Since I played for my first wedding in 1996, I've seen some very memorable wedding ceremonies! Every wedding is unique, but some of our brides have really impressed us with what they have done to make their wedding stand out from the rest. If we are still talking about it, their guests probably are, too!
The days when guests would skip the ceremony and just attend the reception are ending. After all, the ceremony is the reason for the party! Treat your guests to a ceremony that is filled with personal touches, and you will create memories for a lifetime (along with perfect photo opportunities).
If you are looking for ceremony music that can be completely customized for your unique tastes, please contact us (www.theclassicharpist.com or 1-877-HARP-578). We'd love to be a part of your unique wedding!
How to Make Your Wedding Unique and Memorable
1. Incorporate ceremony elements that celebrate your heritage. This may mean jumping the broom, breaking a glass, wine sharing, hand-fasting, or donning crowns. Be sure to explain the significance of the tradition to your guests, either with an announcement by your officiant or in your programs.
2. Face your guests during the ceremony. There is nothing more boring than looking at everyone's back! It also makes for better pictures. Another option is to switch the traditional bride's and groom's sides, so that when you face each other for your vows, your own family is looking at your face, rather than the back of your head.
3. Use unconventional music for your ceremony. As long as it is allowed by your venue and officiant, anything is possible! I've played "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" for a couple who met at a Cubs game, and "Stairway to Heaven" for a bride whose parents used that song in their wedding.
4. Involve your guests. One wedding I recently played for had each of their guests light a candle and place it on the altar when they arrived. By the time the ceremony began, the front of the church was glowing!
5. Children don't have to be ring bearers and flower girls! I've seen kids serve as bell ringers, running down the aisle yelling "Here comes the bride!" right before her big entrance. They can also be pages or train bearers if you have a long train.
6. Take care of your guests! Small things such as providing bottled water and fans for outdoor ceremonies are a courtesy that will be appreciated. You are the host, so make them feel welcome and comfortable!
7. Theme weddings can be a lot of fun. We've done everything from western to Renaissance to Old Hollywood glam, and one where all of the guests showed up in Lord of the Rings costumes!
8. Don't forget man's best friend! If you have a family member of the four-legged kind, and they are well-behaved and welcome at your venue, have them participate in the ceremony. Dogs make great ring bearers, and can even escort the bride down the aisle!
9. Think beyond traditional venues. Look for old movie theatres, beaches, museums, historical homes, ski resorts, orchards, wineries, or even your own backyard. They might not have all of the amenities of a traditional banquet hall, but you start with a blank slate and create your wedding to match your vision.
10. Your readings don't have to be traditional! One of my recent weddings featured the mothers of the bride and groom reading from the book "A Friend Like You". A personal favorite was a couple who chose their readings from the Dr. Seuss canon!
11. Personalize traditional ceremony decor. Hand-painted custom aisle runners unrolled before the processional are a beautiful alternative to the paper versions available. Instead of bubbles or birdseed, provide guests with streamers with your names and wedding date printed on them to wave as you exit the ceremony. If you will have a table or altar, create a special cloth covering that you can later use in your new home.
12. Greet your guests as they arrive, and forgo the grand processional. When it's time, just gather everyone together to begin the ceremony. This works especially well if you are shy and don't want all of those eyes watching you walk down the aisle!