Wedding Vows from TV, Books, and Movies That Are Bound to Inspire Your Own

 Ceremony & Vows, Wedding Ceremonies  Comments Off on Wedding Vows from TV, Books, and Movies That Are Bound to Inspire Your Own
Nov 092016
 
Fictional Wedding Vows to Inspire Your Own

Photo: Getty Images

Whether you're writing your own vows or asking your officiant to come up with something original to say, finding the words to express your love for one another can be tricky. That's why we've pulled together some inspiration for you! We've taken a look at some of our favorite rom-coms, books, and TV shows to see what some famous star-crossed lovers had to say about love. Take inspiration from these big-screen and page-turning vows and quotes for your own big day.

Paige and Leo, The Vow
Paige: I vow to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness and to have the patience that love demands. To speak when words are needed and to share the silence when they are not. To agree to disagree on red velvet cake, and to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home.

Leo: I vow to fiercely love you in all of your forms, now and forever. I promise to never forget this is a once in a lifetime love. And to always know in the deepest part of my soul that no matter what challenges might carry us apart, we will always find our way back to each other.

Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne
"As soon as I saw you, I knew a grand adventure was about to happen. Any day spent with you is my favorite day. So today is my new favorite day."

Monica and Chandler, Friends
Monica: Chandler, for so long I wondered if I would ever find my prince, my soul mate. Then three years ago at another wedding, I turned to a friend for comfort. And instead, I found everything that I'd ever been looking for my whole life. And now here we are, with our future before us, and I only want to spend it with you, my prince, my soul mate, my friend. Unless you don't want to. You go!

Chandler: Monica, I thought this was going to be the most difficult thing I ever had to do. But when I saw you walking down the aisle, I realized how simple it was. I love you. You are the person I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. You want to know if I'm sure? (Leans in and kisses her.)

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
"Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches... I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids. I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I..."

Anthony and Stanford, Sex and the City 2
Anthony: It was not exactly love at first sight. But it turns out, it was love. You are the first man to accept me for the man that I actually am.

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë
"I have for the first time found what I can truly love — I have found you. You are my sympathy, my better self, my good angel. I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existences about you. And, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one."

Meredith and Derek, Grey's Anatomy
Signed on a Post-It Note By the Couple:
To love each other, even when we hate each other.
No running — ever. Nobody walks out no matter what happens.
Take care when old, senile, smelly.
This is forever.

The Fault in our Stars, by John Green
"I'm in love with you, and I know that love Is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we are all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you."

See More: 5 Must-Watch Wedding Movie Toasts

Penny and Leonard, Big Bang Theory
Leonard: Penny, we are made of particles that have existed since the moment the universe began. I like to think those atoms traveled 14 billion years through time and space to create us so that we could be together and make each other whole.

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
Mr. Darcy: You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted fro m you from this day on.

Cory and Topanga, Boy Meets World
Topanga: I wasn't sure this day would ever come, but you were. I wasn't sure love could survive everything we put it through, but you were. You were always strong and always sure. And now I know I want you to stand beside me for the rest of my life. That's what I'm sure of.

Cory: Ever since I was young I never really understood anything about the world, and I never understood anything that happened in my life. The only thing that ever made sense to me was you, and how I felt about you. That's all I've ever known, and that's enough, that's enough for me for the rest of my life, Topanga.

Can I Take Photos at My Friend’s Wedding Ceremony?

 Ceremony & Vows, Etiquette, Wedding Ceremonies, Wedding Etiquette  Comments Off on Can I Take Photos at My Friend’s Wedding Ceremony?
Nov 052016
 

It's hard to resist the temptation to take pictures at your friend's wedding. She's going to look stunning, the décor will be on point, and everyone will be smiling and having a blast. You'll want to capture those moments! But there's nothing worse than a beautiful shot of the bride and groom's first kiss, with a friend or family member leaning out into the aisle with their phone to get a picture of their own. So should you put your camera away when it's time for your friend to walk down the aisle? Our experts weigh in.

