What Are Your Wedding Ceremony Ideas?

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something incredibly cool has happened to me but before we get to that, i need to say that i love weddings. it’s the public declaration and celebration of two people’s love together which typically consists of twinkly lights, bubbly and some type of delicious dessert. since i’m passionate about working with people to ensure they are feeling empowered in their relationship and marriage, i need to throw it out there that while i love weddings, your daily relationship is way more important than this one day. now that that has been acknowledged, we can move forward with continuing to talk about weddings and i reaaaally need your help.

the incredibly cool thing that has happened?!

this beautiful couple, allison and kane, have asked us to marry them!!!!!! how amazing is that?! my husband and allison used to work together at special olympics and now we are all buddies!

what to do for a ceremony the new wifestyle

we straight up have to become ordained ministers in the state of washington! how freaking cool is that?! best believe i’m bolding that on the top of my resume. i feel like this is a greater honor than when frodo had to destroy that little gold ring (though it’s similar since we both will most likely have snacks in our bags). this is honestly such a privilege and also something neither of us have done before so i need your help!

we aren’t 100% sure exactly what this will look like but we have until july to bring it all together. some ideas from the happy couple are that my husband might facilitate the rest of the ceremony and then i do the vows part or we split things up throughout the ceremony or we get really good at saying everything at the exact same time for the whole ceremony. fine, that last one was mine but you know it’d be funny.

i would love YOUR help with ideas, suggestions and what worked for you! this will be a non-religiously affiliated ceremony and last around 15-20 minutes, which may clock in as some of my top favorite 15-20 minutes. we are still in the brainstorming period and want to make sure this does not come off as some type of “wait…are the four of them all marrying each other?!” because that would be weird.

our wedding ceremony was like 13 minutes and our amazing friend emily conducted the vow exchange. we didn’t have anyone else do readings and she perfectly summarized how we are both strong individuals and then becoming even stronger together. the only other thing i remember is crying and then laughing really hard when i couldn’t get my husband’s ring over his knuckle.

i’m curious as to how your ceremony flowed or what you’ve seen and liked at others?

did you do any readings as part of the ceremony?

how about your officiant? what language or sayings did he or she use that you really liked and why?

they would like for both my husband and me to be involved (isn’t that too cool?!) so do you have any other ideas on how this might play out?

any insight or suggestions are greatly appreciated because we want to make this day super special for them so thank you in advance for your wedding ceremony ideas! i’d love for you to comment below so others can read about your ideas but if you have an attachment or want to email suggestions privately, feel free to at chelsea @ thenewwifestyle.com!

also, i can pay like $7 to have a decal for my car saying i’m an ordained minster. i’m thinking it may be worth it…


  1. Audrey

    April 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

    That LOTR reference was fantastic 😉 My husband and I had a religious ceremony, but as far as readings go we mixed it up a little & wanted to include poems and excerpts from literature that defined our relationship & life. The reception was also literary themed with book-inspired center pieces
    Audrey recently posted…I Hate Spring

    • chelsea

      April 20, 2015 at 11:26 am

      ha glad you liked that reference, audrey! love that you included poems and excerpts from literature that defined your relationship! very cool that it was also part of your reception with book inspired pieces! sounds fantastic!

  2. Audrey

    April 20, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Oops… I posted that prematurely! Anyway, it all tied together & was pretty neat!
    Audrey recently posted…I Hate Spring

    • chelsea

      April 20, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      it’s just because you got so excited about your wedding!

  3. Sarah

    April 20, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    How exciting for you both! I must admit I’m a little excited to get to share what we did for our wedding. Hope it’ll help you and your friends make some decisions. 🙂

    My husband and I chose to have a destination wedding in San Sebastian, Spain. Because neither of us is Spanish or resided in Spain at the time of the wedding, it was a celebration but not an official or legal ceremony. We had a small ceremony (only us, the officiant, and our witnesses) in Montreal a couple weeks before the intimate celebration in Spain. Everything about our ceremony was customizable, especially the one in Spain, but we still wanted it to feel like a real wedding ceremony. I looked at various templates and websites, including the template our officiant provided. I have everything up on our wedding website, so I invite you to have a look at the ceremony (http://pintxoswedding.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/ceremony) and even the detailed scenario which includes readings and our vows (https://pintxoswedding.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/scenario-ceremony-script.pdf). Some of it is in French 😉

    Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to chat about the ceremony or expressions that may be different than the very traditional (for example chose to have our officiants, a couple nonetheless, say “You may now seal your marriage vows with a kiss.” instead of “You may now kiss the bride.”).

    Enjoy the process with your friends!

    • chelsea

      April 21, 2015 at 11:53 am

      wow sarah, this was SO helpful!! thank you for even sharing the script (which it totally teared up while reading, it was truly beautiful)! i am definitely going to stalk your wedding website some more because i just got sucked into the photos for a solid 20 minutes…SO GORGEOUS!

      thank you also for your offer to picking your brain more (love that you had a couple too!) this was SO helpful!

      • Sarah

        April 22, 2015 at 9:56 am

        You just gave me a bite-sized product idea. Thank you!

        • chelsea

          April 23, 2015 at 4:59 pm

          ohhh hooray i’m so glad i could help in a teeny way 🙂 thanks again for your insight!

  4. Vivien

    April 20, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    No advice from me I’m afraid, but I would love to see a blog post about how this all plays out! 🙂

    • chelsea

      April 21, 2015 at 11:57 am

      you can pretty much count on that vivien 🙂 ha!

