While your wedding dress is probably the most important part of your planning for the big event, you’ll also need a few other touches to make the entire event seem amazing. Some of these are, of course, optional but do add something special to any wedding ceremony.
While you’d like to think you’ll remember the names of everyone who attended your wedding, you won’t. You’re going to be so nervous and excited that the names and faces of your guests will become a blur. In fact, the only chance you’ll really get to see them is during the receiving line and that’s only for a second.
Most brides, therefore, choose to purchase a guestbook which is placed in the lobby of the ceremony location for all of the guests to sign as they come in. You’ll probably want a relative or family friend near the book to remind people to sign and to hand out your wedding programs. Many stationery stores sell gorgeous guestbooks, but you can also find plenty of choices online. If possible, pick one that matches the colors of your wedding.
Invest in a beautiful pen, too. You don’t want your guests to sign a lovely guestbook with cheap ballpoint pens.
2. Unity candles
Unity candles have been a popular wedding ceremony addition for a couple of decades. Strangely enough, the practice seems to have become common after a soap opera wedding depicted two of its main characters getting married and lighting unity candles back in the early 1980’s. Unfortunately, many Christian churches do not allow this to be performed because it is not considered part of the traditional church ceremony so you may need to check with your officiant and location to make sure this is a possibility.
If you can, then it’s definitely a beautiful and symbolic moment. Both the bride and groom hold tapered candles that are lit (in some variations their parents light the candles for them) at the beginning of the ceremony. After the couple is pronounced man and wife, the two candles are used to light a very large pillar candle in the center of the altar. This act signifies the unity of the two people through the marriage.
3. Flower girl
If you have a young girl between the ages of three and eight in your family, then consider asking her to be the flower girl in your wedding party. While you may be worried that a small child could ruin your special day or take away attention from you, don’t be concerned. Yes, the audience will be crazy about the adorable flower girl going down the aisle at first but when you step out all eyes will be on you. Plus, you can take precautions to make sure your flower girl behaves.
The flower girl’s purpose is to signal your entrance. She’ll walk in the procession behind the maid/matron of honor and will scatter rose petals (the same color as your wedding flowers) along the aisle for you to walk on. She’ll also be included in the photographs and can even participate in the reception.
If you have a slightly older female family member, she could serve as a junior bridesmaid. If she’s over fourteen years of age, she can even be a full bridesmaid, although she may not be given the responsibility of planning the bachelorette party.
4. Ring bearer
Another addition to your bridal party might be a ring bearer. Ring bearers are usually little boys who are between the ages of three and six. Their job is to carry the wedding ring to the groom on a satin pillow (i. e. the ring pillow). Most couples wisely attach the ring to the pillow with thread so it won’t fall off and get lost during the ceremony.
The ring bearer normally wears a small suit in the same color as the rest of the groom’s party. The color of his pillow should match the rest of the wedding colors.
Boys older than six can still be part of the groom’s party, but they should serve as junior ushers or groomsmen, not ring bearers. After the age of fourteen, boys can serve as full groomsmen, although their duties as part of the wedding party will need to be altered due to their age (for example, they wouldn’t attend the bachelor party).
5. Ceremony Conclusions
Traditionally, couples were sprinkled with rice (now bird seed) as they left the ceremony to head for the reception. However, if you’re tired of that tradition, then you can certainly try something else that’s fun and unique.
For example, all of the guests can be given small bottles of bubbles decorated with ribbons so that when the couple emerge from the location they can be bombarded with bubbles blown by all of their guests. On a sunny day, the bubbles are streaked with rainbows of color and this is very beautiful to see.
You might also choose to do a dove release. Everyone, including the couple, can gather outside to watch a professional release the doves as a symbol of the new marriage and the couple’s freedom to be together and live their own lives.
No matter which of the above additions you include in your wedding ceremony, remember that the most important thing is the marriage itself. Everything else is just icing on the cake.