A perfect wedding isn't only beautiful, it's personal. It has carefully selected details that are meaningful to you and your fiancé. Here are some very simple ways to add your own subtle, unique touches to your ceremony and reception:
Write your own wedding vows. It doesn't have to read like poetry; the important thing is that it comes from your own heart. Print it out on an index card and keep it handy during the ceremony.
Compile a CD with songs that symbolize your relationship or how it evolved. Play this during your reception or even burn a copy and distribute as souvenirs. Insert a small piece of paper explaining why you chose those songs.
Instead of tossing your bouquet, present it to your mother (or a dear friend or mentor) during your reception. You can also have an additional bouquet made for your partner to also present to someone at the same time.
Compile in a scrapbook. Guests often have free time on their hands during their reception. In the centre of the table, place several pens and small pieces of paper in a pretty basket. Ask them to write their wishes, prayers, or advice for you and your fiancé.
Most wedding reception programs revolve around the couple: friends give speeches. Do something for the guests. Make a video of you and your fiancé talking about the people who've taught you what true love means. Mention friends who've demonstrated real loyalty, or family members who made great sacrifices for you. Intersperse your video with their photos. This is your chance to say thank you to all of them.
If you have a close friend or family member who passed away, make him or her part of the occasion by inserting a small photo in your bouquet, or lighting a tribute candle at the ceremony.
If you have ethnic roots, incorporate a marriage ritual from your culture into your ceremony or perform it during your reception.
Wear an heirloom. For example, you can use your grandmother ís veil, or wear a locket that belongs to your mother. This is an excellent way of creating a sense of continuity between generations, celebrating your own family even as you go on to begin your own.
Prepare an audio-video presentation that will be played during the parents dances. This can be just a simple montage of childhood photos. A guaranteed tear-jerker!
If you have kids, help them feel like they're part of the new family by asking them to stand next to you as you say your vows.
Add little elements that say something about your relationship as a couple. For example, if you're giving away picture frames, insert a poem that you wrote or a copy of your wedding vows. If you met at a beach (and would rather not have a beach-themed wedding) incorporate shells into your table centrepiece.
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I was recently the DJ/MC of a wedding that included music for the ceremony, cocktails and of course the reception. All the facets were at the same property but in different rooms. When it came time to transition from the cocktail area to the dinner/reception hall I asked the wedding party to get ready for the receiving line. I was met with a dozen blank stares. The what ?
It looks like through my planning and coordinating with the wedding couple no one informed the rest of the wedding party that this was happening. Not only that but most of them were unaware what a receiving line even was. I understand that more weddings are putting tradition aside but I just assumed this was a gimmie.
There are a few pros and cons of having a receiving line as opposed to the wedding couple doing table visits during the course of the night
- It is a great opportunity to greet and thank every guest for coming to your wedding.
- Tradition dictates that if you are having more than 50 guest that it is warranted.
- You guarantee that every guest will get at least a minute of actual face time with both you and your partner.
- You can have the opportunity to have your photo taken with every couple before they enter the reception hall.
- If your guest count is a large one you could have an enormous line throughout your venue.
- You have to allocate a large amount of time which could in turn delay major aspects of the reception timeline and could hinder the plating and/or preparation of food.
- They may not be enough room to line up 200 or more guests at your reception venue.
- Parents , Step-Parents , Grandparents , Wedding Party and Wedding Couple may have issue with being included/not included.
At the end of the day whatever you and your partner decide just try to keep the above points in mind.
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A persons wedding is one of the most memorable, important, and high points in an individuals life. At a time when two people want to make the ultimate commitment to spend the rest of their lives together, the desire to have personalized vows is certainly understandable. This is one of the most unique and special days in a persons life, so if you want to speak your own personal wedding vows, than by all means, you should go for it! Writing your own vows can be intimidating. Wedding days always add pressure to even the most mundane of tasks, and certainly writing the vows you want to say to your significant other in front of all your friends and family is no small matter! Still, don't let fear cause you to go along with some basic commonly used wedding vows if you really want that personalized touch. Just follow a few basic tips, and this will help you be on your way to writing the tips your future spouse deserves!
1. Write from the heart. Your wedding day represents the epitome of love between you and your future spouse. The two of you are together for a reason. Anything you write should be honest and from your heart, because that is what will really make your words special.
2. You don't have to be Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson. If you are a poet, great. Keep in mind, though, that in the end words are just words. Your wedding vows do not have to be an amazing classic piece of literature they need to be an honest display of your feelings for the other person. Don't use long poetical words if all it does is put distance between your words and your feelings.
3. It ís okay to brainstorm. Before you set down to write everything, make a list of the things about your spouse that you absolutely love about your spouse, then make a list of the commitments you want to make. Figure out what parts of those lists you really want to include (keep in mind the vows are read in front of families and friends) and keep those.
4. Short and Sweet. It doesn't take many words or a lot of time to make your heart known to everyone present. A lot can be said in a really short time, so don't feel like you have to make the vows any longer than they naturally come out. Follow these four tips, and you'll find yourself getting over your worries to write some great wedding vows that your spouse will love!
I would love to hear your thoughts.
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Neal McFarlane is a full-time Toronto Wedding DJ ,VJ and MC who enjoys sharing his decades of knowledge to elevate every single event he can.