Add a Dedication to Your Wedding Program

Sometimes there are things you want to say at your wedding that are hard to say out loud. You may have a favorite relative or friend who has died and who will not be able to be with you that day. You may not want or be able to say the words yourself or to hear them from your celebrant. Your wedding program is a lovely place to put a short (hear that, short) dedication to them. “Today’s joyous celebration is dedicated to the memory of Kate’s grandmother, Mimi Dodge, who taught her so much about living life to the fullest.” That’s plenty.

Or you may want to dedicate your ceremony to the people who have inspired the two of you to marry by their wonderful examples of lifelong relationship. You can mention some, or you can allow everyone to assume that they’re the people who inspired you. Which will actually have a great impact on their marriages.

Tip: Whatever you choose to do with a dedication, keep it short!

Use Your Wedding Program to Let People Know What’s Going On

Three prime reasons for a wedding program are to give people

  1. the order of service
  2. the name of music and poetry pieces being used
  3. any longer readings in which they’ll participate

You do not want to publish short responses or the poems being read. People are congenitally incapable of listening when they’ve got reading matter in their hands. You want people listening to your words. They’re at your service to hear you make your promises to one another, not to read a lovely poem. Help them out!

Tip: Keep the reading material to your wedding at a minimum and you’ll have a far more engaged crowd!

Listing Your Attendants in Your Wedding Program

It’s up to you whether or not you want to list wedding participants in your wedding program. What you don’t want to do ever with your wedding program is include too much information.

You do want to let people know what’s going on, but you don’t want to provide distractions from the ceremony. So, forget about the long histories of your wedding party, they can go somewhere else! If you want to write anything other than names on your program, you can say simple things, such as “groom’s best friend from childhood,” or “bride’s college roommate.”

But really, just listing their name is plenty. That will give people the incentive to talk to them at the reception and find out who people really are.

This is lovely, if you overlook the fact that they opened it the wrong way!

This is lovely, if you overlook the fact that they opened it the wrong way!

Tip: Choose your nearest and dearest to stand with you and if you want to embellish, write note before the list that says something like: Mary and Matt would like to thank their friends and family for standing with them as they make their wedding vows.

What to Put in Your Wedding Program?

I get this question all the time. And my answer is always: far less than you think.

During the wedding ceremony, you want people to be paying attention to the wedding ceremony. If people have reading material in their hands, they will pay attention to that. Guaranteed. So, what belongs there?

  1. Names of Participants
  2. Order of Service
  3. Dedication

Tip: Leave anything else out for post wedding handouts. You were wondering how to get your cousin’s niece involved anyway!

Maine: No Marriage for Everyone for the Moment

I guess we’ll have to take joy in the fact that we’ve come a long way. This vote was lost by only 13,000 voters. But it’s a bitter disappointment. This is about civil rights and love on the line. There are not too much of either in this world.

Are there ways you can make your wedding stand for the right of all people to marry? What are they? How can you help? What can we do to make marriage matter for everyone?

Steve and I made a very public decision not to pursue a legal marriage because so many people could not marry. I continue to struggle with whether I should sign marriage licenses. Difficult not to do, because it is my livelihood. I push my church to review whether it is a good idea for us to be in the legal business of weddings, rather than the spiritual one. After all, we’re not in the legal business of divorce.

I”d love to hear from you about this.

Add Halloween wisdom to your Wedding

So what’s with the broom and witches? And what’s with the broom and weddings?

So glad you asked! Brooms and witches, today, brooms and hearths tomorrow.

In certain wedding traditions, women wielding brooms walk before the wedding couple, brushing obstacles from their paths. They were often elders in the village, women who knew how to ease the stones away without creating a large amount of dust.

Tip: Why not have a wisdom shower? Ask your bridesmaids (or go ahead and do it yourself) to ask all the women over 50 to give you advice about marriage, creating a home, being a great woman. It’s a book you’ll treasure forever.

Halloween Bride: Resist the Spooky

You may love Halloween, but in your marriage, there will probably be only about 50 of them. Most of your marriage will be lived as yourself. So resist the overwhelming urge to go ghoulish for your wedding.

You and your beloved want to be married as yourselves, as openly and vulnerably as you can. Camp is fun. Camp it up for your reception if you want (although if you’ve just spent one of the most important half-hours of your lives looking fabulous, why change then?

Tip: You want your guests to dress up? Great. But you, make these promises with a straight (and unpainted!) face. Then next year when you’re looking for costumes, go as a bride and groom. Be the people you most loved being! (and get some use out of that wedding dress!

Happy the Bride It Rains Upon

Neither snow nor sleet nor dark of night is going to keep a bride from making it to her wedding. But let’s be sensible here. (I know, I’m shocked to hear the Wedding Priestess utter the S word myself.

Winter’s coming and you’ve got to get to the church, club, restaurant. Odds are the weather will not be perfect and the ground will be messy, slippy, whatever.

I know you want to capture all those lovely pictures getting dressed at home. Once you do, take the dress off, put your sweats and your boots on (a perfect accompaniment to the veil) and get to the location without worrying about getting your hem wet, your shoes dirty or freezing.

Once you get that cold it’s hard to warm up. Brides who are freezing are NOT focusing on the wonder of marriage, they’re wondering if their feet will ever thaw out.

Tip: There’s a cute saying for every kind of weather, but mostly they were just covering bases. Dress warmly to get where you need to go and then slip into your dress. You’ve got help. Stay warm and clean! And let a smile be your umbrella on your wedding day! And don’t forget your shawl!

Creating your Community Statement of Support: Needing the binding

If you’re going to get support from your community, it’s really helpful to acknowledge that you understand that marriage is challenging as well as wonderful. Too many weddings focus only on the pleasure and not on the work of marriage. Too many people split up because they underestimate the work involved in making a live with someone else. And making it look magical and wonderful — that’s an exponential increase in effort. Most people will tell you it’s well worth your while, but it is hard work.

Tip: You want to let your community know that you admire the ways in which they have made their relationships flourish and that you will be needing their support so that you can thrive. You’re going to need them to listen to you and turn you around and shove you back towards home when times are tough. They’ve always supported you and that’s why you’re going to keep looking to them for guidance.