Ceremony Program….or No Ceremony Program?

Ceremony programs have been a common practice for many years, and in a religious ceremony it can help people get ready to find the page for a scriptural passage or which hymn will be up next. That’s okay – to a point. But a program for your ceremony it isn’t always necessary or even desirable. Do I really need to read ‘lighting of candles’ to know that the candles are being lit?
When you think about it, the ‘order of service’ simply encourages people to anticipate what is happening next, distracting them from what is happening in the present. It becomes a checklist to be completed. I believe it is more enjoyable to allow the words and actions to unfold.
Instead, why not approach the booklet as a chance to expand and enhance the ceremony experience for your guests, rather than distract them?
Instead, why not approach the booklet as a chance to expand and enhance the ceremony? If you have the time and inclination, a wedding program can provide ‘added value.’ For more creative couples it can even become quite the artistic project! And it can serve multiple functions.
Here are some suggestions to add content and value to a program:
When listing the bridal party – explain who they are, your relationship with them, or even where they live. People travel far to attend weddings. You can show your appreciation of their time and effort by making mention of it.

Use photos – of yourself, your family and friends. Even your pet who unfortunately, was unable to attend, but sends best wishes!

Get creative – the program can be made to look like a theater playbill, a menu, a newspaper, a fan, a passport, a map, a chalkboard, anything goes!

Explain rituals that are being performed. Give historical, cultural or religious background, and why it is being used. This is true for religious or secular ceremonies. Remember not everyone is versed in your traditions and will appreciate learning about them.

Give music credits – details on what songs or selections were played and what they mean to you.

If your ceremony is in a unique location – explain why you chose it.

Readings, poems, lyrics – just as with rituals – explain why you are using them in your ceremony, especially if there is particular story to accompany it. Or, include a poem, song lyric, or other writing that you could not fit into the ceremony. But don’t include the work itself if someone is reading it.

Honor family members with a tribute to them by using a meaningful quote with their name – especially poignant for those who couldn’t attend or those deceased.

For multicultural or multilingual families, have translations of some or the entire ceremony.

If children are involved in the wedding party, they can create the cover or write something special. They might also help by assembling or distributing the booklet. Don’t forget to credit children for any role they play in the wedding, and thank them for their support of the marriage. They will appreciate the sentiment, and love seeing their names in print.

If you do decide to create program booklet, I hope you’ll make it special, but if you are stressed, too busy, or simply cannot take on one more task – don’t do it! While your guests may be delighted to find a program full of surprises, truly, no one will be disappointed that there is none at all.

This entry (in part) was posted in Ceremonies and Celebrations, Pocono Weddings, Tips on Weddings, Wedding Ceremonies and tagged Celebrant, ceremony program, Lois Heckman, Lois Heckman Celebrant, unique ideas, wedding booklet, wedding ideas, wedding program.

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Ceremony Vows ~ Create Your Own? Use Traditional?

Lingrow FarmIf you are having a ceremony that allows you to write your own vows, there are a few things to consider before jumping in.

1. Will you be printing them on small cards or in a keepsake booklet to read from?

2. Are you comfortable with reaching deep inside your heart to compose these words and read them to each other with family and guests present?

3. Do you want unique, modern, spiritual, romantic, etc. vows?

Answering the above may give you a better insight about writing your own vows. Otherwise, your Officiant will prepare traditional type vows for you to review and consider.
You may have the option to change them to your own wishes and this process may be easier for you than creating the vows from the beginning.

Church ceremonies within specific religious denominations may be standard within the doctrine but you may also have a few choices. Your minister, priest, reverand or rabbi will guide you on these issues.

Creating your own vows can be a beautiful addition to one of the most special days in your life. Research all options, ask questions and always follow the choice you make with respect and courtesy.

Happy Wedding Day,


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Ceremony and Wedding Toasts

Toasting is not difficult and can be offered to the couple or individually to the bride or groom. The best thing to keep in mind is to keep it brief. Don’t be nervous and consider the following when preparing:

1. Prepare – Don’t leave your thoughts to the last minute. Plan it ahead and write it down!
2. Length – try for 3 minutes. More formal weddings may require a little more time.
3. Research – Relax. No one is asking you to hit the law library about the Constitution.
4. Quotes – If you find one you like, it can be adapted to the couple, etc.
5. Appropriate content – Be cautious of any off-color content as everyone in the group may not appreciate it.

