Take that small wedding up a notch!
Right now having a small wedding is pretty much the only option if you want to get married right now. But I know what you're thinking, I want to wear my wedding dress, I want to eat cake and I want the pictures!!
Then let's do it, all of it! Put that dress on, grab a cake and hire a professional photographer, schedule your small wedding for sunset and get married.
I'm all for making your mini ceremony the best it can be and photographing it so you have the most beautiful photos to look at for years to come.
Grab your closest people and get hitched!
Create a unique and personal wedding unity ceremony
If you plan to do a unity ceremony during your wedding ceremony, make it personal. I want your guests to go, yep, this makes sense, this is them! Not...why are they pouring sand in that vase?
You can do whatever you want during your wedding ceremony, it is your wedding day after all, so why not choose a unity ceremony that is a reflection of who you are a couple?
Like beer or wine? Do a beer or wine sharing ceremony
Love chocolate? Blend chocolate together
Nature your thing? Plant a tree
Sailing or Boating fun for you? Tie the Knot
Do you collect things? do a rock warming ceremony
The point is, think about what you love as a couple and incorporate that into your unity wedding ceremony.
Oh, I almost forgot! No, you don't have to have a unity wedding ceremony at all.
Here are a few wedding unity ceremonies I've done
Stone Ceremony; A basket of stones are set next to an empty “gathering” container; the guests are asked to hold a stone, wish a kind thought and place said stone into the gathering container, if the stones are large enough the guests may write their name on it. The stones are then set in a place of honor in the couple’s home or garden. During the ceremony the couple will each hold their own stone and think their own kind thought and place them in a container .
Ring Warming; Your wedding rings are placed in a box or decorative baggie and at the beginning of the ceremony we announce that we will be doing a ring warming ceremony and today as we pass your rings we ask that each person hold the rings, place a kind thought upon them and pass them onto the next guest. When we do the ring exchange we remind the couple that the wedding rings you will wear have been so blessed by each of your guests today and we hope that in years to come when you look at your rings you remember your guests with love and kindness.
During this ceremony Lyn and Beau will exchange rings. These rings are visible signs of their commitment to one another.
As this ceremony proceeds we ask that you, Beau and Lyn’s community, take part in the warming of the rings. As each of you receives the rings, we ask that you take a moment to wish them health, happiness, and a meaningful life together before passing them on to the next person. When these rings come back to them, they will contain that which is priceless: your love, hope, and spirit.
[GROOMSMAN TAKES RINGS OUT AND HANDS THEM OFF TO CLOSEST PERSON IN FRONT ROW]
Please bring the rings forward.
[GROOMSMAN RETRIEVES RINGS AND BRINGS THEM TO BEAU & LYN]
Wedding bands are visible, tangible symbols of a couple’s commitment and of their emotional and spiritual connection. Many people talk about rings as being a perfect circle, having no beginning and no end. But we all know that these rings have a beginning. Rock is dug up from the earth. Metals are liquefied in a furnace at a thousand degrees. The hot metal is forged, cooled, and polished. Something beautiful is made from raw elements.
Love is like that. It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings. It is the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all.
Lyn and Beau, let these rings serve as a reminder of the feelings you have in your hearts at this very moment. There are times in life that we tend to focus on the things we have not yet accomplished, there will also be times of great loss. Yet as you look at your wedding band, remember the great gift that you have been given and all that you have in one another. Remember that you have someone to share this life with. Never again will you walk alone.
Wine Box/Love Letter; You are asked to write each other a love letter and bring them on the day of your wedding along with a bottle of wine placed in a decorative box. During the ceremony we explain that the Wine Box should be opened on your 5th wedding anniversary.
There is only one other reason the box should be opened before your anniversary. If there should come a time when you hit a bumpy road in your relationship, before you give up or make any irrational decisions, open the Wine Box. The hope is that there will never be a reason to have to open the box except on your anniversary!
If you do hit a rough spot in your relationship sit down together, open the box, uncork the wine and unseal the envelopes that you wrote for one another before your wedding, go to separate rooms and quietly read the love letter.