Before you take out your camera, figure out if your friend would be okay with you snapping a few shots. Was there a note on her website specifying that the ceremony will be unplugged? Did you pass a sign on your way to your seat, or see a disclaimer at the top of the ceremony program? Did the officiant make an announcement about putting your phone away before the processional started? If you were asked to keep your phone and camera in your purse during the ceremony, listen! You'll be helping make sure your friend has the ceremony she wants, as well as get the pictures she's hoping for. There's an added bonus: Keeping your phone in your pocket means you'll be 100% present as the ceremony proceeds, won't miss a single detail of the sweet vows, and will be able to truly share in their joy.

If you weren't told not to take pictures, consider doing so anyway. Sure, you won't be able to Instagram that moment your friend comes down the aisle, but you'll be able to see it instead of watching through a screen. And with all the money your friends spent on their photographer, they'll appreciate that you did your part to make sure their pictures look as great as possible. So maybe encourage the guest seated next to you to do the same!

See More: Should You Take Family Photos Before the Wedding Ceremony?

4 Stunning National Park Locations for a Wedding Ceremony in the Great Outdoors

 Ceremony & Vows, Planning Tips, Wedding Ceremonies, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on 4 Stunning National Park Locations for a Wedding Ceremony in the Great Outdoors
Nov 052016
 
Acadia Schoodic Peninsula

Photo: Courtesy of The National Park Service

If you have your heart set on having your wedding in the great outdoors, but aren't sure where to start when it comes to finding just the right spot, look no further than one of America's National Parks. With 58 parks across the country, from the world-renowned Grand Canyon in Arizona and Yosemite in California to the off-the-beaten-path Congaree (on the Congaree River in South Carolina) and the Gates of the Arctic (the northernmost National Park, in Alaska), the choice of dramatic scenery to serve as the backdrop for your wedding ceremony is nearly endless. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast with every park on your bucket list or are simply a sucker for a great view, here are some of our favorite places in the National Parks where you can get married. Don't forget the camera!

Acadia National Park, Maine
With towering granite cliffs, rugged coastline, and the tallest peak on the East Coast, Acadia boasts an incredible variety of options for your wedding ceremony — and your permit is good for anywhere you can access using the park's roads and hiking trails. In fact, if you'll be a group of 10 or less, you don't even need a permit! Head to the Schoodic Peninsula [above], which is usually less crowded than the main part of the park on Mount Desert Island. Drive along the Schoodic Loop Road to Arey Cove Road, which will take you to Schoodic Point for stunning views of Mount Desert Island across the bay.

redwood stout grove

Photo: Courtesy of The National Park Service

Redwood National Park, California
While you might come for the trees, there's a lot more to Redwood National Park than the tallest trees on Earth: rugged coastline, sprawling prairies, and rambling rivers are woven between the trunks. Head toward the Stout Memorial Grove, an easy walk that gets you up close and personal with old growth trees towering hundreds of feet overhead. Surrounded by waist-high ferns, the lush and oversized greenery is a wedding setting straight out of a fairy tale.

See more: How to Create Your Wedding Ceremony from Scratch

Arches National Park

Photo: Courtesy of The National Park Service

Arches National Park, Utah
Who wouldn't want to say "I do" beneath the natural sandstone arches scattered throughout the park? Hike out to the Double Arch, a short half a mile walk that takes you to the base where these two arches meet. You could also head to one of the Delicate Arch viewpoints (the hike to the arch itself is incredibly strenuous and will take around two and a half hours) and exchange vows with the iconic structure in the background. If you and your group plan to camp overnight in the park, head to the same viewpoint after dark for the most incredible stars you've ever seen. Who needs an altar?

Grand Canyon National Park

Photo: Courtesy of The National Park Service

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
If you haven't seen the Grand Canyon yet, check it off your bucket list and tie the knot at the same time. A number of overlooks provide truly spectacular settings for a wedding ceremony, but make sure to do your research: When applying for a permit, you must choose one of the designated ceremony locations offered by the park. Shoshone Point is an isolated spot (accessible by a dirt road) that is the the only viewpoint in the park that is available for outdoor receptions as well as wedding ceremonies. The views of the Canyon? You'll have to see them to believe them.

