A fun new look at inviting your guests to your wedding

I’m following Lilia Ahner on Facebook and Twitter. She’s one of my beloved brides, who is now a fabulous wedding wedding photographer in San Francisco (along with her great husband, Ray!).

a great wedding photographer!Here’s the beauty herself!

She mentioned this great and funny invitation on FB. What’s fun about this invite is that it actually talks about the couple. It’s always a balance. The big cream envelopes are luscious. But the story! The story captures your heart and reels you in. Everyone would want to go and see this couple finally march down the aisle. Everyone would invest (as indeed they have over the years!) in the success of this relationship.

I can’t tell you how easy it would be to design a great wedding ceremony based on this invitation.

Tip: Tell them who you are!  And then invite the ones you love to support your wedding vows! Then live happily and healthily ever after.

10 Steps to the Perfect Wedding Ceremony: #1c The Welcome

After you’ve thanked your guests for their attendance, and asked your guests to settle into their seats for a bit, you let them know what your wedding ceremony was expected to accomplish. These are two important facets of the Invitation. The third one is equally crucial:

  • The Traditions: if you and your partner are incorporating traditions from your family heritage, your ethnic background, or your current life let people know. If there are things that your guests will encounter that they will find unusual, it’s a good thing to clarify that for them. This builds some anticipation and does not leave them wondering, a bit later in the ceremony, what will happen next. That’s a good thing!

Tip: Keeping people informed about what’s going to happen is going to allow them to be more engaged and make them better able to support your marriage. And that’s what you want!

10 Steps to the Perfect Wedding Ceremony: #1b. The Purpose

The Invitation in the wedding ceremony is very like the Introduction in a document. It tells you what’s going to happen there. People are reassured if even the most obvious is stated.

Why have we gathered today?

  1. To celebrate the wedding of this couple.
  2. To understand why they have decided to marry.
  3. To celebrate the joys and responsibilities of love and marriage.
  4. To offer support to this couple as they embark on their marriage.

You may have other reasons for your public wedding ceremony. Whatever they are, state them, and then achieve those goals.

Tip: Whatever it is that you would like to accomplish in a ceremony should be openly stated. Managing people’s expectations is managing their anxiety. The more explicit you are about what you want, the more likely you are to get it! Honesty, still the best policy!

10 Steps to the Perfect Wedding Ceremony: #1a. The Welcome

Before you do anything else at your wedding ceremony, you want to take the time to thank everyone for gathering around you. It’s pretty remarkable. And you must be pretty remarkable:

Everyone put on their party clothes and took planes and trains and automobiles to show up at the party celebrating your nuptials.

Tip: The more you make people aware of your gratitude and excitement from the get-go, the happier they will be to enjoy the day and support your marriage. And that’s what you want. None of this is really all that hard, you just need to pay attention to the details!

10 Steps to the Perfect Wedding Ceremony: #1. The Invitation

A good introduction and a warm invitation to your ceremony will set people up for what’s going to happen. If there are ritual activities that are not familiar to everyone, this is the place to prepare the community for what’s coming next.

I emphasize 3 different areas:

  1. The Welcome – Glad to have them
  2. The Purpose – What are your trying to accomplish today?
  3. The Explanations: Are you using traditions or activities that will not be familiar to everyone?

Tip: Look at each of these areas and determine what you want to say. Setting up the ceremony so that people know what to expect and what will be expected of them is very important. That way they can relax because there’s nothing unknown going to happen (or if there is, you’ve just assured them they’re going to be told about it and have important points explained to them by the celebrant!). They can also be excited, because you’ve given them an inkling of what to expect.