Even if you are not seeing eye-to-eye at that very moment, it will remind you of all the reasons you choose this person as your partner and all the things that helped shape the life they've created together. Never take your blessings of being together for granted.
The romantic sentiments you wrote, the declaration of love, the clear thoughts about why you chose this person as your life partner will help put you back on even ground. This is the perfect ritual to remind you of your wedding day and your intention to love and cherish each other in good times and bad for as long as you both shall live.
Sand Ceremony; The bride and groom each pour a different color sand from individual containers into one container; thus joining your individual lives together.
Blaine and Jennifer will commemorate their wedding ceremony with a sand ceremony.
Your relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these two containers of sand; one, representing you Blaine and one representing you Jennifer. Each one holds its own unique beauty, strength and character. They can stand on their own and be whole, without the need of anything else. When the two are blended together they represent an entirely new and extraordinary love relationship.
I invite you to pour your sands now. As the two vials of sand are poured into the third keepsake vase, just as these grains of sand can no longer are separated so shall your love be.
Unity Candle; two taper candles are lit and the bride and groom each take a taper candle and light one unity candle thus showing your now joined lives.
Chocolate Sharing; Like relationships and human beings chocolate comes in many different types and flavors. On your wedding day you will each choose your favorite chocolate and you will take a bite of your own piece and then take a bite of your partners thus showing your ability to share in life all that is good and sweet.
Hand Ceremony; you are asked to join hands as I or someone of your choosing reads the following:
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.
These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.
These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
Native American Blessing: ay the sun bring you new happiness by day;
May the moon softly restore you by night; May the rain wash away your worries And the breeze blow new strength into your being, And all the days of your life May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty.
"Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years. May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth." "Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives -- remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight."
"Tying" The Knot
Many Asian couples, as well as folks with a Celtic background, practice a "handfasting," in which the officiant binds or wraps the bride's and groom's hands together (usually with ribbon or cloth) to symbolize the joining of families and the blending of cultures. It can also express the pure, simple beauty of two souls coming together for eternity. His mom and my mom will both present us with a piece of thick ribbon - his black and mine white (our wedding colors) and we will then "tie the knot" to represent the two families becoming one. We also plan to hang the knot somewhere in our house and tie a new knot each year on our anniversary in rememberance of our special day. (the ribbons are only going to be about a foot and a half long, so we'll need new ribbons every ten years or so).
The Rose Ceremony
The Rose Ceremony is simple yet profoundly moving. The bride and groom exchange two red roses, symbolizing the giving and receiving of their love for each other throughout their entire married life. The Rose Ceremony also conveys how to use the rose and its symbolism in difficult times in order to forgive each other.
“Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings – which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other.
You now have what remains the most honorable title which may exist between a man and a woman – the title of “husband” and “wife.” For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose.
In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing – it meant the words “I love you.” So it is appropriate that for your first gift – as husband and wife – that gift would be a single rose.
Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife. In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose – and now you are holding one small rose. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.
_________ and _____________, I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future –
whether it be a large and elegant home – or a small and graceful one – that you both pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage – and a recommitment that THIS will be a marriage based upon love.
In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words. It is easiest to hurt who we most love. It is easiest to be most hurt by who we most love. It might be difficult some time to words to say “I am sorry” or “I forgive you”; “I need you” or “I am hurting”. If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected – for that rose than says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words.
That rose says the words: “I still love you.” The other should accept this rose for the words which cannot be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.
__________ and ________, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure.”
Unique use of ceremony seating:
To make our wedding ceremony more unique we placed the guest chairs around us in a circle, with the parents and grandparents behind us in a half circle so they saw our faces and the bridal party standing behind them - the rest of the guests were on the opposite side of the circle behind us.
We had a chandelier hanging above us that we decorated with ivy and flowers and draping tulle to other chandeliers in the room. We had candles in white bags lining the aisle and candles lit all around the room and the lights dimmed...and just wrote our ceremony with our official together, taking pieces from about three different ones and piecing it together. So the only ones in the middle of the circle was us and the official. And afterward the center of the room became the dance floor, it was great!