These Chandelier-and-Chiffon Ceremony Backdrops Are Super Trendy

 Ceremony & Vows, Wedding Ceremonies, Wedding Style, Wedding Style & Decor  Comments Off on These Chandelier-and-Chiffon Ceremony Backdrops Are Super Trendy
Nov 032016
 

Adding an eye-catching wedding ceremony backdrop behind the spot where you and your groom will say "I do" will help draw all of your guests' eyes front and center. After all, the exchange of vows is the most meaningful part of the wedding ceremony, so it is important to put some thought into making the altar the main focal point of the ceremony space. And whether you're tying the knot indoors or outside, a beautiful ceremony backdrop will impress guests as they arrive and take their seats, and will also make for some seriously gorgeous photographs (and Instagrams!).

Couples these days are becoming more and more creative with their ceremony backdrops, decorating the space with everything from flower-adorned arches and wooden arbors to hand-painted murals and suspended Edison light-bulb installations. But one of our favorite ceremony-backdrop ideas? Combining glamorous, sparkly chandeliers with soft, ethereal panels of draped chiffon. The glowing chandeliers lend an elegant, more traditional feel to the ceremony space while the airy, sheer-chiffon panels create a warm, romantic ambiance. The combination of the two is utterly unexpected, elegant, and chic. Here are six of our favorite takes on this stunning ceremony-backdrop trend.

Outdoor Glam (above): Want to make guests' jaws drop the moment they set foot in your ceremony space? Think: oversize, top-to-bottom chiffon panels, multiple sparkling chandeliers hung from varying heights, and massive fresh-flower tie-backs. The end result? Seriously stunning.

Floral Chandelier: If your wedding venue has a clean and modern look, soften the space up a bit by adding a simple, flowy chiffon backdrop. Top it off with a lush, oversized chandelier adorned with fresh greenery and crisp, white flowers.

Crisscross Draping: Instead of hanging them vertically, take two chiffon panels and cross them over each other, elegantly draping and weighing down the tails at both ends. The finishing touch? Hang a chandelier right in the middle — it's such a subtle touch that yields a very striking and modern result.

Loft Space: Gauzy chiffon draping adds an air of romance to an industrial, brick-walled wedding venue, while a suspended crystal chandelier lends the space a bit more elegance and formality.

Chandeliers and Draping: It's amazing how soft, chiffon draping and the warm ambiance of a crystal chandelier can turn a simple room into an ethereal ceremony space. We also love how the jet-black Chiavari chairs really pop against the all-white backdrop.

Rustic Barn: Extra-long chiffon panels help soften up the rough-hewn look of this weathered, rustic barn; also, the hanging chandelier helps creates a focal point for the ceremony and vow exchange.

Hindu Engagement and Pre-Wedding Ceremonies, Explained

 Ceremony & Vows, Showers & Parties, Showers and Parties, Wedding Ceremonies  Comments Off on Hindu Engagement and Pre-Wedding Ceremonies, Explained
Oct 232016
 

From food to entertainment, from clothing to flowers, there's much preparation and anticipation that revolves around a couple's wedding day. In Hindu culture, however, some couples put just as much effort into their engagement and pre-wedding ceremonies as they do for the wedding itself.

Note that not all Hindu couples participate in the same traditions — it's a matter of personal beliefs and preferences. For those that do, however, it's an elaborate, ritual-rich celebration that takes place before the wedding itself. Sometimes it's a large celebration with family and friends, while other times it is a small and intimate gathering.

Hindu Pre-Wedding Ceremonies Wagdaan

Photo: Gundaro

Wagdaan & Lagna Patrika
After the groom's father gets permission from the bride's father to go forward with the wedding, the "Wagdaan" ritual may be performed. The couple also participates in "Lagna Patrika," which is a written vow to each other that the wedding will take place at a later date. These two are considered a formal announcement of the wedding, which will typically take place months later.

