Category Archives for Wedding Ceremony

Tips on Writing Your Wedding Vows

writing-wedding-vowsExchanging of the Wedding Vows of the Bride and the Groom is an important part of the wedding ceremony. This is the part where the Wedding Couple exchange their Vows and Promises to each other.

Each one of the Vows we have heard of already is unique in their own way. They contain a part of the Bride or the Groom, a secret by the Wedding couple or a Promise to each other that they will try to accomplish through thick and thin.

And usually, the Bride and the Groom have searched high and low to make that perfect speech. We bet all of them poured their hearts out, more often than not smiling while reminiscing a good moment and crying on a trial which they have overcome.

And so we thought, to help Bride- and Groom-To-Be’s with their wedding speeches, we have listed some tips they can bear in their mind while doing so.

Tip #1 Get Clearance. It is always important to ask the Celebrant or the Ceremony Official if reciting your own personal Vows is allowed. There are some houses of worship or ceremony official requires for the Bride and Groom to recite specific wedding vows. And if some do allow reciting of personal vows, there are some that want to review what you have written.

Tip #2 Start Early & Stay Committed. It is always important to do everything earlier than later. This saves more time for revision and changes. It is also important that both the Bride and the Groom are committed on doing the personal vows. The Guests usually feel the tone and feelings the Vows are imparting when they are told out load.

Tip #3 Create an Outline & Find your Voice. Just like what we learn in school, making an outline usually helps us establish a pattern and structure. This is the same with making vows. It tends to make the story of the vow more personal when done. It is also important to note how you are going to deliver the vow. Do you want it to be light & humorous or mushy & Poetic? It all depends on you as long as everything comes from your heart.

Tip #4 Key Questions. Key Questions are important because it provides insights which are unique in your vows. So think of key questions, write it down on a piece of paper or jot it down on your computer. Some questions you can put in your list are:

  • When and where did you meet?
  • What do you love most about him?
  • What does marrying her mean to you?

Tip #5 Memories. Moments shared with your loved ones are always good to share. It makes the guests feel the love you are feeling for each other through these memories. Places you went to, key milestones on your relationships including the hard ships you both overcome as a couple.

Tip #6 Promises. Saying your promises is usually the last part of the vow. After sharing with the guests how the relationship starts and your fondest memories, it is always good to end with a promise. Saying your promise of unending love and devotion and how you will keep each other safe is always nice to hear.

Tip #7 Be yourself and Practice out loud. Remember, you are making a wedding vow. A vow you would be saying to your bride/groom. So remember to be yourself. Forget the crowd and remember you are sharing the moment with your loved one. Also, it takes out the jitters of speaking to a crowd when you practice saying your vows out loud.

We hope this tips helps you write your wedding vows.

Goodluck.

 

 

Wedding Day Survival Guide For The Groom

So much talk is about how the bride survives her big day; the internet is littered with tips on buying a wedding dress, how to choose the perfect bouquet and bridal hairstyles. The poor groom hardly gets a mention! Yet the wedding day can be just as stressful and anxiety inducing for the groom, so we’ve come up with our wedding day survival guide for the groom – you can thank us later!

Eat up your breakfast.
You might think you can survive all day on a glass of whisky but you can’t. You are going to be standing up a lot, feeling anxious and trying to make sure everything runs smoothly, as well as supporting your new wife. By the time you tuck into the wedding buffet you’ll be famished and those The Groompints of lager will go straight to your head. So pace yourself with a good breakfast.

Book an appointment with the barber.
It’s not just the bride who may need a bit of styling and the last thing you want is a shaving rash on your face. Brandishing a razor close to your face whilst suffering from butterflies in the stomach is not a wise idea. Go clean cut and get it done professionally.

Don’t sweat it.
Use a good, stain free deodorant not just under your arms but over your back to avoid the sweaty shirt look, then top up with some cologne.

Freshen up.
Pop a few tic-tacs or mints in your mouth just before you head for the church/venue. If you’ve had a tipple or been drinking the night before your breath could well smell like a pub carpet and you really don’t want your bride catching a whiff of that!

Time-keeping.
The groom and the best man should arrive early at the church or venue to greet guests and check all the arrangements are running smoothly, so don’t think you can lie-in until 10 minutes before the ceremony starts!