“Michelle and Sam, will you each pick up your glass and bring to mind your promises, the honor and integrity with you have made them and your shared hopes and dreams… and toast to one another? Couple raise their glasses toast and drink And will you offer of yourself and your promise to the center glass….. Couple pour some of their wine into the center glass If you will now pick up the center glass, the one that was just an empty vessel before the strength of your promises to one another, and drink of one another’s vow, of your shared commitment and take these in that they as your marriage may become a part of who and what you are.” Couple then together pick up the center glass, and drink from it as celebrant continues, “As the wines in the glass have intermingled their essence so do your spirits join as you drink of each others love. Neither of you shall ever again thirst for total Love, understanding, or companionship, for as food and drink nourish the body so does Love nourish the soul. In this manner so shall each of you be as sustenance to the other.”
Jumping The Broom Ceremony - Tradition Jumping the broom is a ritual that goes back in time to the ancestral roots African Americans who wanted to honor their unions when they could not afford to legally marry. This ritual symbolizes the sweeping away of old former single lives, past problems, and previous cares. Jumping the broom symbolizes the crossing of a threshold and the leaping of faith into a new relationship.
During the ceremony after pronouncement, the Officiant says:
Starting a new life with another person requires a "leap of faith. This broom represents a threshold. ____&_____, although still individuals, will begin a new life together. Jumping over the broom represents crossing this threshold into new territory; a life vitally connected to another's. They leave behind the past and jump into the future together secure in their love. The leap they take over the broom is also symbolic. By taking the leap, they make a gesture of dedication to working together through the tough times ahead, as well as the easy times. Please count with me now and shout with joy as they perform their first act of working together as husband and wife: 1, 2, 3, jump! ~ Hurray!!
Truce Bell Tradition A bell is rung on the wedding day and then placed in their home. During an argument, one of them can ring the truce bell to remind them of the happiness of their wedding day and to end the disagreement quickly.
To include children:
Have an older child wheel the baby down the aisle in a decorated wagon. This can be done at the same time that the flower girl and ring bearer walk down. Decorate the wagon with tulle, fabrics and flowers. If your baby isn't big enough to sit up, be sure to put her in something that is secure so that she will not fall out.
While the couple speaks the vows, allow the baby to be a part of it. Present the baby/children with a trinket, such as a small piece of jewelry, to formally show that the baby/children is as much a part of this new union as the couple.
Recite vows or a poem to the children/baby after you recite your own vows; speak to the love of joining a new family today.
Let your baby/children help with the sand ceremony. Since a baby cannot hold and pour the sand, designate a special vase just for him. While the mother or father holds the baby, have the wedding Officiant announce that the vase represents him as part of the family. Then the mother or father can pour the sand in the vase for the baby. Save a bit of the sand from that day and keep it in an enclosed vase to display in his room, up high on a shelf, as a keepsake for him to treasure for years to come.
Ribbon Ceremony Angel and John will now share their vows using 5 ribbons.
The first ribbon is Green, representing the foundations of your relationship and the material world you share together. As you tie the green ribbons onto the other’s wrist, you make these promises:
“You promise to live with each other always and to share all in the material world you have with each other. You promise to be dependable and to aid each other in growing and healing.”
You may now each take the green ribbon.
*Angel and John tie green ribbons*
The Orange ribbon represents intellect and communication. As you tie the yellow ribbons onto the other’s wrist, you make these promises:
“You promise to communicate as clearly as you are able, to share your thoughts, hopes and dreams, as well as your fears and insecurities. You promise to be open to hear each other whether the words bear good news or bad.”
You may now each take the orange ribbon.
*Tie orange ribbons* The Red ribbon represents the passion and warmth in your relationship. As you tie the red ribbons onto the other’s wrist, you make these promises:
“You promise to openly express your love and to share yourself with the other completely. You promise to love each other unconditionally and without hesitation. You promise to laugh together in times of joy and comfort each other in times of sorrow.”
You may now each take the red ribbon.
*Tie red ribbons*
The Blue ribbon represents the emotions and the fresh start in your lives together today. As you tie the blue ribbons onto the other’s wrist, you make these promises:
“You promise to always consider the others feelings when making decisions. You promise make your relationship a priority above all else. You promise to both apologize and forgive in every fight as you each play a part in all actions and communications together.”
