Your wedding day doesn’t have to look any certain way. There are no prescribed absolutes or trappings you simply MUST have.
*You don’t need a cake – I adored the wedding where we made our own ice cream sundaes.
*You don’t need an expensive dress – if you want a fancy dress there are TONS that can be found at your local consignment stores that someone else wore once and then gave away. Why not find something beautiful and have it altered to fit you or modified to suit your taste? No reason you can’t look like a princess (if that is your thing) AND not go into debt.
*You don’t need to do all the rituals you have seen at every wedding – pick and choose the ones that seem meaningful to you. I didn’t throw a bouquet and we didn’t light a unity candle or do that garter thing at our wedding 16 years ago but we seem to be married nonetheless.
No, what is important is to think about what matters to you. During your preparation process, here are some helpful questions to ponder:
- What will bring joy to this time we are sharing with our family and friends? I loved the wedding of the couple who were part of a musical community and their wedding had a gorgeous variety of music – from congregational hymns in four-part harmony to choir pieces.
- What matters to us as a couple and as individuals we want to share with the world? This can mean sharing an interest such as the wedding where a couple both had a love for good wine and held a wine tasting at their ceremony. Another couple who wanted their wedding day to be about something beyond themselves asked for donations to the Humane society instead of wedding gifts.
- What do we most want to remember from our wedding day? Do we want the tone to be upbeat and celebratory or more quiet and gentle? Just because Youtube has countless videos of couples performing rehearsed routines at their wedding dance or extravagant ceremony entrances doesn’t mean that you need to do that. If you want to do that, go for it – but the wedding I officiated at where the couple got married in a quiet chapel that held all of six people was perfect for that couple as they quietly shared their vows.
- Are there traditions that have been part of your family history that are important to you to carry on? A friend of mine wore the beautifully preserved wedding dress her great-grandmother wore in Norway. Another couple traveled three hours to be married in the church that generations of the groom’s family had been married in. What traditions would you like to continue as you get married?
- What spiritual elements are meaningful to both you and your partner? I’ve presided at weddings where the couple shares a faith tradition, but also those in which partners have very different faith traditions, and some ceremonies for couples who have no faith background whatsoever. Make sure your ceremony has a balance of what matters spiritually to both of you.
- Is music important to you? How can you implement music in the ceremony and reception? Some entrust the choosing of the music at the ceremony and the reception to the officiant and the dj while others want complete control over each song – picking meaningful music for every part of the day. What would you like to do?
These are just a few considerations as you think about how you want your wedding day to look. I’ll share some more soon. Oh, and I’d love to help you prepare for your wedding ceremony and your life together. Contact me today if you are looking for a wedding officiant or pre-marriage counseling in the Detroit Lakes, Minnesota area.