Follow the Church Rules
Find a Justice of the Peace
Have a Civil Ceremony
Most houses of worship don’t offer a lot of leeway in wedding ceremonies. Over time, churches and synagogues have published written guidelines and rule books and expect couples to adhere or plan a civil ceremony with a Justice of the Peace (JP) instead.
Think beyond writing your own vows (actually quite challenging) when seeking ways to personalize your ceremony.
10 Ways to Personalize the Ceremony
- Have mothers carry flowers that grandmothers carried at their weddings.
- Ask Godparents to do the readings during the church service. Ask the minister if you can administer communion.
- Let your nieces and nephews hand out the wedding programs.
- Hire the children’s choir from the local elementary school you attended or ask the children’s choir at the church to sing before the ceremony.
- Carry a family bible, an heirloom handkerchief, or a deceased family member’s rosary or prayer beads.
- Ask each mother to light one of the tapers on the unity candle before she’s seated. During the ceremony the bride and groom use those tapers to light the center pillar candle as a symbol of family unity.
- Allow the groom or other talented family member to sing the Lord’s Prayer during the ceremony.
- Ask your brothers to light the altar candles prior to the seating of the honored guests.
- Have the officiant read a Parents Blessing written by both sets of parents in advance of the ceremony.
- Greet guests as they leave the ceremony instead of at the reception. Or, dismiss guests by row, greeting each guest as (s)he departs from front to back.
Do you have a wedding planning or etiquette question? Ask below.
Linda Leier Thomason is a former CEO who writes freelance business and travel stories, along with feature articles. Her work experiences include a Fortune 500 corporation, federal government, entrepreneurship and small business. Find out more about Linda by clicking the “Meet Linda” tab above. Interested in working together? Complete this form below.
Copyright. October 2015. Linda Leier Thomason
All Rights Reserved.