So many couples have been postponing or vastly trimming down their plan for their big day. It’s heartbreaking to see this. What’s even more heartbreaking is that so many couples are also trimming their expectations for a unique ceremony. They think it’s just not do-able.
Getting married is noteworthy event. It’s a time of transition for you and your partner. You should not have to forego your vision of a beautiful ceremony with the readings you love and the rituals that lend significance to the occasion, just because you can’t have everyone you love there with you.
Even if you’re getting married on Zoom, you can still have that expansive ceremony that tells the story of your romance and gives you the room to declare your commitment.
Here are a few ideas you can still do:
A handfasting ceremony.
This ancient Celtic ritual involves binding of the couple’s hands with a decorative ribbon (or a bunch in different colors), then after a blessing, tying a knot, from which the couple removes their hands as they pull the ends to complete it. The knot is a keepsake.
This ritual is easy to do with just your celebrant, or with only a few people. You can show it on camera, too!
Ask friends and family to send you ribbons they have decorated. You’ll use them in the ceremony, and everyone will feel like they are part of it!
Blessings and wishes for the couple.
A beautiful touch is the inclusion of personal wishes for the couple, often pinned to a board at a wedding ceremony, or left in a bowl or a box for the newlyweds to read later. This is still possible, even if you have fewer guests.
Ask everyone who is coming to bring a message for you – and ask those who cannot be physically present to email the messages to you or a friend or family member.
If you plan ahead, you can ask friends and family to mail you their wishes on a decorated card. You can display the cards you received at your reception or during the ceremony.
You can do the same thing with beloved poems or prayers.
Your own custom-written vows.
You can do these regardless of the size of your gathering. Writing your promises to each other is so much more intimate and authentic than repeated canned vows.
Simply take some time before the wedding to write a letter to each other. During the ceremony, your celebrant will give you some time to read it aloud. This can be something that your guests can hear as well. Simply have the celebrant hold a microphone (or your phone, or whatever you’re using to share the proceedings) close enough that you can be heard.
Your love story.
When I write a ceremony, this is a must-have! Your story of your courtship and proposal is one of the best parts of the day. It is what is real about what you as a couple. Take some time with your celebrant to craft a few paragraphs recalling how it all unfolded, and then place it within the ceremony.
I have yet to see a wedding where it does not produce tears and even laughter.
So many couples are getting married outside these days, because it’s medically safer, and more convenient.
Consider including aspects of your surroundings in your ceremony.
For example, you can wade in a creek during your vows, or use nearby water as a key symbol of renewal, through poetry or by taking few moments to enjoy the sounds of the water and the nearby wildlife. This also brings you back to the moment, in which you can reflect on the change you are making.
You can also enjoy and refer to the fragrance or proximity of a rose garden, honeysuckle, or a field of wildflowers.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t deprive yourself of the joy of the day by thinking you need a skimpy downsized ceremony. You can still express yourselves as you imagined!
You can ensure that happens by engaging the services of a professionally trained ceremonial celebrant.
Would you like to discuss how to make your wedding ceremony a truly memorable, unique experience? Contact me at Ruth@Nuptivity.com.
Want to go ahead and schedule a chat?