The Ceremony

What Type of Wedding Ceremony Is Right For You?

In this new age of wedding ceremonies, anything goes!

Unless a couple chooses to be married in a religious ceremony that will follow a time-honored religious protocol, they can be as creative as they like. The range of options is vast.

Finding your personal style is a matter of deciding the type of ceremony most suited to you and getting a sense of which rituals, blessings, prayers, readings, and cultural or religious aspects are personally meaningful.

As an interfaith and non-denominational wedding officiant, I find it is all about blending. The first task is to assess the general type of ceremony that is right for each couple. The second is to seek ways to blend in the traditions they do like, with creativity, romance and personal touches.

These personal touches can be anything from aspects of their religions or cultures, to honoring and involving family, to including a humorous story about how they met or a poignant poem that captures their feelings. Or all of the above!

As a reference point, there are several types of weddings to choose from.

Traditional. These are typically faith-based and culled from the tradition the bride and groom were born into.

Non-denominational. A spiritual ceremony that includes reference to God, but does not adhere to any particular religious protocol.

Non-religious. Usually includes no reference to faith and typically does not mention God. (Some people call it a civil ceremony, but in fact a civil ceremony often mentions God).

Interfaith. This is a blending of two or more faiths, by including aspect of religion or religious rituals or readings that are symbolic of each faith.

Intercultural. This is a blending of cultures — such as a Filipino veil ceremony with a Chinese red string ritual — and yet can certainly also blend religious aspects.

Pop culture theme. This is usually a ceremony adapted from something that is part of popular culture and close to the hearts of the bride and groom. It may be a full ceremony dress as a knight and lady of the court, to including lines from Star Wars or Disney, to creating a ceremony based on a favorite romance novel or movie.

That said, from my perspective, you can do all of the above in one specially tailored ceremony. The biggest issue is deciding if you want to reference God at all — some couples clearly do, but would rather not have religion, or clearly don’t, and want to have something that is more about their love and relationship.

Here are some questions to consider about creating a personalized wedding:

1. Where does religion fit in — or does it? Would you like to include an aspect of the faiths you were born into without the dogma? Do you want to include mention of God — or would you prefer blessing upon your union without mention of Divine presence?

2. What kind of ceremony would be most suited to the two of you? Would you like something personal yet that includes aspects of your traditions? Would something romantic and offbeat be more your style?

3. What are your special needs? Think about the requirements you each may have. If you are of the same faith, is one of you more religious than the other? Since you hail from different cultures, how much do you want to honor your heritage and the traditions of your parents and family, etc?

4. What do you two truly want? Most importantly, be completely honest with one another (and then, your officiant). Make sure you are creating this ceremony for the two of you — not just to please others.

Whichever path you follow, here’s a mantra to help you create a ceremony that is all you own: “We will create our wedding ceremony our way!”

 

 

Credits: The Huntington Post

Paper Vs Electronic Invitations

Paper Vs Electronic/Digital Invitations

Traditional Paper Invitations

Pros

Paper invites are more formal, cost money and require time and effort to set up which although can be a con in itself, it means they are taken more seriously by guests and as a result means your RSVP rate is naturally higher than with digital invitations. It is also a constant reminder to those invited, unlike emails which are easily buried and forgotten.
Traditional invitations are tangible, which can mean they are more memorable and create a sense of exclusivity. It isn’t something that is received “every day” and is therefore quite a novelty.
As they are addressed to someone specifically, it is clear who is invited and sets better boundaries surrounding the event rather than an email that could be forwarded on or extended to a wider circle of people.
It is guaranteed to get there, especially if you pay for tracked postage so there is no mistake about people not getting the invite.
In this world of social media, ironically sending traditional invitations probably means many guests will share the invitation with their social networks to ‘brag’.

Cons

With design, printing and postage this is the most expensive option. Bespoke designs using special paper, embossing, unusual sizes and paper cut outs can all increase the cost greatly.
Unlike with emails, an attendee cannot simply recall the invite if they lose it which means they lose all the information and details as well and means they have no back-up option other than to call the organizers and get a new copy or details sent out.

Electronic Invitations

Pros

Emails and digital invites are usually free to send if you send via email or one of the free email marketing platforms. A lot of event registration sites enable you to send evites directly from the system to keep everything consistent.
Some tools allow you to create a professional design in line with your event branding, without any design experience. Alternatively you can still pay a designer to create something impactful which will be uploaded and sent out electronically.
Digital invitations are great for public events where there are no limits to the attendees and you are trying to encourage sign up from a large amount of people. It makes it easy for people to forward details to their networks if it is an open invitation to a public event.
Unnecessary printing is frowned upon and evites are definitely the most eco-friendly option for sustainability conscious guests.
You can include a lot more information in an evite than an actual invitation, as well as adding more sponsorship and advertising spots, which can be tracked.
You can create interesting effects and have moving graphics on screen that aren’t possible with paper invitations (yet).
Cons

Some guests may not have or check their email regularly and depending on your demographics you may find not everyone is email accessible. Spam filters can often block emails, particularly with graphics or if sent out to a mass email list, and this can cause a lot of perceived non-attendance, when they actually just didn’t get the invite.
If you need guests to take their invitation along to the event or to pre-print their badge, make it clear whether it is fine to show the invitation on mobile. Printing can be difficult and requires attendees to remember to do it and bring it along and some may not have the facilities.
May not be suitable for formal, high profile or significant events, unless they are just serving as a reminder, because it can come across as cheap. At high class fundraisers in particular, you can’t expect people to raise a lot of money if you send out cheap invites.
Evites can easily be missed in the swarm of emails that people get on a day to day basis and are easily pushed down the inbox and forgotten, especially when sending to business email addresses.
An attendee may see the email and then go to respond to it at a later date and ‘lose it’ in their inbox meaning they can’t actually respond if they don’t know what to search for.
As they are perceived as less formal and in some cases carry less of an impact you get a much lower RSVP rate, even if that is the action you are requesting.

An invitation

An invitation

What To Include
An invitation, particularly for a social occasion, will often include this key information:

Attendee invited
Name of hosts – personal as well as company or organisation overseeing the event
The event type – fundraiser, ball etc
Day, date and time of the event
Name of the location and the address. The zip code is not usually necessary in the US but postcodes are recommended in the UK.
Dress code
RSVP or response guidelines
Additional information: e.g. parking arrangements, children allowed, plus one, special requests/dietary, dining options, end times

Credit: Event Manager Blog