Hindu Pre-Wedding Ceremonies Graha Shant

Photo: Gundaro

Graha Shanti
Days before the wedding, the couple will participate in a pre-wedding ceremony called the "Graha Shanti." This ceremony begins with "Haladi," a purification ritual that involves massaging the bride and groom with fragrant oils and halad. Next is the "Muhurtamedha" a ritual in which the upcoming wedding day is formally declared, and "Sankalpa," which involves praying for blessings.

Hindu Pre-Wedding Ceremonies Puja

Photo: Gundaro

Puja
"Most auspicious Hindu ceremonies involves a 'puja,' which is a ritual performed in praise of deities," explains Thusali Kashyap, who's from South India and was married in 2015. "Both families are present and there is usually an exchange of various items and gifts, such as outfits and accessories."

There are numerous pujas completed, and each have their own meaning and purpose. After the pujas, the couple is officially pronounced bride and groom, though they will not be married until several days later.

See More: 5 Real Bride Saris and Lehengas We Love

Hindu Pre-Wedding Ceremonies Minnukettu

Photo: Gundaro

Minnukettu
On the actual wedding day, the "Minnukettu" or "tying the knot," ritual occurs. This is the Hindu equivalent of a Western ring exchange.

"The 'tying of the knot' in a Hindu wedding is literally the groom tying several knots on a necklace tied around the bride's neck," explains Kashyap. "The necklace is then worn all the time and symbolizes a married woman. Married women also wear toe rings — on the second toes of each foot — that the groom places during the wedding. These two things are considered typical for a married woman."

Again, like Western weddings, each Hindu couple and their families celebrate their own way, so they may not do everything — or anything, for that matter — listed above. What can be said for certain, though, is that whatever the exchanges and rituals, it is a beautiful display of love.

5 Wedding Ceremony Backdrop Ideas That Haven’t Been Done to Death

 Ceremony & Vows, Wedding Ceremonies, Wedding Style, Wedding Style & Decor  Comments Off on 5 Wedding Ceremony Backdrop Ideas That Haven’t Been Done to Death
Oct 212016
 
fresh-wedding-ceremony-backdrop-ideas.jpg

Photo: James Day

Let's be real, we'll never grow tired of seeing fabulous bohemian floral arches and over-the-top flower walls at weddings (à la Kim and Kanye, of course). However, if you're looking for something new (not old) and a little bit out of the box too, we've got you covered. Feast your eyes on these five fresh wedding ceremony backdrop ideas that haven't been done to death — and definitely don't have to involve flowers either.

1. Statement Murals
Because why not turn your wedding backdrop into a work of art? A colorful mural in the event space or even a still picture of the couple or something simple to match their vibe, perhaps like a palm frond for a tropical wedding, looks chic, say event planners Natasha Burton and Jennifer Arreguin, co-founders of Swoon California.

Wedding Ceremony Macrame Background

Photo: Joielala

2. Macramé Backdrops
Boho brides, this trend has your name written all over it! You can either keep it plain and simple or accent with some greenery for added texture. Macramé hangings can be suspended from wooden beams, poles or doorways and all by itself it makes a very natural yet chic backdrop that's understated in style, points out planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss The Planner. Another bright idea for bohemian brides: streamers, fabric or dream catchers, notes Chancey Charm Charlotte wedding planner Miranda Tassi. "These are always fun options, especially as they allow you to incorporate playful, vibrant and colorful patterns that further speak to your individuality and style as a couple."

3. Portable Wall Panels
To create a modern feel for a fresh backdrop, wedding planner Marilisa Schachinger of Martel Event recommends using a large, but portable wall panel. "In addition to providing endless options for painted color or texture adhered to the wall, the ability to repurpose the backdrop for behind the wedding cake or a photo area ensures it remains a focal point throughout the event." In regards to texture, she especially loves the look of painted marble.

See More: 6 Wedding Ceremony Spots in the U.S. with Breathtaking Views

Wedding Ceremony Curtain Background

Photo: Stacy Sullivan of Set Free Photography

4. Draperies, Bed Sheets, Blankets & Shower Curtains
Creativity is the name of the game. As a huge fan of patterns and textures, Samuels loves creating backdrops out of bed sheets, blankets, draperies and shower curtains — particularly the latter two since they already have a pole pocket sewn in them or holes at the top to hook onto a doorway.

