Unique Ways to Personalize Your Ceremony

Customize your service with these inspirational ideas.

Unique Ways to Personalize Your Ceremony

Photo: Dalal Photography

Your wedding ceremony is the stage to communicate to each other and your loved one’s how you feel about each other. In essence, you set the stage for your relationship. Imagine starting your ceremony by having your officiant walk out, turn around, face your guests and utter these words: “If you are a dreamer, come in/If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a lover,/A hoper, a prayer, a magic bean buyer/If you’re a pretender, come sit by the horizon/ocean/garden/fire/etc./For we have some flax golden tales to spin/Come In!/Come in!” After the officiant concludes, the wedding processional walks in and the ceremony begins.

After you have thanked your guests for coming, tell them how important they are in your lives and make the point even more poignant by reciting the following: “There is a special quality to the hours we pass with those we care for. Like the light of dusk, it lingers long after the moment itself is gone. Those who have become dear to us should never be denied the knowledge of how deeply they have touched our lives.”

The following passage, entitled “What is Marriage?,” may be read by a close friend as a prelude to the exchange of vows and rings. “It is the most beautiful thing that can happen between two people in love. A marriage is more than just a husband and a wife. It is a bridge, which allows the love of two very special people to give meaning and worth and wonder to life. It is a continual process of building, of shaping, of communicating and caring. It is the deepest and sweetest understanding. It is sharing todays and tomorrows together and making each one more treasured and more complete than anyone could make them alone. A marriage is a home interwoven with hopes and memories and dreams. The thankfulness and love it can bring have no comparison. Being happily married is the most beautiful thing that can happen...to anyone.”

Another opportunity to set the tone before the exchange of vows and rings is something you don’t find everyday at a wedding and that is the following excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit. “‘What is REAL?’ asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. ‘Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?’ ‘Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real.’ ‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ ‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ ‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’”

Tie this passage to the couple being married by include the following: “[Groom] and [Bride], your love for each other has made the other Real. As you grow old together, love each other unconditionally, and love and accept each change that time and experience will bring to your lives. Remember, when you truly love each other, you are Real, and when you are Real, nothing else matters.”

With a little imagination and creative license, you can personalize your vows. Explore, have fun and feel comfortable taking ownership of your wedding ceremony. It is the perfect opportunity to express your love for each other in a unique and meaningful way.

Opening photograph by Dalal Photography