Groom’s Speech.
This is just your chance to pay a compliment to your beautiful bride and thank both sets of parents and your best man. It doesn’t have to be a soliloquy worthy of Shakespeare and to be honest on the day itself you won’t feel like giving a major speech, so keep it short and simple – have a few notes in your pocket to remind you.

Gift horse.
Don’t forget the best man’s gift which is usually presented to him after you’ve thanked him in your speech.

Dish out the Compliments.
Make sure you tell your bride how beautiful she is at least once every hour!

Rehydration.
Remember to drink plenty of water as well as booze at the reception. You don’t want to get so drunk that you fall asleep before you even get to your hotel.

Relax!
Hopefully you only get married once so make the most of your day by keeping a sense of humour and enjoying every moment of it – even the slip-ups! Be supportive and have eyes only for your new bride!

Don’t think of your wedding day as a trial to get through. Be involved in the preparations, take on a little responsibility and have your say in what happens on the day. The more involved you are the more you’ll start to enjoy it. Good luck!

 

How To Avoid A Wedding Day Disaster

You want your big day to be perfect, you’ve spent months, perhaps even years secretly planning what your wedding day will be like and if left entirely to you it would be fantastic, there’s no doubt about it, but unfortunately others do tend to get in the way and there are bound to be issues arising that threaten to spoil the entire day. Such as your mother’s insistence on inviting Uncle Derek with the drink problem and your sister’s demands to make her spoilt little brat a bridesmaid; so here are a few tips on how to deal with the most common of problems to avoid a wedding day disaster.

  1. Don't expect everything to go perfectly and avoid a Bridezilla momentDon’t expect perfection. Relax a little instead because no day can be entirely without problems even if you are royalty! It may rain, a little red wine may be spilt on the drink, a child may be crying all the way through the ceremony. If you accept that there will inevitably be a few issues throughout the day then you’ll be able to deal with them with grace and a sense of humour.
  2. Delegate. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Some family members are bound to want to take over so give them tasks to keep them happy, such as overseeing the flowers, keeping the rings safe, ensuring the venue isn’t double-booked, sorting out the entertainment. This takes pressure off you and keeps interfering family members busy.
  3. Bridesmaids. It may be every little girl’s dream to be a bridesmaid but you can’t please everyone. If family members are insistent that their precious princesses are given the role, then suggest they pay for the extra bridesmaid dresses or suggest they get a flower girl outfit instead. A host of little flower girls carrying posies behind you won’t affect you but will make them and their parents feel special and part of the day.
  4. Dummy Run Dress. You may have practised for the ceremony but it’s very different when you are encased in layers of chiffon, silk, lace and a whale-bone bodice. So for your last fitting make sure you practise sitting down, kneeling, walking at a fast pace, dancing etc. If you can’t get up from a kneeling position then make sure someone is assigned to help you! Same with the shoes; remember you will be doing a lot of standing during the day so it might be an idea to take a pair of pumps along too.
  5. Seating Arrangements. You may want your divorced parents to sit together and put their unpopular new spouses on another table but is this really fair on them? A great wedding is one where everyone is happy, so don’t be stubborn just for the sake of uniformity. Allow guests a say in where they are seated and if possible, try to compromise. The atmosphere will be a lot nicer if warring couples are not forced to spend time staring daggers at each other.
  6. Schedule. Do a practice run of everything that needs to happen on the day. I remember on my wedding day the hairdresser spent so long doing complicated twirls with my hair that I had 10 minutes left to get into my dress and get to the church. I was so late there was no time for make-up. Don’t cut it too fine, if the hairdresser thinks she’ll take an hour, allow her two. Then if you are early you can spend more time perfecting your look and having a chill out session instead of rushing off to the venue.
  7. Wedding Breakfast. You may not feel like eating the morning of the wedding day, but do make sure you fill up with something. It’s going to be a long day and you don’t want to run out of energy halfway through. Something like porridge or scrambled eggs are ideal for their slow releasing carbs that should see you fine until lunch.
  8. Photos. Wedding photos can look a little stiff and awkward, so make sure that guests bring a camera each and take plenty of natural photos. Pictures of the bride getting ready and the groom being encouraged by his mates are priceless and cannot be staged.
  9. Thank You Speeches. Make a list of those who have helped and ensure that they are properly thanked in speeches on the day. There is nothing worse than suddenly realising that you forget to thank Aunty Carol who handmade all your invites.
  10. Emergencies! Get an emergency kit and enlist someone to keep it in their bag. The kit should have a needle and thread, safety pins, aspirin, scissors, plasters, tampons, a spare pair of stockings, some nail polish remover for stains and a few make-up essentials.

