

Your wedding ceremony
is about you and your fiancé. It is a celebration of the time you have spent
together from the day you first met, and for the future you will share
together.  Share this with your guests,
and have your officiant include this into your ceremony.  Share a story about how you first met, or
even how you got engaged. This will make your guests feel closer to you, and
will bring an element of you both to the ceremony readings.


Express yourself

Use some wording from
a special song that you both share, a favourite poem that represents what you
believe in, or speak from the heart and share meaningful words to express your
deepest feelings to each other and savour the moment.

Remember those
who             could not be there

There are many ways
to acknowledge those loved ones who have passed.  You can honour them in ways such as, having
your officiant say some words during the ceremony, having a lit candle to
represent them, words in your wedding program or décor elements in your wedding
ceremony, such as lanterns hanging from above to represent them watching over


Wedding Rituals

Including a ritual
into your wedding ceremony can be a great way to express your love, and the
perfect way to complement your vows.  If
you are incorporating a wedding tradition into your wedding ceremony such as
sand ceremonies or unity candles, explain the reason for the tradition.  You can have your officiant read the meaning
as you are performing it, or you can have this explained in your wedding

Here are some of my
favourite rituals.


Sand ceremony

The sand ceremony is
a ritual of marriage and perfect for a beach wedding ceremony.  The couple ceremoniously pours two different
colours of sand from separate containers into one special unity vase.  This symbolizes their coming together as
one.  After the wedding you can display
this in a private place and can be a great reminder of your special day.


Blessing of rings

Before the vows are
exchanged, the wedding bands are passed among the guests (if larger weddings,
the immediate family only) so family and friends can share their well wishes
for the marriage.  Once passed around,
the rings are returned to the couple to proceed with the ceremony.  If you are having your wedding outdoors
consider having the rings attached to a string of ribbon.


Tree planting

This is a great
ritual to incorporate into your wedding ceremony that symbolizes growth.  If it won’t work logistically for the
wedding, pot a tree together and then have it transferred to your backyard or
home later. The tree should be almost completely planted before the ceremony,
the bride and groom can place soil from two containers on top of the planting
to represent the two individuals coming together as one.


Unity Candles

The lighting of the
unity candle symbolizes either the coming together of two families, or the
bride and groom becoming one.  Two
candles are used to light one larger candle. 
Another way to incorporate this ritual is for each guest to light a
candle and say a blessing as they enter the ceremony area.  This can look beautiful at evening
weddings.  Consider the wind if you are
having an outdoor wedding.

What ever you decide
to include in your ceremony, remember the day is about you both, not about the
amount of flowers or the flavour of the cake. 
It is about celebrating the wonderful gift of love and finding that
someone special to share your life with. 
So embrace the ceremony as much as you can and focus only on each other
and the loved ones around you.

Parfait your day!!


Rebecca Bateman-Green
is a wedding and event planner with Parfait Weddings and Events Ltd, a wedding
and event planning company based in Grand Cayman.


What ever you decide
to include in your ceremony, remember the day is about you both, not about the
amount of flowers or the flavour of the cake.