  5. Elizabeth T

    April 20, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    That’s just so cool!!! My father-in-law officiated our wedding and it was so special to have someone close to us participate. I can’t wait to see how you and Ryan put this together–whatever you guys do is just going to be so amazing!

    • chelsea

      April 21, 2015 at 11:58 am

      isn’t it though?! i feel so honored it’s crazy! that is so amazing that your father-in-law officiated your wedding, elizabeth! if you loved anything specific he said or did, please let me know!

  6. Rachel G

    April 21, 2015 at 1:53 am

    Whoa, what an honor! For some reason, I was not particularly interested in making our wedding ceremony super unique or meaningful…I love weddings, but I think I enjoy other peoples’ weddings way more than my own. The things that made it the most special for me were

    1) We had the most random music that suited us. Rich Mullins albums played pre-ceremony. And, because Angel wanted it so much, we walked down the aisle to “Joy to the World”. I thought that was the cheesiest thing ever, but hey, I guess there’s no pretending to be cool on your wedding day. Oh, and my uncle, who is an amazing singer, sang and played “If you could see what I see” early on in the ceremony. I’d asked him for a completely different song, and the other song was the one on the program, but something went wrong logistically and he ended up just singing that song I’d never even heard of before. I still got chills–he definitely sings it better than the original guy. I remember these songs pretty vividly even though I didn’t have a choice/didn’t put much thought into choosing them.

    2) Our most special people were involved. My childhood pastor (who has always thought I was just the coolest kid) married us. My parents weren’t there, but they had my uncle and aunt read a blessing from them for us, and they sent a secret video with friends from Malaysia greeting us on our wedding day–I didn’t know the video existed till I was on stage watching it–yep, that’s when I cried. Angel cried when his parents read their blessing for us in Spanish–the rest of our ceremony was completely in English.

    I don’t really remember much that was said at all during the ceremony, honestly. I’m not sure I listened much, I was mostly staring starry-eyed at Angel and he wasn’t listening because he was nervous I was going to leave him at the altar. SERIOUSLY! He was never sure that I’d go through with marrying him until I did. I don’t know why. I never even joked about doing anything of the sort…although my grandpa did tell me that it wasn’t too late, we could still leave the church, right before he walked me down the aisle…
    Rachel G recently posted…Perks of Working With Your Spouse

    • chelsea

      April 21, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      it really is such an honor to be involved this way! haha i love that you walked down the aisle to ‘joy to the world’ because angel wanted it so much HA! that’s amazing.

      i teared up reading that your parents sent you such a sweet video from malaysia and no wonder you cried! sounds like a beautiful wedding for you both that touched you deeply!

      angel was nervous that you were going to leave him right then and there?! is there a blog post on this…there should be 🙂 ha and thanks for the pep talk, gramps ha!

  7. Addison

    April 21, 2015 at 6:32 am

    This is super cool! Congratulations! I’m a sucker for poetry, so I always love when a beautiful poem is read during a wedding ceremony. It can be really touching and powerful without being religious. Also, I think the decal is definitely worth it. 😉
    Addison recently posted…All is light

    • chelsea

      April 21, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      ohhh poetry is a great idea, addison! maybe we can start looking at poems and ask the couple if they have any they love too. thank you! and that window decal is under serious consideration 🙂

  8. Diana

    April 21, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Our wedding was about a half hour and was a non religious ceremony. My husband and I both pick a reading and a person to do that reading.

    We did traditional(ish) vows, but my favorite part (which I stole from a friend) is that we both wrote love letters to each other that was read by the officiant so we didn’t have to struggle through them ourselves. It was my favorite part because we didn’t know what the other was going to say going into the ceremony.

    • chelsea

      April 21, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      that is SUPER sweet, diana about writing the love letters to each other and then having the officiant reading them! i don’t think i could have said too much either because i was so overwhelmed with emotion.

      i’ll suggest that to them as an option, thanks so much for the idea!

    • carissajade

      April 21, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      Ah man this is such an honor, congrats! I know nothing about weddings nor planning them, but my boyfriend has randomly become the go to guy for marrying his friends and he loves it every time he is asked.
      carissajade recently posted…Create A Thought Box To Strengthen Writing Habits

      • chelsea

        April 23, 2015 at 4:50 pm

        that’s awesome that your boyfriend is suddenly the go-to-guy for this! if he has any insight into what works really well for couples i’d love to hear it!

  9. Kayla

    April 21, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    How exciting!!!

    Our officiant is, hands down, our NUMBER ONE regret at our wedding. We wrote our own ceremony and on the day of our wedding he didn’t sound like he had EVER read it. He stumbled through it. Okay, so probably to the average person it didn’t sound too bad but to me, it sounds totally butchered. I am shocked as hell he even said our first and last names right 🙁 So my advice is to practice a lot and read through it a lot… which with you and your husbands background with speaking I know it won’t be a problem lol
    Kayla recently posted…Catch up.

    • chelsea

      April 23, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      oh noooo i’m so sad to hear this kayla! that is ridiculous that he stumbled through the whole thing! what the heck!? you just let me know if you ever want them reread and i’ll be happy to do read them again for you 🙂

      great advice on reading through them a lot, we plan to practice a toooon because it is so important!

  10. Paul Arnhold

    April 22, 2015 at 4:16 am

    The perfect theme for the address could take “trust is a must” to a much deeper level!

  11. Amanda Wood

    April 24, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Oohs! How exciting! Hubs and I wrote our own vows, and our officiant had some wonderful little things to say and add to it. I would say for you and Ryan to say something personal about each one and then them as a couple before they say their vows.
    Amanda Wood recently posted…Conversations

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