You may now each take the blue ribbon.
*Tie blue ribbons*
The White ribbon represents the spiritual and philosophical in life. As you tie the white ribbons onto the other’s wrist, you make these promises:
“As everything in life is a circle, so is your love. There is no beginning and no end. You have been here before, and someday you will return. You are two, and you are the same. Today and forever, with these White ribbons you promise this will never change.”
You may now each take the white ribbon.
*Tie white ribbons*
May we now have the rings? *Ring bearers (10-year-old and two-year-old) present rings*
May these rings always remind you of these promises you have made to one another.
*Place rings on hands*
Angel, do you take John to be your husband?
John, do you take Angel to be your wife?
I now pronounce you husband and wife—you may kiss the bride!
Guys, Winter is Coming...
So here's the thing, I don't predict our gathering and wedding restrictions getting lifted anytime soon, with that being said, we'll be outdoors this winter! And winter is going to be here sooner rather than later, it's Michigan after all. If I had my way, we would just skip winter, I'm more of a 75 degree and sunny kinda lady.
Any-who, my point is, if you are holding out and hoping you'll be able to host that amazing 200 person wedding come November or December, I'm just not confident that's going to happen so please start making back up plans now so you don't stress out (even more) waiting.
I've done some amazing outdoor ceremonies, snow falling, pretty winter blanket covering the ground, teeth chattering, nose running, I've done plenty and they are amazing. But they take careful planning. And only a few venues I know of can do it right.
So, here's the options we're presented with:
What I'm saying is, now is the time to take action, not wait and see, my personal opinion is that we won't see the restrictions for gatherings and weddings lifted anytime soon, not with winter coming.
Wedding Reading Samples - Non Religious
Wedding Readings should reflect your love as a couple and should flow with the rest of your wedding ceremony. Be open minded when selecting a reading, something non traditional may be just what you love.
From The Irrational Season – Madeleine L’Engle
But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.
To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.
From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – by Louis Bernieres:
Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
A reading titled: “Love isn’t practical.”
Love isn’t practical. It isn’t meant to be easy. It does not appear on command. It does not let you fall for whomever you would like. It surfaces neither at the most opportune moment nor in the most convenient. It will pair you with someone you might never have expected. It will put you fact to face with endless obstacles. But, in the end, none of that twill matter because it is how you overcome its obstacles that will define your love. It may not be practical, but love is ultimately the best thin that will ever happen to you.
Every Day by David Leviathan
"This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be."
A reading titled: “Sooner or Later”
“Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines, and romance in the movies. We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives. For love is the creator of our favorite memories, and the foundation of our fondest dreams. Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places. And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all -- one known only by those who love."
Blessing For A Marriage, by James Dillet Freeman” notes marriage as a unique relationship. He writes as follows:
May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding. May you always need one another — not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete. The valley does not make the mountain less, but more. And the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you. May you need one another, but not out of weakness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another. May you succeed in all-important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces. May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults. If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back. May you enter into the mystery that is the awareness of one another’s presence — no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities. May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.
Love by Laura Hendricks
Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.
YES! Did I say that loud enough? Yes, I serve all couples. I am here to support love. I want to celebrate your love with you, I want to see your happy smiles and be a part of joining you in marriage.
On your wedding day you should be surrounded by people who support you and want to see your love celebrated and shine. I am here to help make that happen.
I am happy to suggest other amazing venues and vendors that are likeminded so we can help create a wedding day that you will truly feel amazing about.
How to host your small wedding in downtown Clarkston Michigan
Clarkston offers a few options to fit the bill for your small wedding. Let's keep it simple shall we? We can meet at Depot park, where you can reserve the gazebo to assure private use. Here is where you will have your intimate wedding ceremony. Afterwards you can use the park for some really great pictures.
Head just up the street to where you have a few options to celebrate over dinner or drinks, check out Honcho for the best coffee and taco's around, or maybe the Woodshop to celebrate over a pizza and beer, last up is the Fed, where you can reserve the vault for your private dining experience, any of these spots offer a great option to celebrate your new marriage with your closest family and friends.
Love stories are my passion