Remember that your wedding day only becomes a disaster if you allow it to be. If you relax a little and take a huge dollop of humour with you on the day, your guests will be more relaxed in turn and any little slip-ups will barely be noticed. What you will have instead will be memories of a wonderful wedding day that was enjoyed by all.

 

Who Does What at the Wedding Ceremony

A guide to the roles played by all the attendees on the wedding day

Who does what – the bride, the groom, the best man, ushers, chief bridesmaid or maid of honour, bridesmaids, page boy, flower girl, mother of the bride and father of the bride – otherwise known as The Wedding Party. We are all familiar with the roles but what is each one responsible for?

The Bride

  • Chooses the wedding date, type of ceremony, the theme of the wedding and her outfit.
  • Chooses her attendants and their outfits.
  • Co-ordinates and advises other members of the bridal party on dress codes, colours, etc.
  • Writes thank-you notes to helpers and to the guests for wedding gifts.

The Groom

  • Works out and keeps track of the wedding budget.
  • Buys the wedding rings.
  • Arranges the formal wear of the male members of the bridal party.
  • Arranges the honeymoon and the wedding night accommodation.
  • Buys gifts for the best man, bridesmaids and ushers.
  • Makes a speech at the reception.

The Best Man

  • Helps the groom choose his outfits and those of the male attendants.
  • Arranges the stag night.
  • Meets at the ceremony venue, along with the ushers, to discuss seating and parking arrangements.
  • Collects the formal wear for himself and the groom and arranges it’s return after the wedding.
  • Collects cards or messages from those who cannot attend wedding.
  • Makes sure that ushers have order of service sheets and buttonholes.
  • Helps the groom dress on the morning of the wedding and makes sure he gets to the church on time.
  • On behalf of the groom, pays the church fees, tips and bell ringers fees.
  • Produces the rings when required and gives them to the groom.
  • Escorts the chief bridesmaid to the signing of the register.
  • Checks arrangements with the ushers that all guests have transport to the reception.
  • In the absence of a toastmaster or master of ceremonies, announces events (for example, calling for the first speech, the cutting of the cake and the departure of the bride and groom).
  • Makes a speech and reads out messages. The best man’s speech introduces the groom to the bride’s family. This speech is expected to contain funny stories about the groom, but should not be too risqué. He also reads out any cards or telegrams from absent friends.

Bridesmaids

  • Help the Chief Bridesmaid arrange the Hen Night.
  • Attend rehearsals.
  • Get everyone involved at the reception.

Chief Bridesmaid or Maid of Honour

  • Helps the bride choose her outfit and her attendants’ outfits and helps the bride to get ready on the wedding day .
  • Helps the bride keep her weddings lists up-to-date
  • Organises the Hen Night.
  • Helps arrange and maintain a timetable for the bride on the day so she’s not always watching the clock.
  • At the ceremony venue, before the bride’s entrance, checks bride’s attire and lines up the attendants.
  • Holds the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony.
  • Escorted by the best man, attends the signing of the register (she is usually a witness).
  • Walks with the best man out of the ceremony.
  • Places her bouquet, along with the bride’s, by the wedding cake.
  • Helps serve the cake.
  • Helps the bride prepare for “going away”, takes charge of the wedding attire.
  • Along with the best man, helps transport the wedding gifts from the reception to a safe place.

Flower Girl

  • Walks ahead of the Bride carrying a basket of flowers or flower petals which she scatters to the floor.
  • Joins in the procession with the other attendants.
  • Can, also, carry a bunch of thorn-less roses to be handed to guests a she passes by.

Page Boy or Ring Bearer

  • Less common nowadays, but a way of including a young male relative.
  • Traditionally, carries the bride’s train or can act as a Ring bearer.