Always be sure everyone has a drink in their hands…alcohol or otherwise
Always name the person or persons you are toasting.
Make the toast a positive and joyful experience especially if you are including humor
Persons being toasted never stand. However they may offer a counter-toast.

Why not think about having a toast during the ceremony provided it is not in a church/chapel/religious venue.
This is perfect for outside ceremonies and your professional/trained celebrant can work this out perfectly for you and the guests.

Last of all, know as much as possible about who you are toasting. This helps keep everything terrific.

Sample toasts:

Here’s a toast to the lovely bride
And to the husband by her side.
Here’s to the home they’re going to share
May love and trust swell with them there.


Ladies and gentlemen please stand with me as we raise our glasses in a toast to the happy couple.
May you always look into each other’s eyes as you did on the first day you met.
To precious moments of togetherness and countless hours of sunshine and laughter.
May your lives be filled with good health and a lifetime of happiness.
Congratulations to the newlyweds.

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Plan A and Plan B – A Must for Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies?

Depending on the location of your outdoor ceremony and/or reception, is it a sensible idea to select venues that offer Plan B in case of inclement weather?????
You may not think so, but the answer is a YES!

Considering you are spending thousands of dollars to host this very important day in your life, would you want it ruined if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate? No.

The wedding day “vision” is one of beautiful temperatures, sun and a slight breeze. There is nothing more joyful than being married and celebrating outdoors.
However…..it doesn’t always happen this way especially in locations that experience rain, wind and more.

By selecting venues that have grassy areas, covered pavilions and an indoor choice, you will always be safe. You will relax and enjoy the day knowing you, your family and guests will be comfortable, dry and happy while enjoying the day as you tie the knot!

Happy Wedding!

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Color, Color and More Color! How to choose?

Deciding on the color palette for your wedding day can be a challenging decision….if you let it take over.
As many of the top wedding designers/planners recommend, you will want to choose not just a single color, but blends of various tones to add “pop” to the overall scheme.
The Pantone Color for 2015 is Marsala and it is a beautiful tone as a base. It can add a traditional sophisticated look and by adding more interesting tones, you will create the 2015 event. Some designers will recommend staying with simple coloration rather than vivid tones. Why not consider an all white event and use your lighting expert to transform the room
into with a color lighting of your choice. Use your imagination and personalize the colors of your wedding to who you are a couple.

If you are working with a professional wedding planner, he/she will create your color palette and offer you beautiful choices to consider.

Happy Planning!

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Wedding Insurance ? Do You Need it?

No matter how perfect your wedding plans are… things can go wrong! Of course, we don’t want to think about it at such a happy time, but reality should have an important place in your wedding day agenda.

Here are just a few possible mishaps to think about:

~ Your wedding venue goes out of business!
~ The bridal shop with your gown, and those of your bridesmaids, closes unexpectedly.
~ The day approaches and weather reports are that a hurricane may be in the forecast.
~ The food is spoiled; wedding cake disasters.

Why not prepare and prevent these unfortunate occurrences that can possibly spoil the big day?

There are many reputable insurance companies now offering Wedding Insurance. For instance, Travelers Insurance Company offers the Wedding Protector Plan.  With average wedding budgets ranging closer to the $30,000 price tag, give yourself that feeling of security just in case!

You can add the cost to your wedding budget, just as you would the minister,
wedding planner, wedding attire, etc. With savvy financial planning for the wedding day, think about this peace of mind and feeling of security with insurance to cover the “what ifs”.

Happy Wedding Day! 

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Holiday Shopping! Mistletoe! Cookies Baking! Yes, it is a wonderful time of year and especially if you are planning a December wedding. Without any doubt, holiday decor can add beautiful and romantic touches to the entire wedding theme. Don’t like red and green? Try shades of purple and blue with bits of sparkle. Poinsettia’s in shades of white and cream or dusted with colors of glitter make fabulous table decorations. If you need a large display, try forming the poinsettia’s into a Christmas tree using the tree forms available.

These same guidelines can be applied to the catering with some traditional food items that so many of us serve in our homes for the holidays. Ethnic cuisine is always a great choice and will offer the feeling of warmth during this special season.

The hustle and bustle will be much less of a challenge by being sure to schedule a wedding coordinator who will ensure your day will be relaxing, comfortable and most of all….Joyful!

Happy Holidays!

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