You've made it! You've gone through the long months of being engaged, followed by the hours spent getting ready on the morning of your wedding. You've spent a quiet moment alone with your future husband and had plenty of fun with your bridal party. Now is the moment you've been waiting and planning for: the wedding ceremony.
The ceremony is the one part of the day where you don't need to think about anything else except what's right in front of you. About 30 minutes prior to its start you will be tucked away with your ladies so none of the guests see you before the right time. In the months leading up to your wedding, though, there are a few things to plan for during this time. Here are some important things to think about...
The Music - what will you walk down the aisle to? Will it be the traditional bridal march or something more personal? What song will play when you walk back down the aisle in the processional? I have seen so many weddings that have a fun, upbeat song at the end - after all, now is the time to celebrate!
The Vows - work with your officiant to tailor vows that are perfect for you. While I think it is incredibly sweet for couples to write their own vows, my best advice is not to try and memorize them. Trust me - between 100+ people and your future spouse staring at you, remembering them will be much more difficult than you think! So write them down, give them to your maid of honor, and make sure you have a back up plan. If you choose not to write your own vows, make sure you agree with every word of what the officiant will say - after all, you are agreeing to these for a lifetime.
The Program - of course you will have a printed program of events, but make sure to save time for anything that is especially meaningful to you. For my wedding, Nathan sang our song as I walked down the aisle, and we took a special moment to thank our parents for all they had done for us. I am so glad that we added our own special touch to our wedding ceremony - it's something we will never forget. As a side note, if your reception is at a different place than your ceremony, be sure to include an address and directions on your program or a separate insert card.
The Length - most weddings anymore are 20-30 minutes long, but there are exceptions such as Catholic weddings, which tend to run a little longer. Keep this in mind as you plan for the timeline of your day, and be realistic. Adding 5-10 minutes to how long you think your ceremony will last will be helpful to everyone. If it ends on time then you are ahead of schedule, but if it runs a few minutes over then you will not be late for the next event!
The Kiss - this advice sounds crazy, but I am so glad I followed it: practice your kiss before the wedding! I knew I wanted Nathan to dip me at the altar, so waiting until the ceremony would not have been a great time to try it for the first time. If you are planning anything special, make sure to try it out first!
Most of all, the best advice I received before my wedding was to breathe. Many brides have told me that the day flies by, and I wanted to remember every minute. As I stood up at the front with Nathan I just focused on breathing in and out - and this helped me remember the most important part of the whole wedding day and the man standing right in front of me. After all, the wedding is truly about your marriage and your future life together. Never forget it!
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