Ushers

  • Plan parking arrangements, get to know where the nearest toilets are and provide umbrellas to guests in case of rain.
  • Ensure that the approach is clear for the bride’s arrival.
  • Greet guests and distribute buttonholes, order of service sheets and hymn books.
  • Escort the bride’s mother and elderly guests to their seats.
  • Provide a guard of honour.
  • Help photographer organise people for group photos.
  • To prevent a long queue, arrange for a few guests at a time to go along the receiving line. Be responsible for a few tables each at the reception to check on a regular basis that everyone is happy and make sure all guests are seated for the speeches.
  • Get guests applauding during bride and groom’s first dance, and then get everyone up and dancing.
  • Line up guests when bride and groom leave.

Bride’s Mother

  • Arranges press announcements, compiles the guest list, sends out invitations and manages the RSVPs.
  • Organises the gift list and makes arrangements to display the presents.
  • Makes a list of the guests for the ushers.
  • Travels to the venue with bridesmaids.
  • Attends the signing of the register.
  • Acts as hostess on the day.
  • She is the first in the receiving line.
  • Sends wedding cake to those unable to attend on the day.

Bride’s Father

  • Travels with his daughter to the ceremony.
  • Escorts the bride down the aisle.
  • Gives the bride away.
  • Attends the signing of the register.
  • Escorts the groom’s mother from the church and stands alongside her in the receiving line.
  • Makes the first speech, introducing the bride to the groom’s family and raises a toast to the married couple.
 

Choosing the Wedding Venue

Where to Get Married and what Kind of  Ceremony to Opt For?

The choice of wedding venue has never been so great…. but which type of venue will you go for? Most couples have romanticised about what type of wedding they would like to have, and nearly every ‘bride to be’ will have fantasised about her big day.

Where to get Married?

The wedding venue decision may have already been pre-empted depending on religious beliefs, in which case it makes things a lot easier. However, for those couples who have not made a decision, here are a few factors to take into consideration before deciding.

If you have an idea of what time of year you’d like to get married this may help your decision on venue. For example, if you want guaranteed sunshine you’d probably opt for a wedding abroad. Also, the amount of guests you would like to invite could determine where you hold your service.

There are mainly four types of venue to consider when planning your wedding ceremony: church, hotel, register office or overseas.

Church Weddings

A church wedding is still considered to be the most traditional, but it can also be the most expensive. Normally the chosen church is in the parish of the bride’s parents, but if couples have been co-habiting in a different parish they can approach the church there. Discussions with the vicar will have to take place regarding the ceremony, and you will probably be required to attend at least three Sunday services when the wedding banns will be read out prior to your wedding day. Rehearsals are held near to the big day which can help put minds at rest too.

This type of wedding may seem to be one of the most straightforward, but there are still various options to be considered such as bell ringers, an organist, a choir and flowers. All these unfortunately come with a cost, as well as the cost for the use of the church. There are two versions of the service on offer, the traditional service or the shortened version which lasts around 45 minutes, and tends to be the most popular. This service consists of two hymns, a reading, the wedding vows and the signing of the marriage register.

Flowers could be a problem if you are planning on getting married during the religious term of Lent, as they are generally not allowed in church. However, some parishes do allow flowers, but they have to be taken out before the next Sunday service. This might seem like a hassle but it could work to your advantage, as if the florist is willing, they could remove the flowers from the church after the service whilst photos are being taken and they could be used at the reception, for example the pew end flowers could be used on the backs of chairs or even as table centres.

A church setting does provide a good backdrop for photographs before and after the service, and these tend to be taken quickly as there are no distractions such as a bar for guests!

Hotels and Licensed Venues

Hotels or other licensed venues are another option for your wedding venue. These types of places are becoming more and more popular for prospective brides and grooms. They tend to be less formal than a church as the atmosphere is more relaxed. Most hotels that offer wedding packages have a wedding co-ordinator on site who helps you plan your big day such as the meal, the wedding cake, entertainment and guest rooms if required.

Transport does not become a headache if you hold your wedding at a hotel, and weather also does not become such a worry as everything is indoors. However, hotels that have extensive grounds will let you hold your drinks reception and have your photos taken in the gardens if you prefer.

It’s generally considered that hotel weddings are cheaper than church weddings due to the packages a lot of venues offer now, for example a free room for the bride and groom, and discounted room prices for wedding guests. But they do tend to charge a room hire charge of £250 upwards, plus registrar fees of around £280, so bear this in mind if you have a budget to adhere to.

