Planning

Your marriage ceremony is singularly the most important part of your wedding day. It’s when you make your vows to one another and become legally husband & wife.

There are many types of marriage ceremony from religious weddings to civil ceremonies and, more recently civil partnerships and gay weddings. Second weddings are on the rise, too, and many couples choose to renew their vows after several years of marriage; publicly reaffirming their love and commitment to each other.

Some couples decide on a civil ceremony with separate religious blessings afterward – as mentioned in the ‘ceremony’ section of the Roseland Online Wedding Planner, this is the way around having to be in a certain parish for any length of time before your wedding day.

Wedding Planners

Whatever your occasion, if you’re not living in South Central Cornwall, you may feel more comfortable engaging the help of a professional wedding planner.

They can also take the stress out of the day itself; overseeing the organisation of every person who has a role and coordinating them to make sure your special day runs as smooth as silk.

Vows

Writing your own wedding vows for a civil ceremony is a lovely way to tell the world why your partner is so special to you. The Roseland Online Wedding Planner has put together 20 helpful tips to help you create your own vows:

1. What did you think when you first saw your partner? Start from the top… you wanted to stay in and now you’re grateful your friends dragged you out? How to use: When we met at __________, I knew __________…

2. When did you realise it was love? The more specific you are, the more moving the story will be. How to use: I knew I was in love when ____________… Don’t underestimate the power of humour, either and throw in a couple of playful sentiments.

3. What have you learned from each other? Focus on the heart and head, not material possessions. Has your partner taught you to appreciate beauty differently, for example? Or maybe creating or enjoying home cooking? How to use: Before I met you, I ___________… Now I ___________…

4. Has your worldview changed? How has life improved since you’ve been together? Think about the new things you’ve experienced with your partner that you maybe wouldn’t have on your own? How to use: Through you, I see the world __________…

5. What do you miss most when you’re apart? This maybe something mundane but important; their smile in the morning, or the they make your morning coffee? How to use: You are such a part of me that when we’re apart, I __________…

6. Where do you see yourselves in 10, 20, even 40 years? Happily married is a given, but try focusing on your long-term hopes, dreams, and goals together. How to use: I look forward to __________, laughing and __________ as we __________… together.

7. Is there a line from a song, film, or poem that sums up your feelings? It’s okay to use copyrighted material as long as it’s done tastefully (“You complete me” for example, is a cliché). Instead use something familiar and personalise it. How to use: As I watch you ________, I think to myself, “what a wonderful world”.

8. Which parts of your vows resonate with you? If you’re not sure about using the ‘obey’ part, you can’t really go wrong with love, cherish, and… How to use: I promise to cherish and honour you ____________,.. (and maybe add a timeframe and funny reference for added uniqueness) …all the days of my life, especially when curled up on the couch with takeout!

9. Consider adding a funny or touching experience that put your partner in a new light. The way they are your nephew or helped your grandmother in the garden showed you his true colours. How to use: When you ____________, I saw you for the _____________ person you are. And that made me want to ____________…

10. Have you shared a hard life-experience that strengthened your relationship? This one works like #9. How to use: See #9.

11. What goals and/or values do you share? Stating these may expose your inner poet. These ties — whether you’re of shared faith or have a mutual love of wine may help demonstrate why you’re a perfect couple. How to use: We share __________.., so together we can ___________…

12. Think about what they have that inspires you. What is it about your fiancé that mirrors what you’d like to improve in yourself? What do you respect most about your fiancé? How to use: Your have shown me how to be___________…

13. What promise would you like to share to pledge your devotion? This is an opportunity to personalise your vows and maybe make them fun. Some couples pledge endless love, but how about promising to take the dog out each day, regardless of the weather? How to use: I promise to always ___________…

14. How do you think you’ll change together? You know your goals, but think about the steps the two of you could take together to reach them. How to use: I look forward to ___________… as we __________…

15. What metaphors would sum up your devotion? Try to envisage something that describes or defines your love for each other: as strong as a castle, for example, or as peaceful as a mountain stream. How to use: Our love is like a ___________… because it ___________…

16. What does the bond of marriage mean to you? Think of why you’re marrying your fiancé; what makes them so special. You may be pleasantly surprised by the words this will inspire. How to use: To me, marriage is ___________…. With you, it’s ___________…

17. What are the qualities that will keep your marriage strong? Find the foundation of your relationship. What is the basis of your relationship; your resilience; your shared sense of humour? How to use: Even when ___________,., we will have ___________…

18. What is it about married life that’s so appealing to you? The wedding is only the beginning. How to use: I look forward to ___________… as we embark on ___________….

19. What do you expect out of your marriage? Defining your expectations will help focus your personal pledges. Think about the dreams you have and what you’ll have to vow to do to make them a reality. How to use: I know our marriage will ________… and I vow to _________…

20. In what words is love manifested for you? Make a list of romantic terms to avoid overusing the word love; repetitions dilute its power. How to use: My devotion/adoration/passion is ___________…

Hymns and Music

Choosing which hymns and music you’d like for your ceremony is down to personal taste. You may like classical music, or prefer something more contemporary for a civil wedding. It’s helpful to sit down and read the lyrics of some of your favourite tunes and listen to several pieces of music to see if they’re suitable before you decide. You can also buy CDs and listen to suggestions online before deciding and if you decide to use a wedding planner, ask them for their advice on this, too.

Wedding Readings

Many ceremonies have one or two readings from a romantic or religious story. These can be beautiful and thought-provoking and will help to set the scene for your union together. Have a look through some books you may have read that moved you or resonated with your vows. Find a few paragraphs they, in themselves, tell a small story. Alternatively you may have read a poem or parable in your past that means something to both of you. Whatever your choice, it is always a lovely way to add a personal touch to an otherwise traditional ceremony.

Insurance

The average wedding costs around £17,000, so it’s hardly a wonder many people do insure their wedding day? Sadly, things can go wrong: a bride’s dress is hung too close to a light fitting and becomes scorched; marquees damaged before the wedding; heaters stolen and cakes knocked over; wedding rings, shoes and bridesmaid’s clothes accidentally taken to the tip by the groom…

…believe it or not, these claims are real!

So, as premiums can start from as little as £19 it may well be worth considering insuring your wedding. Many insurance advisers will be happy to discuss covering your wedding and although it may not stop a disaster happening, it may be enough to rescue it in time to save the day!

Groom Best Man & Page Boys

Best Man

Choosing your Best Man is crucial in the smooth running of a wedding, but the most obvious choice won’t necessarily be the most reliable for the occasion. They’ll be helping you arrange the stag night, paying the vicar, looking after the rings (something you don’t need to go missing!), right down to delivering a witty speech.

If you have engaged a Toastmaster, this will allow your Best Man to relax slightly after the ceremony. If not, it will be his job to coordinate the guests for the official photographs and ensure no one is left behind when the party heads off to the reception… so let your head rule your heart in choosing this special role!

Lastly, once the bride & groom’s parents have taken to the dance floor after their son and daughter’s first dance, the best man should join them, escorting the chief bridesmaid onto the floor.

Ushers

The ushers assist the Best Man with his duties and are part of the official bridal party. They’re at their most visible at the beginning of the ceremony, showing guests to their seats and handing out the Order of Service. For larger weddings it is expected that the ushers will sit on the top table alongside the bridesmaids, but otherwise their role is considerably smaller than that of the Best Man.

Pageboys

Pageboys traditionally are a family member or a son of a good friend. They have no specific role, just there to add a cute factor to the day and can create some great footage for the cameraman.

Cynthia Calton Wedding Coordinator – 01872 580593

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