5. Clusters of Anything
Time to put on your thinking caps brides because, according to Samuels, just about anything can be used as a wedding ceremony backdrop. Seriously, cluster lots of any one thing together and mission accomplished. "Think balloons, lanterns, lights, paper garland, potted plants, cheerleader pompoms, picture frames, photographs, balls, ribbons...literally anything. As soon as you string them together or line them up next to each other you're in business."

The Cutest Ways to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding Ceremony

 Ceremony & Vows, Wedding Ceremonies, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Style & Decor  Comments Off on The Cutest Ways to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding Ceremony
Oct 212016
 
ways to include your dog in your wedding ceremony

Photo: Lacie Hansen

Looking for ways to include your dog in your wedding ceremony? Whether you and your fiancé share a pet or you can't even dream of getting married in front of all your friends and family without your trusted childhood pet by your side, there are plenty of ways to include your pet in wedding. Just check out the sweet and creative ways these couples incorporated their dogs into their own big days.

With the Flower Girls (above): The couple's florist designed a double garland to decorate the dog's leash so that both flower girls could help walk the pup down the aisle.

ways to include your dog in your wedding ceremony

Photo: KT Merry

With the Ring Bearers: If your pups are on the smaller side, recruit your ring bearers to carry them down the ceremony aisle.

Sign Bearer: Before you make your grand entrance, have your pooch walk down the aisle wearing a sign announcing your arrival.

Dog of Honor: This crafty bride painted and sewed this burlap "Dog of Honor" bandana for their pup to wear during the ceremony.

Ceremony Processional: Instead of walking in separately, why not enter the ceremony arm-in-arm with your groom and your pets, together as a family?

With the Wedding Party: If your dog is up for it, have your pooch sit or stand up with the bridesmaids or groomsmen during the ceremony — that way, your guests will get a good look at your sweet pet.

Is There a General Wedding Ceremony Outline That We Should Follow?

 Ceremony & Vows, Etiquette, Wedding Ceremonies, Wedding Etiquette  Comments Off on Is There a General Wedding Ceremony Outline That We Should Follow?
Oct 042016
 

Writing your own ceremony? Great idea! There's no better way to really personalize your exchange of vows than to choose a series of elements that really speak to who you are as a couple. But figuring out where to start can be daunting! To help you narrow down what you're going to include in your ceremony, our experts have put together a general wedding ceremony outline that you can use to build your wedding from the ground up.

No matter the religion, rituals, or readings you choose, most wedding ceremonies follow the same basic outline. Here's how it goes:

The Welcome
Once all the guests are seated and you've both arrived at the altar, your officiant will welcome your guests and thank them for joining you. This could be brief, or could lead into a longer excerpt that tells the story of your relationship and describes how you ended up standing at the altar together.

The Readings
Either grouped together or interspersed between your officiant's address (which might take a moment to explain the meaning of each reading), your wedding ceremony readings are pages from a favorite book, song lyrics, religious passages, or any other text that you choose to have shared. Look for readings that help support what marriage means to the two of you, or reflect something valuable about your relationship. Need help deciding on yours? Here are some nonreligious wedding ceremony reading ideas.

The Vows
If there's one part of the ceremony that should hold the most meaning, this is it. Whether you write your own vows together, use traditional phrases, or choose to surprise one another at the altar, these are the promises you make to one another that you intend to keep for your lifetime.

The Rings
Wedding bands are a symbol of the vows you've just shared. They are often exchanged as you say something along the lines of "I take you to be my husband/wife...", and can be seen as the final lines and acceptance of your vows.

See more: How to Write a Ceremony Program in 3 Easy Steps

The Pronouncement
Your officiant might follow up your vows with closing remarks, or you might go straight from the ring exchange to being formally pronounced a married couple.

The Kiss!
The moment you've been waiting for! Seal those vows with a kiss, then it's time to head back up the aisle and get the party started.

How Long is a Wedding Ceremony Supposed to Be?