Register Office Marriages

A register office is probably the simplest type of wedding to have and also the cheapest option, costing around £30 per person, and then a cost of around £180 to £200 for the registrar’s fees. This type of wedding and venue is simple to arrange, and can often be done at the last minute as it is much less formal, and by law you only need two witnesses to attend if you do not want any guests.

The down side of a register office wedding is that the venue itself can be very plain and drab compared to a church or hotel, and there is not the opportunity to dress up the room with flowers. They can also be restrictions on the amount of guests you would like to attend. However, register offices are much less intimidating than larger venues, so nerves can be calmed more easily.

Weddings Abroad

Surprisingly enough, weddings abroad, or destination weddings, tend to work out the cheapest. It is similar to a hotel wedding in this country, as many tour companies now offer wedding packages. They will arrange everything for you from the hotel, flowers, service, meals, wedding cake, and rooms, to even the transportation of your wedding dress making sure it arrives undamaged. There are some beautiful settings around the world where you can now get married, whether it is on the beach or in a quaint rustic chapel. Most hotels also include your honeymoon in the package so you can relax after all the guests have left.

However, do check with whichever venue you choose about their terms for weddings, such as will yours be the only wedding to be held that day, and will you be able to have a private ceremony. Unfortunately you will not have as much control over your day as you would if it were to be in the United Kingdom.

With a lot of weddings which take place overseas, it means that some of the wedding party’s friends and families are not able to attend due to various reasons, but a lot of couples hold a second reception party when they return home for those who couldn’t make it, and it’s also a good chance to show off your tan! The most important thing is that you and your prospective husband have the wedding you want and are comfortable with, as half the fun is in the planning!

 

Non Religious Weddings

Atheist & Humanist Wedding Ceremonies

As with any wedding ceremony a non-religious wedding symbolises the commitment of two people to share their lives together. The only difference is the couple do not seek the blessing of a supernatural power.

Sometimes couples will opt for a non-religious wedding because they are from different faiths and doesn’t necessarily imply that they are atheists or agnostic.

Marrying couples feel less pressurized to go along with conventions that they don’t particularly believe in nowadays and as a consequence humanist or atheist weddings have become much more popular.

Humanist Weddings

A Humanist wedding is not recognised in English law so you will still need to have a civil ceremony. The law in Scotland is different, however, and it’s one of the few places where a humanist wedding is recognised in law. Often, a couple will have a formal ceremony at their local Register Office first but regard the humanist Ceremony as the one which marks the beginning of their married life together.

Although a non-religious ceremony can be conducted by anyone you choose, a Humanist wedding will usually involve a Registered Humanist Celebrant who has been trained and licensed by the British Humanist Association.

A humanist wedding can take place at a venue of your choice and does not require a special licence. There are no set formats involved and the ceremony will be personal to you. Your celebrant will work with you to express you feelings for one another in to words. What you say can be totally original or adapted from suggestions from the Association.

Formal Wear

Another advantage of a secular or non-religious wedding is that there are no rules to what you wear, so if you want to wear a traditional bridal dress you can do.

Guests

It’s often a good idea to include some form of explanation for your guests. Many of them will not have attended a humanist wedding before and may be apprehensive as to what is involved.

It can be useful to remind your guests that a humanist or secular wedding is not necessarily a denial of religion, merely an alternative option in which to formalise a marriage.

More Information

 

Civil Marriage Ceremonies

A guide to planning a civil marriage ceremony at a licensed venue, a register office or if you are marrying abroad.

Civil Wedding CeremonyA civil marriage is a ceremony without any religious context. In England and Wales, it can take place at a register office or a venue that has been approved for civil marriages. Approved premises include some stately homes, hotels, restaurants and even zoos.

In Scotland, a civil marriage can take place at a register office or approved venue. A list of approved venues can be obtained from the General Register Office for Scotland

Giving Notice

It is a legal requirement to give notice of marriage and, once given, your notices of marriage are displayed on the notice board at the register office for a period of fifteen days.After giving notice, you must then wait 15 clear days before the marriage can take place. Once given, your notice is valid for 12 months.

Special rules apply people from non UK countries and further information can be obtained from the UK Border Agency Website

Where to give notice

You both need to go to your local register office to give notice of your intention to marry.

