Here are a few unconventional ceremony ideas to take you down the aisle with a twist.
1. Let your guests mingle over cocktails before the ceremony.
2. The couple greets the guests as they arrive at the ceremony site.
3. Face the guests when you recite your wedding vows.
4. Have your guests sit or stand in a circle around you during the ceremony.
5. Have both parents walk you down the aisle.
6. Have your husband-to-be escort you to the altar.
7. Don’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen - just the two of you.
8. Have an uneven number of attendants. Maybe you just want a maid of honor, but he wants three groomsmen.)
9. Have a “man of honor” instead of a maid of honor. (Your brother? A good male friend?)
10. Have the groom choose a “best woman.” (His sister? A good female friend?)
11. Don’t wear a veil.
12. Have bridesmaids carry candles instead of bouquets as they walk down the aisle.
13. Write your own vows.
14. Have a ring warming. (What’s a ring warming you ask? There are different versions of this, but generally the rings are placed in a small bag and are passed around to each guest prior to the ring exchange. Each guest blesses the rings or says a prayer.)
15. Choose unconventional processional and/or recessional music. (Love The Beatles? Love Leonard Cohen? Go for it! You don’t have to stick with Pachelbel’s Canon or Ode to Joy.)
While many couples prefer the traditional feel of a church ceremony, a growing number are choosing a more personalized vow exchange. This shift has created plenty of opportunity for Carolyn Burke - Wedding Officiant, an ordained non-religious minister based in the St. Louis Metro Area. Since 2005, Burke has specialized in officiating at non-religious or secular weddings, specifically those that do not mention a deity. Over the years, she has seen a steady growth for such ceremonies which she calls, "Sweet and Simple".
A secular wedding ceremony incorporates your beliefs instead of a religious dogma. It is non traditional, non religious and non conformist. You choose to have a secular wedding, but you can also include a few religious and traditional references if you please such as scripture readings or a prayer/blessing.
I enjoy working with couples who seek the path less traveled on their wedding day. You will find out about my unique services that are sweet and simple. Planning a wedding can be great fun if it's done in the spirit of joy rather than the spirit of following traditions that don't really mean anything to you. My ceremony services generally cost between $160 and $325, depending on the travel and package and last between 10 and 20 minutes.