 Ceremony & Vows, Etiquette, Wedding Ceremonies, Wedding Etiquette  Comments Off on How Long is a Wedding Ceremony Supposed to Be?
Oct 032016
 

One of the most important details on your wedding day is timing. Knowing when things will start and finish will help the details come together more smoothly, and also give you more control over your guests' experience as they move from one space to another. While you can determine exactly how long everyone gets for cocktails, or pick what time you'll have your first dance, determining how long your ceremony will be is the biggest challenge. With so many details coming together, from meaningful readings and songs to your vows and the ring exchange, there are a lot of factors to consider. So how long should your wedding ceremony be? Here's what our experts have to say.

Wedding ceremonies usually last between 20 and 30 minutes, which is ample time to cover the basics (words of welcome, a few readings, your vows, the ring exchange, and the final pronouncement). The exact length of your wedding ceremony will depend first and foremost on how many different elements you choose to include, as well as if you are having a religious or secular ceremony.

Most religious ceremonies follow the same pattern every time so, for example, you'll see the same elements in most of the Jewish weddings you attend. However, you do have a little control over whether your ceremony is longer or shorter. You might opt to include an additional reading from a religious text, invite a friend or family member to perform a blessing, or include one more song, which will make your ceremony longer. To that end, more orthodox ceremonies tend to be longer than those that are a little more relaxed. Looking to shorten your religious ceremony? Work with your officiant to see which readings might be more to-the-point, as well as if there are elements you may want to skip. An experienced religious wedding officiant should be able to estimate how long your ceremony will last, based on the elements you choose to include.

See more: What's the General Order of a Wedding Ceremony?

For a secular ceremony, you have much more control over how long your ceremony is. The only real requirement is that each of you agrees to marry the other, and that your officiant pronounces you married, so the rest can be as drawn-out or concise as you wish. Using fewer readings will have the proceedings go along more quickly, while an in-depth story of your relationship or your officiant's musings on marriage might add a few extra minutes to the timeline.

No matter how long your ceremony is, if you're writing your own, make sure you time it as read through it out loud (because you read more slowly out loud than you do in your head) from start to finish, then add on a few minutes in case happy tears leave words caught in anyone's throat. You should also work with your planner to estimate how long the processional will take, given how many people will be walking down the aisle and approximately how long the aisle is. This will help you come up with an estimate for your total ceremony time, so you can both pick a good start time and let your venue and caterers know when cocktail hour will begin.

Sep 222016
 

What's a wedding without music? Whether you go traditional or choose pop songs that speak to your story, the right music will really help your wedding day flow. And that goes for your wedding ceremony, too! So how do you pick the perfect songs to get everyone down the aisle (and back!)? Here are a few tips from our experts.

Before you start building playlists, check in with your ceremony venue. Some, particularly more strictly religious venues, have limits on what types of music you can choose. That might mean you can only choose from a set of traditional options, or you can get creative as long as it's instrumental and doesn't have any words at all. Once you've got a grasp on what's okay, it's time to proceed.

Think about the feeling you're trying to create. Of course, you want the main focus to be "love"! But do you want something calm and subdued, upbeat, or a fun surprise your guests might barely pick up on, like an instrumental version of that rap song the two of you can't help but dance to? Don't be afraid to pick an unexpected genre, especially if there's an acoustic or instrumental version that will nod to your favorite tune without busting out the hard rock on your way down the aisle.

Of course, there are three big moments to pick music for: Both of your processionals (one song each) and the recessional. Your groom's processional could also be the song the wedding party walks down the aisle to, or you could give him a tune all his own, like you'll have. You can choose the songs together, or decide to surprise one another as the first notes are played. Choose songs you love now that you'll also love playing on future anniversaries (or just as you reminisce!). For the recessional, pick something upbeat and happy, as this symbolizes the start of the party! You may also need to choose processional songs for your families or the wedding party. Keep these in a similar tone and style as the songs you've chosen for yourself so everything flows together nicely.

Really need some inspiration? Check out the BRIDES Spotify for ideas!

See more: 5 Major Wedding Music Mistakes to Avoid

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