If you plan to marry in a different area, you should also contact the register office for the district in which the marriage is due to take place. This is because you will need to ensure that a Superintendent Registrar (to conduct the service) and a Registrar of Marriages (to record the details in the marriage register and issue your certificate) will be free to attend your chosen venue on the day. You both must give notice of marriage in person to the Superintendent Registrar – no one else can do it on your behalf.

Residency requirements

You can get married in England and Wales as long as you have both lived in a registration district for at least seven days immediately before giving notice of marriage. This applies to all couples, including those travelling from overseas to marry in England and Wales – except where one person gives notice under the Marriage of British Subjects (Facilities) Acts 1915 and 1916

Documentation required

You will need to show the superintendent registrar documentary evidence of your name, age and nationality – ideally in the form of your passport. You will also be asked to provide evidence of your address. If you have been married or registered a civil partnership before, you will also need to produce documents that confirm that you are now free to marry. These could include:

  • a divorce decree absolute or final order of civil partnership dissolution bearing the court’s original stamp.
  • the death certificate of your former husband, wife or civil partner.

Where you can marry?

A civil marriage ceremony can take place in any Register Office in England or Wales, or at any venue that has been approved to hold a civil marriage. more details here

Personal Touches

Strictly speaking, you are not allowed to include any religious content at a civil marriage ceremony, although these rules have recently been relaxed and most conventional themes can be catered for. You should check with the registrar for your district before making any definite arrangements as the interpretation of the rules can vary from district to district. Don’t forget that you will need at least two people to witness the marriage and sign the marriage register.

How much does it cost to get married?

Cost of giving notice in advance of a ceremony either at a register office, Approved Premises or in a religious building other than in the Church of England or Church in Wales: £33.50 per person

Cost of a Register Office ceremony: £40.00

Cost of a ceremony on Approved Premises – the cost for attendance by the Superintendent Registrar and Registrar is set by the local authority in question. Usually it’s about £220 but can be double this amount at certain times – Saturday after 1pm and Bank Holidays for instance.  Your Local Authority’s Official Website will have the exact cost. A further charge is likely to be made by the owners of the building for the use of the premises.

Cost of a Religious Ceremony at a building other than a Church of England or Church in Wales – unless the building has an Authorised Person – there will be a fee of around £80.00 for the registrar and there may be further fees charged by the trustees of the building and the person who performs the ceremony.

Cost of marriage certificate: £3.50

How do we find our local register office?

You can search for your local registry office here. Alternatively, addresses and phone numbers for local register offices can be found in the local area phone book.

What about an approved venue?

You can search for a list of approved venues here. Please type in the full postcode, town or county to get details of venues available in a particular area.

How do I get a copy of a marriage certificate?

You will receive your marriage certificate straight after the ceremony. If at any stage you require another copy, you can apply online or via a register office, in person, by post or fax.

Is it possible to correct a marriage record at a later date?

Each entry in a marriage register is an historic record of the facts as they were given at the time of the ceremony. If errors are subsequently discovered the law may allow for details to be changed or added for which there is no charge. If you would like to discuss a correction, please contact the Superintendent Registrar for the registration district where the marriage took place, who should be able to give you some initial guidance.

Please note: applications for corrections can only be requested by one of the parties to the marriage.

What do we do if we want to get married abroad?

If you have any general enquiries about marrying abroad, you should contact the Embassy or High Commission of the country concerned. It is possible you will be asked to obtain a Certificate of No Impediment. This is a document required by some foreign authorities to enable a non-national to marry in their country and, under certain circumstances, can be provided by your local register office. If you are asked to provide one, you should contact your local register office.

If you have been asked to provide an Apostille – which is simply formal confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp appearing on a document is genuine – please contact the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 1111 for full details including fees, or go to www.fco.gov.uk

Passports

You will normally need to renew your passport to show your married name after the wedding but if you are marrying abroad or planning a honeymoon abroad then you can apply for a new passport up to 3 months before the wedding.

Can we register our details in England and Wales?

No, overseas marriages may not be registered at a register office. However, you can apply to have your overseas marriage documents – with translations if necessary – sent from the country where you were married and deposited with the General Register Office. Certain conditions apply, further information can be found here.