There are special things that make you…well you, and the both of you, a couple.
Chances are you want to honor those things during your celebration. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about how you can do just that.
Unity Candle. By far the most common ceremony tribute. A single candle is lit during the ceremony from two separate candles symbolizing the uniting of the couple. The couple then lights the candle every year on their anniversary as a reminder of that commitment. My parents actually lit our individual candles from their wedding candle during my wedding ceremony.
Sand Ceremony. Similar to the unity candle, the sand ceremony takes two separate containers of sand and combines them into one container, symbolizing the unity (just like the sand) that can never be separated again. You can include family members in this by each pouring a separate color of sand and making a piece of art that you can cherish for years to come.
His, Mine and Ours. You have kids, he has kids, and maybe you have some together. You aren’t just becoming a couple, you’re becoming a family. If your kids are older, consider walking down the aisle as a family, kids first then the two of you. You could also have junior groomsmen and bridesmaids, flower girls or ring bearers depending on the age and personality of the child. If your kids are infants you could have someone bring them down the aisle in a decorated wagon or decked out stroller, (think a contained wee one). Just remember, there will be a lot of people, an unfamiliar environment and new clothes; things don’t always go well when there are little people involved, roll with it and don’t get worked up if things don’t go as planned. You can laugh about it later.
In Honor. There is someone near and dear to your heart who is not able to attend. Maybe they have passed on, maybe they are not physically able to make the days’ journey with you. A photo locket tied with a blue ribbon to your bouquet can be your something old, and something blue. A few brides we’ve worked with recently have done memorial tables with photos of family members. If your grandparents have passed on, consider including a framed copy of their wedding portrait in keeping with the celebration (just leave the original at home).
Pets. You have them, you love them, and they are part of the family. And really, how cute will Milo be in his bow tie and vest?? Keep in mind the same advice as for kids, there will be a lot of people, an unfamiliar environment and new clothes, consider the pet’s personality. If it’s not a good fit, don’t push it. Maybe just bring the pets in for a few photos and leave them at home for the rest of the day. And remember you will need to find someone to act as a handler, that person may miss some of the festivities while going back and forth.
Props to You. If you are having a photo booth, this is a great way to personalize your reception. Create custom props that relate to how you met or what you enjoy doing together. It will make the photo memories that much more enjoyable and relatable.
Regardless of what you do, make sure you make it meaningful and personal to the two of you.