Published: Wednesday, Dec. 12th, 2018
We hear all of the time that one of the main reasons couples ask their friend or family member to perform their wedding ceremony is because they want the ceremony to be personal.
And most couples know that no one can make their ceremony more personal than a good friend or a close family member who understands their story best.
Still, some couples and their officiants find it hard to get that “personalized” feel when they sit down and start writing the wedding ceremony. This might be because they aren't sure which details to include, what tone or 'feel' the ceremony should have, or what order the parts of a typical ceremony follow.
Here are some pointers for finding the elements of a ceremony that will make it yours:
(If the couple insists on a funny wedding ceremony, read Who's Laughing Now? – How to Use Humor in the Wedding Ceremony to get started.)
When developing the ceremony script, we recommend having the couple answer the same questions separately, as that allows the officiant to bring both “voices” into the ceremony. Then, the officiant can weave these stories into the ceremony along with the other pieces to create a narrative that resonates on a personal level with the couple and the guests.
Professional wedding officiants swear by this technique, and many of them even use a detailed questionnaire to gather personal stories and insight from the couples they work with. Ask questions about: how a couple met, the challenges they've overcome together, their favorite memories of each other, what their values are, what family means to them, and what they hope the future will bring.
Oh, and along with the mushy, lovey-dovey parts of the couple’s story, it’s okay to use parts of the stories that are light-hearted and humorous, too. But you just want to make sure it doesn’t cross the line.
When in doubt, refer to what we like to call "the grandma filter." Think to yourself, "If I shared this during the ceremony, would Grandma be upset?”
If the answer's yes, leave it out.
Once you have the first draft of your wedding ceremony script written, it's time to revise, refine, practice, and perfect!
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