a journey toward non-traditional wedded bliss, with style

Writing Your Own Ceremony August 14, 2009

Over a year ago, I wrote a post outlining my goals for writing our ceremony. Since I love to write and I wanted to make our ceremony as personalized as possible, this was my favorite “project” even though at times it was overwhelming. There was just so much I wanted to express in under 20 minutes. Even though there were still sentences I might have tweaked, Drew and I were both really happy with the result and I thought I would our process with you if you’re also planning to write your own ceremony. So let’s revisit my original goals:

1) Alternative Wedding Blessing – We did end up going with the Apache Wedding Blessing which has a spiritual as opposed to religious message.

2) Interesting Readings – Drew and I both searched until we found something that we found meaningful. I ended up with a passage from The Little Prince, one of my favorite stories, and Drew chose an Ayn Rand reading. If you’re also considering unusual readings you can check out Offbeat Bride, Credit Crunch Bride, or this article for some great ideas. I also checked out from this book from the library which had endless ideas organized with an easy to use index.

3) Personal Vows – After several long discussions, we decided to keep our vows very simple. A lot of couples chose to write their own vows to each other, but we liked the idea of making each other promises we had decided on together. I have a whole post planned on how to write vows so stay tuned!

4) Thank Yous – We also kept this very simple, by trying to express how much we appreciated everyone’s love and support at the beginning of the ceremony. The sentiment here was inspired by the script of a handfasting ceremony.

“Bride and Groom have asked you to be here today because each of you has made a unique and lasting impression on their lives. They know that making the journey took considerable effort for many of you and for this they are grateful. Your support, your friendship, and your love helped to make Bride and Groom who they needed to be to find first themselves – and then each other.”

5) Length – I never got an official statement about what our ceremony clocked in at, but I’m pretty sure it was about twenty minutes. We were ready to party!

If you’d like me to send you a full script of our ceremony (I had some friends who did this for us and it was very helpful when I was brainstorming) just comment below!


Fabric Backdrop August 24, 2008

For the last week my mom has been in from Seattle, which has been wonderful because she was able to see in person what she’s only seen in pictures: the venue, the dress, everything. Drew and I are incredibly fortunate in that all of our family members are of the “if it makes you happy, it makes us happy” school of wedding planning, which has been so amazing. My mom loved everything we’ve planned so far, and was very sweet in helping us strategize about 30 different ceremony set-ups at the sculpture garden.

The dilemma (and actually dilemma is the wrong word because I love a challenge) is that because it is a sculpture garden right in the middle of downtown we have a few obstacles to work with. One is the abundance of large sculptures (obviously) that are gorgeous but prevent your typical ceremony set-up. The other is the way that most couples face is in front of a  backdrop including a pretty wrought iron fence, a beautiful historic church and…traffic. I love the urban aspect of our wedding, but I think it just hit me on this visit that a semi roaring past during our vows might be a tad distracting. This is how one fellow CMA bride solved both problems:

photograph by Kiso Fotographia

She draped white fabric over the fence and made a short aisle that turned off to the side when it hit the statue in the center of the garden (you can just see the corner of it in the photo). I think this set-up is gorgeous although rather than white solid fabric I’m considering doing sheer panels…enough to soften the effect of the road, but so you can still see the church. We could have the company that is taking care of our chairs and linens design something, but I almost wonder if something simple like these panels from Target, would work. Has anyone tried something similar?


Our Ceremony – The Saga (part I) August 3, 2008

Maybe I’m being a tad overdramatic with this title, but if the research I’ve done so far is any indication, writing our own ceremony entirely from scratch is going to be quite the undertaking. Not that I’m having second thoughts. And not that I mind the time commitment, because for us it was an easy decision to create our own ceremony, being the non-religious, informal, and slightly quirky people that we are.

I have plenty of vague ideas, and we’ve had several in depth talks about what we want the overall feeling of the ceremony to be, and what elements we’d like to include. In no particular order:

1) Possibly some traditions from other cultures, like the Apache wedding blessing (which I love).

2) Interesting readings. I like the idea of Drew and I each picking one, knowing that I’ll probably use something from literature, and he’ll probably choose a quote from philosophy.

3) Personal vows. This isn’t groundbreaking by any means, but Drew and I both agree that we’ll forgo memorizing anything, because neither of us have will have the presence of mind to do anything other than repeat back to the judge when the day is (finally!) here.

4) Some creative way of thanking our family and friends.

5) And the whole shebang in our opinion shouldn’t last longer than about twenty minutes.

So obviously, translating our hodgepodge of ideas into some sort of format that flows is a slightly daunting task, even if it is one I’m very excited about. Has anyone else written their own ceremony? What ideas and/or sources did you use?