Whether it’s the music, the venue, or the vows, curate a perfectly personalised wedding ceremony with these handy tips and ideas
Location, location, location
Before you even start to think about the finer details of your personalised wedding ceremony, it’s a good idea to decide where exactly you will be tying the knot. Ceremonies held in churches will be very different from beachside blessings, for example, and each bring their own opportunities and restrictions. Wherever you choose, one way to make your ceremony feel your own is to choose a venue with sentimental value. Some of our featured couples have said ‘I do’ in the same church as their parents or in the parish in which they grew up. Others have followed their hearts to their favourite destinations, both in the UK and further afield, to find the perfect setting.
Your vows; this is the moment that all those months of planning have built up to and it’s the reason you’re here today. Both civil and religious ceremonies come with their own established wording, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own touch.
From writing your own vows to changing the script, there’s a spot on the spectrum for every couple. Your vows can be as simple as promising to make your spouse a cup of tea every morning (one groom we know really did promise this and, several months later, he’s kept to his word).
If you don’t fancy starting from scratch, remember that you can choose, to an extent, which of the traditional vows you make. When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry married, the bride followed in both Diana and Kate’s footsteps by choosing not to vow to ‘obey’ her husband. You can also incorporate symbolic traditions, from a blended sand ceremony, which signifies the joining of two families, to a hand-fasting.
If you want to write your own vows or make changes to what you say, it’s always worth running this past your officiant well ahead of the wedding. They can then advise you as to whether your vows will be suitable and ensure your promises are binding on the big day.
Whether you’d prefer to walk down the aisle to the romantic strings of a live quartet or to the tunes of a carefully curated playlist, music can make all the difference to the atmosphere at your ceremony.
Make it your own by choosing songs that have played a part in your relationship so far. Perhaps there was a song that was always on the radio when you first started dating? Did your partner propose with music playing in the background? How about the track that became ‘your song’ during your time together? Opting for music that make you both smile and brings back good memories is guaranteed to inject a punch of personality.
Your music choices needn’t be conventional, either. If you’re a couple whose skin crawls every time you hear something cheesy, it’s probably not the way to go. We’ve known couples to walk down the aisle to everything from the Star Wars theme tune to rock songs – proof that you really can celebrate your day, your way.
Spoken from the heart
Choosing readings can be an element of ceremony planning that couples struggle with – they’re probably not something you’ve ever had to think about before. And while traditional options are favourites for a reason, choosing less conventional readings can be a great way to personalise your day.
How Falling In Love Is Like Owning A Dog is a great option for couples who wouldn’t be without their four-legged friends. Alternatively, how about asking someone close to you to write their own reading? From a sentimental poem to a collection of your funniest quotes, there are so many ways they can bring your personalities to the fore.
For couples who aren’t fans of the spotlight, why not ditch the readings altogether? Don’t be afraid to keep your ceremony short and sweet, if that’s what suits you best.
One for the team
A popular way to personalise your ceremony is to invite those closest to you to play parts in it, too. This could be as simple as your bridesmaids throwing tradition to the wind by taking the lead, if not having the pressure of stepping down the aisle first will ease your nerves.
It could also be through your choice of ring bearer. You could entrust your well-trained pooch with delivering your rings (strap on a GoPro for a comical ceremony view), or channel your inner Harry Potter and have owls glide silently down the aisle with the ring box in their talons. When it comes to making your ceremony unique, you really can go wild!