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Today’s brides have so much choice when they’re deciding where and how to get married – so why not get creative and really personalise your 2014 ceremony?

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It wasn’t so long ago that you could only wed in religious places of worship or a registry office, but now brides and grooms can blend their marriage ceremony and reception by holding their wedding at any one of a number of fabulous venues. We’ve seen weddings in restaurants, barns, conservatories, hotels, and even beach huts!

Such a variety of venue choices mean that you can really make your wedding day your very own – there’s no one size fits all these days – and this season there are loads of new ways to theme your ceremony to suit your personalities.

Poetry please

If you’re both literary types (and even if you’re not!), why not try having a go at writing your own wedding vows?

First off, think about what getting married to one another really means to you; think of words to describe the relationship you have and your hopes for the future. Then just let your mind wander until the right phrases spring to mind. If you’re stuck for ideas, we have a couple of ideas to get you inspired to get writing.

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Writing your own wedding vows works particularly well if you’re having a boho, country style or festival ceremony theme – it fits in with the slightly organic, hippie vibe going on.

Woodland wedding

We love the idea of a treehouse ceremony – particularly if you’re having a smaller, more intimate sort of an event. Look at venues like The Sole Street House in Kent. Built in an ancient horse chestnut tree, you can marry on the covered balcony while your guests look on from below.

Scotland has its own treehouse wedding venue – the Lodge at Loch Goil – and it’s certainly a fairytale setting.

If you’re thinking about having a woodland-themed ceremony, why not try carrying it through to every possible aspect of your big day? Think about stationery designs inspired by trees, use twigs and moss in your table centres, maybe dress your bridesmaids in shades of green – an ombre look would work well.

A retro ceremony

The great thing about having a retro or vintage wedding is that you can select a style and a period that you love, and then just go all out! For example, if you’re picking a 1950s theme, then you could arrive at the wedding ceremony in a pink Cadillac. Dress for the occasion with a vintage tea-length gown, set off beautifully by a birdcage veil. Use this amazing photoshoot by Creative Brides with styling by Bellaboo and Beau and photography by Rebecca Douglas as inspiration!

top-ways-personalise-2014-ceremony-Rebecca Douglas photography via Aye Do

Or if you fancy something really elegant, then what about a 1930s-style ceremony?

You could play music from the jazz age to set the scene – what about hiring a portable wind up gramophone as a prop? Indulge your Art Deco fantasies with your wedding invitations and stationery and maybe set a monochrome theme throughout (which could extend to your guests – just ask them to dress in black and white, which is fairly easy for everybody).

Music is the perfect way to evoke this era in your ceremony – why not walk down the aisle to a 1930s tune? Begin the Beguine by Artie Shaw is one of our favourites.

Something a little different

At most wedding ceremonies the guests stand behind the bride and groom as they say their vows. But what about facing your guests as you say your wedding vows or setting the space up so they can sit or stand in a circle around you as you say those all important words?

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You could also have a wedding ring warming, where the rings are placed in a small bag before they are exchanged, and are passed around to each guest so they can say a prayer or bless them.

Traditionally it’s a man who walks the bride-to-be down the aisle towards her bridegroom – but it doesn’t have to be. You could ask both your mum and dad to escort you (after all your mum is giving you away too!) or you could even walk down the aisle arm-in-arm with your fiancé.

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Getting your guests chatting and enjoying themselves is a huge part of making your big day successful, so why not set the ball rolling with a drinks reception before the wedding ceremony? It doesn’t have to be alcohol either – you could serve tea, coffee and homemade lemonade. Many guests will have travelled quite a distance on the day of the wedding and would be delighted to be greeted with a bit of refreshment as the event begins.

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We’re always really impressed by the imagination our brides bring to their wedding days. See how they made their wedding ceremony their own by visiting our Real Weddings section.

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