Wedding Ceremony Tips
The choice between a civil and religious ceremony is a very personal one and, in reality, is usually very clear cut for the majority of people. Wherever and however you choose to say your vows, the important thing is that you both want to say them isn’t it?
More and more venues are able to offer couples the opportunity to get married either in their grounds or within one or more of their rooms. This has really opened up the options available when choosing where to hold your wedding and often means that the ceremony and reception take place in the same location - making transport and travel problems a thing of the past! The main thing to watch out for with civil ceremonies is that the atmosphere can sometimes be lost if the preparation has been neglected: special care and thought needs to go into making a day-to-day room feel like a magical place. To really transform the room, think about the 5 senses and make sure that all of them are covered:
1) Sight: using chair covers, creative lighting and a little bit of thought no-one will even recognise the room! Ensure that unsightly items (such as projectors or whiteboards if it’s a conference room) are removed or hidden.
2) Hearing: you’ll no doubt have music played at various points so ensure that you know how this will be played and who is controlling it! This may sound pedantic but you should hear your registrar prior to booking them if possible as there are a few with dreadful accents that will ruin the feel of your ceremony!
3) Touch: your chair covers will automatically help with this one and perhaps a pretty order of service on every other chair too.
4) Smell: add a drop of scent to the candles to add to the room’s atmosphere. Your flowers will provide a lovely fresh smell too.
5) Taste: OK, so you’re not going to hand out sweets but let’s use taste in its other sense! A classy, tasteful room that makes people tingle as they walk in... that’s what you’re aiming for!
With care and attention, a civil ceremony can be stunning and moving... you can even write your own vows!
Religious ceremonies are still extremely popular and couples have various reasons for choosing this option: some opt for it because of tradition, some to please a family member, some because religion and God play a real part in their lives. Whatever your reason for choosing to marry in church, you will find the organisation side less stressful than a civil ceremony in that the building itself is probably already magical and atmospheric. My top 5 tips for a religious ceremony are:
1) Meet the priest/vicar in person and also hear him ‘in action’ – you need to like him/her if you’re going to buy into what he/she says during the ceremony.
2) Check the church rules i.e. is confetti allowed, can the ceremony be videoed and/or photographed? If a video of the service is important to you but the church doesn’t allow it then you may want to look elsewhere.
3) Find ways around things! Although you are supposed to marry in your parish church, there are ways around this! If you find that your priest/vicar is very awkward (or that their rules are unfair) then take your business elsewhere: it may seem harsh to call it ‘business’ but when you see the price that churches charge you’ll appreciate that it really is. I speak from experience here!
4) Add candles, flowers, scent and floral pew ends to really create something special.
5) Choose hymns wisely: there is no point choosing something obscure that no-one knows as it will simply result in quiet mumbling throughout the song. Choose something that people will be comfortable singing aloud and, if you’re worried that your guests will chicken out, invite the church choir or even a few of the parish regulars to pump up the volume!
The best thing to do is close your eyes and picture the way that you’d like to feel when standing at the altar... that should tell you if your choices are right.
Whichever type of ceremony you opt for, be sure that you’ve chosen for yourself and that you’ve thought through the details... they’re over in a flash! Whether it’s a church, a hotel conference room, a beach or a conservatory you’ll enter as a single girl and exit as a married woman... make it special!